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The Marquee, London, England


Messiah Marcolin

What can I add that hasn’t already been said about Candlemass as a live act? They seem to exude total confidence on stage and even though they’re still only playing the little ol’ Marquee, they never forget the diehard fans out front.

The Marquee was packed for tonight’s show, and the wide spectrum that the Swedish band attract was instantaneously obvious. Gothics right up to the hardest thrashers were going wild as ‘Marche Funebre’ announced the band’s arrival. Vocalist Messiah Marcolin immediately dominated the stage – he agrees that his voice may over dominate Ancient Dreams, the band’s latest LP – but on the evidence of tonight, don’t let that concern you folks; a voice like this should not be ignored. ‘Mirror Mirror’ who’s the finest of the all?

Candlemass had the crowd in their hands, but the greatest accolade I can give them is that they built their set beautifully, switching from new material to Epicus Doomicus Metallicus classics and to Nightfall tracks, like ‘Bewitched’ and ‘Dark Are The Veils Of Death’; almost legendary riffs from the Candlemass text book. My only quibble was the guitar of Mats Björkman on some of the slow bits when the tuning strayed, but the band as a whole were on top form.

Candlemass could never be matched; imagine somebody trying to copy ‘Solitude’ or ‘Samarithan’, it would sound so pathetic. The only thing that saddened me was that the band closed with a Black Sabbath medley; doing something I thought they’d put behind them. That will no doubt fuel the debate again as to whether Candlemass = Black Sabbath? No way mate, Candlemass are much blacker; ‘Solitude’ is so black it would make Ozzy Osbourne go back to sucking dummies. A night to remember… long may they continue.

Mike Exley

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 35 (1989)

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