I haven’t done an album review for a while. Partly as I rarely bother to bring anything home from the library as I now have sooo much music on my phone, 6,904 songs and counting, that aren’t getting a fair spin. But I had a birthday recently and my Mother gave me a wee sum of coin to spend on myself. As I told her, I was very impressed with the wisdom of the record she chose me 😉
Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
I used to own this record, but in a great madness I sold. Listen up kids, never, and I mean NEVER, sell your records, no matter how naff you think they are at this moment in time. Sure your One Direction CDs are going to seem a bit passe in a year or so but in 5-10 years you will value them as part of your life. Keep em.
So my gift was the recently released Limited Edition of Candlemass Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. Interesting because the first liner note is from Aaron from My Dying Bride and just like me he says he found the record and just had to have it, without knowing what it was. Then from the opening moments of those words:
I’m sitting here alone in darkness
waiting to be free,
Lonely and forlorn I’m crying.
I long for my time to come
death means just life
Please let me die in solitude
Kerrang! Tingle, tingle tingle. He and I felt just like that too. There is magic in this record. If you like Rock then you should own this record.
Now what always gets me about this record is the magic. There is a something that isn’t quite there in fact. Yes the singer can sing (in a wonderful Scandinavian accented English), the guitars, bass and drums are all in place. The synths fit (and are easy to ignore if you are opposed to that sort of thing). The melodies are good, simple and easy to get. The mix is nice and bright. BUT none of these things are stellar. These guys weren’t seasoned/skilled enough to be delivering as polished a record as say Iron Maiden’s “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” or “Fear of the Dark” but there is a something that neither of those more polished performances can match that make Epicus Doomicus Metallicus a compelling experience. Compelling enough to be deemed one of the most important Metal records ever.
So what is it?
To be honest I don’t really know but I think it is in the passion of the humanity contained in the emotions in the songs combined with the way they are delivered, especially by the singer. If you can let yourself feel the power yet loneliness at the core of most of these songs then you are won over despite any weaknesses. That there is art kiddies. Art I tells ya.
Any Mother who can know how important this record is (even by the proxy of a giving cash) is worth having.
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There is a Live Candlemass CD as well. I bought that after parting from Epicus as I could never find the studio album in my travels (I wait for things to find me like any real collector). This is a very different experience and initially I was disappointed with it. It is faster and the singer is not the same person.
However once I learned to take it on its own merit I think it is not a bad thing to own as a slab of Rock & Roll (the rollicking fun type) as expressed in the format of Metal. Messiah is a capable singer in his own right even though he doesn’t capture the spirit of the lonely guy sitting in there in darkness, waiting…
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If you have any records in your collection that you think are like this (greater than the sum of the parts) then feel free to share below.