The Curse Of Candlemass - Live In Stockholm 2003
The timing for a new CANDLEMASS DVD couldn't be any better as the recently released self-titled reunion album of this legendary Swedish Epic Doomsters turned out extremely convincing and immediately put the band back on the Metal map again. "Live In Stockholm" is an impressive 2 DVD set, featuring lots of live footage as well as a highly interesting, very in-depth and surprisingly honest interview with Messiah, Leif and Mats about the band's entire career. The approximately one hour long conversation was recorded while CANDLEMASS were shooting a promo video for the song 'Black Dwarf' from the new album and therefore also includes some behind the scenes footage as well as lots of vintage (often very amusing) pictures from their early days. Unfortunately it was done in their native tongue, so non-Swedish viewers better activate the subtitles... Disc one offers a full 90 minutes CANDLEMASS gig from their Stockholm show on November 29, 2003, which they played together with TROUBLE and FORCE OF EVIL. The sound- and visual quality is nothing but excellent and the setlist couldn't be any better either. Lots of CANDLEMASS classics, such as 'Demons Gate', 'The Well Of Soul', 'Solitude', 'At The Gallows End', 'The Bells Of Acheron' or 'Mirror Mirror' as well as the song 'Witches' of the (at the time not yet released) new album, performed by a band that pretty obviously enjoys playing the stuff again. The second disc features 2 - 3 outtakes each from classic CANDLEMASS shows (Uppsala - 1987, Fagersta - 1989, Uddevalla - 1992 and Albstadt - 2003) as well as a 1993 TV appearance on Swedish Television for the song 'Dying Illusion'. Except for the Albstadt material, the overall quality of these shows is more or less of a better bootleg type quality, but very exciting to watch nevertheless as they impressively document the energy that CANDLEMASS used to set free on stage during their heydays. Even though singer Thomas Vikström (who replaced Messiah for a couple of years in the 90s) definitely had a solid melodic Power Metal voice, I personally never liked this period of CANDLEMASS at all as it was definitely not recognizable as the typical CANDLEMASS Doom anymore, plus he was of course totally lacking Messiah's charisma and incredible stage presence (documented on this DVD in the songs from the Uddevalla gig and the TV appearance). So, it's great to have the band back together in their classic line-up again after all and apart from the rather superfluous picture gallery this is without a doubt another highly recommended CANDLEMASS release! For more info check out www.candlemass.se or www.escapimusic.com.
- CANDLEMASS - Candlemass - by Luxi Lahtinen