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Nightfall - Candlemass

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Genre: Hard Rock & Metal - Heavy Metal / Artist: Candlemass / Enhanced / Audio CD released 2007-10-29 at Peaceville

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      07.04.2008 13:36
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      Candlemass' second album (1987).

      'Nightfall' is the archetypal Candlemass album, the ultimate doom metal album, and one of the defining works of heavy metal in general. This masterwork certainly has its flaws, but somehow manages to use these to its advantage much as the band's progenitors Black Sabbath achieved with their string of imperfect but infallible releases through the early 1970s.

      New vocalist Messiah Marcolin is what will be remembered most about this album, though really credit is equally due to the guitar talents of Lars Johansson, whose elegiac melodies make the instrumental interludes every bit as compelling as the more substantial dirges. Marcolin's tone is similar to previous frontman Johan Lanquist, but with even more passion and presence, and could easily rival Ronnie James Dio in the stakes of most over-the-top eighties metal performance. Fortunately for all, this doesn't detract any credibility from the depressiveness of this release, which combines an overarching melancholy atmosphere with some tremendously enjoyable riffs and choruses, resulting in an album that's so bipolar, it really has to be experienced firsthand.

      Every listen to this album has left me feeling bizarrely exhausted, and not in the way more emotive albums have the ability to. I think it's the sheer magnitude of the music, which is essentially no different from other heavy metal recorded in a studio during the decade, but somehow convinces of the graveyards it conjures and exotic locations it describes. 'The Well of Souls' and especially 'Bewitched' are the most memorable offerings here after even the most passive listen, dominated by Marcolin's bombastic choruses, but the performances throughout the rest of the album really don't let up one bit. There are four comparatively short interludes in the form of tracks one, three, six and ten, all of which are excellent and serve to make this an even more satisfying experience when listened to in full, rather than a mere collection of songs, and songs in the centre tend to favour fast galloping sections reminiscent of Iron Maiden.

      Indeed, its hard not to compare 'At the Gallows End' directly with that other band's similarly themed 'Hallowed Be Thy Name,' and although this lacks the classic nature it's certainly the more believably atmospheric of the two, though anyone who felt Bruce Dickinson's squeaking vocals weren't entirely relevant to the sombre narrative is only going to experience further disappointment here.

      1. Gothic Stone
      2. The Well of Souls
      3. Codex Gigas
      4. At the Gallows End
      5. Samarithan
      6. Marche Funebre
      7. Dark Are the Veils of Death
      8. Mourners Lament
      9. Bewitched
      10. Black Candles

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 Gothic Stone
    2 Well Of Souls
    3 Codex Gigas
    4 At The Gallows End
    5 Samarithan
    6 Marche Funebre
    7 Dark Are The Veils Of Death
    8 Mourners Lament
    9 Bewitched
    10 Black Candles

    Disc #2 Tracklisting
    1 Bewitched
    2 Battlecry
    3 Well Of Souls
    4 Dark Are The Veils Of Death
    5 At The Gallows End
    6 Mourners Lament
    7 Interview
    8 Bewitched