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Music / Candlemass

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Candlemass - epic and depressing at the same time.

Candlemass is a Swedish Doom Metal band formed in 1985 by bassist Leif Edling. One of trope codifiers of doom metal, and particularly of a subgenre called "epic doom metal", their first album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is not only considered a landmark album but the textbook example of doom metal. They disbanded in 1993, but reformed four years later with a new lineup (Leif Edling being the only consistent member). A past lineup of Candlemass then reformed in 2002, before breaking up again... And reforming again in 2004.

Current lineup:

  • Johan Längqvist - vocals
  • Lars Johansson - lead guitar
  • Mats "Mappe" Björkman - rhythm guitar
  • Leif Edling - bass
  • Jan Lindh - drums

Past members:

  • Matz Ekström - drums
  • Thomas Vikström - vocals
  • Björn Flodkvist - vocals
  • Jejo Perkovic - drums
  • Mats Ståhl - rhythm guitar
  • Messiah Marcolin - vocals
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  • Robert Lowe (of Solitude Aeturnus) - vocals
  • Carl Westholm - keyboard (currently a session musician)
  • Mats Levén - vocals


  • Epicus Doomicus Metallicus - 1986
  • Nightfall - 1987
  • Ancient Dreams - 1988
  • Tales of Creation - 1989
  • Chapter VI - 1992
  • Dactylis Glomerata - 1998
  • From the 13th Sun - 1999
  • Candlemass - 2005
  • King of the Grey Islands - 2007
  • Death Magic Doom - 2009
  • Psalms for the Dead - 2012
  • The Door to Doom - 2019
  • Sweet Evil Sun - 2022


Candlemass provides the following trope examples:

  • Bookends: The last, self-titled song on the album Tales of Creation ends with the exact same riff used on the album's intro.
  • Canis Latinicus: Epicus Doomicus Metallicus.
  • Cover Version: Vaguely; the last track on Ancient Dreams is a medley of Black Sabbath songs.
  • Doom Metal: Of the "traditional doom metal" variety, or more specifically, "epic doom metal".
  • Four More Measures: On "A Sorcerer's Pledge", Johan starts singing as soon as guitar starts, then hums for a while and starts again, this time correctly. According to Leif, it was a soundcheck that they kept in.
  • I Am the Band: Leif Edling is the sole consistent member of the band, and is in a way the leader.
  • Insufferable Genius: Why Messiah Marcolin will never play with them again. While he may be an incredibly talented and iconic singer, his massive ego, diva-like behavior, and utter inability to work with anyone in a band situation have all ensured that they will never even consider bringing him on board again.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Samaritan" is one of the heaviest songs on Nightfall and sounds very depressing, but the lyrics are about a man who shelters and feeds a homeless man and, on his own death bed 50 years later, is taken to Heaven by angels in return.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: "Mourner's Lament" is about a father grieving the death of his son.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: "Into the Unfathomed Tower" from Tales of Creation sounds more like Yngwie Malmsteen than the usual doomy fare.
  • Rhyming with Itself: The word "life" is used to rhyme with itself in the final verse of "At The Gallows End".
  • Start My Own: In addition to his various side projects (namely Krux, Avatarium, and The Doomsday Kingdom), Leif Edling started Abstrakt Algebra after the 1994 breakup (and wound up repurposing most of the material that was intended for their sophomore album with Dactylis Glomerata), while Marcolin started Memento Mori with members of Hexenhaus after his first split with the band.
  • Teen Genius: Messiah Marcolin was no older than nineteen when he joined.
  • Trope Codifier: They're not the first doom metal band and not the only codifiers of the genre, but they were responsible for many of the stereotypical characteristics associated with it. Since they were, arguably, the most popular doom metal band (unless you count Black Sabbath), they were highly influential on later bands.
  • Trope Makers: Of "epic doom metal".