Leif Edling - Candlemass
Dark are the tales of death and
creation. The ancient screams, and stark reflections of the past have
shrouded us all in eternal solitude as we prepare for the downfall reign
of the King Of The Grey Islands - the new release from Swedish Doomlords:
Candlemass. Nuclear Blast recently requested me to speak with founding
member, and main song writer - the Nemesis himself: Leif Edling
- about this new album and their choice of new singer - Robert Lowe from
America's Solitude Aeturnus. Leif had been doing telephone interviews
all day, but I don't think he was prepared for my algebraic approach;
which would prove to be a real spellbreaker. Enjoy this abstract diatribe
as the will of souls become quite bewitched between Leif's and my own
personal opiniated taste. With clearsight, this emperor of the void discusses
all his years as the man of shadows behind the dark-veiled death mirror;
the krux of his very existence and resistance, as the bearer of pain and
mythos from the farthest sign, at the hallowed end.
MettleAngel: Hey there Leif, how is everything going? I'm so excited about the new album - King Of The Grey Islands.
MettleAngel: Now, I'm sure you've been asked, ad nauseum, about Eddie "Messiah" Marcolin's departure and all that bull$hit drama. Therefore, I want to focus on the new album and your working with Robert Lowe.
So after "Messiah" exited the band, again, how did you decide
upon Rob for your frontman? Were you always a fan of Solitude Aeturnus?
MettleAngel: Then, you heard Rob was interested in the position?
MettleAngel: So, then Rob did not quit Solitude Aetunus to join Candlemass?
MettleAngel: Then Rob, like Martin Steene of Iron Fire and Force Of Evil, will balance both bands. I guess it's true that Solitude Aeturnus do take their time writing albums. Theie last release - Alone - was their first in like seven, perhaps almost eight years.
MettleAngel: I see what you mean. Solitude Aeturnus just also released a brand new DVD, but not a new album. I've always been a fan of this band; matter of fact, in my opinion, I feel that your new CD really has a Solitude Aeturnus feel, as I listen to it.
MettleAngel: So then Rob was not a part of the writing process for King Of The Grey Islands?
MettleAngel: So then, Rob's contribution was minimal...
MettleAngel: I see what you mean. You have always been the link which has kept Candlemass going for over two decades; but there is a sizable difference, and subtle nuance when you listen to the non-Messiah years. Chapter VI is slighty progressive like Memento More; while Dactylis Glomerata and From The 13th Sun are mired in 70's era doom.
MettleAngel: What about Abstrakt Algebra, your side project in the early 90's with Mats Leven, now that's what I called progressive! When I first heard that CD, I did not know what to make of it. This was before Dream Theater, Everygrey, or Symphony X gained any noteriety. Mat's Leven's vocals are incredible.
MettleAngel: Most American critics dismissed your releases without Messiah. Those albums were also really hard to locate in the states.
MettleAngel: They seem to have flooded the market here in America with their doom, stoner, and sludge effigies. There are just so many horrible acts these days...
MettleAngel: Like Fu Manchu, and a whole host of others. I got this promo with all these doom bands - some have clever names, like SuperHeavyGoatAss; but they all bore me to death. When I think of doom, I think of Trouble, Solitude Aeturnus, Count Raven, St. Vitus, Pentagram, etc.
MettleAngel: There was also Dream Death from the 80's who became Penance. They mixed doom with thrash and Celtic Frost elements. Even Christian bands like Veni Domine & Paramecium began to imitate your art. Now, there's a new band called Middian signed to Metal Blade who seem to be imitating this style, as well.
MettleAngel: I don't consider them doom at all.
MettleAngel: Artists like My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost, even Moonspell or Salem invented a whole new style. They were influenced by Celtic Frost's Into ThePandemoniom and they put their own twist on it. They use classical elements like keyboards, violins and cellos; as well as female vocals. I guess I'd call it Gothic Death/Doom.
MettleAngel: They fit more in with the Opeth, Katatonia vibe. In America we have Novembers Doom who have succeed with this approach. Although, local Cincinnati favourites -Thorns Of The Carrion came close too.
MettleAngel: When I think of bands like Candlemass, I think of clean and soaring vocals, not harsh or brutal like those bands. I like to be able to decipher the lyrics. I am not a fan of Opeth or Katatonia at all. I have always loved "Messiah" Marcolin's vocal operatic tone. This is how I first became a fan of Candlemass. I enjoy all his work with Mercy, Memento Mori, etc. I guess he can bit a bitter pill to swallow, though, personallly.
MettleAngel: Well, I love Rob's vocals. Solitude Aeturnus have always been my favourite band of this genre. I love Trouble but they have such a 70's rock feel like Cream, The Guess Who, BTO, CC&R, mixed with Sabbath. I never really considered them as Doom. I think King Of The Grey Islands is better than the much hyped Self Titled come back album from a few years ago, though. I just need to really listen to it more, and divorce myself from my Solitude Aeturnus associations and predelictions; that I may finally view it as being pure Candlemass.
MettleAngel: I don't have lyrics, is this a concept album - what is the overall theme?
MettleAngel: So the songs deal with lonliness, paranoia, and melancholia?
MettleAngel: I'm surprised to hear you say this. Did "Messiah" write the lyrics to all those great songs on Nightfall, Ancient Dreams, Tales Of Creation, or the Self-titled?
MettleAngel: I thought, it was you who wrote such great lyrics in the 80's. I love the lyrics to songs like Samarithan, Dark Are The Veils Of Death, Bewitched, Dark Reflections, Mirror, Mirror, or At The Gallow's End. Tales Of Creation was a concept album, though... correct?
MettleAngel: I'm surprised to hear you say this. You really have become quite disillusioned over the years. I guess this is evident with the overarching theme on King Of The Grey Islands. This explains the song titles and abstract words for Dactylis Glomerata and The 13th Sun. I first discovered Candlemass when I bought the tape of Nightfall at a local record store. The Metal Blade copy was so cool. I loved the lyrics and music, and packaging. I had not even heard the Latin debut: Epicus Doomius Metallicus - which is truly a pretentious title. Ancient Dreams and Nightfall are not pretentious - they are masterpieces - often imitated, never surpassed! It's pure poetry.
MettleAngel: Do people ever ask you about you work with Nemesis? I have this CD, but I'm sure it's very rare and hard to find.
MettleAngel: Wow, I did not know about this at all! I was able to get the 80's Candlemass re-issues which were done by Powerline as double discs, with extras and demos; but I did not know the rest of the catalogue had been re-issued as well. Here I thought having an original Nemesis EP on Metal Blade and Abstrakt Algebra on Megarock Records meant that I had some real collector items.
MettleAngel: I did not even know you were in a band called Krux. I've never heard them at all. I know of the band Creozoth on Escapi featuring other Candlemass members - guitarist: Lars "Lasse" Johansson, and drummer - Jan Lindh; who also play in Zoic with guitarist: Mats "Mappe" Björkman, with that singer: Fredrik Ohlsson, from the Christain clones: Veni Domine on Powerline Records, but I've never heard Krux, sorry!
MettleAngel: Yes, I'll look into that for sure. I love Mat's singing with Therion so much. I was disheartened to see him leave them. Now they have the vocalist: Thomas Vikström who sang on your Chapter VI release.
MettleAngel: Oh, wait just a minute, Therion is awesome! Christofer Johnsson, Johan and Kristian Niemann, and their entourage not only play incredible music; but they live the lifestyle. I love their lyrics, and all the album concepts. I have learned so much listening to that band over the years. I even appreciate Christofer's work in several side projects.
MettleAngel: Wow, now we disagree, yet again. I can't stand Mastodon. Listening to them sounds like I'm doing my laundry; the drums sound like a laundromat with bad engineering. I like the new Machine Head because of it's Vio-lence style guitar work. Although, I'm sure both bands would be honoured to tour with you and hear of your praise. Will you play any non "Messiah" era Candlemass on tour, besides tracks from Epicus Doomicus Metallicus?
MettleAngel: I'll assume you won't play any Solitude Aeturnus cuts, either?
MettleAngel: On the last Self-titled release, you had a special digipack version with a bonus track called: Mars And Volcanos. I went out of my way to get that version, even though I shelled out a few extra bucks.
MettleAngel: Awesome, now I know I'll have to get that digipack, for sure. I never seem to get those limited Nuclear Blast deals! It's like they sell-out before I even hear about their existence. This is what happened with the last Therion...not that you would care; no seriously, ... At The Gallow's End is one of my favourite Candlemass songs, and I dug black Dwarf, from your last effort, so I can't wait to hear Rob sing on those. Leif, thank you so much for taking the time to work with me on this - I know you are exhausted, and we are over our limit.
MettleAngel: Leif, I'm sorry we disagreed on so many points - I apologize - but I have to be honest and speak my mind. We just have to agree to disagree!
MettleAngel: I will, and thank you again!