Robert Lowe - Candlemass
The new Candlemass is one of the
best releases this year, thus far. I was eternally grateful to converse
with vocalist - Robert Lowe - about all of
his work with Death Magic Doom. What a joy to speak in solitude to the
"Disciple Of Doom" himself, the same day as the much anticipated
Heaven & Hell CD arrived in stores. I was surprised by his thick Dallas
accent, and charmed by his beguiling nature. Come journey to the dark
side of this lucid fear rising, and celebrate the solid attitude of our
eternized mettle hearts.
MettleAngel: Hey Brother, I'm so pleased to be speaking with you about the new Candlemass. Honestly, I think it is their best effort since the glorious Metal Blade years.
MettleAngel: As well it should! When I spoke with Leif Edling a few years ago, discussing the release for the - King Of The Grey Islands - he explained to me that all the music had already been written and recorded, before you were even asked to join the band. I assume this time you were instrumental to the writing process, and contributed your immense vocal talents?
That is probably why the album feels so tight, and flows so well.
MettleAngel: Leif has done an outstanding job. Honestly, I was a bit jaded about hearing the new Candlemass, until I streamed it for free a few weeks ago at the band's My Space page. I listened to it over, and over. I was floored. Once I received a promo, I just played it everyday. I too felt a renewed spark of interest, reignited. I was not overly impressed with the last studio album. My favourite songs were the bonus tracks. This is why I celebrated the - Lucifer Rising EP.
MettleAngel: Death Magic Doom has such a great melodic sound. Lately, I have become so burned out with all the doom acts inundating the market. When the two best bands of the genre are merged into one being, with you on vocals, the magick happens. The perfect blessing, and curse is created.
MettleAngel: We won't go into all that...
MettleAngel: Yes, I think I had heard that, or perhaps Leif, himself informed me.
MettleAngel: I agree, and they do! This is why Lucifer Rising whets our appetites, hearing you sing even more of the classics.
MettleAngel: I definitely prefer the early Candlemass albums. Chapter VI was it own entity. By the time - Dactylis Glomerata or From The 13th Sun - came out, they were expensive imports, which never measured up to the classics. I became bored with the tediousness of the music. I was excited when Messiah returned, but the S/T did not impress me as much as the originals. Death Magic Doom is a return to glory!
MettleAngel: I asked Leif if he would ever re-issue the Nemesis material. I would love to hear you sing on those songs! Sadly, he despises that, and there is no plan for a remaster. Just out of curiosity, what is your favourite Candlemass album?
MettleAngel: The songs were so unique. Well Of Souls reminded me of Indiana Jones. Samirithan, with its unique spelling, reminded me of the Bible story. I had no clue what the Codex Gigas was, then.
MettleAngel: I recall paying a pretty price for this on CD, many years later. I got the Active Records Pressing at a record convention. Here is a funny anecdote for you...I had the CD in my trunk, while I was driving home, from the show. I could not wait to take it home and play, as I still had a cassette deck in my car. While I was on the freeway, I was cut off, and run off the road, and I almost crashed. All I could think of is that I hope I have not broken my CD, as I did dent my fender, and rear of the car. I was more concerned about the damn CD, than the car itself, or my safety.
MettleAngel: What about Solitude Aeturnus, which one of those albums do you most prefer?
MettleAngel: So you choose the most recent, than the previous release? I myself, and most fans I know would choose the first two albums, first. My favourite being - Beyond The Crimson Horizon. I have always wondered if the artwork on the cover was somehow inspired by John Carpenter's - Prince Of Darkness movie.
MettleAngel: That surprises me, as I think your vocals are incredible on the Roadrunner albums!
MettleAngel: Yes, this can be seen on your DVD (and now CD) - Hour Of Despair. What is your opinion of the Metal Mind Remasters? I always wanted to get those, but there were so many other quality re-issues, when those first came out, like Toxik, Atrophy, Xentrix, Crimson Glory, etc.
MettleAngel: Wow, most bands with whom I have conversed are usually very happy with their re-issues. Did you contribute liner notes, at least?
MettleAngel: I also remember my first Solitude Aeturnus album - Beyond The Crimson Horizon - which is probably why it is still my favourite; although, I love - Adagio - too. I actually purchased it in the longbox CD format, the same day as Anthrax - Sound Of White Noise - came out. The record store was offering $2.00 off any CD with the purchase of the Anthrax. I was entranced by the cover art, and song titles like - Plague Of Procreation, and Black Castle - so I took a gamble and picked it up, on a whim. I was a fan forever, after this, but the CD did take several rotations to really sink in, for me. I was still very much into cassettes, and my CD collection was meager.
MettleAngel: Yeah, I do I guess, it makes the metal more meaningful to me. Unfortunately, as I get older, and more music is made readily available to me digitally, the anecdotes are not always as exciting or powerful. Fans have always been curious as to what preparations you undergo before singing in the studio live, or on stage. Do you use vocal exercises, or perhaps drink Throatcoat, to ensure that your voice is in adequate shape, in order to keep those pipes fresh?
MettleAngel: You have to be kidding me? Warrelll Dane always drank excessively, but now that has affected his voice, and he has gone cold turkey. Is this just perhaps another one of your Southern Deathstyle Traditions in Dallas?
MettleAngel: What is it with you folks in Dallas? I know that King Diamond is really into auto racing too. My wife and I took our honeymoon to Daytona Beach, after having visited Orlando. We were not even aware of the big race going on at the same time. We chose to remain at the hotel, and just go to the beach, but the damn water was freezing. So, will you tour the US soon to promote Death Magic Doom? Last year I wanted to catch you in Cleveland, but I was too sick.
MettleAngel: Well, it was almost a year after Grey Islands, when Candlemass came over to America. Did you meet some older fans, while making some new ones?
MettleAngel: Well for those of us who did see Candlemass, back in the day, this was our first experience with you in the band. Hopefully, I will get to see you next time too. At Metal Covenant, we are seriously considering making Death Magic Doom the Album Of The Month. The vote may be unanimous. Although, some of us also love the new Powerwolf, and Heaven & Hell which comes out today.
MettleAngel: Like with Metal Covenant, it is a perfect blend of both continents, and countries with Sweden and the US. You are an American, the band are Swedish. What are some of your favourite new songs?
MettleAngel: I agree, and those are some of my choices, as well. I would also include - Demon Of The Deep - which has that Creature Of The Black Lagoon vibe. The US CD version which comes out next Tuesday, will include the Lucifer's Rising Studio Outake track. Some special editions will include a studio report DVD. Will the vinyl pressing which includes two bonus tracks - Lucifer Rising and White God - be like the other Nuclear Blast green vinyl editions?
MettleAngel: That song is awesome. Thank You for taking the time to answer all my curious inquisitions.
MettleAngel: Yeah, I imagine it can get a bit repetitive having to answer some of the same questions.
MettleAngel: Thank You, Man. Make sure you tell Leif, and the gang how much I do enjoy the new album. I'm so glad he was able to write an album of this caliber. After our last conversation, I was concerned he might turn Candlemass into a Mastodon. I guess this is what all his other bands are for, as long as he keeps Candlemass consistent. I have not heard his last solo effort - Songs Of Torment, Songs Of Joy - but it did receive favorable reviews.
MettleAngel: Indeed he did, and it has really paid off in spades. Robert, thank you again. Hopefully, I'll catch you with Solitude Aeturnus, someday as well.
See also: review of Death Magic Doom