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Reviewed by Tobbe
Special guest: ---
City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue: Debaser Medis
Date: December 28th 2013
Set length: 121 minutes


Saturday night in Stockholm, Sweden and the hometown boys in Candlemass had announced that the band's third album Ancient Dreams would be played in its entirety to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Main man, songwriter and bass player Leif Edling has stated that he never was fond of that album, but they would play it anyway. I must say that I totally agree with his viewpoint. The album is a rather satisfying product, but no way near the two first ones, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and Nightfall.

Three classics and two songs off their last album, Psalms For The Dead, kick-starts the memorable set. Edling's bass is distinct and always a strong force to reckon with. Janne Lindh's trademarked drum play is sometimes heavier and slower than heaviness and doom itself. Rhythm guitarist Mappe Björkman's riffs are dark, grinding and perfected, and lead guitarist Lasse Johansson's plays are most accurate. The band's latest addition, keyboard player Per Wiberg, receives a moment of fame when he gets the opportunity to start the title track off the last album with an organ intro.

Mirror Mirror cracks the door to open the Ancient Dreams section. All nine songs were played including the concluding Black Sabbath Medley. A few unnamed guests were to appear tonight at Debaser Medis, but last minute cancellations didn't make things an easy task. Tonight's first guest, Jörgen Sandström, read the entire lyrics to Incarnation Of Evil from a sheet. A song written in 1981 according to Edling and the version played tonight was probably pretty close to what that demo sounded like back then.

Without the album's original singer Messiah Marcolin, new singer Mats Levén has heavy (no pun intended) shoes to fill, yet he delivers. He has stepped up to control things and he weaves his way through the set and doesn't overshoot his duties. He operates well with the doom veterans and unlike his predecessor Robert Lowe, he has learned the lyrics properly and also puts his own mark to the songs. His bangs is shading his eyes a little too much to fulfill the interaction with the crowd to a constant satisfactory level though.

Guest appearance number two came from no one else than Swedish actor and director, the eccentric Thorsten Flinck. This should have been a big one. He was given one month in advance to practice the lyrics to Epistle No. 81, but the substances that has been in his system made him fail this one big-time and he totally trounced the song. He had no clue whatsoever when to sing or what to sing, although he had the lyric sheet right in front of him on a tripod. According to Lindh they never even rehearsed this one and eventually Edling took care of business and sang the second half himself, while Flinck was standing there in wonder, looking puzzled.

The set was closed with the highly unexpected Black As Time off Psalms For The Dead and the more expected epic track Solitude. The latter one with the set's third and final guest appearance and also a female one when burlesque dancer Pepper Potemkin entered the stage. For what reason I guess no one could see, but still something to let your eyes focus on, since I believe most fans to Candlemass are, and forever will be, men.

Candlemass has a genuine, solid fanbase and many had came from abroad to see this two hour event. There was loud singing occasionally and most fans definitely looked satisfied. It was absolutely a good gig, but in all honesty, it was more a pleasant factor and a cool thing to witness, than great. There was also plans of a DVD recording, but that was also cancelled late. Things just didn't exactly follow the band's high expectations tonight.

Performance: 6 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 7 chalices of 10
: Under The Oak and Mirror Mirror.
: Epistle No. 81 with Thorsten Flinck.

Marche Funebre (Intro)
Dark Reflections
Under The Oak
Psalms For The Dead
Mirror Mirror
A Cry From The Crypt
Darkness In Paradise
Incarnation Of Evil
Bearer Of Pain
Ancient Dreams
The Bells Of Acheron
Epistle No. 81
Black Sabbath Medley
Black As Time

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