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Classic Review: Candlemass - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
Epicus Doomicus Metallicus

Label: Black Dragon Records
Year released: 1986
Duration: 42:54
Tracks: 6
Genre: Doom Metal


Review online: May 6, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.92/5 (98.48%) (79 Votes)

Here I am, cruising through the site, and I notice there are no Candlemass albums reviewed. Criminal, just criminal. So with a historical bent I tender this, the debut of the finest doom band ever.

Here is where it all started. There wasn’t a metal genre called ‘doom’ back in ’86 when this was released. Nowadays when you say a band is ‘doomy’ you generally mean they play like Candlemass: slow, epic, and heavy as hell. This first CD is not as well written as "Nightfall" nor as heavy as "Ancient Dreams", but it defined a genre and still remains a well-loved and essential metal album more than sixteen frigging years after it came out.

The album title says it all, and the songs here are such classics that discussing them may be pointless and masturbatory, but so what? "Solitude", the long slow rumble of "Demon’s Gate" (possibly the slooooowest song ever by the band), the classic riff of "Crystal Ball" – my favorite tune off this CD – is there anything here that isn’t cool? "Black Stone Wielder" – do I need to say more? "Under the Oak" was resurrected for "Tales Of Creation", and I actually prefer the version on that album (Messiah!) but it’s good here too. "A Sorcerer’s Pledge" is not as good as the other songs here, but it ain’t bad either.

The production is a bit rough (though the remastering on the recent re-issue has fixed a lot of that) Johan Lanquist is not Messiah Marcolin, but their voices are so close you can almost forget. The band doesn’t sound as tight as they would later, yadda yadda. All the flaws on the CD just enhance its underground charm, and for my money the band wouldn’t sound this cool again until "Ancient Dreams" years later. If you like epic doom metal – well just read the title, what the hell else is there? This is a mandatory album. It rules, and rules, and rules some more. Go. Get.

More about Candlemass...
Review: Ancient Dreams (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Candlemass (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Candlemass (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Chapter VI (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Death Magic Doom (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Death Thy Lover (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Documents of Doom (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: King Of The Grey Islands (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Nightfall (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Psalms for the Dead (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Psalms for the Dead (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Sweet Evil Sun (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Tales of Creation (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Curse of Candlemass (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with vocalist Johan Längqvist and guitarist Mats "Mappe" Björkman on July 8, 2022 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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