Great Metal Albums of 1987: Candlemass- Nightfall

80smetalman’s Hypothesis: As metal began to fragment into sub-genres, many of those bands who are associated with some of those sub-genres got their start in 1987. A couple of weeks ago, I stated that Helloween’s “Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I” album was my introduction to power metal. While I can’t say that Swedish band Candlemass’s album, “Nightfall,” was my launch into doom metal, (I listened to too much Black Sabbath for that to be the case), I can agree that they might have progressed what Sabbath started and helped make doom metal what it has become today.

What you get with “Nightfall” is total foreboding doom metal. Like many doom metal albums, it starts off with an short instrumental which grabs your attention. In fact, there are four instrumentals on “Nightfall,” including the closer but while the opener, “Gothic Stone” is less than a minute, the other three are just over two minutes long. Each of them play a crucial part on the album and except for the closer, obviously, they herald in the next track. The opener brings in the track “The Well of Souls” which, if anyone wanted a perfect example of what doom metal sounds like, it is that one.

Some pretty good guitar work on “Codex Gigas” sets up my favourite track on the album, “At the Gallows End.” It’s not total doom metal as there are some lively parts on the song but it does have the doom and gloom sound overall. Plus, lead singer, Messiah Marcolin does an excellent job and there is a great guitar solo from Lars Johansson. Furthermore, the rhythm section is particularly tight on this track.

Another element of doom metal which features on the album is the long songs. Except for the instrumentals, the other songs all clock in at over five minutes in length with two over seven minutes. Each song has that pounding melancholy beat with the guitars and pounding bass and thundering drums. Full credit must be given to the rhythm section here as they are able to keep that vibe going on every song beginning to end. However, it’s not all the same beat on every song. “Dark are the Veils of Death” changes things up throughout the whole of the seven minutes it lasts for. The track sounds like it could have been on any early Black Sabbath album which is a compliment to the true originators of doom metal. The difference being that Messiah Macrolin has a total different vocal style to Ozzy, likewise, Lars Johansson’s lead guitar is different to Tony Iommi but that doesn’t matter for what they bring to this album works for Candlemass.

Track Listing:

  1. Gothic Stone
  2. The Well of Souls
  3. Codex Gigas
  4. At the Gallows End
  5. Samarithan
  6. Marche Funebre
  7. Dark Are the Veils of Death
  8. Mourners Lament
  9. Bewitched
  10. Black Candles
Candlemass

Messiah Macrolin- vocals

Lars Johansson- lead guitar

Mats Bjorkman- rhythm guitar

Leif Edling- bass

Jan Lindh- drums

Additional Musicians:

Mike Wead- rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards

If I had never picked up a Black Sabbath album before 1987 and first heard “Nightfall” by Candlemass, I would have concluded that I had a very fine introduction to doom metal. While that wasn’t the case, I think that with this album, Candlemass stamp their name on the doom metal moniker in fantastic form.

Next post: Shy- Excess All Areas

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

11 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1987: Candlemass- Nightfall”

  1. Sensational album, its brilliance has not faded since the first time I heard it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was too stuck in to 80’s rock to go to listen to something like Candlemass. I think I had a greatest hits of theirs at one time though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like your hypothesis. What is it about that year, then, do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved it when Candlemass hit the scene. It was like a breath of fresh air even though Sabbath had already paved the way. Saturday nights at the local rock club, Eddie’s, and if they played this we’d all start doom dancing lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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