Great Metal Albums of 1988: Candlemass- Ancient Dreams

Swedish doom metal band, Candlemass’s album, “Ancient Dreams” confirms what I have always believed about doom metal. That it’s a great cure for a hangover. Tempted though I was, I didn’t get drunk so I could listen to the album with a hangover the next morning, maybe next time. Actually, first proof of my theory came back at Bloodstock 2016 when still a bit unsteady from the night before, doom metal band Ghost Bath soothed my head and provided a great cure from the festivities of the night before. When I listen to “Ancient Dreams,” I see it in the same light.

Ghost Bath soothing the afflicted, Bloodstock 2016

Another point about the album and this is not a bad point, is the fact that there are no tracks which jump out and make me declare it my favourite one. Okay, maybe “Bearer of Pain” might be that track but not by much. Each track goes from one to the next in gloomy succession, never to have you stop swaying your head or body along to the hypnotic vibe that it produces. Saying that, there are songs which has some unique feature about them. The reason why I site “Bearer of Pain” as my favourite is that it hosts the best guitar solo. On the other hand, “Darkness in Paradise” boast the best bassline. However, these are just small points as the songs just seem to lift me up and carry me away with them.

Stating the obvious, only the most disconnected can’t help but notice the obvious Black Sabbath influence on Candlemass and I’m not just talking about the Black Sabbath medley on the closing track. That influence is heard throughout the entire album. By the way, they do Sabbath proud. While they don’t seem to touch some of the classics like “Paranoid” or “Iron Man,” they do good justice to other Black Sabbath classics such as “Electric Funeral” and “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.” Full marks to the band.

Track Listing:

  1. Mirror Mirror
  2. A Cry From the Crypt
  3. Darkness in Paradise
  4. Incarnation of Evil
  5. Bearer of Pain
  6. Ancient Dreams
  7. The Bell of Acheron
  8. Epistle No. 81
  9. Black Sabbath Medley


Messiah Marcolin- vocals

Lars Johanssn- lead guitar

Mats Bjorkman- rhythm guitar

Leif Edling- bass

Jan Lindh- drums

I think I said this when I posted about the previous album, “Nightfall.” Candlemass was a band I got into retrospectively after hearing some tracks from their next album. In any case, I never mind going back and listening to albums which passed me by originally. This trip back was an absolute pleasure and no, I’m not going to get drunk tonight and listen to “Ancient Dreams” with a hangover. Though, I’m confident that this album would soothe an aching head.

Next post: Bullet Boys

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14 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1988: Candlemass- Ancient Dreams”

  1. It say’s something about the quality of the first three Candlemass albums that a record as brilliant as this is (in my view, at least) the worst of the trilogy. Still majestic though. And that cover art…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Messiah’s vocals are so distinct, very operatic and powerful. Kind of similar to Bruce Dickinson’s style, but not really. That Black Sabbath medley is really good too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. HeavyMetalOverload got me into Doom Dancing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. While I’m sad to say that I never experienced the album’s hangover healing powers, I can confirm that this is indeed a fantastic album.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such happy memories of Candlemass back in the day. Doom dancing in the rock clubs, home parties mixtapes, walking home through the cemetary as a short cut late at light after finishing evening classes, while listening to them on my Walkman. (no fear, lol). Top band!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice album. Alot of underrated guitar playing.

    Bearer of Pain is such a cool song. The riff reminds me of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Am I Evil.

    Liked by 1 person

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