Candlemass
Ancient Dreams


4.0
excellent

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
July 2nd, 2009 | 42 replies


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist


Candlemass are legendary, alongside groups such as Witchfinder General, Saint Vitus, Pentagram, Trouble, and Pagan Altar led by bassist Leif Edling the Swedish act had a pretty big hand in helping to pioneer the use of sludgy, Black Sabbath inspired riffs and slow tempo intensity that would characterise the musical subgenre known as doom metal. In 1986 Epicus Doomicus Metallicus set itself as a landmark album for the scene, establishing Candlemass firmly high up in the metal canon alongside the influence of its equally regarded follow up Nightfall. Ancient Dreams is the groups third album, and was released in 1988.

In many ways Ancient Dreams feels like an extension of Nightfall, from the use of another Thomas Cole painting on the front cover to the uncannily similar approach to songwriting (doom metal groups have never been known for their variation) it does smack a bit of Nightfall Pt. 2 a little. This is a good thing if you loved the groups new singer Messiah Marcolin and the sharp, crisp tones of his powerful voice, the bands gloomy, drawn out, slow riff after riff and an occasional guitar solo formula definitely a winning approach to backing his majestic vocals. If not and you think Messiah's a fag (this is not the first time this has been expressed before) well Ancient Dreams is never going to appeal much.

Its far too easy to play the comparison game but most of Ancient Dreams demands it to be and it is as equally good as Nightfall, if not better. Mirror Mirror is one of the best metal opening tracks around, from its dreamy, majestic intro with harmonised guitars, double kickers and symphonic keys it sets a standard for the rest of the album as it proves itself an excellent doom laden riff-rocker with superb lyrics and delivery from Messiah (Usurped and enslaved/Redeemed and betrayed/The devil in the mirror, obey!). Every single track that follows is virtually the same in principle, with only slight structural differences to speak of. A Cry From The Crypt is perhaps the best of these, with a distinctly recognisable sludge riff at the beginning and a stomping, yet slow pace throughout with some more goofy evil lyrics from Messiah that you could very well find yourself singing along to (Lurking in the shadows/Twisted shape of creeping terror/Guarding something special/Gone since ages, dead and buried).

Not much else stands out as worth discussing as Darkness In Paradise, Incarnation of Evil and Bearer of Pain are all excellent but very, very similar, however the album does start to feel like a rehash around the sixth inclusion, title track Ancient Dreams. It has a lengthy section based around a riff which is very similar to the earlier A Cry From The Crypt and this is kind of offputting, from this point on the listener could be forgiven for a wavering attention span. The Bells of Acheron is worth sticking around for, but despite this the latter half of the album comes off as a tad weaker then the first. The album ends with a Black Sabbath medley (with riffs taken from Symptom of the Universe, Sweet Leaf, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Into the Void, Electric Funeral, Supernaut and Black Sabbath) which is pure novelty but a fitting homage to a group Candlemass owe an awful lot to.

Ancient Dreams is an excellent followup to the superb Nightfall, and another great addition to the Candlemass discography. Overall it isn't quite as engaging from start to finish as the groups previous work with the latter half of the album being so-so at times, but what it shares in formulaic tone it tends to copy faithfully rather then rehashing into something completely mediocre.



Recent reviews by this author
Moevot AbgzvoryathreKate Bush Hounds of Love
Zoviet France Just an IllusionSPK Machine Age Voodoo
7 From Life Sting of The Honey SpiderCromagnon Orgasm
user ratings (141)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
July 2nd 2009


44805 Comments


Terrific review. love Nightfall and Epcius. I'm shocked I dont already have/ or heard this yet. Will though.

fireaboveicebelow
July 2nd 2009


6837 Comments


this looks like a "negative" of the Nightfall album art in a way, kinda cool

ConorMichaelJoseph
July 2nd 2009


1870 Comments


Aw man I was thinking of reviewing this because all the other Candlemass I have have well-written reviews already. Oh well, this is better than mine would have been anyway. Pos'd. Awesome album, though I personally prefer Epicus

Wizard
July 2nd 2009


19649 Comments


Damn good review. I'm stuck on where I should start with these guys. Truthfully, I hate operatic vocals and that's why I'm hesitant to give these guys a shot.

Digging: Horseback and Locrian - New Dominions

fireaboveicebelow
July 2nd 2009


6837 Comments


they're tasteful though, but the silly lyrics may throw you off

Listen to the one track Solitude online

Wizard
July 2nd 2009


19649 Comments


I did and I hated it.
I need an albums worth.

fireaboveicebelow
July 2nd 2009


6837 Comments


uh...hmmm maybe the 2005 self-titled? I dunno

Meatplow
July 2nd 2009


5524 Comments


Aw man I was thinking of reviewing this because all the other Candlemass I have have well-written reviews already. Oh well, this is better than mine would have been anyway. Pos'd. Awesome album, though I personally prefer Epicus


Yeah, this has been sorely lacking a review for a while.

Thanks guys. @ Wizard, if you dislike operatic vocals you probably won't like this because they are a very dominant part of the group. I do insist you try Nightfall at some point though.

BallsToTheWall
July 2nd 2009


44805 Comments


Wizard has the most bizarre, schizophrenic, and confusing taste in music on this whole damn site. That's good though. It leaves a mystic aura.

Wizard
July 3rd 2009


19649 Comments


Wizard has the most bizarre, schizophrenic, and confusing taste in music on this whole damn site. That's good though. It leaves a mystic aura.

Thanks Balls, that actually means alot. Predictable is too predictable hahaha. And my mystic aura comes from my wizard ways.

BallsToTheWall
July 3rd 2009


44805 Comments


AVADA KEDRAVA!!!!!

Wizard
July 3rd 2009


19649 Comments


Abra-Cadabra?

fireaboveicebelow
July 3rd 2009


6837 Comments


nope he means the harry potter murder spell...DUH

BallsToTheWall
July 3rd 2009


44805 Comments


Or the pokemon bitch. And Harry Potter isnt for faggots. take it back.

Wizard
July 3rd 2009


19649 Comments


Hahahahahaha I can't dude. I just hate fantasy. Sci-fi all the way.

BallsToTheWall
July 3rd 2009


44805 Comments


You a trekkie fag bag?

fireaboveicebelow
July 3rd 2009


6837 Comments


more like a blade runner

TricksterGRex
July 3rd 2009


2087 Comments


wizard is Harrison Ford

Meatplow
July 3rd 2009


5524 Comments


Small doses of both fantasy and sci-fi are acceptable.

Meatplow
July 4th 2009


5524 Comments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dyV2DMwzn4



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy