CANDLEMASS — Nightfall

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CANDLEMASS - Nightfall cover
4.32 | 48 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1987

Tracklist

1. Gothic Stone (0:47)
2. The Well of Souls (7:26)
3. Codex Gigas (2:19)
4. At the Gallows End (5:46)
5. Samarithan (5:29)
6. Marche Funebre (2:21)
7. Dark Are the Veils of Death (7:06)
8. Mourners Lament (6:08)
9. Bewitched (6:36)
10. Black Candles (2:16)

Total Time: 46:20

Bonus disc
1. Bewitched (demo) (7:10)
2. Battlecry (demo) (6:08)
3. The Well of Souls (live) (5:16)
4. Dark Are the Veils of Death (live) (4:07)
5. At the Gallows End (studio outtake) (5:50)
6. Mourners Lament (studio outtake) (5:36)
7. Interview (24:23)

Total Time: 58:31

Line-up/Musicians

- Messiah Marcolin / vocals
- Mats Björkman / guitars
- Lars Johansson / guitars
- Leif Edling / bass
- Jan Lindh / drums

About this release

Full-length, Active Records, November 9th, 1987

Music and lyrics by Leif Edling except "Black Candles" written by Mike Wead and "Marche Funebre" written by Fryderyk Chopin in 1837.

Recorded in Thunderload Studios by Ragne "Undercover Lover" Wahlqvist during July-Aug-Sept.'87. Mixed at Stockholm Recording Studios by Mars "Spiiuuu" Lindfors, Sept.'87. Produced by Candlemass

Thanks to Time Signature, UMUR for the updates

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CANDLEMASS NIGHTFALL reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Warthur
Combining great songwriting from Leif Edling, excellent operatic vocals from Messiah Marcolin, and some jaw-droppingly heavy riffing from the band's twin lead guitarists, Candlemass's Nightfall more than earns its reputation as a classic of doom metal. With thoughtful conceptual subject matter running the full gamut from the bleak and despairing to the hopeful to the pious to the infernal, the album shows a cohesive artistic vision which remains compelling to this day and is executed perfectly by the band. As its predecessor did, Nightfall sets a new standard of excellence in doom metal by which all subsequent doom releases could be judged.
UMUR
"Nightfall" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Swedish doom metal act Candlemass. The album was released through Active Records in November 1987. There have been a couple of significant lineup changes since the release of the band´s debut full-length studio album "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986)". The most significant one being the change on the lead vocalist spot. Johan Lanquist who sang on the debut album has been replaced by Messiah Marcolin. A lineup change that would be defining for the sound of Candlemass in the late 80s.

The music on the album is epic sounding doom metal and unmistakably the sound of Candlemass, lineup changes or not. While the music certainly is both crushingly heavy and gloomy, it´s also very melodic and memorable. The addition of Messiah Marcolin to the lineup adds a semi-operatic dimension to the vocal department that Johan Lanquist´s vocal style didn´t provide (Johan Lanquist did other great things though). Messiah Marcolin has a very strong, distinct and instantly recognisable voice, and while his semi-operatic vocal style is probably an aquired taste, he is pretty good at varying his vocal style on the album, so his performance is not one-dimensional.

The playing on the album is delivered by skilled musicians. I´d like to give a special mention to lead guitarist Lars Johansson. His sligthly neo-classical solo approach is sometimes similar in style to the style of Andy LaRocque from King Diamond, and that can never be a bad thing. The drums on the other hand could have been more interesting. Jan Lindh is kind of a "stiff" drummer and I think he could have made some of the transitions between sections a bit more fluent. Instead some of them sound a bit awkward. It´s a minor flaw though and it´s probably not something that´ll ruin the listening experience for most listeners.

"Nightfall" features 10 tracks but 4 of them are short intros, outros and interludes (1 - 2 minutes long), so there are actually only 6 "regular" tracks on the 46:20 minutes long album. But what brilliant tracks they are. Take a listen to tracks like "At the Gallows End", "Samarithan" and "Bewitched" (which a video was made for, featuring the interlude track "Marche Funebre" as an intro). Those are quite fantastic doom metal tracks in my book.

The sound production is not as heavy as on the predecessor and the drums feature a reverb laden sound that´s pretty time typical but still not that well sounding. Other than that the production suits the music well. "Nightfall" is on almost all parameters a great follow up to the strong debut album. It´s pretty amazing how well the new lineup functions and what a luck that Leif Edling and Mats "Mappe" Björkman were able to find a qualified replacement for Johan Lanquist. There are a few minor flaws on "Nightfall" but overall it´s an excellent album fully deserving a 4 star (80%) rating.
Time Signature
Dark are the veils of metal...

Genre: epic doom metal

Enter Messiah Marcolin the man/mountain (in Leif Edling's words) with the insane vibrato and operatic abilities. "Nightfall" is considered one of Candlemass' best releases, and certainly one of the most important releases in doom metal history introducing Marcolin to the scene (he had, however, released a couple of albums with Mercy prior to that). However, for some reason, it is not my favorite Candlemass album - and I actually like "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus", "Tales of Creation", the Robert Lowe albums, and even "Ancient Drems" (which Leif Edling himself has described as a failed rush release).

"Nightfall" contains a number of more uptempo tracks, and that may be one of the reasons why it doesn't click with me to the same extent as a lot of Candlemass' other releases do. It contains a number of classics and fan favorites like "The Well of Souls", "At the Gallows End", and "Bewitched", which I think are okay. Other tracks like "Gothic Stone" and "March Funebre" strike me as being silly fillers. "Samarithan", however, is a doom metal masterpiece, and that track alone is worth buying the entire album for.

Recommended to fans of good old epic doom metal.

Members reviews

SilentScream213
Candlemass enter one of their most celebrated lineups here with the addition of Messiah and record the great Nightfall. By 1987, Candlemass was pretty much indisputably the best Doom band around, especially solidifying the fact after dropping a follow up album just as amazing as their debut (both of which remain their finest works in most people’s opinion).

They continue the same style as their debut, adding an epic and even uplifting sound to the slow and simple Doom genre, rife with religious symbolism as well as occult fantasy. Messiah and leif grab all the attention here, as Leif wrote most if not all of the music, including many of Trad Doom’s most memorable riffs, and Messiah puts on a vocal performance that would sound at home in an opera show. The act works well for the epic Doom rockers, and many of the songs tell small tales that effectively play off this aesthetic.

Unfortunately, while the debut was strictly 6 great songs, this album has a bit of filler found in mostly pointless interludes between songs. At the Gallows’ End and Samarithan are two of the greatest songs the band ever wrote, but the filler puts this album just below the debut in my opinion.
Primeval Scum
Doom metal doesn't get much better

Candlemass' sophomore effort Nightfall is very close to being a perfect album. Though there are only six real songs, every single one is high-quality cut of Grade-A Candlemass doom. Soaring operatic vocals, riffs of pure evil, and climatic solos galore on Nightfall. "The Well of Souls", "Samarithan" and "Bewitched" are unmatchable masterpieces of the genre, and the other three tracks aren't far behind. Though this album maintains a similar sound throughout, it does not get repetitive because the songs all have their own unique lyrical story (not to mention destructive riffs) and are mixed in with some gloomy instrumental interludes throughout. Messiah Mercolin's vocals are spot on as usual and guide Nightfall to a 1st place finish slightly ahead of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus for Best Candlemass Album. This is an essential of doom metal. If you have any interest in the genre at all, you need to listen to this seminal release.

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