Candlemass @ B.B. King Blues Club (5/20/2008)

Logo - Candlemass

Artist: Candlemass
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Daylight Dies
Date: 5/20/2008
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

For the first time in approximately seventeen years the one and only Candlemass would be returning for a US tour and the news was very welcome information for fans of the Doom Metal masters. Since their last visit, the band has had a rather sporadic relationship with their singer Messiah Marcolin who after a couple of exits and returns was finally replaced. His replacement would be the incredible Robert Lowe, from the US based Doomsters Solitude Aeturnus. Together they would be supporting their latest masterpiece “King Of The Grey Islands” and also bring along Daylight Dies to really give the audience an incredible evening. Here is how I remembered it…..

Daylight Dies: The last time that I saw this Candlelight Records artist was when they were performing with Moonspell and Katatonia at this very same venue. Given the fact that this show was well over a year ago I was looking forward to seeing them as well. The group is fronted by Nathan Ellis and they instantly delivered a crushing set of Doom Metal which was being very well-received. I found it interesting to see Ellis keeping his face shielded by his hair for the most part during the show which is something we always see Katatonia’s own Jonas Renkse doing. Their set would be short but totally intense and finding the audience very into them. This was not a surprise as I had remembered them delivering during that Moonspell show as well even though they were the first one on. Tonight, as the herald to the return of Candlemass, they were proving that they are a stand out artist in their own right. Despite the set being short as we had mentioned, they managed to play music from both of their past releases (“No Reply” (2002) and “Dismantling Devotion” (2006) and even offer up some new stuff from “Lost To The Living”. The album will be released in the middle of July. I had to say that these new tracks are strong enough to give one the clue that the entire album will be something special. I think it will show a larger fan base that they Doom Metal great for years to come. Now it was time for Candlemass to lay it down for the USA after having not done so for far too long.

Candlemass: The stage setup for Candlemass was very dramatic and had this almost graveyard appearance to it as several large crucifixes were positioned across it like we were watching the show in a cemetery. The crowd for the show intrigued me since it was made up of many old school rockers but also quite a bit of younger fans who had wisely joined in for the fun. Some of these young fans would have been about 5 or 6 when the band last came over to this region, so I found it awesome to see them out in support of the band. The response from the assembled was loud when the group took the stage and it even seemed to get louder when their new singer Robert Lowe came out. Before his appearance I had wondered if he would arrive in the signature Monk’s robes that he wears with Solitude Aeternus, but he would just be dressed in simple blacks. My guess is that since Messiah used to wear similar garb during his Candlemass years that he didn’t do it. To be honest, Lowe doesn’t need any special garb to be an excellent front man and from the moment the show began he had you in his grasp. He had recorded the bands latest release “King Of The Grey Islands” and the album had been very well-received by the masses, even thought who felt that Messiah could never truly be replaced. This could very well be true but I had to admit about not really following the band when he was involved and to me this was not so much about replacement tonight but the choice to move on and move on was what Candlemass was doing as they delivered a very career encompassing set list. Five songs came from the newest album and that didn’t bother me a bit since I have been enjoying it for some time. Lowe was killer on the release and also proving to be rather adept at the compositions of Leif Edling. The band was also proving to be killer as Lars Johansson showed his stuff on lead guitar as Mats Bjorkman offered up some tasty rhythm which allowed his sound to be all the more full. It was truly a great night which I was happy to be taking a part in.

The downside would be the attendance as while there was a decent crowd, this was one of those shows that I expected a lot more people to be at. My guess was that since this very week would be the Progressive Nation tour which was pairing both Dream Theater and Opeth together that the Opeth fans had chosen to attend that event. Either way, the crowd was enough to give the band a proper response which they seemed to be enjoying from up on the stage. Based on this I am sure that we will not be waiting another seventeen years for them to return. If you don’t already own a copy of “King Of The Grey Islands” make sure you do so and find out just how good Doom can feel.

Daylight Dies Set List:
1. A Life Less Lived
2. A Portrait in White
3. A Dream Resigned,
4. Cathedral,
5. Lies that Bind, and
6. Four Corners.

Candlemass Set List:
1. March Funebre’ (Intro)
2. Well Of Souls
3. Mirror Mirror
4. Solitude
5. Emperor Of The Void
6. Devil Seed
7. Dark Are The Veils Of Death
8. Crystal Ball
9. At The Gallows End
10. Of Stars And Of Smoke
11. Sorcerer’s Pledge
12. Black Dwarf – encore
13. Smarathian – encore

Official Website: www.candlemass.se
Official Website: www.daylightdies.com

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