CANDLEMASS: DOOMED FOR LIVE (2002)
1) Mirror Mirror; 2) Bewitched; 3) Dark Are The Veils Of Death; 4) Demon's Gate; 5) Under The Oak; 6) At The Gallows End; 7) Samarithan; 8) Dark Reflections; 9) Mourner's Lament; 10) Black Stone Wielder; 11) The Well Of Souls; 12) A Sorcerer's Pledge; 13) Bearer Of Pain; 14) Ancient Dreams; 15) Somewhere In Nowhere; 16) Solitude; 17) Crystal Ball.
Har har har, it's 2002 and the world still has not run out of lame puns for live album titles. More than that, the world still has a place for good old Candlemass — as Edling's interesting, but somewhat atypical fiddlings with the name of the band come to a close, the classic Nightfall lineup finally reunites as Messiah Marcolin realizes that no other metal project brings so much fame to his name as Candlemass.
The first result of this reunion is more of symbolic than genuine importance: a live record (and video), to show the world that the old school of 1987 is still around and that it kick any of those metallic youngsters' asses at a moment's notice. But that's about all it does, really. Eleven out of seventeen tracks are the same songs that already were present on the Live album — apparently, the band does not care much about hunting for dark horses, or, perhaps, in this case they thought that it was far more important to whip up the classics, for any potential new fans. Thus, we have all of Epicus Doomicus reproduced here (although ʽBlack Stone Wielderʼ is seriously shortened and serves mostly to illustrate the cheese-opera powers of Marcolin's voice in the acappella opening); predictable selections from the next three albums; and nothing whatsoever from Chapter VI onwards, because... no Messiah.
Scrutinizing the actual performances is a task / delight for radical Candlemass fans only; as far as I'm concerned, the record is completely expendable — the lead vocalist and the instrumentalists remain technically irreproachable, so that it is almost impossible to tell the difference between the versions here and on Live. If you disliked the studio production on Ancient Dreams and Tales Of Creation, you have a chance to hear a couple more of those tunes, like ʽBearer Of Painʼ, with a rawer, heavier guitar tone, and that's that. It might be more fun to catch a glimpse of some of these songs performed live — Marcolin tries to cut a dramatic figure, dressed in a Benedictine monk robe, and the entire performance is sort of structured like a multi-part exorcism ceremony; but even that, I'd say, becomes rather boring after a while. Doomed for, indeed.