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Reviewed by Tobbe
Special guest: Entombed
City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue: Debaser Medis
Date: 26 January 2013
Candlemass set length: 90 minutes


Sweden Rock Magazine celebrated issue #100 with a Saturday night party with doom respectively death metal legends Candlemass and Entombed at Debaser Medis in Stockholm, Sweden. An attendance of around 850 people showed up for tonight's sold out event. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I didn't get my ass to the venue until the very last songs of Entombed's set and therefore no review of their gig is possible. At least I got to see their version of Candlemass' Black Dwarf, taken off the limited single included in the issue mentioned above.

The curtains fall as so many times before during Candlemass' intro Marche Funebre and they open their set with Prophet off the latest album Psalms For The Dead. This was my first acquaintance with new lead vocalist Mats Levén as a singer for this band and my initial feeling was that he's way more a metal singer than his predecessor Robert Lowe. With Messiah Marcolin in mind, Levén's voice may not be a perfect match for Candlemass, as it's a bit deeper most of the time and he don't even try to reach the highest tones, but his rocking appearance weighs far over Lowe's and this man has at least studied the lyrics, even though not to perfection.

Prophet is one hell of a song, so when they launch Under The Oak with guitarist Lasse Johansson's brilliant leads, I'm already at my feet. Rarely played Dark Reflections goes down well, but Waterwitch doesn't. A slow and not that good song that seems to have found its way to the set, just to have one real doomy and heavy song included. Next up, At The Gallows End, and this song is just flawless and no further words are necessary. This first part of the set is closed by the title track off the latest album and this awesome song just gets better and better every time I listen to it and now seeing it played live for the first time gives me the goosebumps.

A couple of guest appearances were advertised and one of the former vocalists, Tomas Vikström, enters the stage to wake up the sleeping monster, Where The Runes Still Speak. By the fans, a highly acclaimed song and after massive demand they finally play this song live again. Sadly, Vikström goes all in for high pitch vocals and in my opinion totally ruined this rare moment. Bummer. For the fourth time, I get the opportunity to see Johan Längquist front the band. His contribution to A Sorcerer's Pledge was perhaps not his best performance and not so passionate as on the other times, but just having him on stage is awesome.

Levén reenters and Darkness In Paradise off Ancient Dreams is performed as a duet with Längquist. The song itself is not the band's greatest moment, but still cool, because this song is not the first thing that comes in mind when thinking of their setlists and I don't fancy bands playing the same best of set year after year. As announced, they play their version of Entombed's To Ride, Shoot Straight And Speak The Truth. A song that pretty much leaves no impressions when played by Candlemass. The sole encore, Solitude, closes this show, with Vikström and Längquist back on stage, each singing a couple of lines.

Since Candlemass is one of my all-time favorite bands, I think that Per Wiberg's keyboard play is somewhat misplaced in the older songs. The band also had a hard time to enter the stage after, from what I heard, Entombed's explosive performance. Yet Candlemass always put on a good show and I walk away rather satisfied.

Performance: 7 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 8 chalices of 10
: Psalms For The Dead and A Sorcerer's Pledge.
: Where The Runes Still Speak and Waterwitch.

Marche Funebre (Intro)
Under The Oak
Dark Reflections
At The Gallows End
Psalms For The Dead
Where The Runes Still Speak
A Sorcerer's Pledge
Darkness In Paradise
To Ride, Shoot Straight And Speak The Truth

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