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Candlemass : Dactylitis Glomerata

Released in 1998, eight years after their last full length studio album ('Chapter VI', 1990), 'Dactylitis Glomerata' proves that Candlemass - besides being a great chapter in the history of heavy metal - is also a strong commercial brand name. Originally the album was to be released as the second album of Leif Edling's post-Candlemass band, Abstrakt Algebra, but after suggestions from the label and financial trouble, Leif agreed on making a new Candlemass album with the available material.

The album contains 9 songs (plus in the 2005 re-issue two more from the Japanese version of the album and a second disk with the unreleased Abstrakt Algebra demo versions of the songs). It sounds different from the previous Candlemass works, so you can forget the majestic epic textures they created better than anyone else. The new sound is more basic, minimal, dirty and raw just like in the primitive days of the genre when it was pioneered by Black Sabbath, Pentagram, and Hawkwind.

The album opens with 'Wiz', a song that could easily have been part of Black Sabbath's monumental 'Master Of Reality'. The album starts promising for the people that are not stuck into the past. The album goes on with 'I Still See The Dark', this song is much heavier with some references to the band's past, it could easily be part of the soundtrack of a horror movie. The first big surprise comes with the next song, 'Dustflow'. The song has many influences from the space rock and keyboard driven prog. bands of the seventies, but the influences are so perfectly incorporated into the band's vision that they manage to create a new form of progressive/doom metal. In this song the band does, and with so little effort, what many bands struggle and fail to do.

The next song, 'Cylinder', is a small instrumental track played by the band's keyboardist Carl Westholm, and I think the first thing I thought was that it would be great in a circus themed movie. Funny piece that is followed by what Leif considers to be the disappointing part of the album: 'Karthago'. My issues aren't any in particular and if the second disk was missing I would not had a problem with it, but the form it had in the beginning ('3:rd Child From The Sun') and how the band reworked it and released it in the first Krux album (I'm not telling the title find out by yourselves) - made it a really disappointing song by comparison. Anyway the album continues with 'Abstrakt Sun', a song that just like 'Dustflow', it takes the boundaries of the genre few steps further. Simply innovative. Next in line is my personal favorite, and in my opinion the soundtrack of our time as it has perfect mood, lyrics and title for it: 'Apathy'. Not recommended for people with suicidal tendencies.

The band gives us another surprise with 'Lidocain God', a song that again challenges the traditional forms of doom that the band established with their albums in the eighties. I could describe it as a mixture of Motörhead and Lucifer's Friend, too bad that the band doesn't give a chance to this song in their concerts. The original album ends with a small instrumental 'Molotov' that is built around a basic riff.

Additionally, in the re-issue we find 'Container', a small instrumental with an unbelievable steam-punk texture, and 'Thirst', a piano driven song that I can't understand why it was left out the album originally. I will not make a comment on the demos on the second disk, but I dare you to give them a chance.

I close my review by saying this album will not be easy for the religious fanatics of the first era of the band, those who loved the Krux albums will understand it and those open to experimentation will discover one of the most underrated and innovative albums of all time. But perhaps the Candlemass label was a very bold move.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Wiz
2. I Still See The Black
3. Dustflow
4. Cylinder
5. Karthago
6. Abstrakt Sun
7. Apathy
8. Lidocain God
9. Molotov
10. Container [bonus track]
11. Thirst [bonus track]

1. 3:rd Child From The Sun
2. Dustflow
3. Abstrakt Sun
4. Thirst
5. Bug Queen
6. Blue Wizard
7. Lidocain God
8. Cylinder
9. Enigma

Duration : Approx. 94 minutes.

Visit the Candlemass bandpage.

Reviewed on 13.02.2010 by Dimitris Plastiras
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