Candlemass is a Swedish epic doom metal band established in the 1980s by Leif Edling (bass), its leader and songwriter. The band is originally from Stockholm.After Leif Edling dissolved the band Nemesis, he started his own band under the name Candlemass. The first Candlemass album was Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, released in 1986 and now considered a milestone in the doom metal scene. The line-up for Epicus Doomicus Metallicus was:
* Leif Edling: bass
* Matz Ekström: drums
* Mats Mappe Björkman: guitar
* Johan Längqvist: session vocals
* Klas Bergwall: session lead guitar
The next release was Nightfall (1987), considered by some as one of the greatest doom metal albums ever. The line-up had now changed: new members were Messiah Marcolin (vocals), Lars Johansson (lead guitar) and Jan Lindh (drums). This line-up is generally considered the most important and the most successful in the band's history. The next two albums were Ancient Dreams (1988), that is now considered an apogee of doom metal classics, and Tales of Creation (1989), where the band moved beyond the edges of classic doom metal and made its touch to progressive metal. This album is distinguished from previous releases by adding some speed-up patterns into the band's original sound, usually used in progressive metal. In 1990, a live album was released. Shortly afterwards, a dispute between the band members resulted in Messiah Marcolin's decision to leave.
After the departure of Marcolin, Candlemass recruited vocalist Thomas Vikström and recorded Chapter VI (1992). Candlemass then disbanded, partly because the album was unsuccessful and partially because Leif Edling had formed another project under the name of Abstrakt Algebra. With Abstrakt Algebra not doing well, Leif suddenly recruited a new line-up under the name of Candlemass and recorded the album Dactylis Glomerata, which was a combination of songs for a new Abstakt Algebra CD and some new material. A couple of years later the Black Sabbath-inspired album From the 13th Sun was released.
In 2002, the members of the classic Candlemass line-up decided to reform. They performed some well-received live shows and released another live album. Other albums released by the reformed band were remastered versions of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, Nightfall, Ancient Dreams and Tales of Creation. A DVD called Documents of Doom has been released as well. The band was working on a new album, with some new songs recorded, and searching for a record label, but differences arose again, resulting in Candlemass disbanding again. In the meantime, Leif Edling started a new project, Krux, with former Abstrakt Algebra singer Mats Leven and two members of Entombed.
In November 2004, the band announced that they have re-united for the second time. They have recorded a new album, named simply Candlemass, with the classic line-up. It was released in May 2005. This CD was named in the top 20 of 2005. They won a Swedish Grammy in 2005.
In 2006 the band announced that a new album was in preparation, to be released sometime in 2007. After much uncertainty regarding Messiah's participation, in October 2006 it was settled that Messiah was out for good. The band found a new vocalist in the person of Robert Lowe (Solitude Aeturnus) who recorded the band's new album King of the Grey Islands, released on June 22, 2007. The new album is self-produced except for four songs produced by Andy Sneap.
On March 31, 2007, Candlemass celebrated a slightly delayed twentieth anniversary. The most notable part of the celebration was original singer Johan Längqvist's first (and only) live appearance with the band. The event was recorded and later released as a DVD.
In March 2008, Mats "Mappe" Bjorkman has been sentenced to serve two years behind bars for grand theft. He has been convicted of stealing over 35,000 CDs and DVDs priced at around 3 million Sek (Around $500,000)