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Candlemass - Lucifer Rising

Lucifer Rising
by Martin Patterson at 07 January 2015, 4:23 AM

The first metal album I ever bought was IRON MAIDEN's Live After Death. Fantastic album packed with all the bands classic tracks which is one of the positive sides of live releases: they tend to be a “best of” with the addition of tracks from their latest album. RAINBOW'sOn Stage” is another great live album with its extended Blackmore solos, and unexpected tracks such as “Mistreated”, it offers something which isn't available on the studio albums. To be honest though for the most part I'm not really a huge fan of live releases. Much of the time the bands play more or less carbon copies of the studio tracks but with worse sound quality. This is ok when you are in the audience but when you're sitting at home you might as well just put on the studio albums.

“Lucifer Rising” is essentially a live album but with the addition of 2 new songs and also a re-recording of the classic track "Demons Gate" from the bands debut album “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus”.

The album kicks off with the 2 new studio tracks “Lucifer Rising” and “White God”. Both great tracks which could easily have been on “King of the Grey Islands”. The fast paced “Lucifer Rising” is in the vein of high energy tracks such as “Black Dwarf”. “White God” is a change of pace and starts with a short lightly over-driven guitar intro before the crushing, Doom laden main riff kicks in. Love the guitar solo on this. Lars Johansson must be one of the most under-rated guitarists in metal and doesn't get the recognition that he deserves.

If you're a CANDLEMASS fan you'll already know “Demons Gate” from the 1986 debut album. I listened to this new recording back to back with the original and I have to say I still prefer the original. This new version doesn't have the 80's b-movie horror style spoken part at the beginning with the keyboards. The production on the original also gives the track a more epic, majestic, and Doomier atmosphere than this new version. The guitars had a more reverb laden 80's sound to them which seemed to work better on a track like this. Rob Lowe's vocals are great but it's missing the almost manic screams of the original. The original drum sound were also much more in your face, on this version they almost sound muffled by comparison. I also preferred the guitar solo on the original. So I guess what I'm saying is that the original was better in every department which makes me wonder why they decided to re-record it.

The main bulk of this EP is the live tracks which were recorded in front of a very enthusiastic audience in Athens back in 2007. The set-list is a mix of classic tracks and also songs from “King of the Grey Islands”. I love Rob Lowe's vocals on the CANDLEMASS studio albums and also on his SOLITUDE AETURNUS and CONCEPT OF GOD material, but on the first 2 tracks “At the Gallows End” and “Solitude” I find myself missing “Messiah Marcolin”. It's not until “Emperor of the Void” that “Rob” and the band really sound like they are firing on all cylinders. “Rob” sounds much more at home singing the songs he did on "King of the Grey Islands". They are obviously more suited to his vocal style and he sings them with much more gusto and enthusiasm and really belts them out compared to the older material.

In conclusion this is not really for casual fans of the band, and like most live albums not really essential, but rather one for the hardcore completionists. The 2 new studio tracks are great but the sound quality on the live tracks should have been much better as it's quite muddy in places. If you're thinking of getting a CANDLEMASS live album I'd recommend “Ashes to Ashes” over this one as the production quality is top notch, Rob's singing on the older tracks is also much better than it is here, and you get a nice DVD complete with extras. “Ashes to Ashes” would get 10/10 from me but even though the studio tracks on here are a must for any CANDLEMASS fan the quality of the live tracks lets it down.

4 Star Rating

1. Lucifer Rising
2. White God
3. Demons Gate
4. At the Gallows End
5. Solitude
6. Emperor of the Void
7. Devil Seed
8. Mirror Mirror
9. Under the Oak
10. Of Stars and Smoke
11. Black Dwarf
12. Samarithan
Leif Edling - Bass
Robert Lowe - Vocals
Mats Björkman - Rhythm Guitar
Lars Johansson - Lead Guitars
Jan Lindh - Drums
Record Label: Metal Mind Productions


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Edited 30 November 2022

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