The reunited classic line-up of CANDLEMASS — vocalist Messiah Marcolin, bassist/founder Leif Edling, guitarist Mats "Mappe" Björkman, lead guitarist Lars Johansson and drummer Jan Lindh — have commenced the songwriting process for a brand new studio album, due sometime next year.
As a result of the tremendous success of the band's recent reunion performances all across the European continent, the quintet have decided to continue and to make a new album in the classic CANDLEMASS style.
Björkman promises that the new material will be "even heavier" than what can be heard on the group's legendary Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and Nightfall CDs.
"Leif has already begun writing songs and there is a Nightfall-[type] feeling to them," the guitarist told Sweden Rock magazine.
The decision to continue the band was made in the wake of the overwhelmingly positive reactions to the band's appearances at this summer's European festivals. Mappe describes the fans' reception as even better than during the band's heyday.
"What is particularly nice is that we seem to have gotten so many new fans who weren't there in the 80s," said the guitarist. "If only the old fans would have been around we would not have continued. We are extremely grateful for the response we have been getting."
CANDLEMASS have a crammed schedule ahead of them. During the fall, Swedish National Radio will broadcast an hour-long live recording of the band's recent Stockholm show, and Swedish national television will air a documentary on the group. In November, a DVD will be released, featuring material from the doomsters' entire career, and in the spring of 2003, a double live disc and another DVD will be released featuring the entire Stockholm gig. Meanwhile, CANDLEMASS will continue work on the new material.
"This time it's 'now or never' for us, and we are well aware that this will have to be the best album the band has ever made," Björkman said. "For Leif to be able to match our old stuff, he has to be in 100% form and at this point he is just that. The material will be in the classic CANDLEMASS vein, but even heavier and with a fatter production. We know what people want, but it's still important that we don't just copy our old records.
"Back in the 80s, we were often very rushed when we wrote the material," the guitarist added. "The last pieces of an album were sometimes written the same day we entered the studio. This time we will make sure that Leif gets loads of time, so that all of the material really becomes top-class stuff.
"This record simply has to be brilliant. We can't just throw an album out because we know it would sell fairly decent and that we could make an easy buck. We have our pride and it would be totally embarrassing to go on tour with a record that no one wants to hear songs from."
Since the band reformed, there have been rumors of numerous arguments and disagreements within the band, particularly between Leif and Messiah.
"Sure, there have been a lot of tensions within the band," confirmed Mappe, "but that's just because we've all been into this so seriously from day one. It's never been anything major though, so it's not a problem. Right now, the mood in the band is fantastic."
CANDLEMASS have not yet signed a record deal, but Mappe claims the band have already received offers "from various labels, big and small." If all goes according to plan, the band will issue a new studio album in May 200, to be followed by several months of touring.
(Thanks: Martin Forssman / Sweden Rock Magazine)