Album Review: Candlemass – Green Valley (Live) (Peaceville)

After over 35 years of existence, Candlemass still stand tall as true heavy metal greats & kings of doom, in the footsteps of their influences, Black Sabbath. The band is renowned for the genre-defining masterpieces ‘Epicus Doomicus Metallicus’ (1986) & ‘Nightfall’ (1987), with Candlemass still thrilling an ever-devoted and expanding legion of fans to this day.

Following a year where most live activity has not been possible, ‘Green Valley Live’ features the band’s “lockdown” session (their only 2020 show, and first ever live streamed event), with the line-up of Johan Längqvist (vocals), Mats Björkman (guitar), Lars Johansson (guitar), Leif Edling (bass) & Jan Lindh (drums) delivering their crushing sound for the masses. The release contains numerous classic Candlemass doom anthems in the shape of ‘Well of Souls’, ‘Mirror Mirror’, ‘Betwitched’ and others from the band’s legendary first four albums, as well as the titanic ‘Astorolus’ from the band’s latest opus.

This edition of ‘Green Valley Live’ will be released on 7th May (14th May in France) as a 2-disc CD+DVD, double gatefold black vinyl with additional liner notes from founder Leif Edling and digitally.

As important now as they were 35 years ago, Candlemass are beloved for all the right reasons. Not just in doom circles either but the wider world of heavy metal. Everybody knows who Candlemass are and everybody respects them even if their brand of isolating and cold doom does little for you.

As a best of, both a tribute to their music and as a fine introduction, if by chance you’ve never listened to them before, Green Valley (Live) is a necessary listen. Covering a wide array of the band’s legendary career. Half the live set is made up of their first two albums.

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From their eponymous debut; Solitude, Under the Oak, A Sorcerer’s Pledge and Demon’s Gate gets an airing. The latter as a bonus soundcheck track. To their iconic Nightfall album; The Well of Souls, Dark Are the Veils of Death and Bewitched are resurrected.

Elsewhere, 1988’s Ancient Dreams is also explored with Mirror Mirror and the title track. 1989’s Tales of Creation has one track in the form of Dark Reflections but it’s not all about the past as Astorolus from 2019’s The Door to Doom is also here. The final track is simply called ‘Doom Jam’ and is exactly what it sounds like. Candlemass having some fun and throwing out some new riffs and ideas.

It’s a super-strong track listing that has band sounding on top form. Live it might be but you’d never know it. Partially because of great production but also because of the lack of a crowd. It’s hardly the fault of Candlemass, such is the times we live in, this was a livestream event. However, it’s hard not to miss the roar and cheers of a doom-drenched packed out venue. It’s such an important aspect of a live album.

It’s a shame but it can’t take away from the overall quality of this record. Simply because it has so many great Candlemass tracks on it and the band sound as fresh now as they did 35 years ago.

Candlemass – Green Valley (Live) Full Track Listing:

1. Well Of Souls
2. Dark Reflections
3. Mirror Mirror
4. Ancient Dreams
5. Astorolus
6. Bewitched
7. Dark Are The Veils Of Death
8. Under The Oak
9. Doom Jam
10. A Sorcerer’s Pledge
11. Solitude
12. Demon’s Gate (Bonus Track)




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Candlemass - Green Valley (Live) (Peaceville)
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