Epicus Doomicus Metallicus

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is the debut album of the Swedish doom metal band Candlemass. It was released June 10, 1986 on Black Dragon Records. On its release, the album had a significantly different sound than other European heavy metal bands of the time, because of their use of operatic vocals mixed over slow and heavy guitar riffs. The album did not sell well on its initial release, which led to the group being dropped from the label during the same year. Since then, the album has been re-issued in several different formats. The album title Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is a dog latin translation rendering of Epic Doom Metal — the genre which the band helped pioneer and with which it is most commonly identified. Although he was actually a guest musician at the time of its recording, this was the only Candlemass album to feature vocalist Johan Längqvist until he joined the band, officially, in 2018.[2][3]

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 10, 1986 (1986-06-10)
RecordedFebruary 1986
StudioThunderload Studios, Stockholm, Sweden
GenreDoom metal[1]
LabelBlack Dragon
ProducerRagne Wahlquist and Candlemass
Candlemass chronology
Epicus Doomicus Metallicus


In 1985, the members of Candlemass began writing the songs "Under the Oak", "Crystal Ball", "Demons Gate" and "Dark Reflections" in Upplands Väsby.[4] In November 1985, the group recorded a demo album at O.A.L Studios, which featured the songs "Demons Gate" and "Black Stone Wielder".[4] The band did not have a regular lead singer at the time and Leif Edling performed vocals for the demo.[4] The group sent the demo to Black Dragon Records in Paris, France, who offered Candlemass a one-record deal with a budget of $1,800.[4]

In February 1986, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus was recorded at Thunderload Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, with producer Ragne Wahlquist from the metal band Heavy Load.[4] Still without a regular vocalist, Johan Längqvist performed the vocals despite not hearing any of the music the band had performed beforehand.[4]

Musical styleEdit

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus' differs from other European metal bands who were known for "playing at breakneck speeds and screaming in a high-pitched frenzy".[5] Candlemass' album features slower riffs and vocals delivered in a "baritone, operatic style".[5] The opening song "Solitude" features lyrics revolving around themes of suicide and depression.[5]


Epicus Doomicus Metallicus was released on June 10, 1986 on vinyl and CD.[4] The band was dropped from Black Dragon Records due to disappointing album sales.[4] Candlemass followed up the album with Nightfall (1987), after being signed to Axis Records.[6]

The album has been re-issued in several formats. These include a re-issue by Powerline Records in 2002 that included a bonus disc of a live performance recorded in Birmingham in 1988.[4] In 2011, the album was re-issued by Peaceville Records with an expanded booklet and the same bonus disc.[7]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [5]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal7/10[8]

Upon release, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus was met with universal critical acclaim, and since its release it has been looked upon as a cornerstone of doom metal. Eduardo Rivadavia of the online music database AllMusic referred to the album as "a pillar of classic '80s metal" offering "the strongest, most consistent songwriting of the band's career", although it "was let down by vocalist Johan Längqvist, whose performance failed to deliver with the power and command of his immediate successor Messiah Marcolin."[5] Canadian reviewer Martin Popoff lauded the "new expression of doom as black as Black Sabbath" and the executions and mix of the six tracks of the album, but found them "too manic depressive too uniformly".[8]

Track listingsEdit

Leif Edling wrote all the original songs for Epicus Doomicus Metallicus.

All songs written by Leif Edling except where noted.

Side one
2."Demon's Gate"9:12
3."Crystal Ball"5:23
Side two
4."Black Stone Wielder"7:34
5."Under the Oak"6:54
6."A Sorcerer's Pledge"8:20
Total length:42:51
Bonus disc (Live in Birmingham, March 1988)
1."The Well of Souls"7:25
2."Demon's Gate"9:02
3."Crystal Ball"5:18
6."A Sorcerer's Pledge"10:53
7."Black Sabbath Medley" (Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward)6:12


  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats Björkman – rhythm guitar
  • Matz Ekström – drums
Guest musicians
  • Johan Längqvist – vocals
  • Klas Bergwall – lead guitar
  • Christian Weberyd – guitar
  • Cille Svenson – female backing vocals on "A Sorcerer's Pledge"
  • Ragne Wahlquist – engineer, producer
  • Candlemass – artwork, cover art concept, producer
  • Ulf Magnusson – photography

Bonus CD personnelEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus – Candlemass : Credits : AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  2. ^ "CANDLEMASS Parts Way With Singer MATS LEVÉN, Announces Return Of JOHAN LÄNGQVIST". Blabbermouth.net. September 3, 2018. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "Here is Video Of CANDLEMASS Rehearsing 'Solitude' With Newly Returned Singer JOHAN LÄNGQVIST". Blabbermouth.net. September 4, 2018. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986)". Candlemass Official Website. Sweden. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus – Candlemass : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  6. ^ "Nightfall (1987)". Candlemass Official Website. Sweden. Archived from the original on October 18, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  7. ^ "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus". Candlemass Official Website. Sweden. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5.
  9. ^ Lyons, Patrick (7 June 2022). "Candlemass: Epicus Doomicus Metallicus Album Review". Pitchfork.

External linksEdit