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Embracing The Darkness With JOHAN LANQVIST From CANDLEMASS

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“A lot of people said good luck guys, this is not going to work.”

Johan Lanqvist

Swedish Doom legends Candlemass have epitomised the doom metal movement pretty much since their inception in 1984.

Albums like Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and Nightfall catapulted the band into the heavyweight division, and Candlemass have refused to take a backward step since.

Over the course of 18 months, Candlemass set about adding another masterpiece to their already impressive resume and the world finally has a chance to decide for themselves when the band releases their latest album Sweet Evil Sun on Friday, November 18.

With newly reinstated and original vocalist Johan Lanqvist now on his second album since returning after a 32-year hiatus, Candlemass have delved deep into their history to produce an album for the future, complete with old-school sensibilities combined with all the lessons learned over the band’s almost 40-year existence.

Lanqvist joined HEAVY to discuss the new album.

Leif (Edling, bass)has been working on this for almost 18 months,” he affirmed, “and he is the main writer of all of the music and lyrics of Candlemass. He called me up and said he had a few new songs and asked if I was ready to do demos, and we did a couple of them, and he brought the songs back home to work on them. He’s been doing that for a long time, and Sweet Evil Sun is what came out in the very end.”

After nearly 40 years in the industry, we ask Lanqvist if Candlemass have a set process when it comes to writing an album or if it varies each time.

“I think we are all doing it the modern way these days,” he offered. “For example, first you do the drums and then you maybe put some guitars on and then the next week guitars and I have a week or two doing the vocals. But it’s irrational in a way because you can make a lot of changes, and you don’t have to play them all over again, so that’s how we do it. In the very beginning, we do a couple of demos but when it’s all done and this is the way the songs should be we make it this way as I just told you.”

In the full interview, Johan discusses Sweet Evil Sun in greater detail, tapping into the sound and energy of the band’s early music, having Jennie Ann Smith from Avatarium adding guest vocals to the track When Death Sighs, the musical climate that gave birth to Candlemass, why he left the band after their debut album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, what happened to make him return 32 years later, what it was like coming back into an established band, reintegrating himself back into the band, future plans and more.

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