ANCIENT DREAMS (1988)
Active LP/CD 7
Released november 23, 1988
Info: The last of the Thomas Cole paintings for Candlemass. The band thought that the 2 remaining ones weren’t as cool as ”Old age” and ”Youth”.
A Cry From the Crypt
Darkness in Paradise
Bearer of Pain
The Bells of Acheron
Epistle no. 81
Black Sabbath Medley
ANCIENT DREAMS was the follow-up to “Nightfall”. A hard task and a difficult record to make. Maybe it was the sound that refused to follow the plans and blueprints of Candlemass, maybe it just was done too soon after the enormous impact of “Nightfall”. The band had to get a record out fast to ride on the success of the predecessor. Music history is full of failed rush releases and unfortunately Candlemass fell in the same trap.
When you are in the middle of it you don’t notice it or refuse to, but a whole bunch of of grave mistakes helped to nearly sink the important third album. First, the band got serious attention from major record companies, but offers were turned down as Candlemass thought it was very convenient to be on a smaller label as a priority instead of fighting with a million other bands on a major. Second, Candlemass had a tour with Motörhead coming up in the fall of 1988, so the album had to be ready by then. Third. Mats Lindfors was approached again for the production duties but was busy with another project, so the band decided to do it all by themselves in a small Stockholm Studio.
The entire summer was spent, no costs spared, and it just didn’t click this time. It was impossible to get the right guitarsound, the drums sounded awful etc etc. The general opinion was; “Let’s fix it in the mix”. Young and a bit naive they carried on, again trying to get Lindfors to at least mix it (save it). The answer was No, I can’t do it . Not until the autumn. Too late. The Motörhead tour was a too good oppurtunity to miss, no matter what (if you listened to the recordcompany anyway). So Candlemass went to Montezuma to mix “Ancient Dreams” with good friend Rex Gissln.
The end result was OK but not brilliant and Leif tried to pursuade the label (now changing the name from Axis to Active) to remix. Active refused due to the upcoming tour. A decision that made the band furious, but nothing could be done about it. “Ancient Dreams” was released on the 9:th of november 1988. To make things even worse, the mastering got really fucked up and made the album lack the power of “Nightfall” or “Epicus..”. The band felt really bad about the situation and the carrere was almost over with eh mixed reviews in the metal press. But the tours with Motörhead and many others were good and the fans (some of them) liked “Ancient Dreams” in spite of the rather weak sound. “Mirror Mirror” was often played on the radio and “Bearer of Pain” became a live “hit” together with “The Bells of Acheron” (inspired by an old song from Leif’s Trilogy days with Europes Ian Hauglan on drums). Candlemass recorded a re-make of the Nemesis-track “Black Messiah” (Messiah’s suggestion of course), now called “The Incarnation of Evil”, which didn’t work out too well, neither did the “Black Sabbath”-medley, last track on the album.
I can’t listen to this album, says Leif. All the shit we went through is synonymous with “Ancient Dreams”. I was totally exhausted and also devastated when Active wouldn’t listen. They gambled with our future as a band just because of a tour and even today that is one thing that I regret, giving in about the re-mix. We barely survived, we started to have lots of internal fights over money and the atmosphere in the band was really infected at the point. All because of some bad decisions. But we survived and moved on.