DACTYLIS GLOMERATA (1998)
Music For Nations
CD MFN 237
Released april 13
Info: Never released on vinyl.
I Still See the Black
Candlemass was officially put to sleep at the end of 1993. I was over! For the first time in years everybody agreed on something. The band was tired to do the same tours over and over again, tired of fighting over money and never see any, tired of eachothers faces. Messiah did stuff with Memento Mori, Lars, Mappe and Jan eventually recorded a record as Zoic “Total level of destruction”, Leif did his thing with Abstrakt Algebra. It wasn’t the easiest bandkilling in history, but it was pretty okey. Like a divorce perhaps. Divorces without friction doesn’t exist, maybe (hopefully) you can keep it tidy. Candlemass kept it tidy.
Leif’s Abstrakt Algebra was a cross between Rush and Dream Theater and the record came out on the Megarock label. It was not a success. Some critics liked it but it didn’t sell. After a year it reached about 7500 sales worldwide, which was nothing compared to what Candlemass sold. “Epicus” is hard to estimate. Maybe about 40 000 – 50 000 copies. “Nightfall” and “Ancient Dreams” were well over 100 000 units each, “Tales” 80 – 90 000, “Live” about 70 000 and “Chapter VI” 40 000.
Leif started the rehearsals for another Abstrakt Algebra record in the autumn of 1996 with Mats Levén on vocals, Jejo Percovic on drums and his mate from the Stockholm band Brick, Patrik Instedt on guitar. The style was even more progressiv but in a more organic and minimalistic way if you can imagine such a thing. They had some long and epic tracks and a bunch of shorter rockers, really weird stuff if you ask me. Happy with the material they entered the famous Sunlight Studios in Stockholm with producer mr.X. The sessions were great but sounded a bit peculiar on tape. The sound just wasn’t there and the mix turned out to be a disaster. After spending nearly £ 6000 on the production the band ended up with nell! Zero! Zilch! The high profiled producer, Mr X, fled his way back home to the southern parts of the country, never showing his face in Stockholm again.
On the verge of financial disaster yes, bankrupcy Leif turned to MFN again who were more than willing to resign Candlemass (Abstrakt Algebra wasn’t even an option. A couple of german labels had also turned the band down) for three albums. Most of the advantage went to pay the debts for the Abstrakt failure, but some money could be kept for a new recording, this time as Candlemass. Both Lars Johansson and Mappe Björkman was approached by Leif but declined and he saw no reason to ask further. With Björn Flodquist as the new singer (a working mate from the Swedish National Radio P3) as Mats had joined Yngwie Malmsteens band (Yngwie loooved the first Abstrakt Algebra record and was desperate to get Mats) plus Jejo and Patrik they decided to add new songs to make the whole thing heavier. Friend Mike Amott (Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars) guested on guitar as well as Ian Hauglan (Europe) on the drums (Leif and Ian played together in Trilogy way back in 1980)
They recorded a second time in just nine months. In may 1997 Candlemass (not Abstrakt this time) recorded the basic tracks over a weekend in Studio 4 (one of the bigger studios at the Swedish National Radio were apparantly guested by both Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin way back). The new songs were “I still see the black”, “Molotov”, “Karthago” and a new version of “Wiz” with more balls. A couple of the Abstrakt Algebra songs had to be left out as they were pretty unsuitable on a Candlemass record (one day this infamous session at Sunlight will end up on a compilation or as bonustracks somewhere, then you’ll know!). “Dustflow” and “Abstrakt Sun” came out brilliant in the new versions. Superepic with a haunting touck of experimental doom. Great stuff! Shame though tat Björns vocals came out a bit low in the mix. The band had to work one night here and one afternoon there, not being able to mix without interruptions. Despite the StarTrek bridge technology the production is a bit flat.
The financial problems continued to follow Leif during this period. Studios and engineers had to be paid and MFN needed a master. Leif actually sold his amazing Judas Priest collection and his pinball machine was swopped for a day in a friends studio to do vocal overdubs! Such were the circumstances. Back at Studio 4 they mixed and remixed together with engineer/friend Uffe Östling. Not totally satisfied they were done in september 1997, just to continue with post-production tricks. Another guitar was added on “I still see the black” (Leif hate that song), stick and e-bow was added on “Karthago” and a few more things were done.
After 18 months of sweat, hard work, agony, “Dactylis Glomerata” was released. Named after a flower Leif is allergic to it was maybe not the most suitable comeback for Candlemass. Some people complained that Messiah wasn’t on it, and that it wasn’t “Nightfall” pt.2. But it is a good album, taking the concept of doom one step further. Fuck the traditionalists and the puritans. “Wiz” is a great song and “Dustflow” is nothing but stunning. “Lidocain God” is so hard and groovy and “Abstrakt Sun” is a true masterpiece! Nuff said!