Nightfall(Active Records - 1987)
A classic album by this powerful and classic doom band. Two major stand outs in the music are the incredible operatic vocals by Messiah (who first joined them with this album) and the very heavy riffing. Messiah sounds at times like a slightly higher version of Dio, but his voice is maybe clearer and extremely professional. Strong and emotional, with superb vibrato, Messiah complements the powerful riffing with an epic style. The guitars make me think of older Black Sabbath but with a more modern 80's warm sound (the ripping emotional solos are definitely from the 80's). The overall effect of this album is of great strength and woe, a pounding and sorrowful epic. Included are three short instrumentals and two stand out instant classics: 'Bewitched' and 'The Well of Souls'. A must buy.
Tales of Creation(Music for Nations - 1990)
Someone has dubbed this their worst album from the Messiah period, but worst obviously doesn't mean bad because although this album lacks in some things, it still rips. The album starts with a typical heavy intro with a strong riff, accompanied by a spoken male voice that is just too plain to do anything for the music. Next comes the great sound Candlemass is known for, epic and heavy tracks filled with sorrow. Messiah's operatic voice is still in good form but has lost quite a bit of its punch and power, now sounding like an operatic Ozzy. The mixing may have had a little to do with this. Some tracks also seem to have lost a much of their gripping style of epic woe and don't sweep me off my feet as with their first two albums, but they are still good. All this would have turned this into just an ok album if it weren't for the solo guitar player. This man shreds and rips with powerful emotion and is definitely the best part of this release. A stand out is the sixth track that sticks out like a sore (but very enjoyable) thumb. An instrumental with strong power metal elements and a showcase for some very speedy shredding on the guitar player's part. An acceptable album, albeit a step down for Candlemass, but saved by the guitar.