Nightfall (album)

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Studio album by Candlemass
Released 9 November 1987 (1987-11-09)
Recorded July–September 1987[1]
Studio Thunderload Studios, Stockholm, Sweden
Genre Doom metal[2]
Length 46:37
Label Axis
Producer Candlemass
Candlemass chronology
Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
Ancient Dreams
Singles from Nightfall
  1. "Samarithan"
    Released: 1988
  2. "At the Gallows End"
    Released: 1988

Nightfall is the second studio album by the Swedish doom metal band Candlemass, released on 9 November 1987 through Axis Records. After being dropped from the label Black Dragon Records, Candlemass were the first band signed to Axis. The group had a new line-up from their previous album including vocalist Messiah Marcolin, whose decisions became instrumental during the production and release stages of the album.

Two singles were released from Nightfall: "Samarithan" and "At the Gallows End". A music video was directed by for the song "Bewitched" by Jonas Åkerlund. The album has been re-released in various formats and was followed up by Ancient Dreams in 1988.


After being dropped from Black Dragon Records due to the disappointing sales of their previous album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986), Candlemass became the first band signed to David Constable's British label Axis Records.[3][4] Constable had decided to sign the band after being impressed with their demo tape for "Bewitched".[4]

Thomas Cole's painting "Old Age" from The Voyage of Life was used for the album cover.

The group's line-up had changed since their previous studio recording. Jan Lindh had replaced Mats Ekström who had left the group due to not finding enough time for rehearsals.[4] Lars Johansson had also joined the band. During a tour in 1987 with King Diamond, Johansson broke his arm and was replaced by guitarist Mike Wead. The final band member was new vocalist Messiah Marcolin, who phoned Leif Edling to sing an a cappella version of "Solitude" as an audition.[4]

Like the previous album, Nightfall was recorded at Thunderload Studios in Stockholm with Ragne Wahlquist as engineer.[4] Wead's brief membership in Candlemass lead to him allegedly recording rhythm guitar, harmony and acoustic guitars and keyboards on the album,[5] although the only thing that is confirmed by the band as his is the recording of his song "Black Candles". Marcolin's influence became stronger, including the recording of the song "Marche Funèbre" on his suggestion[4] and brought to the band's choices of the album cover, based on Thomas Cole's paintings "The Voyage of Life", and of the title Nightfall, rejecting Edling's original title for the album Gothic Stone.[4] The song "Samarithan" was originally written during the recording sessions for Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, but was rejected by former group member Mats Ekström.[4]

After completing the sessions at Thunderload, which lasted from July to September 1987,[1] the recordings were mixed by Mats Lindfors at Stockholm Recording Studio.[4]


New vocalist for the group Messiah Marcolin came up with the album title for Nightfall

Nightfall was released on 9 November 1987 by Axis Records on vinyl and compact disc.[4] In 1988, the album was released in the USA by Metal Blade Records.[2] Two singles were released from Nightfall in 1988. The first was for "Samaraithan" which was released on both 7-inch and 12-inch vinyl.[6][7][8] Music for Nations and Metal Blade Records released "At the Gallows End" as a 12-inch single in 1988.[9][10]

A music video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund for the song "Bewitched" in 1988.[11] "Bewitched" was the first music video by Åkerlund, who was previously a member of the Swedish black metal group Bathory.[12] Åkerlund would go on to make music videos for other Swedish bands like Whale and Roxette, as well as international musicians such as Metallica, U2 and Lady Gaga.[11]

In the 2000s, the album was re-released in Sweden by Powerline Records, including demo tracks, live versions of songs and a music video for the song "Bewitched".[13] In 2007, the album was re-issued by Peaceville Records with similar bonus tracks.[3][14]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 8/10[15]
Metal Archives 94%[16] (IT) 90/100[17]
Metal Storm 8.76/10 stars[18]
Sputnik Music 5/5 stars[19]
The Metal Crypt 4.68/5 stars[20]
Metal Forces Magazine 9.9/10 stars[21] (IT) 8/10 stars[22]
Ultimate Guitar 9.6/10 stars[23] (DE) 9/10 stars[24]

Upon its release, Nightfall was met with overwhelming acclaim by either music critics or band fans, akin to the response on the previous Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. The album received a rating of four and a half stars out of five from the online music database Allmusic. The review compared the album favorably to the group's previous work, stating that it "managed to break even more new ground by introducing the operatic bellowing of new vocalist Messiah Marcolin, whose religious lyrics found the perfect match in the slow, grinding power chords written by bassist Leif Edling."[2] The review criticized the songs "At the Gallow's End" and "Dark Are the Veils of Death" stating that Candlemass "can't resist thrashing out just a tad" on these songs.[2] Canadian critic Martin Popoff writes that Nightfall sounds very similar to Candlemass' debut album and its style is a mix of "the slowest portions from Tony Iommi's first five years riffs", Trouble's "sleepiest moments" and St. Vitus' "downer ideas". He adds that "a few uptempo ideas would have helped" to raise his score.[15]

Track listings[edit]

All tracks written by Leif Edling, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Gothic Stone" 0:48
2. "The Well of Souls" 7:16
3. "Codex Gigas" 2:20
4. "At the Gallows End" 5:48
5. "Samarithan" 5:30
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Marche Funèbre" Frédéric Chopin 2:22
7. "Dark Are the Veils of Death"   7:08
8. "Mourners Lament"   6:10
9. "Bewitched"   6:38
10. "Black Candles" Mike Wead 2:18




  • Candlemass – arranger, producer
  • Ragne Wahlqvist – engineer
  • Mats Lindfors – mixing
  • Thomas Cole – cover art

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nightfall (LP sleeve). Candlemass. London, UK: Axis Records. 1987. AXISLP3. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Nightfall". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986)". Candlemass Official Website. Sweden. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Nightfall (1987)". Candlemass Official Website. Sweden. Archived from the original on October 18, 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Samarithan (Single sleeve). Candlemass. London, UK: Axis Records. 1988. 7AX1. 
  7. ^ "Samarithan 7" and 12"". Candlemass Official website. Sweden. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Discography". Candlemass Official website. Sweden. Archived from the original on June 18, 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  9. ^ At the Gallows End (Cassette sleeve). Candlemass. Tarzana, California: Metal Blade Records. 1988. 72295-4. 
  10. ^ "At the Gallows End 12". Candlemass Official website. Sweden. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "CV". Jonas Akerlund Official Website. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Rosenberg, Adam (11 September 2009). "Jonas Akerlund In The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards Director Spotlight". MTV. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  13. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Nightfall (+Bonus Tracks)". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  14. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Nightfall (CD - Peaceville Records / Snapper #CDVILED 202X)". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  15. ^ 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. 
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External links[edit]