Bassist Leif Edling has been the de facto leader of this epic doom metal band for more than two decades now, picking and firing bandmates seemingly at will. Known for his humor (the band's debut was titled Epicus Doomicus Metallicus) and his ability to detect premium talent, Edling seems content to ride this Swedish metal beast into oblivion. Along the way, almost two dozen singers, drummers and guitarists have found their way in and out of Candlemass' lineup.

Interestingly, the newest incarnation of the band has some local flavor: Robert Lowe, singer for Solitude Eternus, an area metal act since the mid-'90s, took over vocal chores for Candlemass early last year. The band's recent release, King of the Grey Islands, features Lowe's tortured wail cast against some standard metallic sludge. What exactly differentiates Lowe's stylings from former vocalists such as Johan Langqvist and Messiah Marcolin is not especially apparent. Safe to say that Lowe has stumbled into a headbanger's gravy train as Candlemass remains immensely popular across Europe. Now Lowe stops off at home for a show, back to the place where his own band wallowed in obscurity, unable to convert area youth to the dark side.


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