Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
Studio album by Candlemass
Released June 10 1986
Recorded February 1986 at Thunderload Studios in Stockholm, Sweden
Genre Epic Doom Metal
Length 43:01
Label Black Dragon Records, Leviathan Records
Producer Ragne "Valhalla Warrior" Wahlquist, Candlemass
Candlemass chronology
Epicus Doomicus Metallicus

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is the debut album of the Swedish doom metal band Candlemass. It was released 10 June 1986 on Black Dragon Records. On its release, the album had a significantly different sound than other European heavy metal bands of the time, because of their use of operatic vocals mixed over slow and heavy guitar riffs. The album did not sell well on its initial release, which led to the group being dropped from the label during the same year. Since then, the album has been re-issued in several different formats. The album title Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is a Dog Latin rendering of Epic Doom Metal — the genre which the band pioneered and is most commonly identified.

Epicus has been regarded as a classic and important album in the history of doom metal, even being regarded as the #2 greatest doom metal album of all time (Only behind Black Sabbath's self-titled abum) in Decibel's doom metal special issue[1] along with Loudwire's Top 25 Doom Metal albums of all time.[2]


In 1985, the members of Candlemass began writing the songs "Under the Oak", "Crystal Ball", "Demons Gate" and "Dark Reflections" in Upplands Väsby. In November 1985 the group recorded a demo album at O.A.L Studios, which featured the songs "Demons Gate" and "Black Stone Wielder". The band did not have a regular lead singer at the time and Leif Edling performed vocals for the demo. The group sent the demo to Black Dragon Records in Paris, France, who offered Candlemass a one-record deal with a budget of $1,800.[3]

In February 1986, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus was recorded at Thunderload Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, with producer Ragne Wahlquist. Still without a regular vocalist, Johan Längqvist performed the vocals despite not hearing any of the music the band had performed beforehand. According to Edling the studio was so cold the band had to wear gloves and longjohns. Allegedly Längqvist was also reluctant to record with the band but did so as a favor to one of the members of the band at the time. According to Längqvist he was only in the studio "two or three days" and had went back to his own band thereafter. Candlemass asked him to join full time but he declined due to already having a family (A wife and a child at the time, three more kids thereafter.).[4]

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus was released on June 10, 1986 on vinyl and compact disc. The original pressings had a painting conceived to be a representation of the "Demon's Gate" but has since been removed in re-issues. The band was dropped from Black Dragon Records due to disappointing album sales and according to Edling the first payout was a single international reply coupon.[5] It would also be the only album to feature Mats Ekström and Klas Bergwall as both left soon after the album's release. In regards to original vocalist Johan Längqvist it would be the only studio album to feature his vocals for over three decades until he returned to the band in 2018 and appeared on 2019's The Door To Doom. Candlemass would recruit new members in Jan Lindh, Lars Johansson and Messiah Marcolin and followed up with 1987's Nightfall, after being signed to Axis Records.

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus would be re-issued several times over the years. Notably in 2003 Powerline (and later Peaceville and Candlelight Records) would re-issue Epicus with a full re-master, unreleased photos, liner notes by Leif Edling and a bonus live set from 1988 featuring the classic lineup.

At the time of release it was largely critically ignored but over the years has been cited as a progenitor to the Epic Doom Metal sub-genre and cited as one of the greatest doom metal albums of all time. In regards to the retroactive praise, Längqvist recalled some people mocking the album at the time and wasn't aware of the praise it attained until about a decade after it was released:

"None of us expected that album to be as successful as it was. Leif has told me many stories from that time when the album was either just about to be released or it had just come out and friends of his had heard it and were saying stuff like; “Wow, that’s a really strange-sounding album, if this is what you like then carry on, and good luck, hahaha.”

It was a hugely important album in retrospect. To be honest, I didn’t really realise just how influential and important ‘Epicus…‘ was until about ten years after the album was released when I was reading a newspaper and there was a very famous band… I can’t remember who it was now…[Laughing] anyway, that said their biggest influence was from Candlemass “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” and I was just thinking; “WOW, that’s our album!”

I just didn’t really think about it in that way. I didn’t have much contact with the guys in Candlemass for about 10/12 years, even though we were good friends. Our lives were just on different patterns and we were young and just busy living life. This was before all the social media and stuff like that, so it was not that strange to be out of contact with people for long periods of time.

I was just very surprised when I discovered the news and have now seen the impact that the album has had on the heavy music scene as a whole."

— Johan Längqvist, Overdrive[6]

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus has attained universal praise in regards to retroactive reviews. Critics and reviewers such as Invisible Oranges,[7] Sputnik Music,[8] Metal Reviews,[9] Doodlehound[10] and Ride Into Glory,[11] just to name a few, all cite the album's influence on the doom metal genre and praise the overall performance of all six songs.


Epicus Doomicus MetallicusEdit

All songs written by Leif Edling.

  • 1. Solitude (5:37)
  • 2. Demon's Gate (9:12)
  • 3. Crystal Ball (5:21)
  • 4. Black Stone Wielder (7:36)
  • 5. Under The Oak (6:55)
  • 6. A Sorcerer's Pledge (8:20)

Re-issue Bonus DiscEdit

Recorded at The Hummingbird, Birmingham, England 31 March 1988.

  • 1. The Well of Souls (7:25)
  • 2. Demon's Gate (9:02)
  • 3. Crystal Ball (5:18)
  • 4. Solitude (6:26)
  • 5. Bewitched (6:24)
  • 6. A Sorcerer's Pledge (10:53)
  • 7. Black Sabbath Medley (6:12) (Iommi, Butler, Ward, Osbourne)


  • Johan Längquist - Vocals
  • Leif Edling - Bass, Songwriting, Lyrics, Liner Notes
  • Mats Björkman - Rhythm Guitar
  • Klas Bergwall - Lead Guitar
  • Mats Ekström - Drums
  • Cille Svenson - Additional Vocals (6)
  • Ragne Wahlquist - Engineer, Co-Producer
  • Eric Larnoy - Back Cover Painting (Original Press)
  • Uffe Magnusson - Photography
  • Jeanette Andersson - Layout (Re-Issue)
  • Mike Lind - Remastering
  • Messiah Marcolin - Vocals (Bonus Disc)
  • Lars Johansson - Lead Guitar (Bonus Disc)
  • Jan Lindh - Drums (Bonus Disc)

External LinksEdit


  1. RedditAccessed 28 February 2017
  2. Loudwire
  3. Candlemass Official via Wayback Machine
  4. The Razor's Edge
  5. Candlemass Official via Wayback Machine
  6. OverdriveFEATURE INTERVIEW – CANDLEMASS “I didn’t really realise just how influential and important ‘Epicus…’ was until about ten years after the album was released!” Johan Längquist accessed 23 May 2020
  7. Invisible OrangesCandlemass' Epicus Doomicus Metallicus Turns 30
  8. Sputnik Music
  9. Metal Reviews
  10. DoodlehoundDistant Revisitation: Candlemass - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
  11. Ride Into Glory
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