Avatarium Sign to Nuclear Blast for Debut EP Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 1st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Candlemass bassist and principle songwriter Leif Edling returns with Avatarium, who’ve just announced they’ll release their debut EP, Moonhorse, on Nuclear Blast. Pretty good start if I ever heard of one. Auspicious at the very least. Last we heard from Edling (interview here), he was putting the finishing touch on one of doom’s most influential discographies with the final Candlemass album, Psalms for the Dead (review here) on Napalm. An LP of their performance at Roadburn 2011 with original frontman Johan Längquist was also released in June on Svart.

Of course, Candlemass released three records on Nuclear Blast from 2005-2009, so this isn’t Edling‘s first time dealing with the label either. The PR wire sends hopes for future doomage:


AVATARIUM, the new band by Swedish doom metal pioneer Leif Edling (CANDLEMASS), is the latest addition to Nuclear Blast’s worldwide roster.

AVATARIUM features Edling on bass, EVERGREY guitarist Marcus Jindell, Lars Sköld of TIAMAT on drums, Carl Westholm of KRUX and JUPITER SOCIETY on keyboards, and Jennie-Ann Smith on vocals.

“AVATARIUM has only been around for about eight months, so we are thrilled to begin the mix of our first album and bring our special dark/heavy/poetic metal music to the masses,” shares Edling from his home in Sweden. “We would like to take our music out to the world and no one does it better than Nuclear Blast. It’s an honor for us to join the Nuclear family!”

“We’ve been fans of Leif Edling’s doom metal since he started making music with NEMESIS,” states Nuclear Blast Germany’s A&R manager Jaap Wagemaker. “We followed him with all his other bands: CANDLEMASS. ABSTRAKT ALGEBRA. KRUX. We’ve also had the pleasure of working with Leif and CANDLEMASS in the past [beginning with 2005’s self-titled CANDLEMASS comeback album], which was a great honor. We were all ears when he contacted us saying he had founded a new band. As soon as we heard the music, we fell in love with it. Great melodies and riffs the way only Leif can write them and angelic vocals by Jennie! Leif did it again! Nuclear Blast is very stoked to announce the return of Leif ‘The Master of Doom’ Edling to the Nuclear family and welcome AVATARIUM to our roster. We simply can’t wait for you to listen to his amazing new band!”

The band’s 3-song Moonhorse EP will be released in North America this fall. The track listing is:

01 – Moonflower
02 – Boneflower
03 – War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)

Visit AVATARIUM online at www.facebook.com/AVATARIUMOFFICIAL.

Candlemass, Songs for the Dead (2012)

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Buried Treasure: Haul That is Heavy, Vol. 4: Mega-Sale Edition

Posted in Buried Treasure on July 29th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

A mere two weeks ago, I posted notice that the kind souls at the All That is Heavy webstore were having a mega-sale with discs and t-shirts at 25 and 50 percent off. I also confessed that I did this only after going in and solidifying my own purchase. Well, the box showed up Wednesday and I’ve been making my way through the goods ever since. Here’s what I picked up:

The Body, All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood
Paul Chain “The Improvisor,Cosmic Wind
Church of Misery, The Second Coming (Diwphalanx reissue)
Leif Edling, The Black Heart of Candlemass
The Gates of Slumber, Villain, Villain
500 Ft. of Pipe, Dope Deal
500 Ft. of Pipe, The Electrifying Church of the New Light
Masters of Reality, Pine/Cross Dover (American version)
Mustasch, Parasite!
OJM, The Light Album
OJM, Under the Thunder
OJM, Volcano
Ponamero Sundown, Stonerized
Raging Slab, Raging Slab (2009 Rock Candy reissue)
Sgt. Sunshine, Black Hole
Sin of Angels, In the Grip of Despair

Stuff like the 500 Ft. of Pipe and Mustasch I’d had my eye on for a long time. The psyched-up Fu Manchu fuzz of the former has been a delight long awaited. With The Body, I felt like I was finally giving into the hype, but at the sale price, decided it was now or never. Ponamero Sundown I wanted to listen to again before reviewing the new one and couldn’t find my old sleeve promo — apparently I’ve never heard of YouTube — and Masters of Reality I bought solely for the different label name on the side of the disc. It’s not the first time I’ve done that with them.

OJM I wanted to backlog since reviewing Volcano, and I included Volcano too because I didn’t have a full copy. The Raging Slab I very much enjoyed last night after work, imagining what new wave/no wave New Yorkers must have thought of them busting out those songs in 1989 and seeing the old pictures of drummer Bob Pantella, now of The Atomic Bitchwax. Sgt. Sunshine‘s a little stranger than I expected, but still pretty cool, and listening to it now, I think I might’ve already owned this Sin of Angels CD.

The rest I haven’t gotten to yet, but it’s worth noting that even with the drastically slashed prices, Dan and Melanie — the above-noted kind souls — included a freebie in the form of Black Materia, by Black Materia, which is rife with Anathema-style sorrow and metallic melody, in addition to being a Final Fantasy reference. Dig it.

The sale’s still on, but I don’t know for how long or anything like that. Hopefully I’ll have time to recoup some funds for another round before it ends, but even if not, I think I did alright the first time. If you missed the link above, check out the list of goods here.

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Leif Edling’s Adventures in Light and Shadow

Posted in Features on March 6th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Next time you think you're doom, remember this picture.When Swedish doom legends Candlemass wrapped their touring for 2007, bassist and primary songwriter Leif Edling, whose riffs make me get all Jodie Foster in Contact — “Should have sent a poet,” etc. — had a couple weeks to himself. Accordingly, he wrote a solo album.

Songs of Torment, Songs of Joy, released in November 2008 by GMR in Sweden and March 10, 2009 by Candlelight in the US, is the resulting work, culled together from a host of musical ideas ranging from homage to Jules Verne to simply wanting to write a song about a serial killer in out of space. These are the most sincere of inspirations. Joining Edling in this endeavor is Candlemass keyboardist Dr. Carl Westhelm, guitarists Bj?rn Eriksson and Chris Laney (also engineer) and drummer Lars Sk?ld, all of whom, as we’ll see, are apparently quite busy people.

Note: If you’re the type to stop reading the interview halfway through (it happens to everyone), make sure you catch the part at the end where he talks about his Black Sabbath collection.

There’s already been a review (and not a short one), so without further ado on my part, after the jump we join the Leif Edling interview, already in progress…

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A New Leif (Edling Solo CD)

Posted in Reviews on February 23rd, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Halos and horns.When it comes to doom riffs, speaking mathematically, the scale goes like this: Tony Iommi > Leif Edling > Everyone Else All The Time Ever. As bassist and main songwriter for Swedish lords Candlemass (not to mention being known as having one the world’s most extensive collections of Black Sabbath records and memorabilia), Edling has been responsible for some of the greatest underground doom anthems of all time. Songs like “Under the Oak,” “Solitude,” “Demon’s Gate,” “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” — and that’s just on 1986’s Epicus Doomicus Metallicus! The guy’s got a whole catalog like that (soon to include Death Magic Doom, highly anticipated in the valley and due later this year), not to mention the work he’s done with Krux alongside singer Mats Lev?n (ex-Therion), who nearly took Messiah Marcolin‘s place in Candlemass following that singer’s alleged trip off the deep end.

Songs of Torment, Songs of Joy (Candlelight/GMR) is Leif Edling‘s first true solo offering following the collection of Candlemass demos released under his name in 2002, The Black Heart of Candlemass. And that is precisely what Edling has always been; the life force pumping the blood below the surface of that band, while others reap the notoriety and bask in the limelight.

That is perhaps all the more confirmed by the fact that, though it wouldn’t necessarily be surprising if for his solo album Edling chose to go in a completely different musical direction (? la Abstrakt Algebra, the power metal band he took on following Candlemass‘ original breakup after 1999’s From the 13th Sun), he decided to make an effort of pure doom and release it in his name. This is Leif Edling. He is doom.

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