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Candlemass - Psalms For The Dead

Published June 11 2012

=Staff's pick

The Sound Of Dying Demons
Dancing In The Temple (Of The Mad Queen Bee)*
The Lights Of Thebe
Psalms For The Dead*
The Killing Of The Sun
Siren Song*
Black As Time

Genre Doom Metal
Robert Lowe
Tracks 9
Mats Björkman
Running time 50 Min.
Lars Johansson
Label Napalm Records
Leif Edling
Release 08 June 2012
Jan Lindh
Country Sweden
Producer -
Similar artists Solitude Aeturnus, Count Raven

Psalms For The Dead is announced as the last full-length album to be released by Swedish doom-metal legends Candlemass. Six days prior to the release of this album, the band announced that they were parting ways with vocalist Rob Lowe, supposedly due to the quality of live performances. Whether that is the whole truth or not, it was indeed frustrating how he always seemed to read the lyrics from a teleprompter - even after four years in the band. On record, however, he has always done an exemplary job and this album is no exception.

Prophet is an impressive album opener and a future live classic, for sure. As always there is no shortage of great riffs and the tempo feels more balanced - slower, that is - than Death Magic Doom which was too fast and heavy-metal like for my taste, although it had its moments. One song that breaks this rule is Dancing In The Temple (Of The Mad Queen Bee) with its high tempo but since it's such a great song it actually gets away with it.

The album progresses with the Black Sabbath-tasting Waterwitch, the "Pharaoh metal" song The Lights Of Thebe - which probably is the song on the album I care least about - and the majestic title track which fits Robs voice beautifully. It gives me a sort of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus vibe and that can't ever be a bad thing. Another favourite is Siren Song with its simple yet addictive riff. I could however have managed without The Killing Of The Sun and Black As Time as I seem to forget those songs instantly after I listen to them.

In comparison with the two preceding albums, King Of The Grey Islands and Death Magic Doom, Psalms For The Dead feels overall like a more epic and coherent album. The production is great - especially when you crank the volume up a bit - and it fits the general tone of the album well, with heavy-impact guitars, powerful drums and occasional, subtle keyboards.

Time will tell if this actually is the last Candlemass album ever. I have doubts and above all hope that it's not the case but if it were to be that way, Psalms For The Dead is a worthy album to end the legacy of one of my favourite bands of all time.

See also review of: Death Thy Lover , Death, Magic, Doom , Candlemass








7 chalices of 10 - Bjorn

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