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Candlemass - Psalms For The Dead

Psalms For The Dead
by Vasilis Odontidis at 04 June 2012, 4:27 PM

“Psalms For The Dead” as a phrase reminds me either of fantasy stories when somebody important (usually a hero) dies and the people mourn on his body or makes me think of some hooded figures muttering psalms to those who are long gone in a eerie dark chamber. It is also a most fitting title for what is announced to be the swan song of the legendary Swedish doom band CANDLEMASS. Only time will tell if this is actually their last record, because these things change from one day to another but with what is known now “Psalms for the Dead” is the eleventh and last CANDLEMASS studio album to be produced. While this is the third consecutive studio album with Lowe on vocals, on the 2nd of June it was announced that he will step down so as Mats Leven takes his position for the tour.

“Psalms For The Dead” includes nine songs and goes on for approximately 50 minutes, while there are versions of the record that include two additional songs. The cover of the album is superb and fits great with the title. The songs usually are slow paced (it is Doom after all) with some outbursts of speed here and there. Not all the songs are equally good though as some have dull points. For instance “Waterwitch” beginning is a masterpiece. Great music, great emotion and deliverance by Lowe but the chorus is musically weak. The most capturing song of the album is by all means “Black as Time”. It is the epitome of vanity and Doom and it is most appropriate to end this record and a career of almost 30 years. I don’t want to spend so much of the review on the songs as I prefer the listener to make up his mind and evaluate them. I really liked also the use of Hammond organ throughout the record as it gives a retro style. The production of the album is top notch, the band is in great mood nailing each song and Lowe’s vocal performance is outstanding but as I mentioned before there are songs that have weaknesses and dull points.

“Psalms For The Dead” in my opinion is not as good as the “King of Grey Islands” or “Death Magic Doom” but is still a great album. Personally I wanted it this to be a killer album, an appropriate epitaph for this legendary band that defined a whole genre and has left its mark and legacy on the Metal universe. This is the end for CANDLEMASS and we should stand in respect and chant psalms for our dead … or maybe not? Only time will tell.

3 Star Rating

1. Prophet
2. The Sound of Dying Demons
3. Dancing in the Temple (Of the Mad Queen Bee)
4. Waterwitch
5. The Lights of Thebe
6. Psalms for the Dead
7. The Killing of the Sun
8. Siren Song
9. Black as Time
Leif Edling- Bass
Mats “Mappe” Björkman- Rhythm Guitars
Jan Lindh- Drums
Lars “Lasse” Johansson– Lead Guitars
Robert Lowe- Vocals
Record Label: Napalm Records


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