Review : CANDLEMASS – ‘Psalms For The Dead’

Candlemass Psalms For The Dead
Release date: 2012Jun08 (US)
Label: Napalm Records
Rating: 5/5

There are few cliffhangers as puzzling as that of Psalms For The Dead, the final Candlemass release. Vocalist Robert Lowe (Solitude Aeturnus) left just six days before the release, further complicating the band’s plans to retire. With no vocalist and no other plans, I was left with just one question on my mind: Is this the fitting epitaph meant for Candlemass, or is it a total dud?

“Prophet”  is a fucking juggernaut of doom that channels a blast of hurricane-force riffs that knock me flat on my ass. Totally not what I expected! “The Sound of Dying Demons” opens with a Sabbathian drone echoed by the ethereal vox of Robert Lowe. It plods along, slow and sinister. “Dancing In The Temple (Of The Mad Queen Bee)” is a short, uptempo rocker reminiscent of those from Saint Vitus.  The quality of each track has me lusting for more.

The “Waterwitch” arises, cursing thy damned with blasts of sludge from the trio of Leif, Lasse and Mappe interspersed with an agonizing vocal performance from Lowe. “The Lights of Thebe” is a creeper with thick, syrupy licks and vocals reminiscent of a  sinister minster, screaming from a fiery pulpit.  “The Killing Of The Sun” is another gem with pounding drums that projects an  old-school wall of sound.  The lyrics of “Siren Song” read like those of a rambling man at the edge of death, cursing the sirens that suck on your soul. “Black As Time” closes things off with a poetic ode to time, the enemy of all which exists.

I think it’s fair to say that Psalms For The Dead not only meets, but far surpasses my expectations as the defining epitaph for Candlemass. Fare thee well, thy bastions of doom, for these psalms shall always ring true!

FCC: Clean
Try: ALL!!!

01. Prophet
02. The Sound of Dying Demons
03. Dancing In The Temple (Of The Mad Queen Bee)
04. Waterwitch
05. The Lights of Thebe
06. Psalms For The Dead
07. The Killing Of The Sun
08. Siren Song
09. Black As Time

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