Psalms for the Dead
Style: Doom Metal
Release date: 8 June, 2012
Playing time: 50.14

As far as their recording activity is concerned, Candlemass have decided to call it a day and “Psalms for the Dead” represents the last time the band will have walked into a recording studio under that moniker. One hopes the Swedes will eventually renege this decision but what is certain at this point is that Candlemass have released their best album in aeons.

“Psalms for the Dead” is possibly the most well-rounded and organically complete album of the Robert Lowe era. It is epic. It is riveting. It gets better with every listen. It is inimitably Candlemass. So we have the emotional Doom that recalls past albums such as “Tales Of Creation” or “Nightfall” but the album also has its own surprises. Case in point is album closer ‘Black As Time’, consisting entirely of spoken poetry.

With songs such as ‘The Light of Thebes’ and ‘Dancing in the Temple’, “Psalms for the Dead” seems to draw inspiration from Egyptian mythology. For Pharaonic Egyptians death was not the end but a physical transience to another world. So are Candlemass telling us that their music will transcend their physical demise? I’m sure there are legions of fans who’ll readily answer ‘yes’!

But back to the music……one song I particularly liked was the title-track where a Hammond successfully complements the huge riffs and excellent guitar solos to enhance the epic feel of the song. ‘Dancing in the Temple’ is one of the more up-tempo songs which will doubtlessly go down well in a live scenario.

Vocalist Robert Lowe doesn’t use the power and range he had showcased in previous Candlemass outings but this time his emotional singing seems to fit in perfectly with the compositions. Another reason to purchase this album is provided by messers Johannson and Borkman whose guitar solos seem particularly inspired.

So without more dithering, shift your asses down to the local record store (or log on to Napalm Records’ website) – there’s a space in your essential record collection that’s labelled “Psalms for the Dead”.

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
Label: Napalm Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 27 May, 2012