Candlemass - Psalms For The Dead

Candlemass Psalms For The Dead cover
Psalms For The Dead
Candlemass announced a while ago that psalms of the dead will be their final album. A statement that may prove true or false, in time. Apparently it was meant to be the third and final, as definite, such a statement could ever be, with Solitude Aeturnus’ Robert Lowe, behind the mic.
I must say, that for all his shortcomings, especially his laziness to learn lyrics for live performances and such, which apparently led to his ousting, Lowe, was a pretty good fit for the band and the albums on which he was part, he was really integral in maintaining the momentum that the band had gained with the “Messiah” reunion, after it came to a rather abrupt and inglorious end.
“Psalms” finds, Candlemass also on a new label, Napalm, which means very plainly, that the sales of “Death Magic Doom” were below the expectations of Nuclear Blast, that has a well-documented past, for even ousting and then taking back bands, over 1000 units (-/+), ie Sirenia. At any rate, as the business side of thing is possibly of little interest to most of the bands fandom, one can rest assured that music-wise, things are business as usual, in the Candle-camp.
The songs are mainly slow-paced, heavy as hell, sprinkled with the burial dust of the Sabbaths of auld.
“Prophet” deviates a bit from the gloom and doom, as it storms through the gates, in a way not to dissimilar to “Lucifer Rising”.
“The Sound of Dying Demons” is very true to its title, as it’s slow, heavy and epic as hell.
The single, “Dancing in the Temple Of The Mad Queen Bee” is a sick little number, that mixes Candle-traits with 70s psychedelia. It reminded me quite a bit, of mid-era Lake of Tears, to be honest, in places, but a lot heavier and more epic. Not bad at all.
“Waterwitch” is for the most part as slow as a burial pomp and as bleak and sad as one, save a few eruptive moments, of solos etc... very cool track.
“The Lights of Thebe” is mystical as fuck, a mixture of Rainbow and Sabbath and good ‘ole Candlemass it’s another awesome Candepic!
The namesake of the album “Psalms for the Dead” is more measured, but in a sickeningly twisted and eerie way, that would have GHOST, pissing their ceremonial robes. Total F#$@#$@# Necro!
“Killing of the Sun” is more energetic and reminiscent of mid-era Sabbath, especially Riff wise and not a bad track by any means, just maybe a little derivative?
The “Siren Song” is an interesting experimentation, a lyrical, conceptual piece, very wallowed in hopelessness and desperation and gloom, which fits the subject matter perfectly.
Finally, “Black as Time” begins with an almost 2 minute delirious piece, of cynical philosophical musings by Mr. Leif Edling, I’d presume before it breaks into a desperately heavy and almost hopeless downward spiral into oblivion, an almost fitting epitaph, for one of the most classic doom bands, that ever-were, ever-have-been and ever-will-be! CANDLE-FU#KING-MASS!
A minor masterpiece and another little black pearl, tossed into the mouth of madness! I hope that this “Tomb” gets disturbed, sooner or later, be it by a man dressed as a monk, or by any other outwardly traveler worthy of the task, but until then I promise to hold a vigil to the loss of the gloom-masters of the North and to take pilgrimages to their live performances as often as I can, since the band’s ghost, is bound to stay with us for some years still!