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Candlemass : Psalms For The Dead

Candlemass are calling it quits, almost the same fashion as they did before in 1994. Leaving us with a masterpiece.

And so it all ends again like this: Candlemass are calling it quits, almost the same fashion as they did before in 1994. Leaving us with a masterpiece. Of course, back then 'Chapter VI' wasn't very much liked by the fans, mostly because Marcollin wasn't singing on it, and it took years before this album was finally recognized as one of their finest releases. This won't be the case with 'Psalms Of The Dead', as Robert Lowe was quickly adopted by Candlemass’ fanbase, better than Thomas Vikström ever was. The question remains the same : will 'Psalms Of The Dead' be able to be on par, even to top, 'King Of The Grey Islands' and 'Death Magic Doom'?

The keyboards and psychedelic elements, already present on 'Death Magic Doom', and brought even more prominently on last year 'III-He Who Sleeps Among The Stars' by Leif Eidling's other band Krux, are still there. And, to continue the comparison with Krux, those keyboard’s lines are even more present and more in keeping with the spirit of 'III' than of 'DMD'. This brings a damn fine new atmosphere to the band, and Robert Lowe seems to revel in it like a drunken priest singing bawdy songs during a banquet (like on the first single 'Dancing In The Temple Of The Mad Queen Bee', an impressive demonstration of psychedelic Heavy Metal of the highest calibre). Rest assured that you’ll get plenty of what you like in Candlemass with this album, for it can be seen as a sort of compilation of every musical style the band has experimented with all along its rich history.

It all starts with the heavy neckbreaker 'Prophet', a classic Candlemass tune that goes back to the days of 'Epicus Doomicus Metallicus', albeit a bit more Power Metal-ish. 'The Sound Of Dying Demons' is more into the line of 'Death Magic Doom', as is 'Killing The Sun', and the fans of more classic Epic Doom shall be delighted with 'Waterwitch' and 'Siren Song'. The lyrics are still depressed as they need to be in some segments, and the chorus on 'Psalms For The Dead' is one of the finest ever written by Candlemass. It's also one of the saddest, as it can be seen also as a last glass raised to the fans, a final thank you of some sort. Robert Lowe is perfect as ringmaster, and it's just obvious when listening to the album that he was the best choice to sing those verses. Some may prefer him in Solitude Aeturnus, but it would be very hypocrite to deny his talent on this album.

Sometimes, bands put an end to their career with a bad or average album. It's a testimony to the talent of Candlemass that they've decided to end it on a very good one, and in doing so they're showing respect to the fans and the scene that have supported them during so many years. The fan of the band that I've been for the past 20 years must now dry some tears, and I shall raise a glass to Candlemass and all the band’s members, past and present, perhaps future...Thanks a lot for what you've given us, we all shall dance in the temple of the mad Queen Bee with the samaritan at the gallows pole evermore.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
50,13 minutes 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. Killing The Sun
8. Siren Song
9. Black As Time

Duration : Approx. 50 minutes

Visit the Candlemass bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-04-20 by Laurent Lignon
Aesthetic Death
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