CANDLEMASS - Psalms For The Dead

Candlemass - Psalms For The Dead

9 songs
50:13 minutes
***** ***


Swedish doom metal band Candlemass hardly need any further introduction, as the musicians around Leif Edling from Stockholm have been active since 1984. The band has always had a great live reputation, but they were never so eager to release albums, making Psalms For The Dead their eleventh so far. Not much, considering their nearly thirty year long history, with only a short hiatus between 2002 and 2004. Candlemass also decided that this would be their last record.

From a musical perspective, not much has changed, and the opener Prophet offers traditional Scandinavian doom metal, the way we have gotten used to from Candlemass over the years. Even though you won’t find any up-tempo parts, the band has a sense of decent pace changes, and the necessary portion of drama is of course also omnipresent. Many still connect Candlemass with the frock wearing vocalist Messiah Marcolin, but Psalms For The Dead is already the band’s third album with former Solitude Aeternus singer Rob Lowe, who of course also knows his trade. On the several truly sluggish songs on the albums, his voice reminds somewhat of Black Sabbath-era Ronnie James Dio. One of my favourite tracks is Dancing In The Temple (Of The Mad Queen Bee) which has a certain occult rock flair and would be a good pick for a single release. The increased use of organ sounds helps to add a psychedelic touch that sets your mind back to the Seventies. This counts especially for the last two tracks Siren Song and Black As Time, the latter starting with a spoken word intro. The generally dragging The Killing Of The Sun even surprises with a guitar solo.

Even though this might be Candlemass’ last studio release, the band can pride itself of having offered an ambitious swan song. But who knows? Maybe, after extensive live activities, the band will find the necessary motivation to find their way back into a recording studio. Until that hypothetical moment, I suggest you savour their new album Psalms For The Dead.

Back to Reviews