CANDLEMASS – Psalms For The Dead

CANDLEMASS - Psalms For The Dead
  • 9.5/10
    CANDLEMASS - Psalms For The Dead - 9.5/10


Napalm Records
Release date: June 8, 2012

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The Godfathers of Doom Metal, Candlemass, have brought forth their eleventh, and reported final, studio album ever. Candlemass set the precedent for Doom Metal with their 1986 classic Epicus Doomicus Metalicus. Now, 26 years later, the time has come for them to say farewell to all their devoted fans. Speaking of time, that is the main subject of the new album Psalms For The Dead. According to the band the theme of the album “is about the presence and absence of time. It’s about leaving, goodbyes, and farewells.” Ironically appropriate, considering this is their concluding effort.

Candlemass put all their cards on the table for Psalms For The Dead, it contains extremely profound amounts of the most brutal fusion of Doom and Melody. There are so many musical themes reminiscent of early 70’s British Hard Rock bands like Uriah Heep, U.F.O., Deep Purple, and of course Black Sabbath. One track in particular, “Siren Song” has such an incredibly heavy dose of the Hammond Organ, the track could easily have been on a Heep album from 1972.

American vocalist Robert Lowe is once again at the helm for his third studio release with the band. Unfortunately the band announced that Lowe is no longer the singer for Candlemass, just six days before the album’s release. However, his performance on this album is so much more emphatic and passionate than the previous two releases. Lowe single handedly revived this band and gave it new life with his exciting vocals and was able to provide much more vibrancy to the music than his predecessors. Arguably his best performance on Psalms For The Dead is the track “Waterwitch.” This is a slower, more Classic Doom style track and Lowe performs many sinister and theatrical vocals which gives the track an amazing emotional element that is simply magnificent.

Of course, no Candlemass album would be complete without the signature twin guitar wailings of Lars Johansson and Mats Bjorkman. Although there are many areas of this album where the music is slightly more melodic than previous works, Johansson and Bjorkman put in a flawless and precise effort. Additionally, many of the lead solos by Johansson are extremely passionate and pleasing. This is especially true during the fiery opening track “Prophet” which is simply an old school head banging early Thrash style song. Johansson sounds fresh and inspiring throughout the entire song and sets a fervent tone for the entire album.

Psalms For The Dead is one of those albums which does not become tiresome; it gets increasingly heavier with each listen. There are so many classic essentials which have been formulated together; this could arguably be their finest release ever. It is superb on all levels, and even fans who have never listened to a Candlemass record before will pick this up and be blown away.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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