Candlemass
Psalms For The Dead


3.5
great

Review

by Voivod STAFF
June 19th, 2012 | 41 replies | 8,257 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A farewell to arms.

One of the major pursuits of ancient Greeks was to be remembered with honor and respect after their death, in years to come. Hence, everything they did or said, focused on making a significant breakthrough with reference to past achievements in the disciplines of arts, science, sports, and commercial or martial conduct. Swedish veteran doomsters Candlemass have undoubtedly earned their right in being remembered and mentioned in time to come, with their critical contribution in shaping the epic side of doom metal with their first four albums – Epicus, Doomicus, Metallicus, Nightfall, Ancient Dreams and Tales Of Creation. At the dusk of 2011 and after two albums which justified their 2005 reunion, Candlemass surprised the metal world, announcing that they would conclude their 26-year career with the release of one final album. The reason for this farewell to arms lied in that the process of album-tour-album had become an unbearable burden for the band. Similar to Candlemass, English veteran doomsters Cathedral called it a day in 2011 because they weren't satisfied with their newly composed material, and announced, with their turn, the release of one final album sometime in 2012. One may argue that two of the most acclaimed European doom metal acts decided to cease their practice, in order to protect their reputation in years to come. Whereas the final Cathedral album is not yet finalized so as to give tangible proof in the aforementioned respect, it can be said with certainty that the final (?) Candlemass album, titled Psalms For The Dead is a respectable farewell to arms for the Swedish craftsmen of doom.

The first few listening sessions of Psalms For The Dead reveal that Candlemass standards have been met with ease once again, as this band simply doesn't know how to make a bad record. Edling's doom/'80s epic metal riffs and the wonderful lead guitars of Lasse Johansson are the main driving forces in the album, entraining the rhythm section along their conduct. In effect, the content of the album is fairly diversified, with epic doom prevailing over ‘80s metal, whereas there are cases where the latter genre tends to balance its presence over the former. Apart from the aforementioned styles, there is also a floating '70s rock vibe throughout the album, mostly due to the Hammond keyboards of guest musician Per Wiberg (Spiritual Beggars). With respect to the vocals, Lowe is doing a great job in transmitting the bleak content of both music and lyrics. However, his voice stretch is significantly restrained with respect to his previous work with the band or the first two Solitude Aeturnus records. Apart from the restrain in Lowe’s vocals, the characteristic song writing style of the band tends to be repetitive as the listening sessions keep piling up, subtracting future replay value.

As an epilogue, it is very difficult for a band to admit that the end is finally reached and the corresponding decision of Candlemass is no exception. The band chose to leave and be remembered with dignity and respect, rather than fade in utter disgrace by issuing albums of ever deteriorating quality. Psalms For The Dead proves that Candlemass can certainly write good material at any given occasion, however this is not good enough, and that obsession with perfectionism is what separates really great bands from really average ones.



Standout songs

Prophet
The Sound Of Dying Demons
Psalms For The Dead
Waterwitch



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user ratings (70)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 18th 2012



5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Prophet:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skYbTxip-0o


The Sound Of Dying Demons:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VEMUXg7qCc&feature=relmfu


Dancing In The Temple (Of The Mad Queen Bee):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdV5ZDE1zgs&feature=relmfu


Waterwitch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnsoQczY-iQ&feature=relmfu


The Lights Of Thebe:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei1TI5tC9gc&feature=related


Psalms For The Dead:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2EOM-W5dZY&feature=related


The Killing Of The Sun:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFOWTsfunik&feature=relmfu


Siren Song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffU9u6UxXHk&feature=relmfu


Black As Time:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGxU-qC6z2E&feature=relmfu





Constructive criticism is most welcome.

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

Venpts16
June 18th 2012



283 Comments


That intro is incredible, along with the descriptions of their sound in the rest of the review. Here's a pos.

Mordecai.
June 19th 2012



8255 Comments


Great review. I've only listened to the first three albums from these guys. They are pretty badass so I might get this.

CaptainDooRight
June 19th 2012



26434 Comments


Pos bro. Good review. Gonna check out some of those links. I liked how you brought out the honor thing. Wish more bands
would do that then maybe start a new band project and start something new. It takes humility but oh man does that humility
go a long way.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

SteelErectedb4you8er
June 19th 2012



2612 Comments


Awesome man! I am glad you reviewed this! Good review too, I still need to check it out. I have been on a Candlemass kick as of late.

SteelErectedb4you8er
June 19th 2012



2612 Comments


Surprisingly, it took me listening to Solitude Aeternus to get into Rob Lowe's vocals. I was just used to Messiah and Johan's style so much, but he does do a good job.

cvlts
June 19th 2012



8917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

awesome album m/

Digging: Pedro the Lion - It's Hard To Find A Friend

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

awesome album m/

I wouldn't say it's awesome, it is captivating though because of the inherent nature of doom metal.



I've only listened to the first three albums from these guys

Tales Of Creation is my favorite Candlemass album, get that too.



it took me listening to Solitude Aeternus to get into Rob Lowe's vocals

All Candlemass singers are excellent, each one with his own merits and demerits, save for Johan of course.

I wish they could bring Johan back, but I guess this is not gonna happen now.

jopower
June 19th 2012



103 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The band's first four albums are awesome. A Sorcerer's Pledge is such an amazing song.

lostforwords
June 19th 2012



439 Comments


Great review, pos.

And if I may guess this won't be their final album. All these bans will keep reuniting until they die. I don't really care about the motives, I just don't believe they care for their fame after death. Maybe, since Judas Priest announced that they will be calling it a day, we're on a new, anti-reunion trend which finds groups disbanding for honorary reasons, temporarily in my opinion.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2012



1776 Comments


Well,to be honest I didn't like this album as much as I did the band's previous albums, but it still has its moments I suppose.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think this is the last Candlemass album.

Edling said in a review that, regardless of the band having a new record or not, fans don't care about it and they always ask them to play their classic stuff.

In his own words, what's the point in making new albums?

On the other hand, he said that Candlemass will be touring less from now on, while he excluded the possibility of Candlemass becoming a "legacy band" which will play in tribute festivals and so on.

TheNotrap
June 19th 2012



7818 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Nice work man.
Will check those links now.

rockandmetaljunkie
June 19th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Nice review man pos'd.
Judging by the length and the natural positive flow of your review, i'm quite sure this wasn't time
consuming.
I bought the album yesterday and i will give it a few spins today and tomorrow.

Just one notice:
"English veteran doomsters Cathedral called it a day in 2011 because they weren't satisfied with
their newly composed material"

I don't think that's the reason Cathedral decided to call it a day. In interviews Lee stated that
the band has peaked and there's nothing more to offer to the music scene. That doesn't collocate
necessarily with the quality of their last records, but with the sheer fact that this band has
probably saturate after all these years of extensive recording and touring.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Judging by the length and the natural positive flow of your review, i'm quite sure this wasn't time consuming

On the contrary, i found out that it is very hard to write a lot of stuff for a doom metal record. I wrote like 4-5 versions of the review and this one seemed to be closer to reality.



I don't think that's the reason Cathedral decided to call it a day. In interviews Lee stated that the band has peaked and there's nothing more to offer to the music scene

They said it themselves in an interview for the Hellenic Metal Hammer. The whole process of composing and recording didn't feel natural with respect to the past and that situation had a negative impact on their newer material.

scissorlocked
June 19th 2012



3479 Comments


this band I loved once...

haven't listened to anything from the post-candlemass album era, though I've heard that they never released a shitty album

nice job as always Vod!

Digging: Fantastic Mr Fox - Sketches

TheNotrap
June 19th 2012



7818 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Slowly and almost unnoticed... second by second...
tick tock tick tock
tick tock... it continues the countdown closer to
your grave... until it finally STOPS!!






TIME IS BLACK!!

FictionalFlames
June 19th 2012



1510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for reviewing this. Pos

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012



5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't mention it man.

SteelErectedb4you8er
June 19th 2012



2612 Comments


From a musician standpoint, when you have been around for 10-20 years, and your audience what's to hear old songs and disregard newer songs that you put your time into doing...no matter how good they are. It makes writing new material harder and trying too hard sometimes, and for some, a waste of time. It's best at that point to do something new to keep energy of writing new material once you have peaked with one band. Kudos to Candlemass for sure! And I agree each singer is great in their own right.



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