Review : Candlemass - Psalms For The Dead
Metal InjectionThe PR cycle for Psalms of the Dead comes front loaded with some unfortunate news: after five years of fronting Candlemass, singer Robert Lowe has either been fired or split of his own volition (apparently there was a rift over his not being up to snuff on his live performances). I never got to see the band live, despite Lowe being from my home state of Texas, but on record I found Lowe to be a natural fit, his bluesier yet still epic voice affording the rest of the group a chance to expand their musical palette a bit.
But heartbreak is woven into the fabric of heavy metal, and so here we are: Mats Leven is the new (temporary) front man, but Psalms of the Dead is intended to be the last Candlemass studio album anyway, so Leven will basically just be filling in for live dates. Leif Edling has gone to great lengths to assure fans that the band are not actually breaking up… presumably they'll just be touring on the back of their existing catalog as long as fans are willing to pony up for tickets....full text
The new reviewDon’t expect anything new or any out-of-the-hat quirks that would separate Psalms Of The Dead from any previous Candlemass albums. A swan-song of sorts for the near thirty year old band, the album could be considered a tribute to all the fans and supporters that have been with the group from their crazy best and their downright worst. A group as established as Candlemass needs little to impress, but Psalms Of The Dead is a proper concluding sentence to the fully fleshed out story of one of metal’s most important acts out there. Instead of dragging out their careers longer than they feel is necessary, Candlemass end their studio work not with grandeur, redundancy, or dishonor, but with an album that reminds fans just why they have loved the band in the first place....full text
Metal reviewFirst and foremost, Psalms for the Dead exhibits the catchiest overall songwriting Leif's done since 1989's Tales of Creation, and that comes from a guy who really enjoyed the sorely under-appreciated From the 13th Sun, the self-titled record, and last year's He Who Sleeps Amongst the Stars from Leif's other mainstay, Krux. It's still a very 'modern' sounding Candlemass record, so it's bright and occasionally downright galloping, as opposed to the more brooding/agonizing mid-to-late Eighties period of the band. Put plainly, I'd say the overall mood strikes a perfect balance between the slightly darker stance of King of the Grey Islands and the bouncier Death Magic Doom -- the quintessential harmony for a Lowe-fronted Candlemass....full text
Metal Temple“Psalms For The Dead” includes nine songs and goes on for approximately 50 minutes, while there are versions of the record that include two additional songs. The cover of the album is superb and fits great with the title. The songs usually are slow paced (it is Doom after all) with some outbursts of speed here and there. Not all the songs are equally good though as some have dull points. For instance “Waterwitch” beginning is a masterpiece. Great music, great emotion and deliverance by Lowe but the chorus is musically weak. The most capturing song of the album is by all means “Black as Time”. It is the epitome of vanity and Doom and it is most appropriate to end this record and a career of almost 30 years. I don’t want to spend so much of the review on the songs as I prefer the listener to make up his mind and evaluate them. I really liked also the use of Hammond organ throughout the record as it gives a retro style. The production of the album is top notch, the band is in great mood nailing each song and Lowe’s vocal performance is outstanding but as I mentioned before there are songs that have weaknesses and dull points....full text
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