Thursday, July 19, 2012

CANDLEMASS: "Psalms For The Dead"

Rating: RRR
Label: ProgRock Rec. 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

There's a rumour going on that 'Psalms For The Dead' will be their swansong album? Yeah? For how long until there's yet another comeback attempt by the doom and gloom masters of Swedish Metal. We've heard it all before. Status Quo proclaimed to stop touring and recording back in 1986 and we're still waiting for the geezers to hang up their guitars and give it a rest. Candlemass will most probably return like a dodgy basement smell at a serial killer's house, you simply can't wash away all that filth and darkness.

The mark of slow and psychedelic Sabbath-metal haunts the melodies as usual and the album is an serious attempt at utterly vicious rock. Plenty of arrangements steeped in the tradition of the first three albums (Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, Nightfall, Ancient Dreams). Only not quite as impressive of course and minus the ogre-like vocals by the mighty Messiah. Robert Lowe is the singer or rather was/were as he's been replaced shortly after the recording with another former vocalist of the band, Mats Leven (also ex. Yngwie Malmsteen, Swedish Erotica, Treat, etc).

You pretty much get what you expect with 'Psalms For The Dead'. Crunchy riffs, a roaring hammond where the opening "Prophet" sets the mood of the entire album. However, Candlemass at times sound a little too pleased with themselves and it's all a very safe and predictable release. Not too shabby considering the missing messiah and the lack of original ideas.

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