Listening to “Psalms For The Dead” you will remember why Candlemass will always be an iconic band in the doom metal scene. This is one of the few bands that have been true to themselves throughout their careers and did not change their music style just to follow a trend. Therefore, Candlemass’s new album is nothing but the reconfirmation of their talent at creating excellent doom metal songs. Unfortunately, it seems that “Psalms For The Dead” will also be the band’s final studio album.
“Prophet” introduces the band’s musical intentions with undisputable elegance. The guitar riffs are structured according to that heavy doom fashion that has become Candlemass’s trademark. As the rhythm gets faster with some epic sounding keyboards, a pleasant lead guitar solo adds additional catchy dynamics to the atmosphere.
“The Sound Of Dying Demons” is filled with an ominous atmosphere of obvious impending doom. As the rhythm gets slower, majestic eerie keyboards become more dominant. The main guitar riff is definitely catchy and has the atmospheric profundity of early Black Sabbath.
That same type of killer guitar riff leads the way on “Waterwitch”. Everything gets dark, slow and ghostly but still extraordinarily groovy especially in the amazingly eclectic guitar solo. The soft controlled vocals accompanied by bold doom bass phrases create a creepy atmosphere.
The title track has a pleasantly accessible structure and adds a melancholic atmosphere to the classically doom guitar riffs while the chorus showcases an epic vibe. The first guitar solo is slow and emotionally melodic while the second gets vivid with more shredding, so there is something pleasant for any guitar style lovers.
“The Killing Of The Sun” and “Siren Song” are very passionate tracks that bring back the fine traditional heavy doom guitar riffs. At times, the vocals get epics in power metal fashion; the rhythmic sections are extremely groovy especially on “Siren Song” where some psychedelic, yet eerie, organ style keyboards add a higher degree of variety.
I cannot deny that Messiah Marcolin’s vocals had a peculiar depth and color that intensely complemented Candlemass’s music style but Robert Lowe’s performance is quite remarkable on this album.
“Psalms For The Dead” is a passionate and powerful collection of classic doom songs which will absolutely please a large number of metalheads.