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These doom-veterans from Stockholm should need no formal introduction whatsoever. This is the third - and apparently final - album with "new" vocalist Robert Lowe. I thought that 2009's "Death Magic Doom" was their best work since the epic debut album back in -86 and 2007's "King of the Grey Islands" had it's moments too.
The album opens with the fast-paced (at least when it comes to Candlemass) "Prophet" which gives a couple of not-so-subtle nods to the opener "If I Ever Die" from "Death Magic Doom". Nothing wrong with that, since both songs are great and natural album-openers. It is on the second song "The Sound of Dying Demons" that my forehead starts the frowning and I think to myself; "I've heard this before". And even though the band has tried to vary it's sound as much as possible - by adding keyboards and hammonds amongst other things - there is always that familiar doom-feeling that nothing really much has happened since last time.
I have also discovered that I personally feel that Candlemass' music works best when they speed things up like they do on the aforementioned "Prophet", the single "Dancing in the Temple (of the Mad Queen Bee)" and "The Killing of the Sun". Another thing that kind of bugs me is that most of the choruses on "Psalms for the Dead" just repeats the title and while it may work on some songs, overall that is just lazy lyric-writing from Leif Edling's side. Songs such as "Waterwitch" and "Siren Song" are plain boring and have no purpose whatsoever on a Candlemass-album. And let's not even start discussing the embarrassing opening 1 and a half minutes of the closer "Black as Time" - I want to smash my own face into bits each time I hear that retarded British guy do his EXTREMELY boring monologue.
There is really nothing wrong with what the band does on this album but there is also really nothing that sticks out from the bands incredibly patented formula. Sure, it might be that I am just a bit tired of Candlemass' classic doom metal but I think that the answer lies closer to that the band themselves are a bit tired of doing the same thing year after year since the early '80s. The fact that they have also announced that "Psalms for the Dead" will be their last album ever doesn't really destroy the grand scheme that I've conjured forth.
If the band won't do any more albums, I for one wont be sorry, since they've left us with incredible albums such as "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus", "Nightfall" and "Death Magic Doom" and that's an incredible legacy right there.
Originally written for Metal Monuments