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Swansong Indeed - 95%

Immortally_Insane, June 23rd, 2012

Candlemass is an epic doom metal band hailing from the country of Sweden. They have been coined the originators of epic doom metal, and have been HANDS DOWN dominating the genre since 1984. The band split up in 1994, only to be reformed in 1997 by original member Leif Edling, the bassist/vocalist. Just recently, June 2, 2012, the band announced on their website that their current vocalist Robert Lowe has been replaced by a long-time friend of the band Mats Levén. The band has reassured fans that they will continue to play shows and are rehearsing new and old songs with the new vocalist.

Candlemass has a massive discography, just recently adding to it with their new full length, Psalms for the Dead, released June 6, 2012. This album has been said to be the last release from Candlemass, though the band has assured their fans they won’t be splitting up. Hearing that this was the last Candlemass album to be released really upset me and trust me, I had HIGH hopes for it. I wasn’t disappointed.

Candlemass has this way of grabbing you by the balls and throwing some true hard and heavy doom at you, yet making you want to dance at the same time. If you’re an avid listener… you understand. This new album is NO exception. Every single track is fantastic, well written, and beautifully haunting!

Psalms for the Dead starts off with a crushing track Prophet, with haunting vocals and lyrics about false gods, driving guitars and bass, and crushing drums, it’s a perfect start to the farewell album from Candlemass. The beautiful melodic guitar work in this song comes out of a thick, doomy atmosphere, bringing an entire new emotion to the song, and then quickly falls back into the heaviness we all know.

Waterwitch is another noteworthy track on the album, opening with a bad ass doomy riff with amazing reverb on the guitar then continues into some deep and mellow vocals by Lowe. The song as a whole has a dark, creepy feeling to it, with a deep, prominent bass line and mournful tones produced by guitar and vocals, layered ever so perfectly. Siren Song, my favorite on the album, brings in an entire new feeling with an organ, adding the lamentation of the album.

Black As Time ends the album with a spoken word about time and what it means to us all, which undeniably states “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!” then the song opens up with an explosion of beautiful mournful lyrics ending with Lowe screaming Time Is Black.

It really disappoints me to think that this is in fact their last record. I’ve been a fan of everything they have put out over the many years they have been around. This album is most definitely a great way to say farewell to the doom metal world they’ve been a part of for so long… their swansong if you will. Well Candlemass, you will be dearly missed.

[Originally written for themetalreview.com]