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Old January 28th, 2013, 03:17 PM
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Candlemass- Psalms For the Dead

Introduction
Candlemass started out in 1984 in Stolkholm, Sweden, set out for one thing and one thing alone:
To rock the world to its core. Their first album Epicus Doomicus Metalus introduced a layer to the already existant genre of doom metal, with a high level of success. 28 years later and 11 albums, we come to PFTD, their final album. This is literally the end of an era, a time for mourning as metal has truly lost a great contributor to the annals of history it has created. But its also a cause of celebration, as its the best way this band can go out, and possibly their greatest work yet. Let us Begin...
Song Reviews
As this is an album, not much can be said on a whole as much that can be said as each song on an individual level, but as a starter I would like to say the album is solid. Its filling, with no song worth considering filler, all are highlights. The band in general did an excellent job for a final album, and it doesn't feel at all like a band making a final album sounding tired, but an a band giving it their best to say a proper goodbye to their fans, which is exactly why this is the final album Everything in other words that makes this album almost perfect.

Prophet-Great opening song, and completely bombast. Makes you feel very good about what is to come from the album, and the notes it hits are just right. The main riff is catchy, the lyrics are what you expect, and Lowe's vocals are as deep and enchanting as you expect. The main solo grips you, and will make sure you stay to listen to the rest of the album. Not the main song of the album of course, but it does make you wonder as I said what will be. Oh and boy does that question get answered. Boy does it ever.
The Sound of Dying Demons- A fitting title for the song, as of course the song sounds as such. A bit more low key, but not in the least bit unimportant or bad. In fact low key is were Lowe really shines, as his lower pitched growls are were his voice really digs deep into you. As the first song of the album with such, it also gives you on an idea were those less bombast songs will go, and the everlasting notion stays much more. A nostalgic reminder of candlemass this is, and it gives you a better album feel then before, but on an equal level if that makes sense. See of course a band will have newer styles, especially with 28 years of experience, but the older stuff coming up frequently is also a nice reminder to know that they still have it, even if they don't sound like they used to. Anyway, the song has an eerie feel to it, and the middle bit with the sound of nothing but drums is great. Sounds like a song opener, but in the middle its a great break.
Dancing in the Temple(of the mad queen bee)- Story time candlemass, is best candlemass. They get to the point by weaving a story for one song, and one song alone. This story will paint a picture better then anything, and it gives you a higher experience for the song. Quick, and poignant, this song gets you to love it with nothing but style, and by the god's does it work. Style is never something to be used alone, but as I said, this is were they shine. Short Story, Short Song, but oh so excellent. The guitar work is freaking excellent, and as its the song with the most solos, it shines And the hype train keeps going from here!
Waterwitch- There's something about Candlemass and their witches. I dunno if its cause doom flashes images of paganism, or the fact that slow paced doom is the peak, but this song is the album star for me. Its the lowest pitched song, speeding up only the most crucial bits, and Lowe nails the vocals. With nothing but his voice and the faint sound of a guitar in the background to guide you, there is a spell placed on you. The lyrics stick to your mind, and before long you are one with the song. After fast spell breaking solo, the song slows down again to entrance you, and you will never get out of the maze built around you. You are stuck in the device that's built, and you will never get out. Star or not, this song however, is not where the album's deepest, hardest efforts come out. This is in no way the core, but the piece that truly gives you an idea of what is to come. That first bite of glory.
The Lights of Thebes- On continues the path to greatness. Not the true heights of Waterwitch, and in fact is the one song of the album that I truly did not love as much as the others. Not filler, but not exactly a song to love. It might be my dislike for egyptian themed metal songs, the conventional use of a sound that I've heard far too many times does it. Not much to really say about it.
Psalms For the Dead
- The title song. Its excellent. Pretty good beat, and the bass here is simply amazing. Has a proper middle bit that is memorable, and the chorus has a good feel to it. I love how it truly feels like a church psalm in that bit, even if it has an electric guitar in the background. The closing guitar is the true highlight however, right before the closing vocals which pair up nicely. Its actually pretty awesome the way it closes, because it doesn't use the chorus, but the main lyrics instead.
The Killing of the Sun- The storm before the calm. The preparation for liftoff. What follows this is what I was talking about all album, but that is not this. This however is a pretty solid song, with a noteworthy melody,and some pretty awesome lyrics. Short for what its offering, but its enough. The song is at an almost perfect length, perhaps needing a couple seconds for that ending. The main bass is catchy as is most of the bass in the album, and its pretty consistent as a song. Nothing truly noteworthy, perhaps maybe the middle. Its literally a one pony trick song.
Siren Song- Hoo Boy, we made it. Here it is, the song of the album. The meat, the core, the true effort unveiled. Its probably the most progiest thing to have come from Candlemass, and that isn't a bad thing at all. There is a prominent background organ that's on the same key from the opening, and the otherworldly feel it gives to the song is truly perfect. The organ/guitar dual solo is sublime, with it truly opening up your mind, and and permanently settling itself in there. Not even Black As Time,which ends the album on a note as high as the opening song, can compete with what this song offerss. From 4 minutes on its just relentless until it closes, and you will literally be able to hear a continuation of a song that has no more to offer.
Black As Time-Bar the hilariously cheesy narrative, this is a great way to give us a final song, a final goodbye. Album closers are truly something special, and indeed this is no exception. While I do consider this an excellent song, there is a reason why I did not see this as the main song, as is Siren Song. See, its too spaced out, with a pretty long guitar solo coupled with another narrative (albeit small), and that opening does not help. The rest of the song clocks out to about 3 minutes of a 7 minute song, and it shows. Those bits work, but work in their 3 minutes. If the song was longer, I doubt much more could have been done with it, and its sad considering how more needed to be done with it. Again, not terrible, but excellent, for what it offers, but very lacking.
Closing Statement
An end of an era this is. Truly iconic, and stopping were they know they need to stop, Candlemass have done it. They have given us a final album worth loving, not hating, because they knew where to stop. And that much as I said in the beginning, is a cause of celebration. Not because its the best, not because it does something others haven't, but because they truly gave us their all, and we should award this album all the love and respect it deserves, and let the band go out with a bang. Rock on Everyone!
Overall, the album is a solid 9/10