“Psalms for the Dead” is the Swedish doom metal legend’s swansong, their 11th album is said to be their final one. They are not meant to be splitting up just concentrating on playing live. “Psalms for the Dead” is released on the 8th June in Europe via Napalm Records
The opening track “Prophet” has the tradition metal feel/ style, along with a great tempo and beat combined with fantastic riffs, ballsy bass lines and nearly clean vocals. It is a great start to the album. The doom laden ‘The Sound Of Dying Demons’ is next up; it is enchantingly eerie and dark with some ghostly snippets!
Before we head into the magical melodic foot stomping ‘Dancing In The Temple (Of The Mad Queen Bee)’ with soaring riffs, quick pace and fanciful lyrics. Which leads us perfectly to ‘Waterwitch’, a great classic style doom laden track with has a grittier vibe and feel to it. We are then treated to the dark but more theatrical style ‘The Lights Of Thebe’, nebulous lyrics along with a great oppressive doom presence and pace.
‘Psalms For The Dead’ the title track, has a powerful deep groove to it, clear melodic vocals reach skyward along with the riffs and beats. It’s a superb track. ‘The Killing Of The Sun’ is the classic Black Sabbath type track, foot stomping beats, resplendent lead and rhythm guitars, deep bass line along with distinctive vocal style and provoking lyrics.
Next we have the similar styled ‘Siren Song’ it calls to you and evokes gothic overtones and visions! This track is where the organ can really be heard. The final track ‘Black As Time’ starts off as spoken passage about time along with the ticking of a clock. Then we are plunged into a solid faultless track, which reminds of me of a combination of Hawkwind meets Monty Python due to the spoken parts and synth, before we reach the end of the album to the sound of the clock ticking…..
A timeless solid doom metal album: that combines a varied array of styles and moods. It is my favorite one with Rowe singing on it. Each track flows easily into each other. Production on the album is superb you can hear everything that is going on in the tracks. The lyrics are mature and balanced, they have a catchy feel and when they are entwined with Robert Lowe decorous and regal vocals, lifted by Lars Johansson and Mats “Mappe” Björkman sublime playing, propelled along with solid pounding beats from Jan Lindh and blistering bass lines from Leif Edling, it is a powerful and felicitous end to their 28 years
Rating – 8.5/10
3. Dancing In The Temple (Of The Mad Queen Bee)
5. The Lights Of Thebe
6. Psalms For The Dead
7. The Killing Of The Sun
8. Siren Song
9. Black As Time
Robert Lowe – lead vocals
Lars Johansson – lead guitars
Mats “Mappe” Björkman – rhythm guitars
Leif Edling – bass
Jan Lindh – drums, percussion