We always save the best for last, don’t we? When CANDLEMASS announced their final studio album I was saddened, they´ve been around as long as I remember metal. Previous outings after MESSIAH´s stormy exit have been a tiny bit uneven, but with shining highlights. And now that Robert Lowe (SOLITUDE AETURNUS) has been ousted I can only regret it. But with Mats Levén on board, the promise of retirement from the studio might end up like JUDAS PRIESTS ditto?
CANDLEMASS 2011 consisted of stalwarts Lasse Johansson and Mats “Masse” Björkman on guitars, Leif Edling on Bass, Janne Lindh on drums and Robert Lowe on vocals. As the massive sound of “Prophet” hit my MP3 headphones I was amazed, so fresh, so true to their past and yet so fabulous. The refrain is dead simple but highly effective. Actually every song on the album is 4-5 star material. The lowest (no pun intended) moment is “Waterwitch”, which has a touch of psychedoom and less force than the rest. The BLACK SABBATH friendly “The Killing of the Sun” is the album´s al time high. The riff, the refrain, the fiery aura…everything falls into place. The keyboards are a notable addition, which may well end up an addiction. “Siren Song” is another magic moment of doom grandeur. “Dancing in the Temple (of the Mad Queen Bee) is also contagious the CANDLEMASS way. The slight DIO or DIO in RAINBOW touches of closing track “Black as Time” and “The Lights of Thebe” are two more signs of what a major league hard rock artist DIO was, and always will be remembered as. I could go on all night, but rest assured. This album is dead certain number one on my Top Ten 2012!
The Sound of Dying Demons
Dancing in the Temple (of the Mad Queen Bee)
The Lights of Thebe
Psalms for the Dead
The Killing of the Sun
Black as Time