Deus In Absentia
Label: Concord Loma Vista
"He Is" -- a ballad about "star-crossed lovers reaching out to the beast" -- could be these mitre-topped Swedes' "Don't Fear the Reaper." "Devil Church" is self-explanatory. Angels fall far in "From the Pinnacle to the Pit," and in "Majesty" sinners kneel before the evil one to the beat of Iron Butterfly. "Absolution" insists "ever since you were born you've been dying." But if you focus on the beauty (space-age bachelor pad in "Spirit," chamber-group music box in "Spöksonat," extended monk chants ending "Deus in Absentia," organs everywhere), you can forgive the shtick.