Archive for Candlelight Records

Ihsahn – Arktis

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 25th March 2016 by mickbirchy

Ihsahn
Arktis
Symphonic Black Metal, Progressive Metal
Released: 8 April 2016
via Candlelight Records

I’ll admit this wouldn’t usually be my cup of tea. However I do love listening Emperor and since Ihsahn embarked on his solo journey in 2006,  I have been inclined to listen to his music in the same way. I wouldn’t call myself a fan per say, but I do listen to his music every once in awhile and I like what I hear. So when his new album Arktis fell in my lap, I was curious to hear the next chapter in his evolution. Ihsahn should need no introduction to the metal community, he is a pure force to be reckoned with.  His writing is slick, matching heavy tones with brutal melodies like it was child’s play and believe me there is no difference with this record.

Arktis, sounds really nice straight from the get go. Ihsahn wastes no time in with the opening songs Disassembled and Mass Darkness, it just has that overpowering grandeur, that we have come to expect from his music. The heavy verses bleed into the melodic choruses and the production is on top form nothing feels out of place.  The music surrounds you and you can really get lost in the sounds. Ihsahn’s vocals have a heavy impact and the guttural vocals scream with power whilst the clean vocals are a little unsettling, in a good way. I think Ihsahn want to make you feel unsettled in parts of this album, like on the track South Winds, mixing the heavy metal with that mind-melting progressive stylings. Everything about this album speaks to his talent for writing and producing great work. When I was listening to the album, I got the same feeling of listening to Emperor’s Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise, I’m not saying it sounds anything like that album but I get the feeling that I’m listening to something that will stick with me for a long time, which that album did (and still does).

The melodies a beautifully crafted and entrancing.  Designed to keep you hooked to the album, with great riff work too.  My favourite riff on the album being Until I Dissolve Too, purely for it’s catchy sound and distance from the rest of the song, so it sticks out more. The more progressive moment on this album somewhat lose me as it’s a little too jarring to my ear, however, for someone who is used to progressive metal will probably love the way the sound twists and turns around in the production.  The guitar work is superb it always sounds good when it comes in. The keys and synth are a little too overused for my liking and sometimes they don’t really fit the music at times like on Pressure, again maybe that’s just me but it’s quite distracting.  However when the keyboard parts work, they really work.

Is this a great album.  For me it’s good and certainly will be on my playlist for the majority of 2016. For the average music fan who may not be really into this sort of music I really couldn’t recommend it.  I would say start with Ihsahn’s earlier work then work their way to this or just stay away from this type of music in general.  It was definitely something different and I’m glad that I have returned to his work after a bit of a break.  If you’re a fan or someone that may like this type of sound then I would say check it out.

3/5

Mick Birchall

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Orange Goblin reveal details on upcoming album, including 1st track

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 17th August 2014 by mickbirchy

So, Orange Goblin will be back with a new record in 2014, titled “Back From The Abyss”. This will be the eighth studio album from the band since 1997. To celebrate this, Orange Goblin will be premiering the new song “The Devil’s Whip” on British radio, midnight on Monday 18 August on the BBC Radio 1 Rock/Metal show with Daniel P Carter. If you just can’t wait until then the song is also streaming on Loudwire. So go check it out here.

The song is simply awesome, it really has a true Motörhead vibe to it.  Joe Hoare’s guitar riffs are sounding better than ever. “Back From The Abyss” will be released October 7th 2014 on Candlelight Records. The band have also released the artwork:

OG Back From The Abyss artwork

This is an exciting time, since the release of 2012’s “A Eulogy for the Damned”, Orange Goblin have been gaining some serious momentum, which is a good thing as they’re a band that have been constantly and consistently working since their debut.  Last year they did a big tour in the UK, with Airbourne, and this year they have been tearing up the summer festivals all across Europe. Also, starting in October, they will be doing a massive European/UK tour with Saint Vitus. That is a show you don’t want to miss. Tour dates below.

October 2014

Thu 9th – Le Grillen, Colmar, FRANCE
Fri 10th – CCM John Lennon, Limoges, FRANCE
Sat 11th – Day of Doom Festival, Barcelona, SPAIN
Sun 12th – Shoko, Madrid, SPAIN
Mon 13th – RCA Club, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Wed 15th – Kafe Antzokia, Bilbao, SPAIN
Thu 16th – Le Krakatoa, Bordeaux, FRANCE
Fri 17th – L’Usine, Geneva, SWITZERLAND
Sat 18th – Bloom Club, Mezzago, ITALY
Sun 19th – Traffic Live, Rome, ITALY
Mon 20th – Locomotiv Club, Bologna, ITALY
Tue 21st – Salzhaus, Winterthur, SWITZERLAND
Wed 22nd – Backstage Halle, Munich, GERMANY
Thu 23rd – Garage, Saarbrucken, GERMANY
Fri 24th – Le Fleche D’Or, Paris, FRANCE
Sat 25th – Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing, FRANCE
Sun 26th – Biebob, Vosselaar, BELGIUM
Tue 28th – The Fleece, Bristol, ENGLAND
Wed 29th – Heaven, London, ENGLAND
Thu 30th – Button Factory, Dublin, REP. OF IRELAND
Fri 31st – Limelight 2, Belfast, NORTHERN IRELAND

November 2014

Sat 1st – Damnation Festival, Leeds, ENGLAND
Sun 2nd – Dutch Doom Days Fest – Rotterdam, HOLLAND
Mon 3rd – Luxor, Koln, GERMANY
Tue 4th – Beatpol, Dresden, GERMANY
Wed 5th – Fabryka, Krakow, POLAND
Thu 6th – SO36, Berlin, GERMANY
Fri 7th – Babel, Malmo, SWEDEN
Sat 8th – Debaser Strand, Stockholm, SWEDEN
Sun 9th – Parkteatret, Oslo, NORWAY
Tue 11th – Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg, SWEDEN
Wed 12th – Knust / Grunspan, Hamburg, GERMANY
Thu 13th – Rosenhof, Osnabrueck, GERMANY
Fri 14th – F-Haus, Jena, GERMANY
Sat 15th – Hammer Of Doom Festival, Wurzburg, GERMANY

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Corrosion of Conformity – IX

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 23rd June 2014 by hammersmashedlauren

Corrosion of Conformity

IX

Released: June 24th, 2014

Stoner/Sludge Metal

Released via Candlelight Records

 

 

With the release of IX, Corrosion of Conformity have delivered another hard hitting album filled with crushing riffs and distinct vocals that are enough to please any old or new school fan. While this kind of metal isn’t my particular favorite, this album kept me interested and wanting more the whole time I was listening to it. The songs vary from super slow, heavy riffs that almost sound doomy to fast finger taps and harsher vocals with a hint of thrash and punk traces throughout.

My particular favorite songs on this album are the faster songs, specifically, Denmark Vesey and The Nectar, since they were the most memorable and the easiest for me to bang my head to. However, I was quite surprised at how much I liked the slower stuff as well.

The only problem I had with this album was with the first song, Brand New Sleep. It was my least favorite only because I felt like it dragged on too long. With it being the first song, I had doubts about how interesting IX was going to be. I gave it a chance, though, and ended up loving the rest of the album. I feel like it’s one of those albums that will eventually grow on me the more that I listen to it.

Overall, I found this to be a great listen. The production and musicianship were both solid on this album and I hope Corrosion of Conformity continue to put out heavier music.

 

4/5

Lauren Gowdy

Sigiriya – Darkness Died Today

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 11th May 2014 by Paul

Sigiriya
Darkness Died Today
Released April 21st, 2014
Stoner metal
Released via Candlelight Records

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Sigiriya’s new album is called Darkness Died Today, which isn’t a very Heavy Metal sounding title, but don’t be fooled; this is straight up Stoner Metal. The band hail from Wales, not a country particularly known for its contributions to Metal unless you’re a huge fan of Bullet For My Valentine or you think that Budgie are the best thing since powdered milk. Fortunately the Welsh are not ones to let the team down, and when they do strap on some guitars to make some Heavy Metal noise they do it well. Case in point: This album.

On the face of it, you might expect some Pentagram and early Doom influences from this band, judging by their logo. Whilst it’s certainly heavy as hell and full of fuzz, this album only flirts with dark and doomy riffs and mostly chugs along on a well thought out Retro-Rock riff-fest. The style hits the sweet spot between Heavy Metal and Classic Rock, in the classical Stoner Rock tradition.

The band doesn’t sound particularly unique, but I don’t think that is what most Stoner Metal fans are looking for anyway. At 38 minutes in length this record doesn’t overstay its welcome or get too boring, though some of the songs may be a bit droning at times. The band can write generic rock hits but they can also segue into something monumentally heavy every now and then that may surprise the listener. Every time the album threatens to slow down and get tedious, the band pulls another rabbit out of the hat and hits you hard with a great riff that will get your head banging or at least your foot tapping.

Like the bird on the cover, the album soars through a smoky wasteland – a wasteland of cool desert rock riffs and a thick heavy atmosphere. All around a good listen and a solid album. Highly recommended.

3.9/5

Paul Gibbins

Cnoc an Tursa – The Giants of Auld

Posted in CD, Folk, Metal, North of the Wall with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2nd March 2013 by underthenorthernstar

Cnoc an Tursa
“The Giants of Auld”
Released: 25th February 2013
Folk/Black Metal
Released via Candlelight records

I’ve been waiting for the new Cnoc an Tursa album to be released for a good while now; their 2008 demo has sterling songwriting, and their sound was begging for a bigger release. So when I heard that they had been signed to Candlelight Records in October last year, I started getting excited; the number of folk/black metal bands who have released near-perfect albums on candlelight is staggering – Winterfylleth, Wodensthrone, Falloch, Altar of Plagues, the list goes on. So, what was the result of such an immaculate pairing? The newly released The Giants of Auld, of course.

With a scream of “Sons of Alba, rise in the face of tyranny!” the album begins. And what an album; the sound is an intense blend of folky melodies, intense black metal and haunting, deeply emotional choirs and flute – the closing track, Blаr na h-Eaglaise Brice, is a purely instrumental, minimalistic celtic folk piece, and one of the best of its kind that I have heard – bringing together a hugely immersive atmosphere. Despite Cnoc an Tursa not being a band in quite the same pigeonhole as their contemporaries, the achieve a very similar sound that, to me, is equally conveying of the band’s passion for its country’s history. One could be forgiven for worrying, having listened to the 2008 demo, that their earlier songs (which, for the most part, comprise the first half of the album) could have become over produced, too clean. Thankfully, this is not a problem; the album is not without an edge, not without its humanity.

The songwriting (let me leave no doubts about this) is flawless. The Lion of Scotland and Hail Land of my Fathers are completely full of hooks, and you will find yourself humming each and every individual melody in those songs, which is something very hard to achieve on what is very predominantly a black metal album. Something that this album “gets”, is that you can have huge, catchy melodies without being at all cheesy. I never for one moment found myself saying that a particular section was misplaced. In addition to this, the band never lets melody cheapen the album; a problem that many bands have is they oversaturate their sound with keys, making the songs “catchy”, but far less powerful. Keys are definitely present in this album, but they very much provide a supporting role, building the sound from the foundations up.

So, I have not been disappointed; more encouraged. Cnoc an Tursa continue to be a fantastic band. This album is consistent, immersive, and above all, genuine. Very few metal bands can communicate quite this level of passion through their music, and I will come back to this album time and time again. Fantastic work, and one of the best releases of the year from one of the best bands to come out of Scotland.

5/5
Alasdair “Scotch Egg” Dunn

The Devil – The Devil

Posted in CD, Experimental, Metal with tags , , , , , on 10th December 2012 by underthenorthernstar

 

The Devil
The Devil
Released November 12th, 2012
Experimental Black Metal
Candlelight Records

 

So! I do love a bit of home-grown British metal, and with the recent release of both Old Corpse Road and Winterfylleth’s astounding new albums, it seems to be a very good time for British black metal. As you can imagine, I was pleased enough to discover that Candlelight records had just signed and released the first album of an enigmatic new band, called The Devil, who have chosen, like the humongously popular Ghost, to remain completely anonymous. Before reviewing this, their debut, self-titled album, I knew nothing of them, and it’s safe to say that all I know now is that they play some fairly interesting experimental black metal.
An extremely unconventional and instantly noticeable trait seen here is that no real vocals are used until the 6th track, and even then, it is only a spoken word section. Instead, the songs are filled with recordings of news bulletins, political speeches, and even the moon landings. It’s hard to distinguish one song on this album from another – they do tend to flow together. It does serve to an extent to immerse the listener, but is still just far too repetitive to warrant it. I felt very much like there should have been some kind of building atmosphere, but it just… didn’t quite materialise. The music is very minimalistic – drums rarely shift from a simple 4/4 pattern, never once going into blastbeat territory, nor even really making much use of double bass. The guitars are simplistic, and riffs are rare, if they appear at all. Choirs often meander through the background, filling out the fairly small sound, but are nowhere near the epic end of the scale.

When it comes to production, everything sounds clean; perhaps a little too clean, a bit too studio-made. Call me a traditionalist, but the music is just far too polished. It’s not REAL enough. Everything is clear, and clean, but it seems like a very shallow sound.

The whole album… frustrates me. I want it to go somewhere that it stalwartly refuses to go. No real Crescendo, no climax… it just wanders about for its duration and fritters away. Nothing stands out, nothing really changes. While it’s interesting, and indulges in some unusual ideas, it’s just not enough to be a bit odd, minimalistic and Anonymous. Maybe I just don’t get it, but I’ve heard far superior atmospheric, “experimental” black metal, and this just doesn’t cut it. A mask doesn’t make you good.

1.8/5

Alasdair “Scotch Egg” Dunn

Nine Covens – On The Coming of Light

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 11th October 2012 by Paul

Nine Covens
On The Coming of Light
Released November 12th, 2012
Black Metal
Released via Candlelight Records

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Nine Covens are a Black Metal band from the UK, a place not known for a particularly vibrant Black Metal scene, despite one or two hidden gems scattered here and there for those with an interest in this particular scene. Are Nine Covens one of those gems? Perhaps. I have yet to listen to their previous effort “…On The Coming of Darkness” in full yet, but I have read mixed reviews and heard enough to gain a general idea of what this band are all about: a more or less traditional, no nonsense Black Metal band with a lot of ideas and interesting lyrical themes. This release feels like a much more straight forward and focussed effort. Gone are the unnecessarily long song titles and now the band are represented by a much more slick piece of album artwork that wouldn’t look entirely out of place on the cover of say – Behemoth’s next release.

By glancing at the album cover and somewhat unconventional song titles, it might be a good guess that this is a band trying to emulate the new wave quasi-religious, occult avant-garde Black Metal, mostly centred on French acts Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell Omega. Well not quite. Whilst I can’t really guess at what half the lyrics are (this is Black Metal after all and the lyrics aren’t entirely discernible), I can tell you that musically this is much closer to the traditional fair that your average Black Metal fan will expect. Aside from a few interesting flourishes here and there, it is a more or less straight forward take on the genre that has been done a thousand times. Every now and then an unorthodox riff will kick in or the vocalist (/s?) will incorporate some deeper vocals more in the style of Death Metal than the typical shrieks – which are done quite well – that are present throughout this album. At its best, it’s quite interesting; at its worst it is boringly average (though it is simply average and never actually bad). A standout track for me was “White Star Acception”, but there is plenty for listeners to find here.

Although played at a fast pace for much of the album, The band do quite a good job of creating an often droning sound that slowly shifts the song forward, lending the songs a feeling of mystery and longing; however very few of the songs cross the five minute mark and the pacing of this album never feels self-indulgent, as a lot of bands that incorporate these droning tremolo riffs tend to do. At times there is a feeling of something more epic and supernatural. This rarely feels like “angry” or “blasphemous” Black Metal on display here, instead it seems to be trying to communicate something much more hypnotic and profound, and I think that for the most part it succeeds in this.

The band have chosen to remain anonymous, letting the music do the talking. It more or less pays off. I am sometimes left wondering if this band might achieve a more noteworthy style if they pushed the boat out a bit more. There are obviously some interesting ideas here and a lot of thought has been put into the crafting of this release, however not all modern Black Metal should be completely unpredictable or avant-garde. Obviously meant as a sequel to …On The Coming of Darkness this is a record defined by confident song writing and interesting themes. Time will tell whether or not this becomes a cherished classic of the genre, but it is certainly one of the more interesting Black Metal releases I have heard from the United Kingdom.

3.6/5

Paul Gibbins