Candlelight Records is a British record label founded by former Extreme Noise Terror bassist Lee Barrett, specialising in black metal and melodic death metal, distinguishing itself with early releases from influential bands such as Opeth and Emperor. Today Candlelight UK boasts an impressive roster presenting releases from scene luminaries such as Winterfylleth, Ihsahn, Urne and Trna to their dark devotees.
Candlelight Records - An Introduction
Whilst the soubriquet extreme metal may risk scaring off some potential listeners, we urge all music lovers with a broad mind and adventurous palate to sample the music in this article. While there is plenty here to sink the teeth into for fans of heavy metal acts like Bullet For My Valentine and Metallica, fans of post-rockers like Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky and progressive rock heavyweights like Savatage and even Steven Wilson may find reference points that resonate from this vanguard of heavy music innovation.
The label's commitment to alluring vinyl colourways and meticulously presented artwork and packaging are also second-to-none. Open your eyes, ears and minds to bathe in the glow of Candlelight.
Trna - Istok
Describing themselves as a "hurricane full of emotions from North-West of Russia", Trna are pioneers of a style dubbed Celestial Blackgaze. This incredible blackened post-rock 3-piece from Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation formed after the breakup of post-black band PrincPersii, with Andrey Novozhilov (guitar), Anton Gataullin (bass) and Timur Yusupov (drums) having their first rehearsal as a trio in November 2013.
Single premiere 'Shining' serves as a statement of intent for the Istok sound: gargantuan, driving post-rock soundscapes with passionate screamed vocals. The overarching concept of Istok is “nothingness” in the Buddhist sense - the absolute inner peace.
"We travel the road from everyday struggles towards this nothingness, our inner “Istok” and our music is a product of this journey." - Trna
Slated for release on 3rd September 2021, Istok is available to pre-order on CD Transparent Grey Double Vinyl, Metallic Ice Double Vinyl, Baby Blue Double Vinyl and Double Black Vinyl from the Candlelight Records Store.
Necronautical - Slain In The Spirit
Since forming in 2010, Manchester's Necronautical’s name has become well respected among the British black metal underground. Across three albums –2014’s Black Sea Misanthropy, 2016’s The Endurance At Night and 2019’s Candlelight Records debut Apotheosis – their sound has explored the dark side of metal, ambitious and grandiose in its symphonic touches.
With a name meaning 'to explore death', Necronautical are no stranger to exploring the darkness. It’s fitting, then, that on their fourth album, Slain In The Spirit, the band are pushing both their sound and their concept further than ever before. The roaring 'Hypnagogia' finely distils their collision of metallic attack and operatic grandeur.
Slated for release on 20th August September 2021, Slain In The Spirit is available to pre-order on CD, Transparent Amber Double Vinyl and Transparent Amethyst Double Vinyl.
Ihsahn - The Hyperborean Collection (MMVI) – (MMXXI)
More than any other artist to emerge from the fertile black metal scene of the early ‘90s, Ihsahn has firmly established himself as an unpredictable maverick. Frontman and chief composer with the legendary Emperor, he re-wrote the rulebook on epic extreme music across a series of albums that are still widely regarded as classics.
Since his solo debut’s explosive arrival in 2006, Ihsahn has forged fearlessly ahead, conjuring an extraordinary catalogue of ground-breaking albums along the way. The Hyperborean Collection (MMVI) – (MMXXI) is the definitive keepsake of a distinguished career, including seven double LPs, two single LPs, all on 140g ultra-clear vinyl, bringing Ihsahn’s core works in one unique collection, including a 36-page booklet and limited to 1,000 copies. Sample this visualiser for 'Losing Altitude' from Ihsahn's most recent EP release, 2020's Pharos, delivering a tender, sung vocal and building to operatic brutality.
The Hyperborean Collection (MMVI) – (MMXXI) comes with artwork lovingly restored by Dan Capp design and vinyl mastering by Jens Borgren (Opeth, Katatonia, Soilwork).
Urne - Serpent And Sprit
Formed by ex-Hang The Bastard bassist Joe Nally and guitarist Angus Neyra there is no single way that London trio Urne describe their sound. It all comes back to one thing: heavy. There are shades of Metallica, Mastodon, Alice In Chains in there, hopping between sludge, tech-metal, doom and hardcore.
On their debut full-length, Serpent & Spirit their sound is writ large as the work of one of the finest new bands in the British metal underground. It comes with a weighty central concept based around the central character’s struggle as he’s pulled between good and evil, darkness and light.
Once you've scraped yourself off the floor from the power of 'Desolate Heart', pre-order the album on Orange Double Vinyl and CD from the Candlelight Records Store.
ALSO OUT NOW ON CANDLELIGHT RECORDS
October Tide - A Thin Shell (Yellow Vinyl - Ltd Edition)
"Their compositions are tasteful, melancholy but oddly uplifting even at their most depressive moments and this make A Thin Shell the success it is." - AngryMetalGuy.com
Carnal Forge - Testify For My Victims (Gold Vinyl - Ltd Edition)
"Fans of well-written melodic death/thrash metal should have little to complain about." - Blabbermouth.net