Candelabrum (POR) – Nocturnal Trance LP
CANDELABRUM hail from Portugal, renown in the past decade for its polarizing raw black metal scene. The nameless mainman behind the band has been involved within that scene for many years, and even before his native scene found worldwide recognition. And even within that scene/idiom, CANDELABRUM stands alone, enigmatic and electric: his works are slavishly reverential of ancient black metal whilst simultaneously unorthodox. The band’s two albums to date, 2016’s Necrotelepathy and 2018’s Portals, are equally astounding modern classics which emit a strangely shimmering quality amongst an explosion of emotive rawness. Both albums are immersive and mesmerizing experiences unto themselves.
Wisely prizing quality over quantity, CANDELABRUM only emerge from the shadows when a new experience is fully formed and ready to curse/haunt/liberate the listener: at long last, Nocturnal Trance. Truly titled, this third album is a strident synthesis of its monolithic predecessors as well as form meeting content. Conceptually, Nocturnal Trance deals with the same theme of Necrotelepathy and Portals: death and the passage to a different plane, beyond. On those previous CANDELABRUM records, the figure on the front cover is always “moving” – crossing the passage, as it were – but this time, the mainman chose to clearly portray the passage from absolute darkness to an ominous monochromaticism: both a blinding light and a complete lack of it, going beyond darkness and back around to an absence of literally everything.