Candelabrum - Portals review


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Band: Candelabrum
Album: Portals
Release date: July 2018

01. Towards Death
02. The Axis Of Existence
03. Dusk, Poisoner Of Souls
04. Death Enthroned In White Marble - Part I, II & III

Some people are born in the wrong time period, a time when they feel lost and alienated. The sense of being alienated has been a topic in human art for as long as humans have existed. In a cold cellar somewhere in Portugal, there is a sound of something forgotten in time. Candelabrum is an anonymous Portuguese black metal band; Portals is their second full-length.

For the ordinary metal bloke, Candelabrum's debut Necrotelepathy was totally unlistenable. It sounded very much like underground black metal giants Black Cilice - extreme reverb, bassless, animalistic or totally demented screeching vocals and extreme repetition of repetition. Portals is an album that contains four songs and clocks in at around 30 minutes, and it is a slightly different album from the debut. Don't get me wrong, it's still unlistenable for the uninitiated - an unacceptable piece of art that belongs to a different time - but it doesn't sound like a tribute to Black Cilice anymore. The relentless drums that have become a mainstay in this genre have been moved back in the mix. In the front there are more melody and keyboards, which make this album have a floating melancholic sound that's a bit less chaotic. At times the keyboard is so prevalent that the music sounds like some computer game from the '80s. This is also a more epic album; even if there are songs, they are subordinated as the focus lies on the album as a whole. These are all welcome changes as this style of raw lo-fi, necro black metal needs a bit more diversity.

The cover art on Portals paints a picture of something or someone that's been forgotten and now lives its life entirely in cold cellars. Most music that tries to bring forth another time in existence does that by using an alternative production as a portal, but as with any good magician, it isn't easy to hear exactly what on Portals it is that creates the illusion of listening to another time. As with most necro black metal, this is an album that you have to listen to extremely loud; it is as if the sounds on this album has to be forced out their dungeons by turning up the volume. The album's length is a bit too short and anyone who is fond of this style will probably have this album on repeat as it's a wonderfully tightly knitted album. But beware! The more you listen to this album, the further you are lured down to its creepy abyss...

Music is a discourse and everyone who takes part is obligated to know the rules and follow the rules of what good music is; following rules is called having good taste. Portals is mainly two things: it's an extreme escape from the time it's created in, and, as a result of that, it's also another exemplary attempt to broaden the discourse of black metal. Most metal listeners will just regard this album as something odd and very bad; they probably don't feel alienated, as they live in peace and harmony with the ultra capitalistic rules that metal follows these days. For the rest of us, which isn't many, we who live in cold cellars and smelly dungeons, this is a beautiful release that will take us down to its fathomless abyss and further deepen our alienation.

Written by LuciferOfGayness | 24.08.2018


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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