Candlelight Records showcase their roster in Manchester, but does it work. Also, Tom Geddes talks to Orange Goblin.
Gigs based around record labels can go badly wrong. At one end you have labels with too much in the way of diversity, leaving no common thread to hold the show together. At the other, you have overly-specialised niche labels, giving no variation throughout the night. It’s a delicate balance, which many struggle to get right. Candlefest however, might have gotten it just right, showcasing Candlelight Records impressive roster of varying metal.
In a line-up with a core of black and death metal, it’s not hard to spot the flops. Eastern Front were one of them. Whilst aggression may seem the obvious route for metal bands to go down, Eastern Front couldn’t hold it all together. What could have been a well crafted, atmospheric blast was presented as a garbled mess of loud noises. It doesn’t help their cause that the frontman wore spiked gloves. It all came across as a little posey.
Best of the under-card were undoubtedly Xerath and October File. Xerath’s symphonic style presented a nice melodic break to the day, without sparing any of the power that was present throughout the acts. October File brought a refreshing mix of skilfully executed post-punk metal, battering out numbers with impressive pace.
Manchester only headliners Orange Goblin inevitably stole the show. Constantly smashing it through their short set, their tempo didn’t drop below frantic once. Classics, such as ‘Some You Win, Some You Lose’ and ‘Quincy the Pigboy’ slayed as ever, but the real highlights of the set were the showcasing of three tracks from next years A Eulogy for the Damned, storming effort ‘Red Tide Rising’ being the best of these. Rounding things off with guaranteed circle pit starter, ‘Scorpionica’ crowned an impressive performance, of which the only sour point was the short length.