"As Black as Thy Candles Burn" (Darque Records; 2000)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Based on the band's name alone I was ready to dismiss Blackstorm as second-rate black metal. But as they say, "don't judge a book by its cover" and this was proven to me once again. "As Black As  Thy Candles Burn" is an impressive mini-CD of six songs. Blackstorm's style is combination of black metal and symphonic metal that even hints at gothic and doom at times. 

Although Blackstorm skirt with clichés at times, there is a wild inventive and expanding approach that encompasses a lot of heavy metal styles into their own brand of dark metal. The most remarkable thing about "As Black As Thy Candles Burn" is that it's memorable! Being memorable within black metal is a difficult accomplishment. 

The title track is quite reminiscent of Cradle Of Filth especially the vocals which is dead-on Dani Filth; Cradle Of Filth-like vocals appear once again on "Life Through The Eyes Of The Newborn Prince." However, there's a lot of European melodic sensibility to the tracks as well.  The smooth keyboards recall Dimmu Borgir while the melodic leanings of "Damnation Of Kings" coupled with the gothic Malmsteen-like overtones of "Thorns" shows Blackstorm prepared and willing to make their mark on the symphonic black metal scene. 

The best thing that Blackstorm has going for them is their versatility.  These six tracks provide more than adequate proof that Blackstorm are a talent to be reckoned with. 

"As Black As Thy Candles Burn" was produced by James Murphy (Testament). The production is quite good, but then again we've all come to know and love James Murphy's talents behind the boards. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:11 -0400 .