by Cosmo Lee

Candlelight has signed Woe, Krieg, and Yaotl Mictlan. These are American black metal bands, which is interesting for a European label known for European acts (e.g., Emperor, 1349, and Blut aus Nord).

In recent years, Candlelight has made a concerted effort to sign US black metal bands. Now its roster includes Abigail Williams, Absu, Averse Sefira, Sothis, and the above new signings. (The label also distributes American label Battle Kommand; see here.) These acts vary in quality, but their presence is significant. Americans are pushing black metal beyond the Scandinavian template.

In addition to these bands, acts like Tombs, Krallice, Liturgy, Brown Jenkins, Leviathan, Xasthur, Ludicra, and Agalloch have driven purists crazy by carving out unique styles. Some are stronger than others, and they form no cohesive “scene.” But interesting things are happening in America, and Europe is recognizing that.

Woe – Wake in Mourning

All of Candlelight’s new signings have new albums out this year. I’m excited for Woe’s, as I’ve been listening a lot to 2008’s A Spell for the Death of Man. It’s available here at 320kbps on a pay-what-you-want basis from Communitas Media, which is run by Woe mastermind Chris Grigg. (I wrote about the pay-what-you-want model here.)

Also, Deli Magazine is running a poll for best emerging Philly artist of 2009 here. The poll ends at midnight EST this Friday 1/15. Vote for Woe — it requires just one click, and the chance for the one metal band to win is too good to pass up.