Carach Angren (/ˈkɑːrɑːk ˈɑːnɡrɛn/ kah-rahk ahn-gren) is a symphonic black metal band from the Netherlands, formed by two members of the now-defunct bands Inger Indolia and Vaultage. They have three steady members with previously frequent guest appearances for the violin parts. Their style is characterized by prominent use of orchestral arrangements. All of their studio albums are concept albums with lyrics based on ghost stories and folk lore, such as Flying Dutchman. They set themselves apart from other symphonic black metal artists in showcasing songs often using multiple languages apart from English, such as French, German and Dutch, though every song does use English as a baseline and certain choruses or sections will make the transition.
Once Upon A Time—-Grand whispers and piano chords usher in a huge oboe concerto to begin this track with mystic and an eerie calm. Backdrop female vocals further deepen the mystery and the anticipation as this track melds into….
There’s No Place Like Home—-Pure madness kicks off this track as the vocals smack you in the face with brutality and anger. The mix of grandiosity and pure heavy metal serve as a huge contrast with the horrible story and the insane vocal. This is loaded with something for everyone. Huge…brutal and epic.
When Crows Tick On Windows—-Jaunty instrumentation and orchestration begins this track but is rapidly interrupted by a bellow from hell. The band kicks into full gear…a deep bass line power driving the entire thing right through your forehead. The vocal is evil…beastly and other-worldly. The huge mix of brutal metal and orchestration is a constant assault on the ears….but the contrast makes for a huge, interesting journey.And these lyrics…..wow!!!!
Two Flies Flew Into A Black Sugar Cobweb—-Allowing a slight respite from the brutality…it only last a few seconds, before the band is back in full gear once again. The tales told are evil….dark and preposterous…..but make for good fodder set to this savage music. The vocal is so intense…makes me wonder how the hell he manages to sing like this for a whole show. The drums are immaculate…the bass player one of the best I have heard. The pace of the music is relentless…the occasional strings trying to soften the bits of glass you must swallow.
Dreaming Of A Nightmare In Eden—-Beginning with an odd almost Nursery Rhyme type intro, the strings are in sharp contrast with the voice. There are a few ‘clean’ vocals on this track…if you can call them that…this is odd…but full of darkness…grandiosity and pure evil. The vivid lyrical imagery is spectacular. Hansel And Gretel…..modernized.
Possessed By A Craft Of Witchery—-Returning to huge sounds and grand flourishes from orchestration and guitars,the drums are fantastic. The vocal is as much of this release….like a possessed demon spitting gravel from its deepest gut. The lead guitars are just incredible….making melody from squeals and squelches. The track ebbs and flows…but never loses steam. Just immaculate!
Killed & Served By The Devil—-Starting off with a false mellow tone, the mayhem is not far off. The songs, at this point on the release, all begin to sound the same. There is a bit of a lack of diversity. The band, if nothing else, stays true to form…never relenting or letting up from the incredible dark tales that it tells. This is like a huge mystical evil novel….brought to life.
The Witch Perished In Flames—-With a slight respite at the intro of the track, the peace is only temporary and momentary. The mayhem and dark tale is quick to follow….the tales of darkness all seemingly to involve children[?]. This is not a bad track…but it seems a bit too settled and mechanical. But the lyrics…..DAMN!!!
Tragedy After All—-Rounding off the proper release without losing a bit of steam, this track fits in with every other song on this release. This just all suffers from ‘sameness’…..it is like listening to one song that lasts for an hour. There is little variation or experimentation. I’m sure true fans of the band would herald this release….for me….it got a bit old after 4 songs or so.
Dreaming Of A Nightmare In Eden [Orchestral]—-Much as you would expect, this is like a play on a stage with grand strings and huge movements. Not differing too far from the original….it is only the lack of the spoken word that differentiates it…this is like a huge brilliant movement. Superb!
*** out of 5