CARACH ANGREN
Symphonic Black Metal • Netherlands

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Carach Angren (translating to 'Iron Jaws' in Sindarin, an Elvish language from J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth) is a symphonic/melodic black metal band from the Netherlands, formed in 2003. The three original members of the band are Seregor (vocals, guitar), Ardek (keyboards, orchestration) and Namtar (drums). They have not to date, had a permanent bass player. To perform live the band usually employs session musicians.

Carach Angren's lyrics usually focus on mysteries and ghost stories such as those of the Chase Vault in Barbados and the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall in England. They have also dealt with war themes and other dark subject matters on later releases. To date every release of the group has been a concept piece.

Carach Angren's first release was their demo, The Chase Vault Tragedy (2004), which was followed by the self-released EP, Ethereal Veiled Existence (2005). These early releases led to the band signing with
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Where the Corpses Sink ForeverWhere the Corpses Sink Forever
Season of Mist 2012
Audio CD$6.64
$9.24 (used)
LammendamLammendam
Season of Mist 2013
Audio CD$6.59
$8.63 (used)
Death Came Through A Phantom ShipDeath Came Through A Phantom Ship
Season of Mist 2013
Audio CD$8.11
$7.74 (used)
This Is No Fairy TaleThis Is No Fairy Tale
Season of Mist 2015
Audio CD$9.49
$8.99 (used)
Lammendam by Carach Angren (2013-07-23)Lammendam by Carach Angren (2013-07-23)
Season of Mist
Audio CD$46.98
This Is No Fairy Tale by Carach Angren (2015-08-03)This Is No Fairy Tale by Carach Angren (2015-08-03)
Season of Mist
Audio CD$46.98
Where the Corpses Sink Forever by Carach Angren (2012-06-05)Where the Corpses Sink Forever by Carach Angren (2012-06-05)
Season of Mist
Audio CD$48.70
Death Came Through A Phantom Ship by Carach Angren (2013-07-23)Death Came Through A Phantom Ship by Carach Angren (2013-07-23)
Season of Mist
Audio CD$46.98
Lammendam by Season of MistLammendam by Season of Mist
Season of Mist
Audio CD$49.29
Where the Corpses Sink Forever by RED GENERAL CATALOGWhere the Corpses Sink Forever by RED GENERAL CATALOG
RED GENERAL CATALOG
Audio CD$42.15
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CARACH ANGREN Discography

CARACH ANGREN albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.47 | 5 ratings
Lammendam
Symphonic Black Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 4.15 | 13 ratings
Death Came Through a Phantom Ship
Symphonic Black Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 4.16 | 13 ratings
Where The Corpses Sink Forever
Symphonic Black Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 4.35 | 6 ratings
This Is No Fairytale
Symphonic Black Metal 2015

CARACH ANGREN EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.99 | 4 ratings
Ethereal Veiled Existence
Symphonic Black Metal 2005

CARACH ANGREN live albums

CARACH ANGREN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 3.73 | 3 ratings
The Chase Vault Tragedy
Symphonic Black Metal 2004

CARACH ANGREN boxset & compilations

CARACH ANGREN singles (3)

.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
Ethereal Veiled Existence 2011
Symphonic Black Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
Sepulchral Disequilibrium 2011
Symphonic Black Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
The Ghost Of Raynham Hall 2011
Symphonic Black Metal 2011

CARACH ANGREN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

CARACH ANGREN Reviews

CARACH ANGREN Death Came Through a Phantom Ship

Album · 2010 · Symphonic Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
With DEATH CAME THROUGH A PHANTOM SHIP, CARACH ANGREN continued to catch the world’s attention with their unique interpretation of black metal. While most black metal acts tend to emphasize a particular negative emotional response summoning the darkest aspects of depression, fear, evil and the like, this Dutch band took the symphonic route but instead of merely copying obvious influences like Dimmu Borgir or Cradle Of Filth, this band found a niche in the theatrical operatic department. While the vocals are clearly rooted in the black metal world, the musical approach sounds like a black metal opera gone wrong, well wrong in the subject matter. The music is quite adeptly written and performed.

Their second album DEATH CAME… captures their usual black metal fairytale subject matter meets symphonic bombast with this one being an interpretation of “The Flying Dutchman,” which is the legendary cursed ghost ship that was doomed to stay out to sea for eternity. One of the more unique aspects of CARACH ANGREN is that although the lyrics are performed in the typical raspy black metal vocal style, it is actually possible to discern the lyrics and understand the story as it unfolds! How un-kvlt is that?!!

Although i agree with those like me who can tolerate symphonic black metal but find it a precarious balance to maintain a sound that works, i find this album to be an interesting blend of different styles of metal albeit blackened with a nice symphonic backing that serves more as the trampoline for which the metal aspects can bounce off and around rather than the metal itself serving as the backbone. I know this rubs the kvlt crowd in all the wrong ways and likewise any classical music purist would cut their ears off listening to this stuff, but CARACH ANGREN has a way of keeping the musical ideas flowing and therefore interesting.

Although there is a lot to love about this album i can’t quite appreciate it as much as the following “Where The Corpses Sink Forever” where i feel all the elements just gel perfectly together. On DEATH CAME…. all the same elements are present but the balance isn’t quite as honed and the symphonies sometimes feel like a bit of pompous fluff and outstay their welcome. While the black metal is quite well adept at incorporating everything from traditional to thrash aspects of metal and for the most part plays well with its symphonic counterparts, i have to admit that at times it does seem a bit too much like Darkthrone competing with Wagner, nevertheless overall i find enough on DEATH CAME THROUGH A PHANTOM SHIP to enjoy. If you are seeking an eviler-than-fuck type of metal, then run away from this one because this is for those rare breeds who can appreciate a black metal aesthetic coupled with the symphonic compositional skills of a classically trained musician. Not for everyone but rewarding for those who can dig it.

CARACH ANGREN This Is No Fairytale

Album · 2015 · Symphonic Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
This is No Fairytale (2015) is the fourth full-length album by Dutch symphonic black metal act Carach Angren. It's been a few years since the metal world last heard of the trio of Seregor (vocals, guitars), Ardek (keys) and Namtar (drums) with the album Where the Corpses Sink Forever (2012) but with This is No Fairytale the band prove that they are still going as strong as ever and are willing to try new things.

Carach Angren have always made concept albums and This is No Fairytale is no exception. While ghost stories have been a common theme in the past on This is No Fairytale they've explored slightly different territory. From what I can tell from the lyrics this is an extremely twisted version of Hansel and Gretel, hence the album's title, set to Carach Angren's powerful symphonic black metal sound. Musically This is No Fairytale sounds more or less as you'd expect a Carach Angren album to sound in 2015. Ardek's symphonic elements remain some of the best in the business while Seregor's vocals still have that quality to them that makes the lyrics easy to understand and follow. That certainly helps listeners appreciate a concept album like this. The real surprise in the music though is the progressive elements that creep in, which are something new for Carach Angren. They aren't common, this is no full-on progressive black metal release (though that would be something I'd like to hear Carach Angren try their hand at), but when they are there they're pretty overt.

This is No Fairytale strikes me as the sort of concept album that needs to be taken in a single sitting to get the most out of. I feel the same about Where the Corpses Sink Forever. There aren't any specific tracks I want to call out as being highlights, because it's a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

An album like This is No Fairytale isn't for everyone; the lyrical content may be a bit too much for some. But musically it's a really strong symphonic black metal album that very nearly manages to overtake Death Came Through a Phantom Ship (2010) as my favourite by Carach Angren. I guess the only reason it doesn't manage it even is because Death Came Through a Phantom Ship was my first album from the band and had the advantage of the initial wow factor that Carach Angren's music gives off and they've been a more or less business as usual band since. Still this is a business that easily deserves a 4.5 star rating.

CARACH ANGREN Where The Corpses Sink Forever

Album · 2012 · Symphonic Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
I don't know why there is a controversy about symphonic black metal. Black metal in general has evolved as a sub-genre that focuses on ambience, textures and atmosphere. Symphonic touches are a logical extension to include to bring about some of these unique soundscapes. I love the hardcore old school and second wave of black metal but it really puzzles me when long running bands feel like they're cornered and instead of incorporating new ideas they retreat back to the safety zone by calling it retro.

CARACH ANGREN are a band that is not afraid to fully take on the symphonic approach and with their third album WHERE THE CORPSES SINK FOREVER, I think they created a masterpiece. Having been exposed to the band on internet radio, a track from this album really stood out amongst the rest and caught my attention. By taking the symphonic sound that Dimmu Borgir originated, they have successfully cross-pollinated it with the theatrics of King Diamond minus the operatics. By centering the sound around a storyline of a soldier commanded to execute prisoners and then being haunted by their spirits, they have created something of a black metal opera.

An excellent blend of advanced symphonics married with extremely well written and well played black metal with all the blast beats and fury one would hope for. Another plus for this album is in the excellent vocals of Seregor. Unlike most black metal vocals, you can actually understand what he's saying! I thought this was a keeper after the first listen and would've given it 4 stars then but after many listens i'm even more excited about it and am now gonna award this the full 5.

CARACH ANGREN Death Came Through a Phantom Ship

Album · 2010 · Symphonic Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Having really enjoyed Where the Corpses Sink Forever I thought I'd delve into the Carach Angren back catalogue, but Death Came Through a Phantom Ship doesn't quite hit the spot for me in the same way the followup did. It's not that any one particular aspect of the band's black metal take on King Diamond theatricism falls down badly this time around - it's just that a wide range of different factors show a little room for improvement and perform just a little less well than they did on the next album, and the net result of all these little setbacks ultimately hurts the album.

The production, for instance, is a little less good this time around (the mix of the instruments, in particular, isn't great), which is problematic for the style of symphonic black metal these guys are going for, and the instrumental performances interest me less - in particular, Ardek's keyboard work this time around seems rather too cheesy for my tastes. It's not an incompetent release and there's still stuff to enjoy here, but for my part I'd rather just give Where the Corpses Sink Forever another spin.

CARACH ANGREN Where The Corpses Sink Forever

Album · 2012 · Symphonic Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
Where The Corpses Sink Forever is the third album by Dutch symphonic black metal act Carach Angren. Or maybe that should be theatrical black metal, because despite the band’s symphonic leanings theatrical black metal describes their music hell of a lot better than anything else. Like with the group’s two prior releases Lammendam (2008) and Death Came Through a Phantom Ship (2010) Where The Corpses Sink Forever is a concept album. While many bands do concept albums well enough Carach Angren are contenders for the crown of kings of the concept album because of the theatrical way that they deliver their music. Where The Corpses Sink Forever further cements their claim on that crown as their most theatrical release to date.

While previous album Death Came Through a Phantom Ship could be considered theatrical, with the keyboards of Ardek creating perfectly eerie symphonic sounds for the story, Where The Corpses Sink Forever has taken the theatrics up to a whole new level. The music is dramatic, at times epic, at others darkly eerie, and all things considered the album has a very different feel to it than its predecessor. It feels like a stage play with a symphonic black metal backing. The music fits the equally dark lyrical theme and it definitely helps that frontman Seregor has one of the most easily distinguishable growling styles so it’s easy to follow the lyrics of each track and get a rough gist of what is going on. Right from the suitably creepy intro track An Ominous Recording up to the closing These Fields are Lurking (Seven Pairs of Demon Eyes) the album will make you feel as if you’re attending a stage production, and concept wise it definitely feels very well welded together. Death Came Through a Phantom Ship still felt very song based, but here if you tried to take a bit of it out it always feels as if you’re missing something. Where The Corpses Sink Forever is a grand production, and it deserves the dedication that can only be given from full spins.

So surely what with everything I’ve said up until this point we must be talking about the group’s most powerful release yet? Well yes and no. Yes because it’s certainly another high quality outing from Carach Angren which isn’t going to disappoint their fanbase, and conceptually it’s superbly put together, but also no because somehow I can’t help but consider the album inferior to Death Came Through a Phantom Ship. It has a kind of more powerful and direct approach to the music that Where The Corpses Sink Forever forgoes to favour of those theatrics, which I ultimately find to have worked slightly better for the band.

Perhaps one day I may come to regard the album higher, which was in fact my experience with Death Came Through a Phantom Ship. But regardless of my personal feelings if you like black metal with a touch of class and sophistication the you have little excuse to not pick up a copy of Where The Corpses Sink Forever. An exceptional grade rating is still very much deserved.

8.8/10

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))

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