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