artist : Carach Angren
genre : Symphonic Black Metal
year : 2012
‘Where the Corpses Sink Forever’ is a much needed new chapter in the grueling genre of extreme symphonic black metal.
Let’s see what we’ve got here. A symphonic black metal release. This genre, if not the toughest, is one of the toughest ones for a band to dip their hands into. Not only does a band need to think extensively about the songwriting bit but also about fitting of multiple instruments at the same time. Symphonic black metal is a disaster if the compositions do not make sense. Hence the lack of many bands choosing to include ‘symphonic’ to the tag of genres they play even thought they are somewhat close to sounding like one.
Wobbling their way into the dictionary of symphonic bands that the metal world sat up and noticed is Carach Angren. They hail from a country where everything is legal, which is the one and only Netherlands. A debut record like Lammendam had to create ripples, and a follow up album like Death Came Through a Phantom Ship showcased the band’s pliability. With Where the Corpses Sink Forever a third dimension has been added to the band’s resume. One that defies the norms of extremism in the black metal field.
An unconventional intro (An Ominous Recording) with a voice over and some wavy eclectic stuff happening, Carach Angren break into a blazing concoction of tunes on Lingering in an Imprint Haunting. The clear vocal quality of Seregor was, is and would always be working in favor of the band. Little time has passed by since you saw a hybrid composition hit you, and post 2:10 on the same song the tables are turned. In short it’s a ride of musical harmony seeking to make you act deaf and dumb to everything you know about symphonic black metal.
Bitte tötet mich (‘Please kill me’ in German) has such elegant orchestral arrangements by Ardek that could challenge even the most experienced opera composers. Mad apocalyptic rush is in the offering as the album progresses, and we have on our hands the soundtrack for death spiced up with brutality as well as melody. The ghost stories they tell are made interesting by the era they recreate on their songs. Take for instance the grandest and yet the most depressing tale named The Funerary Dirge of a Violinist. The world comes crashing down and the negative surrounding winks at you as the three members release their emotions.
Time for some more experimentation now. Thought Carach Angren cannot stir things up? From screaming verses to growling passages, Sir John carries forward the album with true valor and spunk. You aren’t watching an ordinary exchange of looks between a vocalist and a keyboardist here, but a detailed rendition that broadens the creative perimeters of not just the band, but the genre as well. Spectral Infantry Battalions is groovy, smart and spread over a span of just over two minutes. Cutting down the time was probably the right thing to do at this point in time on the album. Never drag your songs, nor your relationships too much, you know.
Being sublimely groovy, due to the hypersonic beats given by drummer Namtar, is just one part of General Nightmare. The other part contains tricky riffs not overshadowing the dual vocals that are beautifying the track in their own way. Taking away some more life, and adding a few pessimistic notes gives birth to Little Hector what Have You Done?. Complexity laden suspense emerging after every note, and considering all this began with a sweet synth intro helps this track gather a lot of praise. What an evolution of an album that could not be predicted right till the end with yet another song to go. The game’s not over yet, as These Fields Are Lurking presents a thorough report of how many instruments do not always lead to untidiness. Another edge of the seat thriller which leaves you hanging with the solemn sound of piano, violin and dropping water that forms the album’s outro.
Diversity is the need of the hour, and Carach Angren is a cracker of an act, with every capability to topple even the bands that might have influenced them. Continue working in the same way fellas, as the marriage of grim ferocity and interestingly spun haunting stories needs to keep going strong and healthy. Till forever and even after that!
Rating : 4.5/5