NOVEMBER 6th - 8th 2017



Review By: Metal Mom
Photos By: Char Tupper

Before I go into my review, I want to give you a little background on this band, just so you can get the idea of what they are all about.

The Dutch masters of horror are back with their most epic masterpiece so far. On ‘Dance and Laugh amongst the Rotten’, CARACH ANGREN are painting musical pictures that easily combine the grandiose depth of a Rembrandt with Van Gogh's maelstrom of whirling colours and the utter madness of Bosch. This lusciously seductive dance macabre will drag you in and never let go. They have employed all the sonic colours on their palette to dazzling effect. Their trademark whipping guitars are weaving harsh melodies and sinister soundscapes, which are beautifully contrasted by opulent keyboards and majestic orchestrations. These skills in orchestration are why such musicians like Till Lindemann (RAMMSTEIN) and Peter Tägtgren (PAIN) have called upon the talent of Clemens "Ardek" Wijers. He has a way of telling a story through musical composition, unlike any other. Another signatory counterpoint is provided by Seregor's fierce rasping and shrieking vocals. Adding to the impact, Namtar has become a relentless driving force with his fast paced, yet intricate drumming. Each track on this album is a highlight on its own, while combined 'Dance and Laugh amongst the Rotten' simply shines. With ‘Dance and Laugh amongst the Rotten’, CARACH ANGREN are returning to "pure" storytelling with episodes that are centered on a girl playing a little too long with her Ouija board. The Dutch have pushed their unashamedly theatric style to a new intense height.

CARACH ANGREN set out to tell ghost-stories with a set of paranormal cases recorded on the demo 'The Chase Vault Tragedy' (2004). This was soon followed by the official release of the 'Ethereal Veiled Existence' EP (2005) as a prelude to the haunting 'Lammendam' (2008). The Dutch had a clear vision of combining a dark baroque style of metal with horror based lyrical concepts. Their sophomore full-length 'Death Came through a Phantom Ship' (2010) witnessed the band setting sail to bring their eccentric and capturing live performances to audiences and festivals all over Europe. In the wake of third album 'Where the Corpses Sink Forever' (2012), the haunting had reached the Americas and started to spread rapidly. This recorded added a serious side to the lyrics of CARACH ANGREN. While firmly remaining in the horror genre, their tales revolve around the evils of war. This mature streak was taken a step further with the fourth full-length 'This Is No Fairytale', which is on the surface a darker variation of the "Hansel and Gretel" story from the Brothers Grimm collection, but also deals with the too real topic of child abuse in a dysfunctional family. Let us begin with the live experiences over the past few days, shall we?

First show, Nov. 6th, was in Portland, Oregon at the Bossanova Ballroom, as the HEADLINERS.  Where do I start, hard to wait for their set to begin, and you compare the openers to them, nothing does, especially knowing exactly what will happen when Carach Angren hits that stage. Let me just say, there were not many people there that night, and Portland you missed out on a great live experience. Yes, experience, because you get so much more from this band, the music alone is phenomenal and well put together. You can tell it was masterfully thought out, not thrown together just to put an album out. The stage presence, is unbelievable, they give 150%, and once you see them hit the stage, you are drawn in, they hold your attention, no matter what happens around you. This North American tour, they had a couple of new additions to the stage, one being a ghostly figure that appears every so often, one scared the life out of me, evil ghostly woman. Then turn and you have Clemens moving keyboards, with the ever so creepy face attached.  I was fine until it moved and at a few points, turned towards me and felt like it was looking right at me. I know it isn’t real, but I found myself looking away quick as it gave me chills. Namtar also had a new addition, he brought the iron gate that frames his drums, featured in their latest video, “Charles Francis Coghlan”, which added a haunted feel to the stage as well.  Aside from these additions, the show was all around fantastic, they played most of my favourite songs, and I have to say I was very enthusiastic about that. Just the talent alone, from each of them, Seregor, Ardek, Namtar and the new addition this tour - The Butcher, who commonly only tours with the guys in Europe, first time in North America. They all excelled at their musical talents,  I truly am at a loss for words to explain how phenomenal this band is. You need to see them, to see for yourself. They are making a mark around the world each time they play, they are rising to conquer the horror world of metal, and you need to be there to follow and watch them grow.

Next is the Seattle, Washington show on Tuesday Nov. 7.  This venue, and the lighting were NOT the best place to showcase their talent, or their fine-tuned skills. It was great that here at least there were a ton of people to see and witness firsthand the horror of Carach Angren. A lot of action on the floor with moshers and enthusiastic fans, and I was safely out of their way. I found a spot that was above the crowd, and could see firsthand the incredible, hair-raising, magnificent performance. I find that they are not just any band up there playing, it is a moving theatrical performance. These are some of the reasons I love these guys, you get to enjoy some extraordinary music, and enjoy some stunning performances, it is impressive. Get out there and enjoy before it is too late, and they head home.

Next, Vancouver, BC on November 8th, the MetalTitans stomping grounds, I was excited for this. I knew I would be right up front, and that is another experience on its own, being there, seeing their spectacular stage performances, and listening to the music. The Commodore Ballroom has great lighting, the sound is amazing when you have the right person (Alexi Keito) doing the job, and a huge stage to move around on. This one was going to be the best of the three, saved the best for last. Oh boy was it ever, the set list had changed a little, which I didn’t mind, my favourite songs were still played, in all fairness, pretty much all of their songs are my favourites.  The only disappointment is they are not headlining, meaning a shorter set time, which of course, is never enough. Considering the scale of their show, and how talented they all are, they could probably play all night long, and I would still say it wasn’t enough. I am especially pleased too that Namtar had the gate around his drum kit, reminded me of a Cemetery, he truly is a master at his craft. Clemens had your attention with the moving, head banging around his mysterious creepy keyboard. Seregor, who has a magnificent voice, exceptional growls, stomps around the stage, and for one song has a mask that is astonishing, made you keep your eyes on him. Then The Butcher, who it happens to be his first time over, completed the package with his powerful guitar playing. Like I said before, there is no other band like Carach Angren, when they perform, they have so much to offer their fans. Before I forget the merch gal, Lauren, is a real pleasure to deal with, always happy and smiling and takes the time to help out. Exactly who you want selling your merch.

If you feel a cold sweat trickling down your spine, goosebumps crawling over your skin, your heart skipping a beat or two as if there is a hold on it, then you have experienced Carach Angren. I had the time of my life covering these three shows, and I would do it again, plus more dates if I could do it over.

Remaining Tour Dates for Carach Angren:
Nov 14 Summit Music Hall, Denver, CO    
Nov 15 The Truman, Kansas City, MO    
Nov 17 The Cabooze, Minneapolis, MN     
Nov 18 The Forge, Chicago, IL     
Nov 19 The Majestic, Detroit, MI
Nov 20 Al Rosa Villa, Columbus, OH (** HEADLINER**)    
Nov 21 Mr. Smalls Theatre, Millvale, PA      
Nov 22 The Trocadero Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
Nov 23 The Pinch, Washington, DC (** HEADLINER ** )      
Nov 24 Playstation Theatre, New York, NY      
Nov 25 The Palladium, Worcester, MA     
Nov 26 Anthology, Rochester, NY      
Nov 28 Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, Ontario     
Nov 29 Bronson Centre Ottawa, Ontario    
Nov 30 Imperial, Quebec City, QBC 
Dec 01 Corona Theatre, Montreal, QBC