JUNE 13th 2017

Review by Char Tupper

It is with great pleasure, to review and listen to the latest CARACH ANGREN creation that is “Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten”. This is the band’s fifth installment and with the help of Peter Tagtgren (Abyss Studios), this one fits right in with the catalogue of this horror inspired, symphonic black metal band out of the Netherlands. The 3-piece band is one hell of a force, they continue to constantly impress me with their music, stage presence, and overall originality. I absolutely love how this band continues to push the envelope and bring their unique sound to a whole other level, unlike any other black metal band out there today. Let me dig deep into some history of this magnificent band.

Forming back in 2003, the trio went from building little ghost houses as children, to now telling their haunting stories of ghosts, horror, and for their latest record, the tale of a girl and playing with her Ouija board, maybe too much? These Dutch masters rule the horror realms and honed into their weapons with pure perfection. Flawlessly entwining orchestration with the piercing blasts of the drum beats and the sharp, crisp vocals that bring these terrifying tales to life, piecing together the sonic colours of this diverse palette we like to call, Carach Angren.

The album leads in with a beautifully written orchestration by Ardek, which is articulate and peaceful, do I dare say, relaxing? Either way, it’s an enchanting piece. The build up slowly becomes more eerie with every passing note, dragging you in, and unable to let go. “Charlie” quickly starts you off with haunting vocals from Seregor, and blasting beats from Namtar, which are all executed perfectly, but not forgetting that haunting orchestra melody hiding in the background like the evil spirit within. The track helps start off the pure story-telling effect that the band flawlessly achieves. Speeding up the tempo, is “Blood Queen”, but even with the faster beats, I still feel captivated and emotionally involved with the tale attached to this track. The melodies are still not just “go as fast as you can”, there is a deeper thought behind the musical aspect behind it all. Listening to Seregor slowly speak in his eerie tone as he sweeps you right into the scene of the story with chilling baby cries, mirror cracking, and his heavy breathing. You almost feel like you breathe heavily with him, as the music accompanies that creepy feeling you are getting, as it slowly builds in suspense, like a good horror film. Before you know it, the record has come to an end, and that eerie feeling that lingers inside you isn’t going anywhere, but at the same time, you are left wanting more.

Each track from this record all stand out from one another, all uniquely diverse, yet when all connected, the album simply shines. If I had to pick a favourite, which is extremely hard with this masterpiece. At this point, the track “Charles Francis Coghlan” stands above the others. Lyrically, it is about the fascinating story of the legendary French Actor, and the fact that his coffin was swept away from its resting place due to the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. Go check out the historical story, it is worth the read, and it brings this song together even more. Knowing a bit of the story behind the lyrics and inspiration, always brings me closer to the music. I truly feel the orchestration in this track is the strongest, bringing together emotions of tranquility, hearing the depth of every note on the violin, piano, everything. The orchestra also releases the feelings of darkness and horror from within, this track truly captivates me.

Carach Angren has once again executed a true masterpiece, creating sinister landscapes while beautifully contrasting the majestic sound of orchestration to tell a breath-taking story of ghostly horrors. The trio has raised the bar to intense new heights and prove once again, that they are the masters of theatrical-styled black metal and rule the throne. Don’t believe me? Press play, and unleash the hellish ghouls into your home…