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Carach Angren's Lammendam will forever be one of the best symphonic black metal albums of all time, to sum up this review from the beginning. I heard some positive reviews from this album and never heard of this band, and when I first gave it a real listen I was completely blown away. This album completely submerses you into the story they tell, and for only a three man band they have an immense sound. The way they tell stories is both a haunting and a theatrical experience of symphonic black metal.
The structure of this concept album is great. It opens up with with a nice intro that brings you right into the middle of the Dutch woods and instills the perfect atmosphere for the whole album. When the first real song busts in one thing you can notice right away is the how well the production is on this album, it's heavy for black metal but not too heavy it's just right. However the only problem I have with the production is the snare drum is very inaudible throughout the whole album, but other then that I love the production on this album. Not to go to in depth on each individual song, some highlights would be "The Carriage Wheel Murder" for its fast and energetic feel, and to the song "Phobic Shadows and Moonlit Meadows" because the song structure is creative and the song itself is just a blast. Every song on this album however is completely empowering and it all flows together perfectly from start to finish.
Now for the instruments, I have only good things to say. The drums are outstanding for black metal, Namtar doesn't just play blast beats for the entire album like the majority of black metal, he really changes it up and has some amazing fills on this album as well. Same applies for Seregor instead of simple typical black metal riffs he is all over the fret board and comes up with some beautifully haunting riffs on here. Ardek is simply amazing, his synths and orchestral work really shapes every song and makes this album so well remembered for me. A problem I have with a lot of symphonic bands is how the synths can be way to involved in the songs, but for Carach Angren every instrument seems to fit in the spotlight appropriately.
Overall, only a few issues I hold with this album but they are very small. This debut is the beginning of one of the most original bands in the recent metal scene and they deserve everyone's full attention.
I've always thought black metal is nothing but a cliché-istic genre and a repeating manner of expressing hatred. These guys proved me wrong. This is a gorgeous piece of art and the most original music I've ever listened to. Carach Angren made something perfect, something so beautiful, and so terrifying at the same time. Their haunting, evil music became very fast a part of my daily black metal fix. Lammendam is the word that stands on my tongue when someone asks me for a good and original black metal album, and I'm not the only one who thinks like this. Just look at the marks they received from their other reviews.
"Lammendam" is a conceptual album regarding a "cheating mistress" and her enraged husband, who kills the fucking cunt when he catches her "cheating with another lad". The lyrics are incredible, so damn well written to captivate the listener, hurling him into the middle of the action and in the middle of the "Moonlit Meadows".
The album is filled with electrocuting guitar riffs and drumming that Dimmu Borgir are praying for every night. Blast beats are placed in the perfect places without destroying the song, letting the keys continue the journey and the vocals rape word for word. And yeah, Seregor's voice is another awesome thing. His voice is definitely black metal, very powerful and evil and adapted perfectly to fit the story he tells.
Forget about Dimmu Borgir, Limbonic Art, and many other bands. Though they were good somewhere back in time, these guys are way more creative and original than every black metal band you've listened to in history. One black metal band who has originality is Vesperian Sorrow, but their songs were deleted from YouTube because they're too busy to listen to Carach Angren. And so am I. And so will be you. And everyone who dares listening to this concrete wall.
There is no doubt Carach Angren has talent. Their structure is always flowing, even from track to track! Introductory songs can often be boring, strange or irrelevant, but Lammendam's "Het Spook Van De Leiffartshof" gives the first time listener an incredible feeling of spooked intrigue, exactly what is aimed for. Hyperventilation, heart beats, running through the woods.... I never listen to track two without listening to it's intro first. Also having two suitable, somewhat eerie interlude tracks and seven "normal" songs, the blend of techniques used to capture attention are MORE than successful.
This CD is rich and powerful. Unlike many other black metal bands, Carach Angren sticks out as being very unique in the sense that they have an extremely crisp, clean, glow in the recording quality. Peaceful or absent at times, the drumming is creative and consistent with the other instruments. Although four of the ten tracks start with blast beats, they never go overboard to destroy the music. There are many strong synths and heavy, sometimes electrocuting guitars. By electrocuting, I mean that it sounds as if someone is being shocked by an electrical box (the last minute in Phobic Shadows And Moonlit Meadows). The mixing gives all instruments their moments to shine, especially the keyboards.
Carach Angren follows one specific theme/legend/story per disc, mostly revolving around supernatural matters. Lammendam's theme is of a "whoreish", two-timing woman before the time of the French Revolution, her ghost's process of forming, and the aftermath of these events. You will hear Lammendam's ghost-like features in parts throughout the album. "Hexed Melting Flesh", a two minute interlude gives the disc a nice fulfilling feeling of terror. Aggressive monologue, burning flames, the sound of a woman coughing faintly in the distance.... Then, screams! This track could also be perceived as an intro for the next song "The Carraige Wheel Murder", which also has some interesting play time around the 2:30 mark.
This frightful exciting sound has caused me to actually have trouble sleeping on more than one occasion, waking up with some of these melodies in my head. Upon wakening, I realize getting up and putting on "Haunting Echoes From The Seventeenth Century" would be a much better alternative than sleeping. This track is probably my most favorite due to the piercing keyboard riffs, (which many times make me feel as if I am falling into the music), the background choir, and the innovative, roller coaster feeling of the guitars. Although the songs are generally quite heavy and the vocalist, Seregor, sounds as if he is giving his throat a good raspy tear, many of the riffs are rather catchy. After a good listen, it is not hard to find yourself with something fun stuck in your head.
The lyrics are captivating and quite impressive. The words "ghost" and "soul" are actually defined in the bands own words in "Heretic Poltergeist Phenomena". Descriptively, each song has it's own section of the saga. It is easy to become engulfed in the album's progress and direction. Occasionally Seregor also bursts out in tantrums with his native tongue, Dutch. In fact, the finale track actually has some French in it as well. This adds to the furiousness of the music. With such repulsively gruesome and sadistic lyrics as "He tastes and smells her burning flesh in his most sickening, hypnotic dreams." and "She suffered like a pig, Oh god, I love this tale to tell!" Carach Angren have shown with their debut that they are limitless when it comes to expressing their style.
The swift collaborating on this album still manages to amaze me, even after numerous full-length listens. I find myself getting sucked into this music and although some songs may have to grow on you, after a few plays, every song should just make sense. This album is fucking awesome, and veering quite a bit from your typical black/death metal style, I recommend this uprising feat of a band to all looking for something unique, haunting, and/or symphonic.
Suggested tracks: Haunting Echoes From The Seventeenth Century, The Carriage Wheel Murder, Corpse In A Nebulous Creek
Carach Angren is a symphonic black metal act from the Netherlands. Promising? Yes indeed. Their type of symphonic black metal is quite different, and is certainly not cheesy. So this is their first album, "Lammendam ", which is a ghost story about the white lady called 'La Madame Blanche'. On with the review...
I certainly like this debut album by the band. One reason is because that it doesn't sound like anything else. Sure, you might see influences from this band or that band, but as a whole, they have created a sound that they own. Eerie symphonies, blast beats, ghost stories, moderately low-sounding guitars, basically the Carach Angren Sound. Although the band doesn't put the listener to a hypnotizing trance, it just proves that they don't base their style of black metal on what has been defined. It’s kind of unorthodox for me actually. Second is that it feels natural, as if the vocalist is just telling a story (with black metal emotions, of course). There are 2 interludes, namely "Phobic Shadows and Moonlit Meadows" and "Invisible Physic Entity", and for me. Those tracks are good additions to the album because they add more beauty on the record. The 2 interludes are eerie enough to recreate a big part of the story behind the album. Third, it sounds majestic, without ruining the eerie keyboard music, especially on some tracks like "Corpse in a Nebulous Creek". The impression that the keyboards give, together with the guitars, is quite big enough. It sets up the sound in the first place. Meanwhile, the vocals give emotion to the songs, which is another essential part of the album (in order not to sound uninspired, of course). Since the lyrics are about the white lady at Lammendam, the raspy vocals fit well. Number four on the list, you won't hear any filler songs. Every single track here is like a puzzle piece; without one of them, the whole thought is incomplete. This is because that each track is like a chapter of a story, so each track complements each other. Although is seems that something's missing, I believe that it is just very small, and therefore not obvious. Last, but definitely not the least, the production. Although you might say that it's too polished for a black metal record, the production, for me, makes it charming. The production makes the songs play smoothly, and besides, it has been a fad for symphonic black metal bands these days.
Overall, it is a good start. Their debut album is filled with much passion from the band members, unlike some poser bands out there. It’s definitely a new take on symphonic black metal, and therefore, a good representative for the genre. For the fans of the genre, go get it!
Lammendam is the first full length opus of Carach Angren. Love, betrayal, murder and ghost stories are the ingredients this band uses to create one of the most epic, horrifying music pieces of all time. This chapter of the White Lady starts with “Het Spook van de Leiffartshof” (The Ghost of the Leiffartshof). We hear a lady that is out of breath, and is running away from something. This is yet the beginning of a horrific tale, with no happy end.
All the works on this record are pleasantly scary. Carach Angren tried to create a certain spooky atmosphere, and with this album they did.
“Lammendam” is about a myth, the White Lady of Lammendam. She used to be a noble lady, but she cheated on her lovers. One killed another and the woman, so this is how the ghost was born.
This story is carried throughout the record. All the songs are like chapters, and it’s a very refreshing way of listening to music. A haunting moment on this album is when Seregor suddenly starts to chant during the song “The Carriage Wheel Murder”. He says :”Kijk mij aan, zodat de duisternis in jouw ziel kan schijnen. Jouw bestaan zal als een tijdloze vloek in de dood verdwijnen!”. This is frightening, but it adds the special effect that this song needed. It means : “Look into my eyes, so the darkness can shine into your soul. Your existence shall disappear like a timeless curse in death!”. Simply amazing.
The music itself is heavily inspired by classical music and black metal. This combination of violins, keyboards, and black metal rampage is one of the best styles I’ve ever heard. Songs like “A Strange Presence Near the Woods”, “The Carriage Wheel Murder” and “La Malédiction de la Dame Blanch” are fine examples of how symphonic black metal should be played.
There is a special role for the keyboards on “Lammendam”. Every single song on it has them, and how! They accompany the rest of the instruments, but what is more important is that they strengthen the pure darkness on this CD. They make this music epic, haunting and even though it’s kind of scary, it’s perfect.
Overall, the entire record is a masterpiece, especially since it’s Carach Angren’s debut album. If you like symphonic (black) metal, you should get this as soon as possible. Do not look away from this, but draw yourself into the Ghost stories of the haunted Lammendam.
Footsteps going through a forest, they keep on going faster, together with haunting piano work they create a very eerie atmosphere that will lead us into the sinister world of Carach Angren.
This dutch trio have made an outstanding effort on their first release, combining raw black metal with epic symphonic piano and keyboard parts, the latter is clearly what makes the album outstanding, the symphonic parts are clearly the highest in the mix here and they dont bother at all, They sound truely haunting and give off a very strong “phantom of the opera” vibe. A good example for this is the song “The Carriage Wheel murder”. The keys fit perfectly with the album's concept and the bands concept in general. Not the overly clichéd lyrics about darkness, satan and misanthrophy that clearly overwhelms most black metal these days. Rather, the band tells us of the dreaded hauntings of Lammendam, eerie history and much more paranormal phenomena, something refreshing and a very cool concept.
The guitar riffs are mostly made out sharp and raw black metal riffs, but heavy pounding riffs are also present which works perfectly with the heaviness of the dark lyricwork. Seregor has a great guitar sound, it's production is clear and not to overdrived, yet it works for the album and is in my opinion nicer for the listener to hear what riffs are played.
The drums on that matter are a bit more straightforward, lots of blastbeats, which are ofcourse essential in this type of metal, but they also consists of great fills and heavy tomwork.
Although i'm not tóó into black metal, i'm pretty fond of the vocals, Seregor does a great job at sounding eerie and evil, yet most of the lyrics are understandable and together with the rest of the music it will give you the feeling that you are trapped in some kind of nightmarish opera house.
Carach Angren really planned on making this a true nightmarish record, and in my opinion they succeeded. One of the finer black metal acts of today.
Get this album, turn all of the lights off, put on your headphones and listen to the ghastly stories of the ghosts, ghouls and spectres of Lammendam.
Anyone familiar with the likes of Bishop of Hexen, Sirius or Vesania won't hear anything they haven't heard before on Carach Angren's debut album, but as far as melodic keyboard-infused black metal goes, you could do far worse. The template is simple: Arcturus-esque vocal theatrics, blast beats, keys that weave in and out in response to the not-so-subtle finger acrobatics of keyboardist/pianist Ardek, and chunky guitars lower in the mix than they probably ought to be.
In spite of this rather two-dimensional formula, Lammendam is a lot of fun. The atmosphere is nightmarish and achieves a sense of hellish chaos which rarely lets up, even when interludes interrupt the metallic going-ons. Carach Angren's obsession with ghosts and the paranormal adds to the otherworldly experience, as the vocals are harsh but the words frequently discernable, the album's eerie concept apparent without the help of a lyrics sheet.
THIS IS THE SAGA OF THE WHITE GHOST HAUNTING LAMMENDAM!
The unswerving blueprint of incessant keyboard melodizing can grow tedious, despite the reasonable play time of roughly forty minutes. Lammendam is definitely not for the minimalistically-minded. To sound theatrical and over-the-top was an obvious goal of these Dutchmen, and nothing here is done half-heartedly. Black metal fans with an appetite for the extravagant may find much to enjoy on Carach Angren's debut effort, but others are likely to roll their eyes at the polished excess. For me, Lammendam is most gratifying in modest doses.