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There's a lot of black metal out in the metal world, particularly in the European scene, but there are very few that can actually capture the listener and grip the souls of the audience. This skill is a very rare gift and only a few bands are able to do so, Carach Angren is one of the few that capture your mind and fill it with darkness, fear, sadness and hate. They've executed this album is such a way that all the tracks become a story, you can't stop at the middle of the album but you must go all the way through the track list, no matter what, in order to feel truly satisfied with this instalment.
The album opens up with the sound of rainfall and ends with the tortured cries of helpless souls, and everything in the middle consists of beautiful, symphonic black metal. Perhaps the darkest I've ever heard. Here's why: the band manage to keep a well-balanced instrumental scheme, meaning that every instrument from the guitars, pianos/synth and drums to the powerful vocals produced by Seregor all play together wonderfully. They've even recorded beautiful melodies from a professional violinist in some of the tracks, preferably "The Funerary Dirge of a Violinist" which is one of the best tracks on this instalment. Ardek's synth work is phenomenal and continues to amaze me with each listen, he's mastered the ability to play along with the speed and melodies of the guitars along with the brutality of the drums, he has the ability to make it sound good on top of that. The drums executed by Namtar are played at a reasonable speed, not too fast yet not too slow. His blast beats fit well with the riff work displayed and they both play well together as a whole. The guitars are perhaps the second most melodic thing next to the synth and violin work, Seregor can play some excellent tunes that really churn the emotions in your heart and soul and it really moves you. It fits well with the songs because most of them dwell on death, in fact almost the entire album itself is based on suicide which can be a touchy subject to some. The melodic solos executed can really change the mood of people, so if you suffer from serious depression and have thought of suicide, then this album may not be for you. Nevertheless, this album really pleased me and I truly think this is rightfully the metal album of the year, without a doubt.
This album is a brutal version of an audiobook, instead of hearing just words you hear music along with dark tales of death, suicide, cannibalism, war and undead soldiers. These stories are so intense that you feel as if you're encountering these experiences yourself with a heavy heart and a fogged conscience. If you should ever encounter this album on your travels, like I have, then buy it with no questions asked. You can always download it but it's always good to have a physical copy of this masterpiece.