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Conrad Dippel meets Mary Shelley - 80%

diogoferreira, July 28th, 2020

Carach Angren arrive with the sixth album “Franckensteina Strataemontanus” and with a new horror story. Recalling Conrad Dippel (1673-1734), a German alchemist, theologian and physician known for his bizarre methods, who inspired Mary Shelley (1797-1851) to write “Frankenstein” (1818), the Dutch band ends up taking inspiration from both of them to create yet another narrative and very unique twists that combine facts and fiction. Over 11 tracks we will witness scientific experiments that seek the elixir of immortality, wandering spirits, vampires and zombies.

Musically, and with Carach Angren having a very particular vision regarding the way they create and insert their orchestrations in relation to the environment and scenery of the story they are telling, “Scourged Ghoul Undead” offers the first sound arrangements with hints of sci- fi, followed by the poignant hammering of the title-track that includes approaches to industrial metal.

“Sewn for Solitude” presents itself with a frenzy of emotions fueled by unrelenting drums and orchestrations that grow from darkness and some disturbing dissonance to a melodic elegance, and “Operation Compass” takes us to a North Africa undermined by II World War in a song that clearly had to have a warlike and martial content - in other words, an obscure imperial march that, with the inclusion of a more melodic segment, that also becomes a waltz condemned by the zombies that will emerge from there.

The eighth “Der Vampir von Nürnberg” happens to be the most complete track and with which we better absorb Carach Angren's creative intent: incisive riffs, terrifying orchestrations (which again, in certain pieces, gives us the sci-fi sense), nuclear drums and diverse vocals ranging from screaming to a fiery speech.

Thus, the return of these emerging storytellers keeps along the same path of previous records, but with some new features that may not be blatantly noticeable - however they do exist. As mentioned, Carach Angren have the ability not to fill their compositions with orchestrations just because it has to be, but because their neoclassical approach and passion demand it - that is, the band is careful to create and use arrangements that provide a service to the narrative and, in the case of “Franckensteina Strataemontanus”, they mix cinematic orchestrations with other tastes alluding to sci-fi. Next, and as much as the guitars have their position in this work with ripping riffs and some determinant leads, Ardek (keyboards) has come forward and made this album their most orchestral, although it may lack some epic melodies and emotionally tragic environments of old songs like “When Crows Tick on Windows” or “Charles Francis Coghlan”. Finally, Seregor presents himself as a very versatile vocalist in the mixture of English with German and in the arduous task of playing the role of several characters with several personalities and vocal implementations.