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Mad Symphonies of Grievance and Fear!!! - 100%

dragoth, May 28th, 2014

Carach Angren, the haunting export of the Netherlands return with their third album, 'Where the Corpses Sink Forever', as with all their releases it tells a horror story. This time, the band took it upon themselves to write their own story, telling of war horrors, suicides and cannibalism. Conveying this story through a unique brand of symphonic black metal, this album could possibly be the best output from the band yet.

Vocally, Seregor has a great voice for the purposes, his harsh shrieks and growls are managed so as the lyrics can still be understood through the harsh barrage, his range is reasonable, flitting between high rasps and low death growls. Lyrically, he is no poet, but his lyrics convey the story of the album well-enough for the purposes, for example, some from 'The Funerary Dirge of a Violinist':

'Listen! Don't you hear these mad symphonies of grievance and fear?
Melancholy and despair can be sensed when we draw near.
Some hear a violin sound, others hear a man moaning in tears.
These fields are haunted by nature's most sombre melodies.
Suicidal white noise absorbing the essence from light, mirth and vitality.
These grounds are haunted by reflections from World War II...'

Not quite poetry, but the story is conveyed, which is all that is needed from them.

Instrumentally, the album does a beautiful blend of classical, baroque symphonies of strings, piano, brass, beautifully composed to contrast with the heavy, fast, pounding black metal side, heavy, technical, flowing riffs and tremolo melodies, alongside heavy, fast aggressive blast beats and pounding patterns. The songs evolve beautifully as the they progress, never staying on one riff or melody for long, constantly changing, and never sounding forced, simply flowing as it progresses, making the songs much more interesting and engaging. This album maintains a fair whirlwind speed, rarely going slow at all, maintaining a fair pace throughout, though never getting boring at the speed. All the instruments are played brilliantly as well, all the musicians clearly adept at their parts, the riffs are complex and executed perfectly, the compositions orchestrated perfectly, the keys are technical, and the drums are fast, complex and unrelenting.

What Carach Angren also do, something that many symphonic black metal bands fail in, is finding the perfect balance between symphony and band, an example of this failing would be on Dimmu Borgir's album 'Abrahadabra' where the orchestration took over, and the band sounded like they were featuring, rather than the focus. Carach Angren find this balance perfectly, and stick to it, with melodic orchestration finding its place in the songs, but never becoming too much, the band are always the focus of the tracks.

What this album does successfully is create a dark atmosphere, where all the elements come together to create what makes Carach Angren special, and that is the haunting atmosphere that they create with their storytelling style of symphonic black metal. I'd highly recommend this album to anyone who counts themselves as a black metal fan, or even as a gateway for people wanting to get into black metal.

bitte töte mich!