Review Summary: Carach Angren bend some rules and create a fun concept album.
I think it’s fair to say that Carach Angren are quite an anomaly in black metal. For starters, the band’s sound is very well produced with instruments that sound very clean and loud through the speakers. The band sports a healthy dose of symphonic elements – ala Dimmu Borgir – and the guitars come off as quite melodic as well. What’s more, the vocals are unique in the genre given that Seregor’s screeched lyrics, while at times harsh, are relatively easy to understand and decipher upon first listen; vocal melodies do happen to exist in the songs too, however, the songs are not structured in a verse-chorus-verse format as to offset fans of the genre. If anything, the catchy elements of the music seem to come off as more of a perk than a hindrance. Finally, the lyrics that the band have written for Lammendam are not satanic in nature. Instead, Seregor and crew have written a concept album about the legend of “de Lammendam” - a saga of sorts about a ghost lady in a white dress.
The album starts off with a short introduction track that features the sound of a man running amongst a backdrop of strings and piano. Tracks five and eight follow in like fashion with a short run time, serving their purposes as story telling elements rather than actual songs. These tidbits play into what is advertised as a haunting and chilling tale. In all actuality, the sound of the album comes off as more uplifting and, dare I say, happy in comparison to other black metal. This kind of adds a comical aspect to the music given that the lyrics are indeed meant to be scary. However, one wouldn’t really notice this if they didn’t happen to bother with the subjects of the lyrics in the first place.
When listened to, the music contains clean-sounding black metal riffs amongst a healthy dose of strings. The guitar players are quite skillful and handy at their instruments as they go about the tale with frantic riffs galore and even let off solos every now and then. Likewise, the drummer keeps pace with lightening-fast fills and slower beats depending on the tempo. Speaking of which, quick changes in moods and tempos often occur throughout as displayed in the varied “Haunting Echoes From The Seven”, and since the songs themselves don’t follow typical song structures, the band is free to tell their story however they want. The result is a stagnant record that, despite its characteristic of being relatively easy to listen to, takes a few listens to absorb and predict. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the band remains fresh and pretty unpredictable through the majority of the Lammendam.
More devoted black metal enthusiasts may not give Lammendam a chance since they may think that it bends too many common rules for the music. However, in whatever the band does attempt, they usually succeed. The music is fierce, catchy, and just generally fun to listen to. The members of Carach Angren are all quite adept at their instruments and compose some impressive song landscapes as a result. If anything, the record is a great gateway for new listeners that are interested in getting into black metal. What seem like dabbles in melodic death or symphonic power metal styles, could very well be instrumental for bridging the gap between genres, therefore, shortening the steep curve of time that often takes listeners to fully enjoy the genre.
“Phobic Shadows and Moonlit Meadows”
“Corpse in a Nebulous Creek”
“Malediction de la Madame Blanche”
"Seregor’s screeched lyrics are relatively easy to understand and desipher upn"
Fix "decipher" and "upon".
In other news, you explained the atmosphere great, but I'd like to know more about: were the vocalist's screams clean, or were they brutal grunts? Are the guitars/drums too simple; are they technical; do they contribute to the "black metal" feel etc. You talk about the clean atmosphere so much that it sounds like a hard rock album. Otherwise, I like the rest haha! I pos'd.
the review kinda' seems like it pops back and forth and doesn't really follow a set plan, imo. Then Again I've only written one review, so I don't really have the right to say anything. Overall a good review but doesn't really entice me to check it out.
Although they're fairly similar in some aspects, comparing Carach Angren to bands like Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir generally won't be too much of an incentive for people to check them out. Review was solid other than fluency, you described the album well.
And I'll keep saying this until the end of time: Carach Angren is what bands in the symphonic bm genre should look to for an example of how good they can be, including the aforementioned ones.
Yeah, I recently tried to check out the genre some. This is a good starting place as i can't quite get into the classic bm quite yet. I may or may not in the future. You might enjoy this actually.
I feel so betrayed, Jared, if that is, who you really are, Jared haha
I know man, I feel so ashamed. I've had such an inconsistent year :/ sorry. It's definitely my real name though, I promise. I made up a fake one because Waior said in one of my earlier reviews that I needed a pseudonym so I didn't think I should use my real name. A lot of users seem to use their real ones so I thought what the heck.