Review Summary: Carach Angren's third release is a magnificent display of symphonic black metal done superbly, where no musical stone is unturned
Initially formed as a side-project by members of the band Vaultage, Carach Angren have swiftly become one of the better known symphonic black metal bands, shocking listeners with their startling consistency. Vital to their sound is a vast array of beautiful and yet haunting musical textures, from the sweeping keyboard symphonies to the terrifying vocal performance from Seregor. Despite having risen to receive a little underground attention, this band has failed to really push out to a wider audience than the black metal scene, with similar artists such as Cradle Of Filth and Emperor keeping them pinned down underfoot.
After releasing two albums held in high regard by the black metal scene, earning them a spot on the Declaration Of Hate European tour, Carach Angren returned once again in 2012 with their third and final release to date. Where The Corpses Sink Forever is a nine track affair that will absolutely destroy all expectations held by fans of the bands past work. The musical representations of the horrors depicted in their lyrical content is arguably more varied, well structured and savage as ever before, whilst the vocal work goes straight for your throat with a vast array of techniques used to create the ultimate experience. Couple this with a dynamic and theatrical, over-the-top concept written out by the band themselves (instead of the Dutch urban myths used beforehand) and they have themselves a winning formula.
Following a brief and atmospheric introduction that sets the stage for the rest of the album, the first symphonic section of the release are absolutely guaranteed to mesmerize a listener. After around thirty seconds of this, the band unleashes pure chaos. This album is a whirlwind of harsh shrieks, punishing blast beats and a twisting maze of guitar riffs that pummel away at the ears. Perfectly complimenting the brutal mass of fast-paced madness that Carach Angren bring to the table on this release, they showcase a talent for the slower-paced crawling segments of their music as tracks such as Bitte Totet Mich break out. This mixture of the lightning fast ear assault and the more deliberate parts makes for a very varied release that also has a dark and frantic atmosphere that will capture you.
Each track on this album is a masterful display of flawless musicianship that brings something fresh to the experience. Lingering In An Imprint Haunting kicks things off with some violent guitar work and a near-incessant, crazed drum performance. This is a harsh but incredible way to start the album and is a song that shows off every factor of the band that makes them so good. Also central to this song is the lyrical content, delivered masterfully in a visceral vocal performance. Seregor spits every line on each track out with a delivery appropriate to the lyrical content. On what could be the darkest song on the album, Sir John, Seregor approaches his lyrics with a deeper, more guttural growl, whilst on Little Hector What Have You Done he maintains a higher-pitched, more raspy black metal shriek.
Carach Angren's third release completes a trinity of incredible works that stand out as some of the best modern symphonic black metal available. The drummer blasts his way through these songs, annihilating the past works of the band with his varied and controlled fills, whilst the guitar work constantly switches between the tremolo picked favorite guitar lines of most black metal and some well-written, intricate parts. Keyboards and other symphonic work provide the final piece of a well-constructed puzzle and are arguably the icing on the cake here. Where The Corpses Sink Forever is a modern classic that hits hard with spectacular instrumentation across that board and a magnificent vocal performance.