Carach Angren // Where the Corpses Sink Forever
Rating:  4.0/5.0 — Wet but wonderful
Label:  Season of the Mist
Websites: carach-angren.nl  |  myspace.com
Release Dates:  Out now!
Written By: Madam X

As I understand it, Carach Angren is a fortified pass in North-Western Mordor.  I have to wonder if this pass is as darkly romantic and complex to negotiate as this the latest offering by Carach Angren [I'm not sure any parts of Mordor are known for their romantic ambiance - AMG]. Anybody familiar with this Dutch band’s symphonic black metal style know that their albums follow a concept, story-book plot.  Where the Corpses Sink Forever is no different.  Despite following a tried and tested path, I found this 45 minute album far from boring.  In fact it had me in its dark clutches right from the start.

The first track opens with the eerie sound of rain falling and Ardek’s keyboard arrangement backing a diary account that goes a little something like this: “Sunday, October 3rd, 6 pm.  Rain.  I was ordered to execute seven prisoners, lined up, blind-folded and chained to a stake in a field.  It seemed as if my bullets couldn’t reach them.  Instead the seven grinned, and seven horrible visions of war, one-by-one captured my soul.”  Gunshot after gunshot after gunshot you can’t help but keep listening.  Aptly the track’s titled “An Ominous Recording.”  Yeah, I’ll give them that, it certainly sets an ominous tone.

Queue strings and orchestra, in wanders “Lingering in an Imprint Haunting.”  The pace picks up and Seregor makes his long-awaited appearance.  Seregor’s theatrical, but still traditional black metal style vocals and melodic guitar riffs lend to a memorable song that I felt the desire to return to again and again.  I’ll unashamedly admit thought that it was the next track, “Bitte Totet Mich,” that earned itself some serious repeat play with me.  After hearing Seregor’s opening scream well, go on I dare you, try to play it just once!

And that leads me to what was for me the greatest track on the album, “The Funerary Dirge of a Violinist.”  It’s the longest track on the album, clocking in at just under 8:30.  Around the 1:44 mark the violin kicks in.  I don’t know if it’s just me, but adding violin to metal is an instant win.  The song goes through tempo shifts, vocal and instrumentation changes aplenty, keeping it an exciting listen right until the bitter end.

While the remaining songs flow comfortably from one to the next, at no time do you experience boredom.   Maybe this is in part due to the well placed maniacal laughter?  I found it a little too contagious myself.  Have a listen to the 3:04 minute mark of “Sir John,” you won’t regret it.

I found the production quality of this album outstanding.  From the symphonic elements to the sound of falling rain and the eerie sound of gun shots, nothing’s left to the imagination.  Seregor holds nothing back with his gut wrenching vocals and I found myself waiting for each and every lunatic scream.   Thankfully, at no time does the album sound over produced.  I can’t think of a single thing that I would  want Carach Angren to have done differently here.  I haven’t yet found details on the lyrics behind Where the Corpses Sink Forever.   I won’t give up though, my search must go on.

If you love the sound of maniacal laughter, screams of death, ghost stories and water, then this is an album you won’t want to miss.  As Seregor so aptly puts it inGeneral NightmareAttack! Attack! Attack!”  Who am I to argue.  I plan to keep attacking this album with much gusto.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=823035384 Dean Hili

    this band is yet to put a foot wrong in my opinion. i only discovered them a couple of months ago, but their albums are indeed musical masterpieces, totally gripping, very addictive. theatrical elements mixed in with traditional black metal elements. very talented guys.

    • Madam__X

      They are indeed a talented band.

  • http://metalbandcamp.com MaxR
    • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

      You’re always so helpful!!!

      • http://metalbandcamp.com MaxR

        Thank you, I think.

        The album is also available on Carac Angren’s Season of Mist Bandcamp page. I added it to Metal Bandcamp here: http://metalbandcamp.com/2012/06/carach-angren-where-corpses-sink.html

        • http://www.metalvortex.net/ [HKK] Hell³

          Well you and the recommendations from AGM’s troops are pretty much the reason I will have to setup a metal stipend to avoid bankruptcy and/or just endorsing my paychecks to Bandcamp.

          So thanks, bastards ;)

    • Unitzero

      I was about to put the link as well but i think when he says he hasn’t  found details i believe he means the story being told, anyway thanks a lot for putting this here.

      • http://metalbandcamp.com MaxR

        You’re probably right. As far as I can tell, the songs tell individual stories that are only very thinly connected.

      • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

        The writer is a she, not a he. Madam X.

  • swlong

    Love this album. I agree with you that violin + metal = awesomeness. Does anyone know if Carach Angren’s stories are based on famous legends or if they are original stories?

    • Gorgorooni

      Kind of a late response, but Carach Angren’s first two albums were based on folklore, while this album is an original story.