Season Of Mist (2012)
I had never heard of Dutch three-piece Carach Angren before “Where the Corpses Sink Forever” graced my inbox, but I can say straight off that it is the hope that I will ‘discover’ new bands of this calibre that makes being a reviewer so rewarding. Sadly, that hope often remains unrealized, but in this case it has been paid off in full. You know when you meet a band for the first time and feel that rising excitement in your chest as you realize you are on to something special? Read on...
Over the course of the last eight years and through three full-length albums, Carach Angren have been honing a sound that is nothing short of incredible. While the roots of this sound are in symphonic Black Metal, Carach Angren have brought it leagues further. Actually, it is more accurate to call their music cinematic BM with a death metal edge, but even that does not describe it sufficiently. When I say cinematic, I really mean it. “Where the Corpses Sink Forever” is so sweeping and grandiose that you can picture every verse as if it is the next scene in an ongoing story. And, as with the other two full-length releases, “Where the Corpses Sink Forever” is an ongoing story - a concept album of ghost-infested horror and human sorrow and madness set against the backdrop of World War II.
Over the course of the nine tracks on offer the listener is taken on a darkly atmospheric and harrowing journey. On the way, there is enough blasting fury to satisfy fans of the more brutal end of the extreme metal spectrum. Slower passages add dynamism and showcase the band’s outstanding percussion and guitar work. The crowning glory is the way each track is constructed to lead to high points, each set off by orchestral touches such as vocal samples, bombastic horns, enchanting keyboard work or strings that drip emotion.
This is an album that works on both an intellectual and a visceral level. As you listen, you will wonder at the sheer level of craft and the mastery of form involved in its construction. At the same time, you will be throttled by the ferocity, lifted and smashed by the atmospheric touches and carried along by the complex rhythms. Underneath it all, the narrative (both musical and lyrical) engages and mercilessly compels your attention, creating a movie in your head. “Where the Corpses Sink Forever” sets a new bench mark for storytelling, making it the most indispensible release I’ve heard in the last 12 months.
Rating: 6 / 6
Composed by Peter Loftus