Carach Angren - Where the Corpses Sink Forever
Season Of Mist
Symphonic Black Metal
9 songs (43'09")
Release year: 2012
Carach Angren, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Alex

Symphonic black metal is the genre which probably has about equal number of admirers and loathers. For classic black metal it is often simply love it or leave it type of situation, where those non-converts almost never profess hate, but rather say they simply “do not understand” this music. With symphonic black metal, those who are black metal traditionalists claim the lack of rawness and true gritty emotions behind all of the orchestration and additional layers. And, certainly, this music is not classic symphony enough to be played to non-metal lovers, not to mention all those extreme vocals turning many off. I could stand corrected, but this has been my read on the genre thus far.

Dutch trio Carach Angren are delivering their third full-length installment from behind thick layer of facepaint and equipped with a full level of orchestration in their version of symphonic black metal. To Carach Angren symphonic parts is not merely some puny floating synthesizer, they are fully developed and are just as important as more straightforward black metal passages. The story behind Where the Corpses Sink Forever is a narrative about the horror of World War II, and probably any war in general. They have a very interesting approach to lyrics, just basically reciting a story rather than trying to come up with cheap poetry. To grasp the complexity of the overall picture I strongly recommend you listen to the album with a lyrical booklet in hand for experience completeness.

Perhaps not surprising, the songs work best for me when rousing symphony (Lingering in an Imprint Haunting) and outwardly drama (The Funerary Dirge of a Violinist, These Fields Are Lurking (Seven Pairs of Demon Eyes)) are on full display, completely intermeshing with black metal. Not delivering enough in the guitar riffing department, Carach Angren compensates with cellos drifting over frozen battlefield, songwriting taking unexpected turns with Vienna horns and piano passages. More direct black metal material, like in Bitte Tötet Mich or General Nightmare has what I call nervous riffing, tempo variations, but Carach Angren is not at their best in the constant stream of blackness creating a bit of a mechanical feeling. Drumming, although precise, is hidden in a background somewhat, and not given enough of a stage to shine on. On the opposite, industrialized Spectral Infantry Battalions is short, but effective, with its ominous, hanging over your head march.

As any self-respected symphonic/orchestral black metal band Carach Angren employs a variety of vocals, courtesy of vocalist/guitarist Seregor. From demonic and angry extremes to lower gruff voices to hysterical recitations, the band finds a little room for clean vocals as well, and those seem to be effective on Lingering in an Imprint Haunting. Reflecting on the horrors of war, and apparently reflecting it through the eyes of several viewpoints, the multitude of vocal styles is a must.

A blend of a pretty wide spectrum, Carach Angren spreads across the plane ranging from Lacrimosa to Cradle of Filth, reminding me the most of the Russian (Kaliningrad/Konigsberg based) Tvangeste from which I have not heard since 2002. Very kaleidoscopic and eclectic in their nature, Where the Corpses Sink Forever is almost a theatrical/movie-going experience and will require openmindedness by black metal fans to fully accept.

Killing Songs :
Lingering in an Imprint Haunting, The Funerary Dirge of a Violinist , Spectral Infantry Battalions
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Carach Angren that we have reviewed:
Carach Angren - Lammendam reviewed by Andy and quoted 76 / 100
Carach Angren - Death Came Through A Phantom Ship reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
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