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Carach Angren - Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten

Carach Angren
Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 14 July 2017, 11:46 AM

Hailing from The Netherlands, CARACH ANGREN is definitely one of the more well-known Black Metal bands in the genre. They formed in 2003, and had previously released four, full-length albums. “Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten” is their fifth, and contains nine new tracks. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s world, “Carach Angren” is Sindarin for “Iron Jaws,” one of the passages into the black lands of Mordor, where Sauron reigns. “Opening” is a short lead-in instrumental, with some dissonant piano keys and strings. Hanging in the background is a high pitched note akin to a muted scream, that fades in and out, contrasting with the almost nursery rhyme melody, taking it to the dark side. The French horn notes are hauntingly beautiful. It then segues into “Charlie,” an evil sounding song with some great Symphonic elements and the rage fueled vocals of Seregor. The vocal chanting and some eerie effects really make a lasting impression on the listener. “Charlie wants to kill me…Charlie’s not a friend” is the closing vocal line.

“Blood Queen” has a hasty pace and some overall bombast from all of the various instruments used to carry the song. The Symphonic elements are on full display here, creating more of an opus akin to Classical Music than a simple song that can be defined by just vocals and guitar. The prophecy of the mirror shows her a baby, complete with soft cries, and then cracks the mirror in blood, stealing away her hope, with a sweet and depressing violin passage. Charles Francis Coghlin (1842 to 1899) was an actor and playwright. He seemed to have lived fairly normal life, passing away from an illness. Though his coffin was swept away by a flood and not recovered until seven years later. The song here of his namesake seems to tell the story of his life and death, right down to the drowning coffin. The grandiose nature of the music echoes the importance of his work. The piano is particularly adept at carrying this message, and the barrage of percussion adds to the nobility of the sound.

“Song for the Dead” combines both major and minor chords into a Doomy sound that at times gives you hope, if only for the briefest of moments. Are we celebrating the deceased or performing a ritual to help carry their soul to its proper place? It sounds like a little bit of both.  “In Dee Naam Van De Duivel” tells the story of a nefarious spell that Satan and a witch cook up to part a husband and wife. The theme of their being beauty in death continues here in this song, which is partly told with spoken words. The gist of the scene is that the husband sacrifices to take his own life rather than the foretold prophecy that he will take his wife’s. “Pitch Black Box” is a short, three-minute track that delivers a pretty straightforward sound from one main riff, and some horror in the vocals. “The Possession Process” is a frightful affair, as the title suggests. The rhythm is carried woefully from expert drumming and a heavy bottom end with bass and guitar. The vocals detail the process of possession, so to speak.

“Three Times Thunder Strikes” leads in with majestic French horn notes that climb high above the spire. Baneful vocal chants and mesmerizing guitar passages stamp the song as wicked and ominous. The piano and strings are the icing on the cake. They really help support the darkened nature of the song. Overall, “Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten” is a good album in the style of more modern, Symphonic Black Metal. I would have liked to have heard some more orchestration but what is there is very well done. It’s a solid release for a very well-respected band.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Opening
2. Charlie
3. Blood Queen
4. Charles Francis Coghlan
5. Song for the Dead
6. In Dee Naam Van De Duivel
7. Pitch Black Box
8. The Possession Process
9. Three Times Thunder Strikes
Seregor - Vocals & Guitars
Ardek - Orchestration & Keyboards
Namtar – Drums
Record Label: Season of Mist


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