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Carach Angren - Lammendam (Reissue) Award winner

Carach Angren
Lammendam (Reissue)
by Cameron Ervin at 01 August 2013, 11:47 AM

If you are heavy into the metal community chances are you’ve heard of CARACH ANGREN. Before you even get an opportunity to listen to the music this three piece creates you will most likely be over whelmed with praise from their adoring fans. In this case CARACH ANGREN’s reputation seems to precede the band a wee bit and this originally made me wonder if they were overrated. At first I passed over this band not giving them a second thought until I got the opportunity to review the reissue of their first two albums, and let me say that not checking out this band’s material as soon as I heard them was a colossal mistake on my part.

Shadows of a Lammendam! Shadows of a Lammendam!” is a line that has been stuck in my head ever since I heard the second track off this album, “A Strange Presence Near the Woods”, the track that really sets the listener up for a chilling adventure he/she won’t forget. “Lammendam” is where it all started for CARACH ANGREN, the symphonic black metal band with extra emphasis on “symphonic”. CARACH ANGREN use a lot of orchestral elements to add a suspense and intensity to their story telling and this addition is what makes this band so unique. On the first two albums of theirs they used Dutch folk tales to inspire their lyrical work and the twist they put on these tales is amazing! The concept on “Lammendam” is clear and is able to be followed with ease. The narration done by the vocalist is griping and dramatic. If you could imagine listening to an audio book and then adding symphonic and Black Metal elements you’d be imagining CARACH ANGREN. The flow of an album is extremely important and “Lammendam” certainly has one of the smoothest flows I’ve ever witnessed. The album flies by entirely too fast and it leaves you craving more. The last track of this record, “Malediction de le Madame Blanche” is a proper closing of this epic tale, after the vocalist finishes off his last few grim words the epic instrumentation takes the lead role and closes the album off.  The vocalist uses typical Black Metal vocals but the way he screams at certain times and puts more emphasis on different words here and there really makes the vocals and story seem more real. Instead of just screaming the lyrics it seems like he actually put feeling into his work and that added a lot to this album. The emotion showcased on a nearly all vocal track entitled “Hexed Melting Flesh” gives me chills every time I listen to it. Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to play that track when you are home alone. The guitar and drum work is very notable and adventurous. I don’t listen to that much Black Metal so when it comes to the instrumentation I don’t know what to expect besides the typical tremolo picking and blazing fast blast beats; both of which this album has plenty. The guitar work exhibited here was very fast and entertaining even though it is mostly composed of blistering grim riffing. The drumming is solid as well, using the entire set and supporting the barrage of music the rest of the musicians create is no small feat in itself.

Coming from a person who doesn’t care that much for Black Metal, I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and I continue to enjoy it each time I come back to it. “Lammendam” is a foreshadowing of what the band would create next. CARACH ANGREN crafted a most unique style of storytelling with this album and would only perfect it on their next release “Death Came Through a Phantom Ship”. For me “Lammendam” is a more satisfying listen mainly for the fact that it was their first attempt and the music doesn’t seem as tight or as polished as their next album would be. This is a fantastic album that you’d thank yourself for trying. If you have any love for extreme music and vivid adventurous story telling you will listen to this album.

4 Star Rating

1. Het Spook van de Leiffartshof (Intro)
2. A Strange Presence Near the Woods
3. Haunting Echoes from the Seventeenth Century
4. Phobic Shadows and Moonlit Meadows (Bridge)
5. Hexed Melting Flesh
6. The Carriage Wheel Murder
7. Corpse in a Nebulous Creek
8. Invisible Physic Entity (Bridge)
9. Heretic Poltergeist Phenomena
10. Malediction de la Madame Blanche
Seregor - Guitars, Vocals
Namtar - Drums, Percussion
Ardek - Orchestration, Keyboards
Record Label: Season Of Mist


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