(DGR reviews the latest album by the Dutch band Carach Angren., which is out now on Season of Mist.)
One of the things I love about Carach Angren is how divisive they are amongst the staff at this site. For some, they’re “LARP-Friendly black metal” and for others they’re an enjoyable band. When it comes to a genre like symphonic black, I own up to it time and time again that I am, in large part, an idiot.
I scratch the surface of the genre but it has been a huge blind spot for me, as has black metal as a whole; when it comes to the great divide of metal, between the black metal and the death metal guys, I tend to fall on the death metal side of the spectrum. I like my fair share of death metal bands masquerading as black metal groups, but rarely the traditional, ethereal, and anguish-fueled howls or the purposefully roughly-produced walls of sound of the early generations of proper black metal — which roughly translates to me being perfectly OK with Carach Angren and their symphonic horror tomes.
I think a large part of this is how you see the band. For me, Carach Angren are a group of storytellers who happen to really love their camp. They’ve never been the most black metal thing out there, and frankly, their stories have never been the most traditionally black metal out there, having covered a battlefield or two and even doing a nautical-themed disc, though the latter has become a bit more common and has been done increasingly well by other bands. The only thing you can be sure of is that the body count on a Carach Angren disc is probably going to be high and no one is going to escape happily. I’ve never had a thought of , “Well, this oughta end just swell for this character!”, when listening to a Carach Angren album, instead just counting down the minutes until their inevitable end. Continue reading »