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Carach Angren - "Where The Corpses Sink Forever" (CD)

Carach Angren - "Where The Corpses Sink Forever" CD cover image

"Where The Corpses Sink Forever" track listing:

1. An Ominous Recording (2:00)
2. Lingering in an Imprint Haunting (5:11)
3. Bitte tötet mich (5:11)
4. The Funerary Dirge of a Violinist (8:15)
5. Sir John (4:33)
6. Spectral Infantry Battalions (2:07)
7. General Nightmare (4:24)
8. Little Hector what Have You Done? (5:02)
9. These Fields Are Lurking (Seven Pairs of Demon Eyes) (7:25)

Reviewed by on June 9, 2012

"There are no melodic meanderings or random misplaced keyboards here – every note and word is carefully crafted to ensure the audience is front and center to witness a story of undead nautical combat."

With a laser-tight focus on theme and mood, Carach Angren’s “Where the Corpses Sink Forever” takes the idea of symphonic black metal to a new level by creating the equivalent of an extreme metal musical (albeit one with essentially no hope of ever actually hitting the stage or the big screen). There are no melodic meanderings or random misplaced keyboards here – every note and word is carefully crafted to ensure the audience is front and center to witness a story of undead nautical combat.

All of the tracks feature a fantastic blend of the instrumental/symphonic elements with the harsher black metal aspects. There are obviously plenty of parallels to be made with the likes of Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir, but the symphonic bits are arranged incredibly well and create more of a Septicflesh feel, utilizing plenty of creepy stringed instruments and suffering no lack of heaviness to back up the instrumentation.

“Where the Corpses Sink Forever” is massively atmospheric and completely cinematic, clearly telling a very specific tale and using music and lyrics to paint a very specific picture. The mood is appropriately horrific, but the album is also a bit on the cheesy side, which is really brought out by the harsh-yet-understandable lyrics. Songs like “Spectral Infantry Battalions” bring this unique issue strongly to the forefront. They are amazingly cheesy and over the top – as the vocalist is literally singing about the battle formations of ghostly battle regiments – but it’s also sort of awesome for the same reasons that it’s lame. For people who actively enjoy that sort of schlock, this may be a 5 skull album.

Other than the vocals, the overbearing and silly elements are kept on a pretty tight leash, with only a few instances of unconvincing maniacal laughter breaking up an otherwise serious album. The sound quality also isn’t quite as sharp as it could be, perhaps in a nod to the early black metal influence, so the album is a better experience with headphones while carefully listening through instead of just being passively heard in a car stereo. Although a bit silly on the story, the symphonic black metal mastery of the album is definitely worth hearing.

Highs: World class symphonic black metal arranged perfectly to tell a cinematic story.

Lows: The sound quality needs to be a bit sharper, and some of the vocals are cheesy enough to ruin the experience.

Bottom line: Carach Angren unleashes a masterfully composed black metal opera of undead warfare, even if it is a bit cheesy.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)