Carach Angren are a symphonic black metal trio from the Netherlands whose sound is rich in texture, orchestration, and dynamics, often utilizing string players to highlight their intense meld of guitars, drums, keyboards, and multilingual vocals. All of their recordings are concept albums and feature a carefully produced aesthetic that weds dynamically arranged strings in faux-classical style with furious blastbeats, buzzing guitars, and harsh vocals. They call their own music "horror metal," though fans would disagree given the sheer depth and detail in their musical storytelling. The band's name comes from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy -- "Carach Angren" is an Elvish Sindarin phrase that directly translates to "Iron Jaws" and signifies a strongly held pass into Mordor. After a pair of EPs and two previous albums, the group cut their Seasons of Mist debut, Where the Corpses Sink Forever, in 2012, highlighting their mature style; it broke through to wider audiences in the United States as well as South America and Asia. Formed in 2003, Carach Angren's three members -- Seregor (vocals, guitars), Ardek (keyboards, orchestration, backing vocals), and Namtar (drums) -- were part of Vault Age; their departure resulted in the band's demise. They issued their first demo, The Chase Vault Tragedy, the same year and followed with the Ethereal Veiled Existence EP a year later -- both were recorded in home studios. The group worked out a live show with additional members and spent as much time writing and rehearsing as they did playing in clubs. Lammendam, their debut long-player, was issued by Maddening Media in 2008. Metal audiences in Northern and Western Europe were taking notice; virtually all of the press Carach Angren received for the recording was positive. Two years later, the band issued their own take on the Flying Dutchman myth with Death Came Through a Phantom Ship. It proved a critical breakthrough, as attention for the outfit spread to the U.S. and Southern Europe. In the press, the trio are often compared to Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir. The album's reception and now-stellar live show precipitated a move to Seasons of Mist for 2012's Where the Corpses Sink Forever. Co-produced with Patrick Damiani, it was promoted with a video for the track "The Funerary Dirge of a Violinist." 2015's This Is No Fairytale was recorded in Sweden and Germany. Carach Angren's promotional video for "When Crows Tick on Windows" and lyric video for "There's No Place Like Home" helped the trio reach a wider audience and garner more touring opportunities. 2017's Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten was recorded at Studio Abyss in December 2016 and January 2017 and issued in June of 2017. Three years later, the band returned with Frankensteina Strataemontanus, a brooding and atmospheric spin on the classic Frankenstein story.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo
© Thom Jurek /TiVo