That Carach Angren
is a band which makes symphonic black metal with a stress on ‘symphonic’ is anything but a secret for those who are already familiar with their music. The story–telling lyrics inspired by the ages long ago gone are the other things that you notice right away. And
the whole album Death Came Through a Phantom Ship
is a testimony that the band really knows how to bring their music with these ingredients into real musical-theatrical orgy.
The album flows in a spirit of sailors’ stories and is almost soaked in salt water and blood. Except of the intro which works much more like an apetizer for a sinful feast (which this album really is) than a real song, every song is inspired by sailing, black sea and, of course, death. None of these components are anything new in metal, but in this case I must say that it is something like I’ve never heard before.
Beginning with Electric Voice Phenomena
which is an intro (and is actually nothing but the title says) we dive right into the sea mystery as from the film in The Sighting Is a Portent of Doom
. The track appeals as if it tries to make a listener slip from these times into by books described ages, by lyrics stepwise but musically it strikes as a canon. The guitar riffs as well as drums work excellently with the melodic elements and changes in rhythm make the whole composition sound credible.
As a continuation of the same story line is engaged the following track And
the Consequence Macabre
which moves you right into the world of nightmares and insanity, yet still it remains in ich form and makes the whole story realistic. The choral parts and strings add more intensity and whispers and clear talking to himself voice drag you right into the teller’s mind. And
the gun shot is a dot in the finale of personally my favourite track of the album.
The following song takes you on the board of the boat under direction of Flying
Dutchman. Very effective and filled with thrill Van der Decken’s Triumph
changes blood in your veins into the salty water with its almost soundtrack-like melodies and ‘hey-ho’ shouts. Bloodstains on the Captain’s Log offers you a look inside the head and heart of a passionate captain and is full of direness hidden in quiet or piano and strings passages
Al Betekent Het Mijn Doot sounds more like a preview of a film rather than a classic song but puts the album into the whole new level. Behind Departure
Towards a Nautical Curse
stands, as well as behind every track a story after all, this time again concurring on the previous one. The symbiosis between the lyrics and the music creates a mood that not many bands manage to create in their production.
The Course of a Spectral
Ship goes in a sound of a theme-gong-ish melody and is followed by the final track The Shining
Was a Portent of Gloom
. The song makes a really good finish for the album as well as for the story. The atmosphere is full of energy and theatrical breaks add more graduation which is interlaced by great key and symphonic passages in general and fading ending, all of that I can’t stop admire. A great finish for a great piece of work.
What I can’t leave without noticing is a booklet. The photographs are really well done and the whole design fits perfectly with the music on the album. Together
with lyrics, it looks almost like a mini story book, even without listening to the CD.
What can I tell about this album is that it is really a remarkable piece of work, full of great ideas and perfect timing which should definitely NOT be unheeded.