I recently saw Carach Angren live with Rotting Christ (more on them another day) and while I’m a casual fan of Carach and their silliness, they’re live show was pretty fucking engaging and I have to give them kudos. It occurred to me I’ve only heard they’re last two albums, so I went to the merch booth to see what they had and sure enough, they had their first album on CD so I grabbed it.
I’ve read before, for reviews of their more recent albums, that the first album, Lammendam, is their best work and possibly one of the best symphonic black metal albums around, and I have to say… it’s pretty damn good, if you’re in to super cheesy, ultra symphonic black metal. I am to a certain point but this band is just so ridiculous I can’t help but love them.
In case you don’t know them, Carach Angren have one central theme on their albums, usually dealing with supernatural/horror/fairy tale elements. This one is about the ghost of a cheating wife, killed by her husband set just before the French Revolution. “The White Lady of Lammendam,” I believe she’s called. Anyway, the album is set up like chapters, each song furthering the story and while a lot of concept albums seem to fade into the background of the music, Lammendam does a good job of keeping the story at the forefront by using all the symphonic elements, other ghostly and creepy sound effects and various narratives and different voices. It very much reminds me of King Diamond album, complete with it’s over the top theatrics and devotion to one single story idea.
So if you like your black metal with a story, gothic horror overtones, and ridiculous theatrics, this is the album for you.