In their previous record Carach Angren warned us that “This is no fairytale”, but as soon as you dive into “Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten” you will be tempted to think the opposite. The atmospheric and eerie sound of the “Opening”’s piano and violin will transport you to a mysterious fairytale-like scenario: an old attic full boxes, old books, photos and other curiosities. But beware, you’ll soon be dragged into a frightening realm full of death and evil spirits like “Charlie”. It’s with him that our narrative begins, and as soon as it starts, the distorted vocalizations and the tension will make you feel inside of a horror movie.
In the present work Carach Angren may sound less bombastic and aggressive, nonetheless this will completely emphasize the omnipresent orchestrations and sound effects that’ll bring their storytelling to life.
We will find one of the brightest momens of this record in “Charles Francis Coghlan”, the charismatic actor which casket was “plucked like feathers and swept into the sea into a maritime eternity”. Namtar’s omnipresent double bass drumming and Seregor’s melodic riffs blend wonderfully with Ardek’s piano and orchestrations, creating a frantic and tempestuous atmosphere that will make you relive the moments of the corpse floating and drowning into the sea.
As Seregor keeps the storytelling going with his chilling hoarse voice and reveals more details about Charlie’s dramatic story, we stumble upon “Pitch Black Box”. The intro of this track has a “Mad Architect”’s (Septicflesh) vibe and it’s easy to spot a mash of influences in Carach Angren’s symphonic black metal; even so, they managed to create a very particular sonority.
Carach Angren are known for their concept works and premeditated narrative and the time has come to make sense of this album. It seems to me that “Charlie” is the spirit of “Charles Francis Coghlan” and, somehow, got attached to the “Pitch Black Box” that would be found by the girl of our story (along with the ouija board that she’ll use to contact this spirit). The girl “opened this pitch-black box, unleashing Charlie, a force vengeful and strong” that will now torment her (“The Possession Process”). Frightened, she will unsuccessfully try to escape this evil force, like “Three Times Thunder Strikes” relates. The rest of the tracks seem to be excluded from that storyline. Nevertheless, “Song for the Dead” sounds like the hymn of this album: while listening to this piece i can perfectly imagine the group in a graveyard dancing and laughing amongst opened graves and skeletons.
This full-length shows very matured musicians and presents a soundscape almost as graphic as the lyrics. This is one of the most melodic and theatrical works of the band and I can’t wait to see if this tendency will evolve and flow into their next material.
About Carach Angren: