Carach Angren 2015’s album, This Is No Fairytale, was an account of domestic abuse that collided bloodthirsty lyrics with black metal histrionics and tense symphonic drama exhumed from the nastiest of slasher flicks. Some BM purists rubbished their non-traditional lyrical treatment and one even sent a death threat to their label. Whether or not the genre’s followers have loosened their views since, CA’s latest is still candidly horrific, revolving around the story of a girl playing with a Ouija board. Carach Angren’s taste for storytelling that doesn’t rely on folkloric tropes sets them apart from the pack, while the swirling mass of Charles Francis Coghlan unearths their folk metal persuasions, albeit cloaked in a self-described “cemetery atmosphere”. The album’s audiobook dynamic, accompanied by a juddering metallic soundtrack of orchestral depths and lofty highs, creates a beguiling mix of narrative and dramatic overtures heard best on Song For The Dead, Charlie and psycho-fairytale Blood Queen, which are as spooky as they are heroic.
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