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Carach Angren: This Is No Fairytale

Eccentric symphonics from Dutch dark strorytellers

Making their name over the past decade with concept albums on perennial themes like folklore, war and paranormal activity, this symphonically enhanced Dutch trio ruffled some purist feathers with the lyric video to this album’s sardonically titled advance cut, There’s No Place Like Home.

Domestic violence and child abuse, it was suggested, aren’t very black metal – although the full album concerns the rather trustier topic of witchcraft.

Irresistibly named highlights like Possessed By A Craft Of Witchery and Killed And Served By The Devil garnish Carach Angren’s clattering, staccato rhythmical backbone with a dazzling array of dramatic orchestral ornamentation with greater skill and ingenuity than the usual thrash-with-a-Casio that passes for symphonic BM. Once synonymous with Dimmu and Cradle, this oft-mocked subgenre has acquired a new lease of life lately with compelling records like this and the latest Dark Fortress. It’s also tricky to present traditional rasping vocals in such a proclamatory, measured fashion, but beneath the orthodox surface Carach Angren reveal many imaginative signature quirks guaranteeing …Fairytale a longer shelf-life than most.

Via Season Of Mist

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.