Carach Angren: Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten (Seasons Of Mist)
Dutch symphonic black metallers Carach Angren are back with their fifth album Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten. Carach Angren seem to be a very polarising band in metal at the moment being either adored or despised and that opinion is unlikely to change with this new album as Carach Angren stick to their tried and trusted sound.
If you haven't heard Carach Angren before their sound is very much in the style of melodic Scandanavian black metal mixed with a classical, symphonic sound. They take the most melodramatic parts of Cradle Of Filth and the most epic parts of Dimmu Borgir and mix them together. This is a sound that has worked for them on four previous albums and they don't stray from it here. Also like previous albums there is a concept behind the album. This time the story involves a young girls obsession with a ouija board.
Whilst still a very enjoyable album most felt that previous album This Is No Fairytale was a weak point for the band with the material being very formulaic and less inspired than previous albums. Although Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten is an improvement over the previous album it still falls into a lot of the trappings where many of the songs are easily forgettable and the band feels like it is going through the motions. Where this album does work though is through the stunning symphonic arrangements which are equally epic, bombastic, dark and haunting.
Carach Angren have released another enjoyable album which although is an improvement over the disappointing This Is No Fairytale does not match the bands stunning early albums such as Lammendam or Death Came Through A Phantom Ship. 7/10
Limbonic Art: Spectre Abysm (Candlelight/Spinefarm)
Norwegian black metal fiends Limbonic Art return with their first album in seven years Spectre Abysm. Finding out information about this new release has been difficult with very little information being released as to who is currently in the band. (Since their previous release Limbonic art have been essentially a solo project of main founding member Daemon - Ed). All I do know is that this is a belter of a black metal album and a much welcomed return for Limbonic Art.
The music on Spectre Abysm is the perfect fusion of the more atmospheric and aggressive sides of black metal. Layers of keyboards add a feel of real dark malevolence whilst savage tremolo riffs and blastbeats tear your face off. There are seven tracks here of black metal majesty with highlights being Triumph Of Sacrilege, Omega Doom and Ethereal Traveller.
My only criticism of Spectre Abysm is that two of the tracks are pretty much wasted only really serving as an interlude or introduction to the track that follows but overall Limbonic Art have made a triumphant return with an album that mixes old school black metal ferocity with mood and atmosphere. 8/10
Execration: Return To The Void (Metal Blade Records)
Although well known for its black metal Norway has a very good death metal scene with one of those bands being Execration. Return To The Void is the fourth album by the band and is a very interesting take on the death metal sound.
There are an array of influences evident as well as death metal with a sound that incorporates elements of black metal, doom metal and progressive metal. It's an album that mixes moments of sheer aggression with moments which can only be described as psychedelic.
It's a very unique take on death metal and proves the genre still has a few tricks up its sleeve but unfortunately it's not an album that really sticks with you. Being such an intense listen and with so much going on this is an album that will likely take several listens to truly get it. Regardless it's good to hear an alternative and progressive take on a genre that many people say has run out of ideas. 7/10