March 4th, 2017
Polly Maggoo – Tilburg (NL)
Season Of Mist
After having received an invite to come and listen to the upcoming Carach Angren record, called Dance and Laugh Amongst The Rotten (release date June 16th) yours truly made her way to the Dutch town of Tilburg, where the venue 013 also happened to host on of the bigger indoor metal fests that weekend: Netherlands Deathfest.
Unlike the people around me, clad in black and with a hungover look, I found my way to a cozy cafe near the venue, called Polly Maggoo, where the Season Of Mist team received a handful of journalists, all eager to hear the new chapter of the Dutch horror metallers. Vocalist Seregor and drummer Namtar, who left their corpse paint at home for the occasion, welcomed us with a few words and the hearing could commence.
A first glance at the setlist and a later confirmation by the singer confirmed my initial suspicion that Carach Angren once more stepped away from the concept of telling the tale of a echoing ghost, left to dwell on the earth. This new record is based on ‘something more demonic, evoking and possessed’ is one of the first things Seregor explains: ‘The songs are different stories, but they are still entwined.’
Even though the band members are not too forthcoming about the concept (it’s way more fun to figure out on your own) – we get some intel on the song Charles Francis Coghlan. This Anglo-Irish actor died in Texas and whose coffin gets washed away by a storm and resurfaces at the oddest places. And then there is a love story, which as you know from this band, will never have an happy ending.
One of the most striking things on the first half of the record is that the Limburgians are clearly trying some new things and aim to get your attention right away. On both the opening and Charlie, the symphonics and the latter reminds of Fleshgod Apocalypse and Dimmu Borgir a bit. The guitars have a more modern feel and hell, you can even hear Carach Angren’s ghost bass player every now and then.
Seregor confirms that it was the band’s intention to go for a sound that would immediately grabs the attention of the audience, but notes: ‘It’s not like Carach Angren is going easier’, when someone asks whether it is done to gain more souls. Tracks like ‘Blood Queen‘ and ‘In De Naam Van De Duivel‘ (In The Name Of The Devil) reconfirm my feeling on the guitars. Later on, the vocalist says that they got tired of the previous guitar sound and that Dance and Laugh Amongst The Rotten more accessible, because it keeps you in the groove.
The second half of the album brings a bit of a change. A more – what I would describe as typical – Carach Angren sound surfaces. The songs, for example ‘The Possession Process‘, features the trademark style of this band telling a story: haunting and bordering on madness, something we all know and love. That same tune and Pitch Black Box are probably the heaviest tracks. Not to mention that Pitch Black Box will be a live killer because of its insane groove.
A last thing that needs to be mentioned is the massive sound of this record. It’s way more full, incredibly clear and simply said: top notch. Season Of Mist boss Michael explains that Peter Tägtgren ‘geeked out’ on this album with his new studio material. ‘It’s the best album in terms of quality. I’ll be sending a shitload of bands there’.
Carach Angren’s next plans are not made up at this moment. There will be a release show, some tours and drummer Namtar hints at organizing their own festival. After having played in Dubai on Helloween, he liked the idea of people being dressed up at a CA concert. It’s something to look forward to and the same goes for the release of Dance and Laugh Amongst The Rotten!
To get your own preview of Carach Angren’s new record, check out this first tune below!
3. Blood Queen
4. Charles Francis Coghlan
5. Song For The Dead
6. In De Naam Van De Duivel
7. Pitch Black Box
8. The Possession Process
9. Three Times Thunder Strike