Carach Angren - Death Came Through A Phantom Ship review

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Band: Carach Angren
Album: Death Came Through A Phantom Ship
Release date: February 2010

01. Electronic Voice Phenomena
02. The Sighting Is A Portent Of Doom
03. And The Consequence Macabre
04. Van Der Decken's Triumph
05. Bloodstains On The Captain's Log
06. Al Betekent Het Mijn Dood
07. Departure Towards A Nautical Curse
08. The Course Of A Spectral Ship
09. The Shining Was A Portent Of Gloom
10. The Ghost Of Raynham Hall [2011 version] [bonus]
11. Ethereal Veiled Existence [2011 version] [bonus]
12. Sepulchral Disequilibrium [2011 version] [bonus]

I saw this album the first time in a metal magazine and thought: "Man, what a cool cover." Not many bands can manage a good cover with the musicians on it, but this was something that blew me away from the first sight. Obviously, Carach Angren seem to be young ambitious guys having an original corpsepaint and looking full of certainty directly to the listener, not to mention that the whole scenery matches perfectly with the title Death Came Through A Phantom Ship. So my interest was piqued and I gave a listen to what they streamed in the internet. It took me not more than a minute and the decision to get the entire album was made.

This record starts creating a scenery in the present on a boat that gets radio messages. A haunting atmosphere is created and after the first strokes of the opener "The Sighting Is A Portent Of Doom," the average metalhead knows that he is right to listen to this album in this minute. The drums start their blasting journey and guitars and keyboards force the harmonies onward. The third track deals with a horror story of a whole family murder that follows from the strange sighting. Right after that the plot is set into the past. From now on, the whole album tells of the famous Captain Van Der Decken, who drives his ship into damnation. In the end he is left alone with his murdered crew and sails eternally as the well known Flying Dutchman.

But back to the music. All the songs are dominated by guitars and keyboards, here and there you can hear a violin. The lead instruments complement each other nearly perfectly and show also some great solo melodies, like the guitars in the already mentioned opener and the keyboards with a crazy melody in "Van der Decken's Triumph." Seregor's shrieks shall especially be mentioned, his technique is great and he is for sure one of the best vocalists in his genre. On the previous album he already showed that he can sing in different languages like English, German, French and of course Dutch. He also has a wide vocal range. What maybe seems to be unusual is the opera like interlude "Al Betekent Het Mijn Dood," but after a few listens it really becomes great and reminds of Wagner's famous opera "The Flying Dutchman." The last song, "The Shining Was A Portent Of Gloom" is a well fitting end and contains again a melody that creates all atmosphere in it.

Overall this is a stunning album, the only thing is that the production is not as powerful as on Lammendam, but when you don't listen to both albums at the same time you can hardly hear the difference. For me, Carach Angren have already overtaken bands like Dimmu Borgir, the vocals and melodies are much better and contain an atmosphere that is yet unique in this style. This is the new dawn of symphonic black metal!

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9

Written by Windrider | 28.02.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Darkside Momo
Two years after the quite good Lammendam, Carach Angren come back to haunt us with their second album.
Haunt? Yes, as once again this album is a ghost story. This time, the Netherlanders tell us all about their most famous dead countryman: The Flying Dutchman. Well, OK, said Dutchman is not really a manů It's a ship. A ghost one, of course.

published 08.05.2010 | Comments (9)

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