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Carach Angren

With their third album 'Where The Corpses Sink Forever', the Dutch symphonic black metal band Carach Angren have taken another big step forward. An excellent album, and now with the support of Season Of Mist it seems only a matter of time before this band will really break through. Obviously Lords Of Metal sent some questions to the band to learn more about all these things. Singer/guitarist Seregor and keyboardist Ardek provided us with some answers.

By: Roel de Haan | Archive under black metal

Greetings! How are you doing?
Seregor: Hello, I'm doing fine thank you!

Congratulations on your new album 'Where The Corpses Sink Forever'. It is an excellent album! How have the reactions towards it been so far? What are your expectations for the album?
Seregor: Thanks again and so far the reactions are great! Honestly if I'm not working or busy with music, I'm watching some old horror movie with my girlfriend or something hehe. I sometimes miss reactions but the ones I got so far… awesome!!! We just got back from our first gig in Norway. Great people there in Haugesund! There some guys gave me compliments about our song 'Lingering In An Imprint Haunting'. Amazing how fast it goes. I can only say; Shit I'm a proud motherfucker hehe. Because now we have a deal with Seasons of mist we have good expectations.

While 'Lammendam' and 'Death Came Through A Phantom Ship' were based on a mystery and a legend respectively, the theme for this album is war. Could you tell us something about which specific aspects of war you found so interesting that you wanted to use it for Carach Angren?
Seregor: Well, when we thought of an appropriate legend about war for Carach Angren, we couldn't come up with an existing horrific tale. So we started to write our own stories. There's so much death in war that it is difficult to come up with good horror lyrics. So let me explain how the album works. It starts with the intro where an executioner has to liquidate seven prisoners in a war situation. All seven prisoners tell their own tragedy in the next seven songs. So it's not all about the same war. The first tale 'Lingering In An Imprint Haunting' is about a grim situation in Vietnam. 'Bitte Töte Mich' tells the tale of a German soldier who desperately wants to kill him self. Then there's 'The Funerary Dirge Of A Violinist' about a Russian musician who chooses music and death above fighting. 'Little Hector, What Have You Done!?” Damn! This is one of my most brutal lyrics hehe, about a haunted house where really ugly shit happened. Yes! The Nazi's were responsible for this one. Never will Carach Angren be about racism! But if we must tell a dark story about ghosts and war? Well, they simply stood for pure evil back then. In our tale, their brutalities left a murderous haunting behind. Anyway you have seven dark tales. These seven prisoners/tales are manifested as some sort of demon. You can see them in our artwork. The last song connects the storylines somehow together. It's about the executioner himself who's tortured by the sickening images of the prisoners he was ordered to kill. He is chained in his own timeless Hell. We just want to come up with good ghost-stories. We always will be about ghosts. They say there are ghosts, malevolent spirits and demons. And our ghosts tent to be quite demonic on this album ;)

'Where The Corpses Sink Forever' is definitely an improvement on your (already good) earlier works. Especially the orchestrations sound great and are really well integrated into the songs. How do you approach the combination of orchestrations and metal when you write your music?
Seregor: Ardek is the man! Hehe Yes, in every interview I have the urge to give praise to my “colleague' Ardek always was more than a musician playing a keyboard/synthesizer. In the beginning we somehow wrote a new song together. Nowadays Ardek has so many sounds available. He's capable of writing a complete Carach song. Even the lyrics! 'General Nightmare' and 'Sir John' for example. We learned a lot since our first two recordings. Patrick Damiani from Tidal Wave Studio is a great friend, “colleageu” and part of Carach Angren. I respect him for being such a hard worker. He's responsible for the production and sound on Carach Angren albums. “Dammi” knows best when it comes to recordings. A stand up guy! Anyway, Ardek learned and grew enormously during these years. So when he comes up with some new parts I sometimes can expect half a song heheh. There starts my guitar-composing. I'm quite strong in building melodic lines. Lots of time is spent here. Sometimes certain melodic guitar lines can change a complete song. It's always nice to surprise Ardek with some riffs hehe. We sometimes want to do so much that the sound-spectrum doesn't allow us to use so much music all at once. For example: I want to play a high harmonic guitar-riff (two lines) and Ardek wants to play high strings. Music can drown this way because there's too much in the same frequency. We really have to divide sounds here to prevent chaos. And we should not forget Namtar here! He's not the melody-guy. He's the tough guy in the band when it comes to rhythms and hitting our guitar-strings in the right way. He and Ardek mostly work out a certain rhythm on a musical part. Then he starts giving his own twist to it (sick breaks/fills). The three of us simply put lots of time and effort in it. And it works just fine.

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I found the production of the album to be excellent, clear but powerful. Did the sound turn out the way you planned it? How was the recording-process?
Seregor: Yes! The sound worked out the way we wanted. Of course the sounds of our instruments are unique, but the way to get them the right way on a record is another art. Patrick Damiani took great responsibility for this album. He did spent lots of time and energy in it. Especially in the guitars! He works in Carach as if it's a band of his own. And to us he is a true member of Carach Angren in his studio. Together we are a great team and we always found a good way to get the message clear. I have to say personally it was a hard process this album. I'm always working late on stuff, and still working on that. You simply have to stick to your deadlines. I'm grateful that Ardek took great responsibilities in the writing process. It's always satisfying, hearing the result of a recording made by a great team.

You are now part of the Season Of Mist roster. How is the collaboration so far? How did you come into contact with them?
Ardek: Well I remember sending our second Cdemo 'Ethereal Veiled Existence' to several different labels in 2005, also to Season of Mist. Michael was one of the few people who took time to reply but unfortunately could not take us on board at that time. Meanwhile we were picked up by Philip Breuer and Maddening Media who really put a lot of effort into Carach Angren and lifted us to the place where we are today, he made a lot of things possible and believed in us from the start! After the release of 'DCTAPS' in 2010 we had to move on and so I came in contact with Micheal from SOM again. He was interested in working with us and so it happened. The many shows we played and very loyal fanbase really put Carach Angren on the map in the past years, this has made a lot of things possible for us. The collaboration has been great so far and we can't wait to unleash 'Where The Corpses Sink Forever'!

You are already known as a prolific live-act. So can we expect you guys on a European tour to support the album? Any insights about who will join you?
Seregor: You could expect a tour or something in the near future. But nothing has been planned yet so far. We have a couple of shows in our agenda and we are working on a release-gig held on June the 1st in 'De Nor' Heerlen NL. So for now we are preoccupied with rehearsing and brainstorming about good visual aspects in live shows.

For a relatively new band I am quite amazed by the fact you became quite popular this fast, especially considering you're a black metal band. Has this surprised you as well and how do you explain it?
Ardek: Yes it is very satisfying to see so many people like and support us. Of course we believed in our music from the start, else we would never release anything. I hope we were able to create something new and original built on the already existing genre of course. The horror story telling element interests many people as it is something different opposed to the usual lyrical themes (which also can be great of course!). On top of that we take a lot of time to make the music as good as possible and by that I mean the music has to communicate certain emotions. For example if you take the song about the violinist, this is not just a pure fucking evil black metal song. It handles about a very vulnerable guy who doesn't' want to be in war at all and dies in an epic but brutal way. We want to make this come across when you listen to the song, though great melodies and vocals screamed from the heart.

To me you seem like a very ambitious band. What are your ambitions and hopes for the future?
Ardek: Thank you, we tend to work very hard and still see a path in front of us. We feel like we found our sound more and more throughout the years and there's so much room for new songs and stories. We hope to take the theatrical aspects to another level trough our albums and live shows. I hope people will appreciate us more and more so that our fan base will expand further like it does now. This will enable us to do more tours, for example in the States. We really would like to go there and get many requests from fans. This is one of our goals for the near future I guess.

I guess that wraps it up for now! Thank you for your time and I hereby offer you the final words to our readers.
Ardek: Thanks a lot for your questions and prepare for 'Where The Corpses Sink Forever' which will be released on May 18th. We also invite all of you to come to our special CD-release show on June 1st in poppodium Nieuwe Nor (Heerlen). This show will be one of a kind in many ways so be there!!!

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