Everyone knows that Longstretch loves his Thrash but after much goading and urging from The Great Mack to give this one a go how could I refuse, and with that, I give you my first review of Symphonic Horror/Black Metal with Carach Angren and their ode to all things dark and evil with their album “Franckensteina Strataemontanus”
Before we start let say me say to you Symphonic Metal aficionados that you will probably have some “well duh” moments, however remember this is being written by a Thrasher and very much a newbie to this kind of thing. Let us begin.
From the very beginning of this album, I felt like I should be sitting in a huge opera theatre listening to this wonderfully produced concept album, which is about the life of Johann Dippel who is thought to be the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s Dr Frankenstein. Hence the title eh. Every instrument is audible separately but when mixed together it produces this intensely dramatic atmosphere and ambience.
The story begins with the lead track of spoken word “Here in the German Woodland” which belies the horror combined with theatrical flair that is to come. “Franckensteina Strataemontanus” and “The Necromancer” have some of the best riffage you could hear with vocals ranging from Operatic to Death growls that cut a swathe and permeate right through each track on the whole album.
Listening to “Sewn for Solitude” and “Like a Conscious Parasite” lends credence to my Opera theatre thinking with the use of, stringed instruments, horns, keyboards but also intertwined with momentous blast beats. “Monster” will hit you out of the blue and comes with no forewarning. This heart stopping nightmare producing track will have you wearing chicken skin and waking up sweating bullets, checking clothes cupboards, peering under the bed, and imaging what’s causing the shadows that are on the wall.
You can’t exactly have favourite tracks because each one is like an episode that tells the macabre story of Dr Dipple. “Franckensteina Strataemontanus” wont blast you out of your chair but it will make you sit up and listen intently while you get transported through beautiful imagery and orchestration.
So, if you want a soundtrack playing in the background while you’re meticulously filleting your liver to have with some fava beans and a nice Chianti, then treat yourself to this melodic symphony of horror and suspense.
Carach Angren have piqued my interest in the Symphonic style of Metal, and I will be dipping my toe into that pool and listening to a bit more. I’ve even got a dark name to enhance my journey. Welcome Longstretch Behevras!
Rating – 4.5/5