Taking on fairlytales as we know them and twisting them into horrorstories is what dutch symphonic black metal masters Carach Angren set out to do on their fourth studio album called This is no Fairytale and just to get it out of the way beforehand, they succeeded.
Carach Angren is a band that I’m not too familiar with though I did pay some attention to their previous release Where the Corpses Sink Forever. A solid but not particularly captivating album for me.
However their latest effort is an entirely different story. The band understands how to craft a dense, genuinely creepy atmosphere, utilizing the symphonic elements in a mostly traditional way.
The theme of this album is obvious and consistent and the stories the songs tell are being perfectly presented by vocalist and guitarist Seregor. Ranging from mid ranged screams to high shrieks and the occasional clean part, his vocals fit the atmosphere perfectly.
Especially outstanding is his and the entire band’s passion and ability towards the end of the song When Crows Tick on Windows, where two children lament the suicide of their mother and in the middle part of the song Two Flies Flew Into a Black Sugar Cobweb, in which, presumably, the same two children meet an ominous clown on an old playground at night.
The general instrumentation of the band and the symphonic elements really tie into each other on this album, with the guitars and drums creating intensity while the symphonic elements and keyboards weave the atmosphere around them.
In the end this is really all there is to say about this album for me, so it’s a short one this time. Carach Angren delivered an atmospherically strong black metal record with a strong first half and a marginally weaker second half.