Tag Archives: Symphonic Black Metal

Interview with Anthelion

Anthelion logo

In June last year, Anthelion finally dropped their sophomore full length album, Obsidian Plume. With the Taiwanese symphonic black metallers’ debut full length being a distant 7 year back, Obsidian Plume was certainly an album that was highly anticipated. After the (honestly) rather disappointing and different 2010 EP, Mañjusaka, the band returned to their roots and original style on Obsidian Plume, showing how the past years have done nothing to dull the edge that they have in their songwriting and playing. Vocalist Code tells us more about the new record.

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Album Review: Sidious – Revealed in Profane Splendour

Sidious - Revealed in Profane Splendour

Sidious [UK]
Revealed in Profane Splendour
Full Length
Kaotoxin Records
Symphonic Black/Death Metal

Previously playing under the moniker of Seed of Detest, UK symphonic black/death metal outfit Sidious reveals their brand new name and image, this year dropping their debut full length album Revealed in Profane Splendour. With the lineup comprising four-fifths of Eye of Solitude, yet another excellent death/doom metal band, Sidious‘ debut is surely an exciting release for fans of the aforementioned, with vocalist Daniel instead going behind the drum kit for Revealed in Profane Splendour.

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Album Review: Totengeflüster – Dem Seelensterben

Totengeflüster - Dem Seelensterben

Totengeflüster [Germany]
Dem Seelensterben
Full Length
Symphonic Black Metal

Symphonic metal of any variant is hardly of interest to me, with my preference for music being the more direct and aggressive genres.But receiving the package for Totengeflüster‘s debut full length album Dem Seelensterben in my mailbox proved interesting enough, with the band putting much thought and effort into the visual aesthetic aspects of their album, which was all the more impressive considering how the release of Dem Seelensterben is an independent effort.

Right from the introductory track Die Prophezeiung the band makes it clear that this would be one beautiful, yet haunting journey, not only with the mystical atmosphere that shrouds the music but also with the high presence of the piano, being the main instrument on the track. The influences from early symphonic black metal bands such as Emperor are immediately clear once the aural onslaught began proper with Ein Traumgespinst, with the aggressive riffs and the urgent pace of the band’s brand of black metal. Vocalist Narbengrund’s shrieks are tortured, and this creates a nice contrast against the beautiful and somewhat enchanting atmospheric backdrop created by the heavy orchestration.

But it doesn’t take long for one to notice that Totengeflüster seems to have placed a much higher emphasis on the symphonic aspects here compared to the aforementioned. Apart from the opening track, the keyboards are play a high importance in the music of the band, and sections where the almost neo-classical arrangement of the keyboards bring to mind symphonic black metal bands such as Anthelion or Dimmu Borgir. Furthermore, there are moments on the album where the band goes into ambient sections, and the strategic positions where these are placed certainly serve to reinforce the emotions and moods that are on the rest of the album. Female backing vocals can also be found littered throughout the album, making the music feel all the more haunting.

The production quality of Dem Seelensterben however was one aspect that came across as rather surprising. Unlike the polished production that most symphonic black metal bands tend to utilise to ensure that the impact of the music is experienced in its fullest, the production on Dem Seelensterben seemed to be rather raw at times, especially on the “metal” aspects of the music such as the instruments and while it could very well be the band’s intention to ensure that the black metal aspects of the music sound as authentic as possible, it felt kinda contradictory at times as the album progressed especially with the epic feel that the atmospheric, symphonic elements of the music provided.

Overall though, Totengeflüster‘s debut is a release that has put together a nice balance of aggressive black metal and a heavy indulgence of beautiful symphonies and while admittedly this has done little to change my musical preferences, Dem Seelensterben is a respectable release in its own rights.

…and the package that I got in my mailbox:
Totengeflüster - Dem Seelensterben package

Totengeflüster on the internet:
Official website

Heavy Metal Tribune Issue 7 (February 2013)

out now bannerOUT NOW: Heavy Metal Tribune #007!

English gothic metal band Paradise Lost talks to us in this month’s issue to tell us more about life on the road, and their constantly evolving musical styles. Swedish death metal freak Rogga Johansson who heads bands such as RevoltingMegascavenger and Paganizer talk to us about what goes on in his mind and his passion for old school death metal. Italian occult, blackened doom metal band Riti Occulti is the Sounds of the Underground band of the month, giving us their take on philosophy and the occult. Anti Graham, one of the longest running symphonic black metal band out of Nepal graces our Asian Spotlight column. We end off with Colombian black/death metal outfit Nepente telling us about their crushing, relentless brand of extremity on their new album, Suffering is the Seed.

Read the online version of the magazine right here:

Local friends of Heavy Metal Tribune, you can now grab your physical copies at Inokii! Overseas friends of Heavy Metal Tribune, you can contact us for us to send you a copy of the magazine (P+H fees of USD 2.00 applies).

Album Review: Antim Grahan – I Wish You Death

Antim Grahan [Nepal]
I Wish You Death
Full Length
CG Entertainment
Symphonic Black Metal

Wow, another Nepalese extreme metal release. This time it’s symphonic black metal band Antim Grahan‘s fifth studio release, I Wish You Death. The band does not waste time in dishing out their brand of symphonic black metal, with a tinge of death metal aggression right from the start with Upon the Lair of Demon God. Immediately similarities to their compatriots Kalodin are drawn, especially with their latest EP SARV which also saw the band heading towards a more aggressive direction compared to their previous full length release.

This being the fifth full length release of Antim Grahan, the music is extremely well-crafted, with the symphonic elements often working together in sync with the riffs unleashed by guitarist Pankaj to not only direct the emotions of the listener, but also in creating a constantly chilling and haunting atmosphere in the music that lasts the entirety of the album. Drummer Gobind provides most of the speed and aggression here, with the relentless blasting, while vocalist Parash’s tortured shrieks tops the entire experience of the music on I Wish You Death. Furthermore, the spoken segments, along with the haunting female backup vocals on Upon the Lair of Demon God sends chills down the listener’s backs, further emphasising the band’s focus on the atmosphere in the music. The guest female vocals on title track I Wish You Death even brings in some slight Nightwish moment, and is a nice buildup to the climax.

The band even plays their Eastern/Asian card well on the album through the brilliant usage of the keyboards and female vocals at the end of I Wish You Death, and one is reminded of Taiwanese black metal bands like Anthelion or ChthoniC with the mystical atmosphere that is conjured, and at times even brings in some folkish/tribal feel into the music, making I Wish You Death all the more interesting. Despite the rather long track lengths on the album, the band ensures that not a moment goes wasted as each track brings the listener on an emotional roller-coaster ride, with each track containing numerous sections, each bringing about a different style to the table. For example, title track  I Wish You Death sees the band easily going from total destructive chaos to moments of melancholy.

An extremely well-crafted release, I Wish You Death is a perfect balance of aggression, melody and emotion, and is yet another excellent record coming from the Nepalese underground.

Antim Grahan on the internet:

Album Review: Warseid – Where Fate Lies Unbound

Warseid [USA]
Where Fate Lies Unbound
Symphonic Black/Folk Metal

Warseid presents a rather unique blend of symphonic black metal and folk metal on their new self-released EP, Where Fate Lies Unbound. Themes of Norse mythology typically come from the Scandinavian regions, and Warseid has to be one of the very few bands that I encounter so far from America that deals with these themes, and it would be interesting to see how they handle it.

The results are surprisingly good. The band starts off rather calming and soothing, with folkish acoustic guitars giving way to equally melodic lead guitar lines as the band presents their fusion of black and folk metal to the listener. The instrumentation on the album are impressive, as each of the members are given plenty of air time to display their craft. For instance, the synths on the album alternate between providing an epic feel to the music and more melancholic atmospheres, and the band displays this right from the beginning with Shackles Through Sand. Also, Joe’s lead playing are rather soothing as well, often focussing on the melodic aspect rather than on showing off through flamboyant techniques, fitting to the overall feel and atmosphere of the music on Where Fate Lies Unbound. Furthermore, Joe handles the vocals in Warseid as well, and apart from the high-pitched shrieks, he also handles clean vocals on the release, and though not particularly a fan of his clean vocals, they do suit the quieter moments well.

Despite the Nordic themes of the band, on tracks like Frost Upon the Embers, there is a somewhat oriental feel in the orchestration that is present in the music, and the somewhat festive feel contrasts the mood that the rest of the instruments portray, causing a pretty interesting and charming result. There are also progressive moments that are incorporated into the music of Warseid, such as the shifting in time signature, and this, along with the symphonic elements that are  present in the music all point towards bands such as Ihsahn, though there is a heavier folk influence over here.

Overall this has been a rather stunning release, and the atmosphere in the music makes for rather easy listening even for those who aren’t fans of black metal.

Warseid on the internet:
Official website

Album Review: Dark End – Grand Guignol – Book I

Dark End [Italy]
Grand Guignol – Book I
Full Length
Arcane Witchcraft Cover
Symphonic Black Metal

Obscure and symphonic horror metal is what Italy’s Dark End promises, and with their third full length album, Grand Guignol – Book I, they have certainly achieved that. With their first 2 albums being extremely highly acclaimed releases, the band has really set the benchmark really high for Grand Guignol – Book I and it remains rather interesting to see how Dark End will manage to continue to impress followers of the band so far.

The heavy orchestral emphasis of the band is immediately shown on the intro of the album, Descent/Ascent (II Movement), immediately engaging the attention of the listener with the cinematic, epic feel that is brought forth through the orchestrations on the track. And once the setting for the battlefield is properly set up, the band begins their onslaught with Æinsoph: Flashforward to Obscurity, and similarities to such symphonic extreme metal bands as Dimmu Borgir can be drawn, though admittedly the material on Grand Guignol definitely surpasses those of the material of the aforementioned that I have encountered thus far, with the perfect balance between symphony, melody, aggression and pure heaviness. Chants are aplenty throughout the album, often serving to reinforce that somewhat trance-inducing effects that certain segments of the album have, contrasting the chaos that goes on around them.

The production on the album is stellar as well, with none of the instruments being buried in the mix despite the extremely heavy emphasis on the symphonic aspects of the music. Guitarists Ashes and Nothingness handle their instrument well, and rather than simply using the lead segments given to them to show off their technical prowess, these are often used to further bring out the emotions on the tracks with the often soaring and melodic lines. Drummer Valentz provides most of the energy on the record as well, with the constant double bass pedal fury that goes on at the background complementing the crushing riffs that are unleashed by the axe-wielding duo. Aniemae is also very versatile as a vocalist, easily going from savage growls to haunting, skin-crawling gruff whispers to enhance the feel of the music. The clean singing of guest vocalist Fearbringer on tracks like Spiritism: The Transmigration Passage, coupled with the strong symphonic tendencies further brings the listener back to the Medieval era, and is some of the most epic moments on the album.

There is a constantly shifting mood on the album, with the band constantly alternating between pure aggressive and heavy segments to some that are driven by the symphony alone, bringing about a somewhat melancholic feel with them, and on moments like on Doom: And Then Death Scythed symphonic bands such as Taiwan’s Anthelion are brought to mind. If one were looking for a nice fix of epic, symphonic metal, there is no need to look much further as Dark End‘s Grand Guignol – Book I is sure to more than satisfy that craving.

Dark End on the internet:
Official website

Interview with Vesperian Sorrow

Vesperian Sorrow releases their long-awaited fourth full length album, Stormwinds of Ages this year, six long years after their previous album. Unlike most symphonic black metal, the band has managed to captivate me, with the huge neo-classical influences that are present in their style of music. We talk to Will and Subverseraph to learn more.

HMT: Greetings Will! Vesperian Sorrow has been around since 1994, under the moniker Unholy Descent. Before we begin the interview proper, would it be possible to tell us the circumstances under which the band formed, including your joining the band back in 1996?

Will: I was looking to find some guys to start a band with, so I started posting ads in music stores. Donni found one of my ads and called me up. At the time it was just him and Kris (drummer) in a small practice space. The three of us wrote the first demo and recorded it about three months later. I started shopping it around to labels and that’s when we were picked up by Displeased. We were fairly excited about it back then because we were one of the first US bands to play this style of keyboard driven black/extreme metal and we were picked up by a European label.

In 1997, the band changed its name to the current Vesperian Sorrow. How did the name of the band come about, and what is the meaning and significance behind the band name, Vesperian Sorrow?

Will: After we signed with Displeased we had already started writing a bulk of the material for the first album. We started realizing that what we were writing and the style we were transforming into really didn’t fit the band name we were using (Unholy Descent). We felt that it really minimized our potential to expand musically as well, almost as if we were painting ourselves into a corner with it. So, we decided that before we released our first record we would change our name and have a fresh start, and the label agreed that it was a good move on our part.

Subverseraph: “Derived from the latin ‘vesper,’ ‘vesperian’ pertains to duskfall, sundown, the onset of night, etc., and Vesperian Sorrow is open to an extent of interpretation, so it can mean anything along the lines of the following: mass mourning at the demise of light, scourge/plague of eternal night, a figurative showcase of the Beowulf-Grendel dynamic, maybe even metaphor for the Black Death. You decide.”

The band seems to have the habit of taking its time to produce new music, with the gap between Psycotic Sculpture and Regenesis Creation being 5 years. It has been a long 6-year wait for the release of Stormwinds of Ages. As evident from the band’s 2008 promo release, the music on Stormwinds of Ages has been in the works for quite a long while. Were there any particular reasons behind this long wait?

Subverseraph: “Throughout its history this band has been constantly stricken by a revolving door of lineup changes. It’s comparatively not until recently that VS has been comprised of such a solid cast of contributing characters. Even in the years since my induction (which was in September of 2006) I’ve seen the loss and replacement of a bassist, and those of two guitarist positions. Also, the writing, recording, mixing, and mastering processes (this time, all of which we ourselves were responsible for) are none that we’re ever so self-insulting as to rush. We’re not a band that plays our own city every other weekend, much less one that shits out an album every year-and-a-half.”

With the release of Stormwinds of Ages though, the reception has been rather well, with most fans of metal music giving much praise for the album. How does the band feel about this, considering how long the album has been in the works?

Subverseraph: “It’s rather gratifying, if I do say so myself, and the others can concur. First and foremost, we do this for ourselves and couldn’t give a rat’s about seeking outside validation, but honest appreciation for the spawn of our blood, sweat, and proverbial tears is something that we appreciate profoundly and that we don’t and will never take for granted.”

The band describes itself as futuristically medieval, yet neoclassically barbaric at the same time, bringing together the ancient and the modern. Would it be possible to explain more about this philosophy of the band to fans?

Subverseraph: “The juxtaposition of that which is archaic with that which is ever-evolving is the blood and lightning that breathes life into our music. We strive for that crossing of worlds. I used to jokingly describe our music as that of ‘viking space pirates who are actually vampires…from space.’ HAHAHA!!! But when you think about it, is that description not somewhat apt?”

The music on Stormwinds of Ages, besides the usual symphonic and black metal elements, also see the band exploring and pushing the boundaries of extreme metal, including the usage of some death metal inspired and technical riffs on tracks like Legacies Befallen and neoclassical elements that are littered throughout the album. What were some of the influences the band had when writing Stormwinds of Ages, and how did the inclusion of such elements come about?

Subverseraph: “Naturally, I’d say. We don’t ever let the limitations of staying genre-specific overshadow our creativity, but at the same time, we never sit down to write and say, ‘Okay, this song needs to sound like VADER meets TRISTANIA, alright? GO!’ Our music seems to write itself. We all cull influence from practically all types of metal and sometimes even a little gothic industrial/ebm. We DO, however, tend to consider our music to be largely a product of our being youths of the mid-to-late 90s. The evolution of Scandinavian black, death, and gothic metal within that period of time is a movement, contrary to popular belief/ignorance and despite being American, that we were there for and a part of, and that influence will undoubtedly be culled from indefinitely.”

The songs on the album are extremely well-crafted, with songs like Casting Down into Shadows managing to fuse brutality with beauty. How did such visions come about when writing the music on the album? What was the songwriting process behind Stormwinds of Ages like?

Subverseraph: “The way ‘Casting Dawn into Shadow’ came to be is actually very exemplary of what the songwriting process behind the entire album was like. One late evening, Kristoph (drummer) and I were slaving away in the control room of our studio, him at the monitors and me on one of my synths. I began to fiddle around with a synthline that I’d come up with; he heard it and was like, ‘Hey, that’s cool; sounds like The Birthday Massacre (a non-metal band that both he and I are unashamedly partial to). He then quit working on what he was working on, pulled up a new project, commandeered my synth, began expanding upon what he heard me do, tracked it, programmed some rough drum patterns under it and put some tremolo-picked Abigor/Emperor-styled dual guitar melodies over it. Thus was born the opening of ‘Casting…’ The more the song grew, the more we knew that it called for some significant female vocal action, and we knew that there was no one more worthy of tackling that than the emminent Erika Tandy (formerly of Autumn Tears and Ignitor who now fronts the death metal band Morgengrau), a friend of the band and a very experienced and professional vocalist with broad range and great power. Her performance speaks for itself and brought the song to a higher level of epic awesomeness than we ever anticipated.”

Being a band with quite a long history, in your view, how has the band grown over the years? How different was the songwriting process for this album is compared to, say, the previous release of the band?

Will: Well, naturally we’ve all grown older and we’ve been constantly staying after each other to improve in our technical abilities on our chosen instruments. So we have definitely improved in our playing abilities, and usually if we are not good enough to perform a part the way we hear it in our head, we are quite stubborn enough to sit down and practice till we get it. The way we used to write music for the first couple of albums and a little with the third was more of a group type effort standing around in the practice room coming up with riffs. I personally don’t really like that way of writing as it distracts me of hearing music and being able to channel it properly to my guitar. This record was basically written with Kris (drummer) coming up with all the basic song structures with everyone else coming in adding their parts here and there. We all basically put our two cents in about arranging and stuff like that, but Kris definitely did most of the heavy lifting on this one. We are all starting to build a huge data base of riffs and ideas for the next record though and I see it as a more collaborative effort on the next record, but in a way where we kind of bring stuff to the table and then arrange songs afterward, as opposed to the early way of just standing around in the jam room. Now with having our own studio we can put ideas down instantly and start arranging them and hearing different ways of doing it much more efficiently.

One of the moments that particularly grabbed my attention was the usage of the acoustic, Spanish-styled folk guitar on Crown of Glass. How did the inclusion of such moments come about?

Subverseraph: “Moments like that are those in which our semi-progressive side comes out. Going back to the question before the question before last, it’s just a testament to our expansive range of influences. You ever watched a flamenco guitarist play? Those guys shred.”

Will: To add to that as well, I know Kris wanted a Spanish style part added in somewhere as his heritage is such that. Which is cool because every one of us in our band all come from different backgrounds and cultures, we are all Texans per se, but with a wide range of upbringings. I guess more than anything, the environment in which you are raised does rub off on you.

Stormwinds of Ages, being the elaboration of a line that was present on the band’s album as mentioned by Donni in an interview I read, would it be possible to tell us about the overall concept that lie beneath the lyrics of Stormwinds of Ages?

Subverseraph: “They all stem from visions had by Don Donni, which he elaborates upon in poetically creating worlds behind, worlds blighted by decay in one form or another. They’re very stream of consciousness and as esoteric as the listener wishes them to be as per their own interpretation. The flagship title track, though, heralds a metamorphosis into territory darker than anything we’d yet achieved, and its lyrical content reflects that. It’s a war anthem–the Nephilim’s call to arms, so to speak. ‘Gods dethroned and deceased/Banish forth, storming plague/From our wrath winds released/Thwarted lore, faith is vague.'”

And to top off the entire Vesperian Sorrow experience, there is also that hauntingly beautiful album artwork. Would it be possible to explain the concept behind the album artwork, and the process by which it came about?

Subverseraph: “There is a tattoo artist here in our hometown of Austin, Texas by the name of Jon Zig who fronts the brutal death metal bands Images of Violence and Sarcolytic. It was a conscious decision for this album’s cover artwork to be more akin to an actual painting than some graphic designer’s hodge-podge of inter-special limbs and genre-typical baphometic leftovers, so what with Zig being a friend of the band (not to mention, an amazingly talented artist known for his works for Suffocation, Averse Sefira, Psypheria and many others), his commissioning went without saying. We gave him an mp3 of the song, the lyrics, told him that we were looking for something with atmosphere along the lines of Kris Verwimp’s artwork for Absu’s ‘The Third Storm of Cythraul,’ and what resulted is a piece that we couldn’t be prouder of. His visual interpretation of the title track provided an aesthetic with which to compliment our music perfectly and is a testament to Zig’s brilliantly sick imagination. (www.medusaink.com) As for the ominous, wormhole-born sephirotic figure it pictures, I’d say that she and/or he is up for personal conjecture. Is HE the Sephirot of Gevurah or Gabriel, the Angel of Death and Left Hand of God sent to bleed Jerusalem dry? Or is SHE the valkyrian war deity Morrigan (‘Goddess and Maiden and Queen of the Night/Be with us now and befriend/We have suffered long enough/Having seen pain in the end.’)? To both, I answer, ‘Sure.'”

As can be seen on the band’s Facebook page, the band will be playing a couple of shows. Other than live performances, are there any near-future plans for the band?

Subverseraph: “Other than various shows spread across the summer and more to be confirmed throughout the year and into the next (with some European festival appearances hopefully pending), we’ve already commenced work on the follow-up to Stormwinds of Ages, and I can tell you without pretense that if you thought THAT album was dark and heavy,………….”

We have come to the last part of the interview, any parting words to fans of the band?

Subverseraph: “Ave! Your support is eternally appreciated, and you can keep tabs on us at http://www.facebook.com/vesperian. See ya ’round, we hope. lml >,< lml”

Related articles:
Album Review: Vesperian Sorrow – Stormwind of Ages

Vesperian Sorrow on the internet:
Official website
The Path Less Traveled Records

Album Review: Vesperian Sorrow – Stormwinds of Ages

Vesperian Sorrow [USA]
Stormwinds of Ages
Full Length
The Path Less Traveled Records
Symphonic Black Metal


6 years in the making, American symphonic black metal band Vesperian Sorrow finally releases their follow up to 2006’s Regenesis Creation with Stormwinds of Ages. With Regenesis Creation garnering largely positive feedback from the music community, Vesperian Sorrow faces quite a challenge with Stormwinds of Ages, especially since it has been a rather long while since they last released new material.

Fortunately the band manages to meet expectations with the excellent musicianship that is present on Stormwinds of Ages. While symphonic black metal might bring evoke an image of beauty and melody, Vesperian Sorrows on Stormwinds of Ages has managed to fuse this side of the music with an equally aggressive side, resulting in an extremely powerful sounding record, yet never neglecting any of the symphonic elements in their music. While the riffs that guitarist William unleash are razor sharp and extremely precise, the one thing that really stole the limelight personally seems to be drummer Kristoph with his energetic drumming on the record, reminding me of my first exposure to symphonic black metal and Hellhammer’s drumming on Dimmu Borgir‘s Stormblåst MMV, with the powerful and majestic style of drumming. William also displays his technical abilities with the numerous neo-classical inspired solos that are littered throughout the album. The versatility of William and JZD is further shown on tracks like Legacies Befallen with the complex death metal riffing patterns, sounding like a blackened version of Fleshgod Apocalypse at times.

The quality of the music that the band has written on Stormwinds of Ages is such that even without the symphonic elements in the music, the record could have easily been as powerful with the intensity of the music and the speed that the band goes at. However, the synths that are constantly present throughout the record help to create a heavy and at times, haunting atmosphere without sounding cheesy, helping to make listening to Stormwinds of Ages a fuller experience. Songs like Casting Dawn into Shadows also make use of female vocals, providing a somewhat operatic effect, and Crown of Glass even has a Spanish folk-inspired acoustic lead guitar, constantly surprising listeners with unexpected influences throughout.

Of course, the excellent musicianship of Vesperian Sorrow would have probably gone to waste if not for the crisp and bombastic production quality of the album, giving a loud and clear voice to each of the individual instruments on the album. The biting tone of the rhythm guitars help to ensnare the listener’s attention and the lack of the lower end is made up for with the bass guitars, providing a nice balance. Stormwinds of Ages is overall an extremely powerful, yet enjoyable and catchy record, and is sure to please any fans of symphonic extreme metal.

Vesperian Sorrow on the internet:
Official website
The Path Less Traveled Records

©2012 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

Interview with Carach Angren

Carach Angren has over the years crafted a name for themselves not only with their symphonic approach to black metal, but also the horror-themed lyrics and concepts, and the story-telling format that are contained on their albums. With Where the Corpses Sink Forever, the band expands on their existing concepts and deals with the horrors of war. We talk to Ardek to find out more.

HMT: Greetings Carach Angren. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk to you. Before we begin the interview, would it be possible to give us a brief history of the band?

Greetings! Yes, we started Carach Angren initially as a project band back in 2003. From the start we felt like making music and lyrics about ghost stories, horror and hauntings so that’s what we did. In 2004 we released our first Cdemo valled ‘The Chase Vault Tragedy’ and shortly after that ‘Ethereal Veiled Existence’ (2005). Both Eps handle about ghost apparations.

After this we came in contact with Philip Breuer from Maddening Media and he gave us the opportunity to record our first full-lenght album Lammendam in 2008. Lammendam tells a local ghost haunting. This opened new opportunities for us as we played more and more live in 2008 and 2009.

In the summer of 2009 we recorded ‘Death Came Through a Phantom Ship’ and this was also released under the flag of Maddening Media.. A concept album about the famous story of the Dutch Captain van der Decken and his Flying Dutchman.

After this we had a very intensive tour with Dark Funeral in 2010 and were picked up by record-label Season of Mist. Now we released our third album, ‘Where the Corpses Sink Forever’ and here we are!

Carach Angren refers to “Iron Jaws” in an Elvish language from Tolkien’s Middle Earth. How did the name come about, and what is the significance behind the band name in relation to the music and themes of Carach Angren?

Seregor (vocals/ guitar) had always thought of this name, even during the during the years we was operating in his first black metal band Inger Indolia. After years when we started he came up with this name again and we instantly liked it! Not because it is from Tolkien or anything but mainly because of how it is written and the way it sounds when pronounced. It’s a great coincidence that in the Tolkien stories Carach Angren is a ghostlike portal.

The band recently released the new album, Where the Corpses Sink Forever on Season of Mist, the band’s first major label release. How has the response been so far for the album, and how different is it working with a label of Season of Mist’s stature compared to smaller labels?

The response has been overwhelming, both from the press and the fans. Our experience with both Maddening Media and Season of Mist has been great so far.

On Where the Corpses Sink Forever, perhaps the most significant difference is in the lyrical concepts of the album. While previous albums focused on folklores and ghost stories, the themes on the new album had a heavier focus on themes like war. What was it that made the band decide to shift focus when dealing with the lyrical themes on the album?

I don’t the think we really changed the themes at all. When you read the lyrics you can see we still focus on ghosts, hauntings and horror in general. With every release we try to pick a different setting and this time we took war. Another big difference is the fact that this time Seregor wrote all the stories himself.

Also, where was inspiration for writing the lyrics on Where the Corpses Sink forever drawn from?

We wanted to go further on the horror and ghost themes with this album and instead of adapting an existing story like on the previous two releases, we wanted to make up something completely ourselves this time. On a certain point Seregor came up with like three incredible stories about war on a very personal level. It was the story about the Violinist and Little Hector and I remember being completely overwhelmed by the impact of the stories. That’s when I started composing more and more music and the album got together more and more in the months after. In the end we decided to find a way to fit all the songs and stories together into one big cycle. We get inspiration from anything that crosses our paths; books, films, music and especially using our imagination.. just sitting around and talking about things. That’s how the stories and music get developed.

Many black metal elitists out there still refuse the acceptance of keyboards and orchestration in black metal music, with symphonic black metal often related to commercial acts such as Cradle of Filth and DImmu Borgir. With Carach Angren often being categorized as symphonic black metal, what is your take on issues like these?

We don’t really care about those opinions. We just make music we like and indeed it is based on the black metal genre but what we do now is something totally different compared to the musical and cultural movement in the early 90s. People who don’t like it can skip our music just the way I tend to not listen to music I don’t like, it’s simple as that. I feel when it’s done in an interesting way, you can combine a lot of styles and instruments, discover new things.

As seen on the Season of Mist Facebook page, Carach Angren was the focus of a university conference in Spain, with the band being claimed to be the perfect epitome for the most innovative and eclectic evolution of black metal. How does the band feel about this?

Yes! This was a big surprise and great honor. It’s fantastic to see someone studying this heavily underrated music genre in general and of course we feel proud when he came out with this particular statement. Especially because professor Julio Ángel Olivares Merino studied Gothic literature for years.

Unlike many other black metal bands that deal with Satanism and religion, Carach Angren’s lyrical themes often revolve around legends and folklore instead. However, would it be possible to tell us more about your personal views on religions?

To me personally, I see religion merely as a cultural and social phenomenon. It’s great when it helps people on a personal level in life but to me it doesn’t do anything.

The band will be having a release party on the first of June. What can fans expect from this release party?

The CD Release show was spectacular and it was better than anything we could have expected. The fans were fantastic and the show went really good. I think we will have some live footage up and running real soon about this show!

With the album being released, what are the near future plans of the band?

Right now we are in hectic times with the release just being out there. Right now we are getting more and more shows and it would be great to do a tour this year but we don’t have anything definitive yet.

Carach Angren on the internet:
Official website

©2012 Heavy Metal Tribune | Clarence