Black metal has long been home to innovation of all sorts from grand experimentation to light changes to spice things up a bit, and in no way does it seem like the style will ever be anything else. It’s an absolute breeding ground for all sorts of different sounds like very few other styles in the entire musical universe, but few sounds are as explored in my experience with black metal than that of the symphonic veins. It’s such an odd concoction but it works so well, especially in the hands of people who know what they’re doing. For six albums now, Carach Angren has been the pinnacle of symphonic black metal the likes of which most other competitors could only ever hope to rival. Their sound has been evolving and self-challenging ever since day one, and in every way does that still ring true with their forthcoming effort, “Franckensteina Strataemontanus“.
I don’t know about you, but I was already certain Carach Angren was onto something exceptional when solely taking into account the theme of this album. A Frankenstein-themed album from a band that has pulled off horrific scenarios with immaculate orchestration and brutal instrumentation? What’s there not to get excited about? Right out of the gate, “Franckensteina Strataemontanus” sets its atmosphere perfectly to really give us an idea of how far the band is going to stretch Mary Shelley’s work to fit their particular style, but even then Carach Angren is careful to leave the already-pristine vibe of the fabled story intact. It creates a surreal listen that’s unique to the many incarnations of the source material while being another worthwhile entry to this band’s very solid discography.
With their multi-layered sound that rarely disappoints, I couldn’t think of a better scenario for Carach Angren to show us they’re still at the top of their game even after six albums. “Franckensteina Strataemontanus” never shies away from shaking up the general orchestral arrangements with some electronica that bring incredible flavors to the table as the music contains some of the most suspenseful, engaging, and enjoyable material that Carach Angren has ever performed. Whether it’s a quick piece of intoxication like the title track, a grand display of talent and glory such as “Like a Conscious Parasite I Roam”, or something that shows us the slow evolution of the band in motion like “Sewn for Solitude” or “The Necromancer”, “Franckensteina Strataemontanus” has more than enough to satisfy fans new and old who are coming in for greatness that only Carach Angren can deliver in this form.
If nothing else, this band has been extremely consistent over the years when it comes to pushing both their sound and themselves to new heights with each successive album giving us more refined glory than the previous. Carach Angren will never be satisfied with staying in the same place for long, and it’s with “Franckensteina Strataemontanus” that we see that trend continued magnificently as they nail virtually every single aspect that they could’ve at every turn. An incredibly fun record but still with the band’s trademark intensity and ingenuity, Carach Angren has done an amazing job yet again and “Franckensteina Strataemontanus” is a more than worthy addition to the act’s ever-deadly arsenal.
“Franckensteina Strataemontanus“ releases on June 26th via Season of Mist! You can pre-order and pre-save the album via multiple sources here.
1. Here in German Woodland
2. Scourged Ghoul Undead
3. Franckensteina Strataemontanus
4. The Necromancer
5. Sewn for Solitude
6. Operation Compass
8. Der Vampir von Nürnberg
9. Skull with a Forked Tongue
10. Like a Conscious Parasite I Roam
11. Frederick’s Experiments