|Review: Carach Angren - Lammendam|
Label: Maddening Media
Year released: 2008
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: April 22, 2010
Reviewed by: Nahsil
Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (10 Votes)
Anyone familiar with the likes of Bishop of Hexen, Sirius or Vesania won't hear anything they haven't heard before on Carach Angren's debut album, but as far as melodic keyboard-infused black metal goes, you could do far worse. The template is simple: Arcturus-esque vocal theatrics, blast beats, keys that weave in and out in response to the not-so-subtle finger acrobatics of keyboardist/pianist Ardek, and chunky guitars lower in the mix than they probably ought to be.
In spite of this rather two-dimensional formula, Lammendam is a lot of fun. The atmosphere is nightmarish and achieves a sense of hellish chaos which rarely lets up, even when interludes interrupt the metallic going-ons. Carach Angren's obsession with ghosts and the paranormal adds to the otherworldly experience, as the vocals are harsh but the words frequently discernable, the album's eerie concept apparent without the help of a lyrics sheet.
THIS IS THE SAGA OF THE WHITE GHOST HAUNTING LAMMENDAM!
The unswerving blueprint of incessant keyboard melodizing can grow tedious, despite the reasonable play time of roughly forty minutes. Lammendam is definitely not for the minimalistically-minded. To sound theatrical and over-the-top was an obvious goal of these Dutchmen, and nothing here is done half-heartedly. Black metal fans with an appetite for the extravagant may find much to enjoy on Carach Angren's debut effort, but others are likely to roll their eyes at the polished excess. For me, Lammendam is most gratifying in modest doses.
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