Carach Angren - Death Came Through A Phantom Ship review

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Band: Carach Angren
Album: Death Came Through A Phantom Ship
Release date: February 2010

01. Electronic Voice Phenomena
02. The Sighting Is A Portent Of Doom
03. And The Consequence Macabre
04. Van der Decken's Triumph
05. Bloodstains On The Captain's Log
06. Al Betekent Het Mijn Dood
07. Departure Towards A Nautical Curse
08. The Course Of A Spectral Ship
09. The Shining Was A Portent Of Gloom
10. The Ghost of Raynham Hall [2011 version] [bonus]
11. Ethereal Veiled Existence [2011 version] [bonus]
12. Sepulchral Disequilibrium [2011 version] [bonus]

Two years after the quite good Lammendam, Carach Angren come back to haunt us with their second album.
Haunt? Yes, as once again this album is a ghost story. This time, the Netherlanders tell us all about their most famous dead countryman: The Flying Dutchman. Well, OK, said Dutchman is not really a man… It's a ship. A ghost one, of course.

First think to notice is that the band gained confidence… it's all more focused and more professional. But thankfully, the album's cover doesn't represent what's found inside, or else we would have been faced with pretentious egotistical stuff. Be relieved all, we're not listening to a soulless Hollywood blockbuster either.
Stylistically speaking, this album is, of course, symphonic black metal. Those familiar with their first album will find again these baroque elements here and there, maybe it's less prevalent at first listen, but they're still there for sure.
The songwriting is a bit more efficient than previously, it can even get catchy at times. And the keyboard lines deserve a special mention: always well crafted, they add either melody, mood, or both, always with quite a lot of flair (there are numerous examples throughout the album, but "Bloodstains On The Captain's Log" really do stand out).

The major reproach one could make to Carach Angren is that they are, once again, not really scary… And not really evocative of any pirate or sea story, either, save for this great foggy, narrative interlude called "Al Betekent Het Mijn Dood". Anyway, this baroque feel, however, does add a nice atmosphere, not frequently used in metal (except by Misanthrope or label matesLe Grand Guignol).

On the whole, I preferred their first effort, but maybe that's just me. This doesn't prevent Death Came Through A Phantom Ship to be a good album, far, far from it! After all it can be consider as a better album in most aspects anyway. So from now on, let's count Carach Angren in the 'bands that matter', right? Especially now, with Anorexia Nervosa out of the way, and Dimmu Borgir facing severe line-up problems. The stars seem to be right for this ghost ship to set sail…

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Written on 08.05.2010 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.

Guest review by
I saw this album the first time in a metal magazine and thought: "Man, what a cool cover." Not many bands can manage a good cover with the musicians on it, but this was something that blew me away from the first sight. Obviously, Carach Angren seem to be young ambitious guys having an original corpsepaint and looking full of certainty directly to the listener, not to mention that the whole scenery matches perfectly with the title Death Came Through A Phantom Ship. So my interest was piqued and I gave a listen to what they streamed in the internet. It took me not more than a minute and the decision to get the entire album was made.

published 28.02.2011 | Comments (0)


Comments: 9   Visited by: 251 users
08.05.2010 - 15:07
Boring album...
08.05.2010 - 15:54
Good album but the first one was more Epic.
08.05.2010 - 18:55
Trinity Blood
Dont agree with the review...this album deserves better than a 7.8 imo. especially originality dimension should have been rated higher
09.05.2010 - 01:59
Got Mayhem?
I haven't listened to the whole thing yet but I have heard a bunch of the songs. You're right in saying it doesn't really put too much of the theme forward musically. It's good stuff, I wouldn't call it great (at least at the moment) but it's worth checking out.

Actually...the more I listen to this the more I like it. It's worth checking out the lyrics while reading it because there's actually a pretty good story within the music as well.
09.05.2010 - 09:53
I giggled at the trackname "Bloodstains on the Captan's Log". Methinks the captain needs to see a doctor.
09.05.2010 - 13:14
Ag Fox
Angel No More
I agree with everything you said, Momo, other than the not pirate-ish enough bit.
loves 小巫
09.05.2010 - 22:20
Don't agree with this review, this album is epic (Style of Dimmu, just fresher and often better) and deserves at least a 9, i would give it a 9.6...
10.05.2010 - 05:49
Doit Like Bernie
Like the album, agree that there's nothing nautical about it besides the lyrics. I'd like to add that I really dislike the vocals.
10.09.2010 - 04:07
Account deleted
I preferred their first effort too.

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