Carach Angren - Lammendam

10 songs
41:31 minutes
***** ****
Maddening Media


Lammendam is the debut CD from one of the most interesting black metal newcomers in a long time. The three Dutch, artists who like to decorate themselves with corpse paint, created an atmospheric album that pleases right from the start and doesn’t lose its appeal even after repeated listening.

The record start unoriginally with a slightly lame, orchestral intro, after which the musicians show off their talents. The seven regular songs (apart from the intro, there are also two spooky interludes) are mostly played at a very fast speed and change often their mood. I was mostly fascinated by the ingenious guitar playing which reminded me somehow of Mekong Delta’s classical period. But also the dominant keyboards are excellent and make for dramatic, morbid or scary atmospheres. There are several highlights on the CD, like Haunting Echoes From The Seventeenth Century or The Carriage Wheel Murder, the fastest track on the album which also features some thrash elements. The vocals are nothing special for a black metal band, but again it is used in various ways, from growls to King Diamond shrieks, with sometimes desperate moans and whispering voices making for an even weirder feeling. It is only fitting that Lammendam is a concept album, telling a Dutch ghost story myth.

Symphonic black metal is certainly no new invention, but rarely has it been played so refreshingly. Fans of their label mates Le Grand Guignol and horror metal pioneer King Diamond will definitely love this CD. I only wonder if the three-piece will be able to reproduce their complex work also convincingly on a live stage.

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