Dimmu Borgir – Forces Of The Northern Night DVD set


Top hats off to Dimmu Borgir. While it has been five years almost to the day between the recording of the second of these sets (2012’s Wacken performance where they were joined by almost 100 musicians) the release of the Forces Of The Northern Night (Nuclear Blast) double DVD set is a perfect way to close a simply huge cycle celebrating the monumental Abrahadabra album Continue reading


Carach Angren – This Is No Fairytale


Carach-Angren-This-Is-No-Fairytale

 

Fortune favours the brave, and Carach Angren are forging something of a name for themselves by putting effort into the narratives of their albums, and looking to create something that at least pokes a toe outside the rigid walled box labelled “Black Metal”. A concept album that unfurls telling a story of two children caught up in a chilling horror (no spoilers here, if you want to find out the full extent of a tale that makes King Diamond’s tales seem like bedtime stories you will need to find out the hard – and heavy – way), This Is No Fairytale (Season of Mist) is the Dutch orators most compelling release to date.

Eschewing the usual black metal practice of ripping off thirty year old albums (praise be the dark lord!), Carach Angren are trying something different, with reference points of Abrahadabra (Nuclear Blast) and Grand Declaration of War (Necropolis), This Is No Fairytale takes the blood-curdling scream of black metal, and mixes it in the cauldron with a caustic steampunked Nachtmystium, darkened Imaginaerium (Nuclear Blast) symphonics and a liberal dose of Tim Burton.

While the resultant “whole” unfortunately doesn’t quite equal the sum of its parts, there are some very good parts here. The Dutch trio’s fourth album is an ambitious and enjoyable album, though at times it does allow certain tracks to outstay their welcome (‘Two Flies Flew Into A Black Sugar Cobweb’) and perhaps lacks a certain je ne sais quoi in the hook department.

This isn’t to put This Is No Fairytale down, because “when you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either” (Leo Burnett) and this stomping, frictional theatrical album conjures twisted Burton-esque images, especially during interlude ‘Dreaming of a Nightmare in Eden’. Carach Angren are at least looking to carve their own niche, and they aren’t too far from pulling the twisted nails of faith together to make their own maddened masterpiece.

Patience be thy virtue, Carach Angren.

7.0/10

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STEVE TOVEY