Carach Angren – Interview (2008)
1) Thank you for accepting to answer a few questions for MFG!! Could you please introduce yourself and Carach Angren to our readers?
Hello. I’m Seregor and Carach Angren is a haunting black theatric metal band from Limburg, the Netherlands. We are Ardek (keyboards), Namtar (drums) and me doing vocals and guitars.
We started as a side project in 2003 because we were still active in another band. The formation fell apart and Carach Angren became an official band. We created two M-CD’s, “The Chase vault tragedy” and “Ethereal veiled existence”. Our specialty is using ghost stories as a concept for an entire release. The first demo is about the chase vault; a family vault on the Island Barbados. Every time when the grave was opened for a dead relative, the previous coffins were found in complete disorder. Nobody could have entered the sealed tomb.
“Ethereal veiled existence” is about a haunting called “The brown lady of Raynham Hall”, which is about a ghost haunting this old mansion “Raynham Hall”, in England.
We describe different events like ghost encounters, and work them out in appropriate songs.
Our upcoming full-length album “Lammendam” describes a Dutch ghost saga, one of our own horror legends.
We call our music “Haunting black theatric metal” because we use ghost stories as concepts. On stage we try to show that and create a mystic horror sphere around our act. A live-bass player called Brynmor is recruited for future performances.
We have our own sound now. ‘Ghostly’, ‘story-telling’, “bombastic”, ‘symphonic’ and ‘variation’ are good words to describe it. We use corpse-paint, blast-beats, high vocals and we put lots of value in our narrative concepts and lyrics.
2) Why did you choose to call the band “Carach Angren”? Was there a particular reason?
It’s a name from J.R.R. Tolkien. I started my black metal thing like 10 years ago. There were already lots of black metal bands using names of this author. I noticed bands like Gorgoroth, Morgul, Cirith Gorgor and Summoning. It seemed a sort of bible to many bands. So I started reading the books and I liked it. The dark names Tolkien gave to his land Mordor were all taken by bands at that time.
Back then I found the Sindarian name Carach Angren in his book “The Silmarillion”. It was still unknown and I introduced it to my first band. But Inger Indolia turned out to be a better name for that band.
All these years later Carach Angren came up again for our project. Every member agreed.
Okee…too many bands have already worked with Tolkien. But we do nothing with his stories in our lyrics. So fuck opinions on this one and see it as an old fine tradition pointing to a fantastic definition of the dark.
Carach Angren means “Iron Jaws”. It is a narrow pass in the northwest of Mordor were mountains come together looking like sharp teeth, made of iron.
A good name that sounds strange and dark. It stands for strength. Iron jaws biting holes in your souls. Hehe.
3) What is the metal scene like in the Netherlands?
We still haven’t played in other countries so…difficult to compare.
But I think there’s not that much going on in the Dutch metal scene. Especially not in the melodic black scene. In our country it’s not a common thing: seeing people go crazy on your gig. I think the metal scene lives more in countries like Germany.
On the other hand, we’ve got lots of bands, mostly metal core or death metal bands, I think.
4) How would you describe the style you are playing? What are the bands that influenced you and Carach Angren?
Like I told “Haunting black theatric metal” when you give it a name. We like bands like Mayhem, Dark funeral, Emperor, Limbonic Art etc. Also Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir are bands we grew up with. There are lots of acts and bands with inspiring aspects.
Main thing is that we don’t try to sound like anything, but our own idea of black ghostly metal.
Black metal is a beautiful music style to express horror. I also use deep grunts in my vocals. In the old days I began singing death metal. It stayed there a bit. I still like bands like Cannibal Corpse and Deicide.
We want to be a ghostly horror movie/event in the form of a band, expressing itself through black metal, to create that warm mysterious atmosphere.
5) You already released two EPs, “The Chase Vault Tragedy” and “Ethereal Veiled Existance”. What was the feedback you got from the international press and the fans?
Well… we sold 100 copies of “The Chase Vault Tragedy” and 200 of “Ethereal veiled existence”, mostly in Holland. So not that much feedback from outside. But I have to say that I am always satisfied with the feedback we get. There have been enough good reactions from different points and people, especially via the internet. We could not have done better those days and our ghost concepts were well received.
6) In 2007, you signed a record deal with Maddening Media. How did that come about?
Well, we came in contact with Philip Breuer in the beginning of 2007. The contact was more or less established by Rahab, one of the guitar players from the Dutch band ‘Ordo Draconis’. He made Philip Breuer (Maddening Media owner and vocalist in Le Grand Guignol) aware of our existence. Philip was very enthousiastic and we got in contact through email. Things felt good right away from the beginning. So we started talking about our future cooperation and plans for an upcoming release.
The cooperation is fantastic and will only get better I think. We got all the artistic freedom we wanted and every topic was an open topic to talk about. This cooperation really helps us as a band. It’s also cool following the process of other bands currently on the label. (Le Grand Guignol, Abstract Rapture, Uninvited Guest).
So being connected to Maddening Media has got all kind of advantages, it’s not only a good way to present our music to more people, but also a solid and fun networking basis within the music scene.
7) Your new album “Lammendam” will be release on the 18th April 2008. Can you tell us a bit about it? Are you satisfied with the end result? Does it suit your expectations?
We worked with Patrick Damiani (Tidal Wave Studio) on a very natural, free and solid basis, right from the beginning. Patrick had a very natural view on recording an album or music/ sound in general. This is something that fits our view. There are lots of things going on in our music at the same time so it’s really a hard job to make this come out in a good, natural way. Patrick pulled this off, we were overwhelmed by the end result!
Besides all this, we had a very great time in the studio, we worked very very hard but also partied until we dropped, haha.
8 ) You deal will ghosts in your lyrics. Why did you choose this topic? Could you please enlighten us on the story behind “de Lammendam”?
The ghost topic is something that grew with Carach Angren right from the beginning. When we started Carach Angren (originally as a project) in 2004, we wanted to record a demo as fast as possible. The three of us were always emotionally interested in art and music in particular. Music/ art must reach us on an emotional level. We were always looking for stories, music and other intense, horrifying topics in general, so one day we stumbled upon the legend of the Chase Vault. It really gave us an undefined but intense feeling to everything started to work out all at once. We decided to transfer this story into music. One of the most intense moments on this MCD for me is the part in ‘The Chase Vault Mystery’ were Seregor sings and a baby is crying in the background, guided by a disturbing melody. It is this kind of intensity that we wanted to expand, together with the fast and melodic black metal.
“Ethereal Veiled Existence” (MCD 2005) was a step further on the road taken. On this CD, we tell the story of the Brown Lady, the legend of a ghost haunting Raynham Hall in England.
We recorded both CD’s ourselves although “Ethereal Veiled Existence” sounds a lot better than “The Chase Vault Tragedy”. The difference can be explained by the lack of equipment in the beginning.
After the release of ‘Ethereal Veiled Existence’ we were thinking about doing a full lenght album and trying to find a record label. So that became our next goal. Seregor suggested the story of ‘de Lammendam’. It is a saga that finds its origin in a small place called ‘Schinveld’ in the southern part of the Netherlands. For Seregor it has always been a local legend because he lives near the place were the story took place. We were all three fascinated by the story so we agreed right away.
The legend tells that once upon a time there lived a girl in a sort of castle called ‘de Leiffartshof’. She had different, secret relationships with two gentlemen living in villages near Schinveld. During day she was often seen in a beautiful white dress, walking through the woods that surrounded the Leiffartshof.
At a certain point the two gentlemen found out about eachother, having a relationship with the girl. From that day on they called eachother words in public situations. A grudge was born.
Suddenly the Leiffartshof was covered in flames. Everyone inside died a horrible death, including the girl. Nobody knew what exactly happened but rumours were told that one of the gentlemen started the fire. After this doomsday several people reported ghostly sightings in this area. They all saw a white appearance passing through the woods.
The story is still told amongst people living in Schinveld. In the end, maybe it’s just a story but the fact that -the story- still lives is a fascinating idea. The fact that we’re releasing an album about it is also contributes to the existence of the saga.
9) Will the next CD also follow the story of “de Lammendam”?
No, I don’t think we’ll continue with the same concept on a next CD. The story of the Lammendam is told on this release and that’s about it. However, we’ve got some vague ideas for a new release. Some music is already written. It will most likely be another concept album, or at least a release containing story telling elements.
10) And what about your future plans? Maybe some gigs in Luxembourg? (please ^^)
We would really like to play some gigs in Luxembourg and other countries. We’ll see what the public responses on the album will be. Hopefully we’ll get lots of opportunities to play live, at least, that’s what we want to do this year. Playing live and promoting our album. We are trying to build a great live show that will guide the music in a live situation. We want to offer the people something special. We’re always working hard on these things.
11) What animal would suit your music best? And why?
That’s an original question! Great!
Well, a really, really scared horse would fit us perfectly, haha.
No I think it should be some kind of predator bird, an eagle maybe. It can fly very fast at times but it can also hang in the sky for a long time. This could refer to the fast tempo in our songs. On the other hand we also can ‘zoom in’ to a particular aspect of the story and stay with it for a while, fear for example. This fits the -hanging- part of the bird.
In general the bird can oversee lots of places from above. We try to overlook and tell the story we reproduce. At a certain point the bird gets its prey in sight and dives from the sky. We try to hit the listener on an unexpected moment as well. Of the other hand the listener won’t end up in our stomach, Hehe.
12) Thanks for the interview. Last words are yours…
Thanks for showing your interest in Carcach Angren. Prepare for ‘Lammendam’!
the interview was made by the true nemesis
~ by innerwille on April 1, 2008.