Dutch horror metal band Carach Angren are getting ready to release their new album, Frankensteina Strateamontarus via Season of Mist this year and Ghostcult Magazine was lucky enough to be allowed to listen to it and ask a few questions in a sneak peak listening session, courtesy of their label Season of mist, earlier this year at an undisclosed location.
As always the new album is a compilation of horror stories with a theme, but unlike earlier work, the band has let go of the chronological storytelling their albums used to have. Instead this time the band approached their theme by finding any and all stories they could connect to it.
The band got a fascination with Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, after a dream about a disturbing picture of a man in an old castle, and managed to discover the German scientist, alchemist, and occultist this story was inspired by Johann Conrad Dippel. When exploring Frankenstein and Dippel the band found numerous stories and inventions by the somewhat mad alchemist and occultist, and a fascination of life, death, the soul and life beyond death. These stories were then mulled upon and shaped with fictional what if elements by the band to form the albums lyrical content. Some of Dippel’s deadly inventions were used up to the second world war, and in some ways he lives on in his legacy. A serial killer was also inspired by him and his work, der Vampir von Hanover, whose story is also featured on the album.
Similar to its inspiration, the album was about experimentation for the band, with both sounds, adding in industrial elements to their usual masterful orchestrations that can make violins sound like whirling leaves on the wind, and the crushing sharp blackened metal vocals and riffs, but also adding a deep bassy sound in their mix. Starting out leading us into a dark fairytale-like the brothers grim, to whirl us throughout history, fiction, the internal struggle of a monster and of a creator, and the edges of what life means, before pulling us back, back to that moment where the child in the forest near the abandoned castle goes awry.
When asked what story the band researched but sadly could not fit onto the album the reply came that in their research they got in touch with a group of scientists studying death and brain function, and finding out that it’s very hard to pinpoint the exact moment of death. The scientists tried to study this by beheading lab mice while they were hooked up to equipment to study their brain function, and even though their heads were removed from their bodies, their brain function persisted for about 30 seconds, even peaking at times. This does make one wonder about the very nature of dead and alive.
Recently released single “Monster” shows the versatility, experimentation, and madness of the album, the orchestration and the subject matter, delightfully creepy and visceral, it is sure to haunt your nights’ rest for a while. The album will be released on Seasons of Mist, May 29th 2020.
WORDS BY SUSANNE A. MAATHUIS