FEATURE: Carach Angren “Frankensteina Strateamontarus” Album Preview


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.

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Saint[The]Sinner – Masquerades EP


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Since Kiefer Sutherland’s piercing, well, I was going to say eyes but let’s go with teeth, made rock chicks around the world swoon and crick their necks to be bitten, vampires and rock/metal have been more than bedfellows, with both aesthetics, lyrics, band names and even subgenres and scenes entwined. Cradle of Filth blew up by cleverly playing the vampire game (no, not ‘I Vant To Bite Your Finger’), Atreyu resurrected the spirit of the Old Ones in their ascension, Korn temporarily buried their career by associating themselves with the Queen of the Damned, even the hippest of the underground, Tribulation, danced with the children of the night earlier this year, Manowar penned one of their best songs (‘Each Dawn I Die’) in honour of the sleepless, and let us not forget Aiden, the dumb bastard black (formaldehyde) sheep of the flock…

And so Saint[The]Sinnerhave exhumed a classic, pale theme for their sprightly, theatrical pop-rock meets post-hardcore, and it’s a cape they wear well as, with a flourish, they swoop down on ‘Theatre Of Broken Dreams’ haunted house intro and sink their incisors into a vibrant, hurtling, fast paced metalcore lead off track to new EP Masquerades (self-released). As twin vocals trade-off, the throatier screams give way to an engaging, welcoming chorus and a pattern is set.

Keeping energy levels up throughout is one boon of Masquerades, a Premier League production is another, allowing the endearing and vigorous song-writing to flourish and (widow’s) peaks to peak. With the clean vocals adding an off-centre Panic! At The Disco feel to their arsenal, particularly on lead single ‘She’s A Vampire’, it’s a welcome addition to the heady mix of AFI, Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold and Dommin that is sure to see the band on a steep upward trajectory their burgeoning and bloody talents deserve.

The camp horror theme is a cute touch, but don’t let it detract from the fact that the English South Coast crew have summoned forth a beastly set of strong, gratifying, grin-inducing tunes. Saint[The]Sinner have hit the mix right on the money; whether it’s clean or scream on the vocals, it’s all about being dramatic and leaving those hooks in you, as fangs lock into your flesh and notable melodies are injected like venom into the bloodstream in a way that reminds you that, you know what, sometimes this metal thing is about energy and fun, and each track sounds like it was a (monster’s) ball in the creating.

 

8.0/10

STEVE TOVEY


Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed


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Blessed & Possessed (Napalm) the sixth studio album by German band Powerwolf opens with a majestically bombastic title-track that is everything you could hope for in a Powerwolfalbum as the choral vocals just add that extra classical touch to the power metal onslaught. And yes, the melodies are super catchy, like the genre requires. But Powerwolf is not all symphonic bombast; ‘Army of the Night’ really sounds like Sabaton’s combat style, reminding of ‘Ghost Division’, but with far better vocals than Joakim Brodén was then capable of. It is effective in raising both spirits and your heartrate!

On ‘Armata Strigoi’ the riffs are incredibly tight, the melodies have just enough cheese to make this incredibly enjoyable to listen to, and the guitar solo is effective and varied. ‘We are the Wild’ is a Power Metal anthem, as the chorus is perfectly suited to chanting along from the audience. It also features a really nice orchestral break before the solo.

‘Higher than Heaven’ is an up-tempo and highly energetic piece – I couldn’t help but grin madly during this song as the contrast between the fast-paced singing, smooth vocal melody, and pacey music is just immensely pleasing – the slower break does not lose any of the power, but gathers it for the final chorus.

The vocal talents of Attila Dorn are well showcased, in the more battle-oriented songs they sound like a cross between Joakim Brodén and Hansi Kursch, in others, like ‘Let There Be Night’, his voice takes on a very classical quality, with great clarity and vibrato. However, the best parts are the combination of rough and classical, which lends great power to the music and the lyrics.

In case you hadn’t realised yet from the other songs, ‘Christ & Combat’ should make it abundantly clear what the theme of the album is: religion and war, and the lyrics seem to describe some sort of Christian Valhalla. It also has features some excellent bass lines.

While I really love ‘Sanctus Dominus’ for its choral bombast with Latin lyrics and the customary clipped pronunciation, by the time I get to ‘Sacramental Sister’ the religious themes become tiresome with an entire album on the subject hard to swallow

However, the music is fun, the sound is good, and I heartily recommend it to people who love cheesy power metal and have no aversion to the glorification of holy wars and religiousness.

 

7.0/10

LORRAINE LYSEN