Carach Angren

Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2018

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Having only heard very little about this Dutch band, this show was my first real meeting with Carach Angren. They were supporting Rotting Christ in a sold out small hall of Pumpehuset, and the atmosphere was welcoming as they were about to go on. The spooky piano piece Opening from their latest album, Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten, heralded their coming…

“Make some noise, Copenhagen!”
- Dennis ‘Seregor’ Droomers (vocals)


Charlie followed, and already here in the first song, I got a strong feeling that this was going to be something different, something very entertaining. Admittedly, I was sold already when Clemens ‘Ardek’ Wijers walked on, and was greeted by a spirit keyboard - the whole thing was mounted on a motorised arm, draped in a black cloth and topped with a spooky looking mask. It moved by its own volition, and set the stage perfectly for a band that apparently focuses on telling ghost stories.
Harder to see was his brother (Ardek’s, not the keyboard’s), Iwo ‘Namtar’ Wijers, since the stage was very dark, and had a heavy cloud of smoke filling it most of the time. With them was also Bastiaan ‘The Butcher’ Boh on guitar, and with him, the stage was set for conjuring a set of spirited metal. It was a bit surprising not to see a bassist, but apparently that’s a thing for them.

If I should boil Carach Angren down to one word, it’d probably be complete. What I mean by this, is that they delivered a very complete show, where music, costumes, and performance all came together, and supported each other in order to create one hell of a show! So much drama, I love it! As if the very stylized corpsepaint wasn’t enough, Seregor went backstage and donned a crown and a skull-face for, Pitch Black Box I believe it was, and later, for Bloodstains On The Captain’s Log, he wore a three-faced demon mask.
It wasn’t all about visuals, even though it can easily sound like it. The band was tight, had a good connection going with the audience, and a good, dynamic set planned out. I’m sure that if they’d had a larger stage, they would have easily filled that out as well.

“Copenhagen, repeat after me - Goddamnit! And now in Dutch - Godverdomme! In the name of the Devil! In de naam van de Duivel!”
- Seregor (vocals)


Yes, the Copenhagen crowd was with Carach Angren, apparently being more familiar with the band than I was. There was a failed request for a circlepit, but apart from that, all went swimmingly. There was shouting and singing, and even shouting in Dutch when Seregor asked for it.
Headbanging was definitely present, although there wasn’t much room for it in the packed hall, where I for my part enjoyed just watching the spectacle unfold before me. I may not have known of the band before, but I sure wouldn’t mind another go.

Setlist:

Opening
Charlie
The Carriage Wheel Murder
When Crows Tick On Windows
Pitch Black Box
Bitte Tötet Mich
Blood Queen
Lingering In An Imprint Haunting
Sir John
In De Naam Van De Duivel
Charles Francis Coghlan
Bloodstains On The Captain’s Log

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