Carach Angren is a symphonic black metal band from the Netherlands. In 2017, they released their fifth studio album Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten. The name means “Iron Jaws” in the Elvish language of Sindarin, and is the name of a fortified pass into North-Western Mordor in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Since their first USA tour in 2014, Carach Angren has always been a support act. This year, they embarked on their first headlining tour with Mors Principium Est and Wolfheart as support for the Pitch Black Horror Tour. The mood was set as Los Angeles was drenched by rain and even lightning and thunder in the sky made an appearance to further set the mood. By the time Carach Angren came on stage, the 1720 warehouse was nicely packed as black metal fanatics and metalheads in general were excited for a full set from the Dutch horror masters.
The lights went out and the crowd cheered as drummer Ivo “Namtar” Wijers came out on stage to sit on his throne. The keyboard on stage eerily moved by itself as to be possessed before keyboardist Clemens “Ardek” Wijers took his place on the keyboards. Touring guitarist Bastiaan “The Butcher” Boh was next. Singer Dennis “Seregor” Droomers was last to come out. Carach Angren started the show with the first track from the new album, Charlie. Right away, you can feel the horror that the music bestows upon you as Carach Angren tell their tales of terror in a haunting fashion. The third song performed was one of their most popular tracks, When Crows Tick on Windows. Seregor does an amazing job at not only singing the songs, but playing out the lyrics as if watching the song come to life. The band as a whole had amazing stage presence as they would all make grotesque faces to match the music and would regularly interact with the audience. Carach Angren played songs from all their albums which was nice to hear some classics as well as some performed for the first time. Some of those songs included The Carriage Wheel Murder, In de Naam Van de Duivel (Dutch for “In the Name of the Devil”), Sir John, and The Sighting is a Portent of Doom. One of the highlights of the show was the beginning of the song Blood Queen. Seregor went over to the mannequin with the words “Jane Doe” cut into her flesh, took a knife out, and proceeded to slice her throat with blood coming out of the wound. Seregor then gorged himself on the blood from the neck of Jane Doe down to her vagina. It made Blood Queen that much more interesting to see performed live. Another highlight of the show was when Carach Angren finally performed the fan-favorite The Funerary Dirge of a Violinist. It is one of the band’s most beautiful songs. Aside from the catchy song, it contains a beautiful piano/keyboard solo by Ardek that is worth rewinding just to listen to it over and over again. Carach Angren finished the show and left the stage. The fans stayed and cheered for Carach Angren to come back out. Not too long later, the band came back out to perform another favorite, Bitte Tötet Mich (German for “Please Kill Me”). The finale for the show was the band’s usual ending song of Bloodstain on the Captain’s Log. Seeing Carach Angren live is an experience that should be seen by metalheads. Not only are they an experience, but they are Pitch Black Horror goodness.