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Music / Death Came Through a Phantom Ship

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Death Came Through a Phantom Ship is Carach Angren's second feature-length studio album, exploring the origins of the legendary ghost ship known as the Flying Dutchman, manned by a psychopathic captain named Van Der Decken.

What? Your tropes? May they suffocate! May they rot!

  • And I Must Scream: Van Der Decken is now forced to roam the seas until doomsday, just as he vowed he would.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Inverted. The Dutch-East India Company's monopoly is in order spice trade, slavery, and violence.
  • Asshole Victim: Downplayed with the ship's crew. They apparently took no issue with anything Van Der Decken encouraged them to do, but their families mourned them.
  • Bad Boss: While he only shows shades of it at first, when he calls his crew "drunken snails", Van Der Decken slips into outright evil when he willingly starves and kills them.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Van Der Decken denies his men's protests to his choice to set sail on Easter Sunday quite bombastically. Immediately lampshaded.
    "What?! Your God?! May he suffocate! May he rot!"
    Kept the bible close to me.
    His book of lies I shall now cast into the sea.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The crew of Van Der Decken's ship are okay with raping and pillaging foreigners, but see setting sail on Easter Sunday as an act of blasphemy that warrants mutiny.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Van Der Decken doesn't even try to pretend he's not a total bastard driven by a lust for greed and power.
    I stand for greed, lust and the willpower to defeat. The mask I wear is kind, with a distorted face underneath. I believe in bliss through violence and suppression. Take, rob and rape. Don't let these filthy foreigners escape. On our pillage through the Indian seas, we sail heartless under the flag of piracy. Ravish and ruin their lives. Execute their children right before their eyes. My treasure chambers, teeming with the riches I adore. I call it passion, not a sin, to kill for more and more.
  • Domestic Abuser: Catharina is treated more like a servant than a wife to Van Der Decken, who forces her to kiss his gold medal, and threatens to rape her.
  • Downer Beginning: The album starts off with a man encountering the eponymous phantom ship, which is boarded by a ghostly figure and his Hell Hound, which tricks him into killing his daughter, then he kills his wife to spare her the shock of what he did, and finally takes his own life.
  • Downer Ending: Van Der Decken is dead, but the family members of his crew are devastated, and he gets a chance to live on as a ghost, forever haunting the seas and taking his vengeance upon anyone he crosses. The only real good thing is that he got exactly what he wanted.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Subverted. Van Der Decken tells Catharina that he loves her, but that he loves the sea, his ship, and his crew more. The latter one is also a lie, because he mistreats them, kills one them for taking a stand against him, and allows them to starve to death before finishing off the survivors. If anything, he "loves" them as he would a treasured possession. Though apparently his crew have families that love them, as they mourn their deaths.
  • Evil Is Hammy: It really comes with the territory for Seregor. Basically, Van Der Decken is an R-rated Disney villain in practically every regard.
  • Fallen Hero: Apparently, Van Der Decken was once a stern but decent man, but fell prey to dreams of riches and conquest.
  • Flying Dutchman: Implied, but never outright stated to be Van Der Decken's ship.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The song "Al betekent het mijn dood" is Dutch for, "Even if it means my death!" In the song itself, it's preceded by "Godverdomme! Wij zullen vaeren!", meaning "Goddammit! We will be sailing!"
  • Hollywood Atheist: At least, Van Der Decken presented as one at first, though his Rage Against the Heavens might imply him to be more of a Nay-Theist.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: After refusing to yield to Christ, Van Der Decken brings on the wrath of God, who summons lightning that strikes his ship, breaking off the top mast and impaling him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Domestic abuse, genocide, piracy, and rape notwithstanding, Van Der Decken is just an all-around horrible and unpleasant man. He claims to love his crew, but then he murders one of them in cold blood for trying to dissuade him from setting sail on Easter Sunday, lets their supplies dwindle as he searches for land, and personally kills those that didn't die of starvation.
  • Narcissist: Befitting a man whose main motivation is greed, Van Der Decken is self-absorbed and vain. His whole aspiration is "to be the best, nothing less".
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Van Der Decken sees the foreigners whose lands he invades as "filthy", encouraging his men to do whatever they want to them. Then there's also the matter of how he sees Catharina as more of a subject to abuse and rape on a whim.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: It's Van Der Decken's primary MO.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: The United Dutch-East India Company, who Van Der Decken is under the employ of, "run a monopoly: spice trade, slavery, and violence."
  • The Sociopath: Van Der Decken is referred to as "a successful psychopath", and he certainly shows the traits of one: a profound Lack of Empathy, an inflated sense of entitlement, and an Ax-Crazy demeanor to top it all off.
  • Soprano and Gravel: One Patrick Damiani voices one of Van Der Decken's would-be mutinists, contrasting with Seregor's throaty rasp. Jarringly enough, Seregor used his own voice for Catharina.
  • Stupid Evil: While typically averted for most of the album, Van Der Decken wasn't doing himself any favors by starving his crew, since he needed those resources just as much.
  • Tempting Fate: It wasn't exactly smart of Van Der Decken to tell God to go fuck himself after he'd just murdered the last of his crew and tied himself up on the wheel.
  • Time Skip: Inverted and then played straight. The prologue of the album is set in the mid-sixties at least, the middle takes place centuries prior, and the end shows the ages passing.
  • Villain Song: "Al betekent het mijn dood" is sung from Van Der Decken's perspective.