In honor of what would have been Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s birthday, I decided to take a listen to the new album from France’s THE GREAT OLD ONES.
Initially I was skeptical since this is a Lovecraft themed album from a French post-black metal band. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Lovecraft’s work and France is currently responsible for producing some great black metal. But, like ketchup and ice cream, not all good things should be combined. If we’re talking sonic interpretations here, Lovecraft’s canon would seem to lend itself to the lumbering pace of doom metal more than the droning shoegaziness of post-black. But this five piece do an admirable job of crafting something that successfully conjures images of soul destroying evil from beyond space and time.
Although TGOO primarily draw from black metal and post-rock influences, they wisely incorporate some doom metal influence as well. Somehow, the resultant miasma works. From the slow opening dirge of “Al Azif” to the extended final track, “My Love for the Stars (Cthulhu Fhtagn)”, the band drags the listener through a soundscape that’s at once frantic, menacing, and epic. The blind idiot god Azathoth would be proud.
Check out THE GREAT OLD ONES’ Bandcamp page to listen to some tracks or buy the album. If you’re a fan of ALTER OF PLAGUES or WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, you’re definitely going to want to give this album a shot.