The influence of H.P. Lovecraft in popular culture is undeniable, and its presence in the metal genre is highlighted from classic Metallica tracks, to off-kilter acts like Blind Idiot God. The Great Old Ones, a French post-black metal outfit, proudly embrace this tradition, as their suggests, exploring the themes of cosmicism through the years, starting with their debut album, Al Azif, and carrying on with Tekeli-Li, both displaying at the same time a deep appreciation for the author's work, and a detailed understanding of extreme metal's landscape.
The Lovecraftian journey continues with EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy, a direct reference to the Esoteric Order of Dagon, a fictional cult based on a religion brought to the town of Innsmouth in 1838. These elements make an appearance in the individual tracks, in an attempt to create a cohesive narrative throughout the record, an attribute further aided by the inclusion of ambient recordings, samples and extended instrumentation, as in the cello parts of “Mare Infinitum.”
The deities worshipped by this cult were Father Dagon, Mother Hydra and, obviously, Cthulhu. The common denominator in this instance is the connection of these three gods to the water element, and The Great Old Ones attempt to encapsulate this aspect in their work. The guitar parts come in waves, overwhelming in their force, and taking an amorphous quality, filling the space completely in an asphyxiating effort. It is this focal point where post-metal and black metal find common ground, where the ethereal world meets its violent end, something that is also brought in with the melodies. This is not overdone, and while the music does not reach a point of extreme dissonance, spiralling into a relentless process of disfiguring harmonies, the phrases always retain an interest, never becoming dull.
The Great Old Ones are able to achieve a very artful result in their experimentation with black metal. In their stepping away from the genre, they enrich the textures of their tracks, with the use of ritualistic passages, or by invoking post-metal giants, as Neurosis, but it is never done to the extent where they deviate too far outside of the boundaries of the genre. The result is rich in that regard, a textile sea of sounds, not forced together, but organically packed in a coherent presentation.
The trip through EOD is mysterious and bleak, filled with wonders and horrors, until the final track, “My Love for The Stars (Cthulhu Fhtagn)” invites the malicious spirits back into their deathlike dream state. It was said that three oaths had to be taken for someone to become part of the EOD. One of secrecy, one of loyalty and an oath to sire a Deep One child. Thematically the last oath has been fulfilled by The Great Old Ones in the siring of EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy.
8.0 / 10
The incredible nature of The Great Old Ones majestic, sweeping and downright epic black metal was devastatingly apparent on their debut Al Azif - a record that saw them take ...
Posted June 22, 2019, 3:28 p.m.
The Great Old Ones have announced their upcoming fourth album, the follow-up to 2017's EOD - A Tale of Dark Legacy. The new album follows a Lovecraftian theme, aptly titled ...
Posted April 6, 2014, 7:20 p.m.
The latest from The Great Old Ones, Tekeli-Li, is now streaming online and can be heard here. CDs are available on April 16 and LPs on May 2.
Posted March 26, 2014, 8:19 a.m.
The Great Old Ones have put the song "The Elder Thing" online in advance of Tekeli-li's upcoming release via their bandcamp page, where the track "Antarctica" can also be ...
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