January 27, 2017

The Great Old Ones - EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy

By Calen Henry. The Great Old Ones (named after the cosmic deities within the Cthulhu mythos) play Cthulhu metal the way Sleep play Stoner metal: with complete devotion. They're all in. From band name through to musical style, everything about the band is steeped in Lovecraft.
By Calen Henry.

Cover art by Jeff Grimal.

The Great Old Ones (named after the cosmic deities within the Cthulhu mythos) play Cthulhu metal the way Sleep play Stoner metal: with complete devotion. They're all in. From band name through to musical style, everything about the band is steeped in Lovecraft.

Lovecraftian horror and the Cthulhu mythos in particular have long been lyrical themes in metal. Bands as far back as Metallica have touched on them to varying degrees and the Cthulhu mythos has proven a fitting vessel through which to channel heavy metal. Metal, and black metal in particular, uses themes of cosmic insignificance, world-weary nihilism, and demon worship. All are also integral to Lovecraft's world.

Photos by Francis Bijl.

Across their three full lengths—an album of Cthulu themed songs, a concept album based on At The Mountains of Madness, and now EOD : A Tale of Dark Legacy, a concept album based on A Shadow over Innsmouth—The Great Old Ones have channeled those themes through blackened post-metal.

Through their catalog they've moved from post-metal with blackened embellishments to focus their sound on the caustic black metal sound most recently thrust into the spotlight by Icelandic bands like Misþyrming. Though rooted firmly in black metal a lot of the post-metal influence remains, albeit filtered through the lens of dissonant black metal.

Photos by Francis Bijl.

The maelstrom often breaks into slow crushing grooves but with the same dissonant chords and intervals as the black metal as well as slightly dissonant leads layered over top. This approach gives the whole record a cohesive sense of foreboding and a pervasive wrongness, another important tenet of Lovecraft and something lacking in much Cthulhu themed metal. Even the final track, a long ambient acoustic album closer oozes foreboding like an evil Agalloch.

With EOD : A Tale of Dark Legacy The Great Old Ones have delivered on every level. It's a great album regardless of one's Lovecraftian proclivities, and even better for Lovecraft fans.

Tagged with 2017, Calen Henry, Francis Bijl, post-black metal, Season of Mist, The Great Old Ones
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