To Lovecraft, with love

I’m going away to Ireland tomorrow, back to a place where I lived for a while in my early teenage years. The place where I’ll be staying is 4 miles from the nearest shop, 17 miles from the nearest town and is at the end of a large forest. Pure isolation, so naturally I’m bringing lots of reading material.

Acolytes of Lovecraft, lured by the grandeur of vegan chocolate cake

Scanning my bookcase I spied a couple of H.P. Lovecraft omnibuses, books that I haven’t really picked up since I was 17-18. I’m sure that for a lot of people heavy metal and horror are natural bedfellows, but save for a select few films and the imagery of 30’s/40’s/50’s Universal Monsters I’m not such a fan of the genre in any medium. However,  seeing those Lovecraft books reminded though of how great his mythos and stories are. it took me back to the first time I bought one of his collections in a charity shop for 50p and raced home to read through it; I’d heard whisperings of how unusual the atmosphere was in his stories , and even the name ‘Lovecraft’ seemed dangerously arcane to me. Maybe I’m just a weirdo. Anyway, I sat reading ‘The Haunter of the Dark’ as a storm raged outside my window, just as it does in the story. I didn’t think that the Haunter was going to ride the storm and come into the bedroom as happens in the story (that was more likely to be my mum, I was one messy kid) but I was enthralled.

Even the photographs of Lovecraft seem odd; I used to think that they fitted the bill of the misanthropic loner that his biographers have painted him as, but now when I look at them I see someone whose same, constant expression mirrors the detachment and indifference that the famed Great Old Ones show throughout his stories.

Anyway, whilst I haven’t read Lovecraft in a long time, the influence that his writings and universe have had over the music I have enjoyed for years is immeasurable. Today I’ve just been drinking coffee, baking a chocolate cake and trying to decide which bands have harnessed his weird atmosphere the best. It’s a hard life sometimes. So here’s my 5 favourite Lovecraft influenced albums (I’m sure Pranjal and Monica might be able to add to this):

1. Rudimentary Peni – Cacophany

A concept album by the English death punk band, based purely on H.P Lovecraft’s life. Absolutely insane but fantastic.

2. Catacombs – In The Depths of r’lyeh

The name of the album is Lovecraft related, and it has a very other-worldly atmosphere.

3. Moss – Cthonic Rites

Probably what it would sound like if Cthulhu came to earth, decided to swallow everybody and then recorded the goings on in his belly.

4. Ungl’Unl’Rrlh’Chchch – Ungl’Unl’Rrlh’Chchch

I swear that’s their name and I’m not making it up. A project that is a tribute to Lovecraft. Weird, eerie droning sounds.

5. Morbid Angel – every album. Not for the atmospheres but just because they seem to love H.P.L so much.

If anybody knows of any others, not just within the realms of punk/metal, I’d love to hear them. I’m off to eat some chocolate cake and pray to the Great Old Ones. (Oh, and check the graffiti out….incredible!) PeteF.

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10 Responses to “To Lovecraft, with love”

  1. pranjalistkrieg Says:

    Nice! A few Lovecraft-inspired metal songs come to mind right off the bat… (old) Metallica’s ‘Call of Cthulu’ and ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’, a few by Mercyful Fate… and a bunch by 1349, ‘From the Deeps’ in particular:

    Ia! Ia!
    The stars are rights!

    For aenos they have slumbered
    Dead but dreaming
    Waiting beneath the waves

    Awaken!

    Daemon-gods of primeval times
    Coming round full circle
    Stirring in the deep

    Rise! Rise! Rise!
    Boiling wasters part
    Cyclopean cities emerge
    From the deeps

    And then…

    Insanity and fear
    Overwhelm the humans
    Outnumbered and inferior

    Kraken, Leviathan, Cthulhu
    So many names given
    To the fear from the deeps…

    Awaken! Kraken
    Awaken! Leviathan
    Awaken! Cthulhu

    Rise! Rise! Rise! Rise!

    From the deeps…

  2. I need to hear that song. That’s another for the mix-cd!

  3. pranjalistkrieg Says:

    It’s a good one! They’re a bit cleaner and more technical than I like my black metal to be, but good nonetheless

  4. I love that Rudimentary Peni album!

    Older Cradle of Filth has some very Lovecraft-inspired stuff, and there’s also Nox Arcana and Midnight Syndicate, if you are wanting mood music.

    Nox Arcana has an entire album based on the works of Lovecraft, titled Necronomicon.

    Great blog!

  5. Cheers Eric. I’m going away for awhile but I’ll definitely be checking Nox Arcana out when I get back.

  6. Awesome post, I really, really love this blog!

    But. I have a burning question: what foetid and unnameable dishes would be most gastronomically suited to so aural and literary a Lovecraftian feast? Bring on the nauseous, eldritch recipes, if you please!

  7. zuzucooks Says:

    I had been looking for some bleak summer reading to enjoy with my blood-hued summer borscht; this is the very thing! Great blog

  8. Desdemona – I certainly need to think up something suitably ‘eldritch’! Hmmm…I’m thinking some kind of bubbling stew, laden with gibbous chunks of seitan

    Zuzu – Thanks for the kind words. Definitely check out Lovecraft’s (really) short story ‘The Outsider’ if you get the chance, it’s great!

  9. YES, “gibbous!” I knew I missed one!

  10. AWWW! I really LOVE Electric Wizards music! That Witchcult and Dopethrone are maybe my fave albums, but can`t say only those 2 because every album which they were published is really good. Tasty cake also!

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