It could be argued that H. P. Lovecraft‘s connection with heavy and weird music was cemented with the inclusion of Behind The Wall Of Sleep – a track inspired by HPL‘s 1919 short story Beyond The Wall Of Sleep – on Sabbath’s 1970 debut. (Some would go further back and cite the 60s US group named after the author but I said “cemented”, not “began”, didn’t you even read the first sentence properly? Start again!). Since then everyone from Portal to John Zorn have openly drawn inspiration from and made reference to Lovecraft‘s work, his fictional grimoire, The Necronomicon, seemingly having taken on a life of its own. Whether Howard would have wanted it that way or not, his tentacle-prints are all over metal and everything derived from and associated with it.
There are probably very few 21st century Lovecraft fans who are not already familiar with the vocal talents of Mr. Andrew Leman. Leman has been a recurring reader and guest on the H. P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast since it began in 2009. He is also a partner of the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society; originally set up around live action role play game Cthulhu Lives, which Leman co-created, now selling all kinds of props and ephemera which include faux radio productions and films based on HPL‘s tales. He is pretty much the go-to guy for Lovecraft readings at this point in time so it’s no surprise that Cadabra Records gave him a call when they wanted someone to bring two Weird Tales to life.
H. P. Lovecraft has been dead and buried in Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, Rhode Island for 79 years. His tombstone reads “I AM PROVIDENCE”. To commemorate his quasquicentennial deathiversary Cadabra bring you The Hound & The Music Of Erich Zann in a limited edition gate-fold sleeved, vinyl release with suitably stunning artwork by Alan Brown and linear notes by renowned HPL scholar and biographer S. T. Joshi.
So, is it any good? Yes. It’s very good. The atmospheric but non-intrusive soundtrack by Teratoma Sound Lab compliments and enhances Leman‘s intense, emotional readings perfectly. The stories themselves are well chosen: The Hound one of HPL‘s more concise and effective chunks of gothic dripping weirdness, The Music Of Erich Zann, a tale about the strange, unearthly power held in certain musical notes, resonances and phrases. It’s all perfect. Well thought out and well executed. Spot on.
Cadabra will be releasing three more Lovecraft records later this year so, if you’re an HPL fan who likes to collect vinyl, you’re in for a treat. You can subscribe and receive all three 12” albums plus one 7” for what seems like a very reasonable $99.
Label: Cadabra Records
Band Links: N/A
Scribed by: John Reppion