AMN Reviews: The Great Old Ones – Yog-Sothoth (2022; Eighth Tower Records)

Despite his deep flaws as a human being, H.P. Lovecraft pioneered a form of psychological horror literature that has had an immeasurable influence over the last 100 years. In Lovecraft’s stories, the Great Old Ones are earthbound, malevolent gods. In contrast, Yog-Sothoth was a timeless, all-knowing entity that could on occasion take physical form on Earth. Its connection to or membership in the Great Old Ones mythos is not entirely clear.

In any event, The Great Old Ones here is musical experimenter Raffaele Pezzella (a.k.a. Sonologyst and RhaD) who offers this first album under his latest stage name. Consisting of four tracks, it is synth-driven dark ambient with shifting layers of drones, scraping, and windswept noises. Pulses and cosmic tones evoke a sense of mystery along with dread. While not exactly suffocating, there is a baleful heaviness and denseness to these structures.

For instance, Born From The Nameless Mist exhibits a thick, smothering drone throughout that is accompanied by a combination of lighter waves. Your Servants Call Upon You includes distant vocalizations and ritual percussion. These two short tracks are sandwiched between long-form pieces that are largely rumbling and drone-focused, with generous use of electroacoustic effects, snippets of instrumentation, chant, and percussion. Slow-moving and ponderous, they seem to exist outside of time like Yog-Sothoth itself.

Notwithstanding the genre and source material, Yog-Sothoth is a pleasant listen. There are many details to appreciate and the textures are never unduly harsh. Frightening? Sure, but in a good way.

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