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AMN Reviews: The Great Old Ones – Mythos Of Cthulhu (2023; Eighth Tower Records)

Eighth Tower is back with another Lovecraft-inspired release. This is the second from The Great Old Ones, a stage name of experimentalist and label head Raffaele Pezzella. Guest musicians include Mario Lino Stancati on voice and electric guitar, and Alexandros Magkos (Grim Machine) on percussion, electronics, and voice.

Not unlike its predecessor, Mythos Of Cthulhu focuses on electroacoustic ambient, with synth-driven droning textures and lilting passages. These haunting pieces evoke the underwater city of R’lyeh, where Cthulhu lies in a death-like slumber, as well as the activities of human cultists.

To the latter point, The Tablets Of Ubbo-Sathla features muted ritual chant, throat singing, and tribal percussion in addition to strange effects and noises. Other pieces are more open-ended and experimental, with sculpted electronics that shimmer with discordance as well as bells, chimes, and elements from field recordings.

Rather than just encompassing the ancient terror that is Cthulhu, the album also has a biomechanical nature – an unholy mixing of creature and machine. This is hinted at by the use of modern audio technology to represent twisted forms of life, organic beings coupled with the periodicities of machines. But the majority of Mythos Of Cthulhu is focused on ritualized constructs, often with unpatterned percussion or no percussion at all.

This is an excellent horror and sci-fi influenced release from Eighth Tower, one of many. If the darker side of experimental ambient is your thing, do not hesitate.

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