Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Innsmouth: Consumed by Elder Sign (2014)

The works of H.P. Lovecraft have had a very long history of influence on metal.  Of course Metallica referenced his works in two early famous songs, "The Call of Ktulu" and "The Thing that Should Not Be".  Many groups have since tailored their music to create a sound worthy of the doom and gloom present in his stories.  Two subgenres have captured this feeling best.  One is funeral doom, lead by groups like Catacombs, Thergothon, and Tyranny.  The other is a form of primordial, occult death metal.  Innsmouth falls into the latter of these two subgenres.

With a name like Innsmouth and the title of the album here, you can probably guess that there are a lot of Lovecraftian references to be found herein.  You would be absolutely correct.  Song titles like "Thrice-Blessed Shub-Niggurath" and many of the lyrics also keep that going.

But along with the obvious lyrics and band name, the sound really conveys the hopelessness and foreboding doom of the Lovecraft stories.  The sound is otherworldly, dark and intense, with rumbling riffs and psychotic growling vocals.  There is a creepy atmosphere that carries throughout the entire album, which is conveyed the best through the use of audio effects such as those at the beginning of "Thrice-Blessed Sub-Niggurath".

The riffs in this release are not particularly ground-breaking.  They are not overly progressive or strange.  But they work incredibly well, particularly with the vocals.  The riffs are fairly repetitive, but that is definitely not a bad thing when they sound this good.

This album is definitely a contender for Album of the Year for me.  It is one of those death metal albums that just grab you and refuse to let go.  Definitely a must-hear.