||SWAMPCULT BRING TO LIFE THE HORRORS OF LOVECRAFT'S 'THE FESTIVAL'
Many Metal bands find lyrical inspiration in the works of HP Lovecraft but Dutch Dark Atmospheric Doomsters Swampcult have based their entire second album around his story, 'The Festival'.
Their previous offering, debut album 'An Idol Carved In Flesh' was influenced by many of the works of HP Lovecraft but not focussed on a single story, as this is album is.
Each of the tracks are divided into chapters following the original 'The Festival' story as you can see from the track listing below, and to give it visual appeal, a story card has been created for each chapter, each with its own artwork and writing accompanying all physical copies, completing the whole Lovecraft theme and mood.
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In addition, woven within and between the tracks are soundbites to enhance the mood; from the strange murmurings in the village, haunting winds, creaking floors, to the toll of bells, all adding to the mental imagery as you listen as well as helping the tracks flow from one to the next seamlessly as the tale unfolds.
Soundwise, in the vocal department Swampcult remind a little of Triptykon's legendary vocalist Tom G Warrior, for the power and style of delivery so immediately we are onto a great start; these vocals are superb.
The overall sound, compared to their previous release is one that is much richer and more developed. The previous was rawer, although this still has enough of that quality to give a sinister, gritty edge to it but the big difference is depth. This is a much more complex and layered and final production.
It's a well considered, constructed and delivered album, all tracks are of the same consistent quality and I like how they run together as one track, which is how I believe it is intended to be listened to - in its entirety and the crushing Doom base to the sound has a hugely hypnotic almost psychedelic feel, subtly enhanced with sinister elements of Black and Death Metal.
Chapter I - The Village
Chapter II - The Old Man
Chapter III - Al-Azif Necronomicon
Chapter IV – Procession
Chapter V - The Rite
Chapter VI - The Flight
Chapter VII - The Dawning
Chapter VIII - The Madness
IX - Epilogue - Betwixt Dream and Insanity
Anyone who is a fan of HP Lovecraft will thoroughly enjoy 'The Festival' as it perfectly puts to music the story, giving as vivid a mental picture as the original tale does, but the appeal won't stop there as you don't need to be a Lovecraft fan to enjoy this.
Fans of Triptykon should also find this of interest or anyone who enjoys an atmospheric and dark Doom sound should find this a rewarding listen.
‘The Festival’ is available now here.