“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”, said the one and only horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. This man has been an influence to many, particularly The Great Old Ones who have dedicated a musical sub-genre to his novels – “Lovecraftian black metal.” Wondering how Lovecraftian black metal would sound may not bring any definite answers unless you enter the transcendental world that  The Great Old Ones’ tunes emanate from. Their second full-length “Tekeli-Li” continues the obscure adventure, this time revolving around the novella “At The Mountains of Madness.”

“Tekeli-Li” is an opium-like album that deviates from the common stream that most of the fans are used to. What you will find in is breathtaking soundscapes of a dense atmosphere, avant-garde instrumentalism and tortured vocals that conjure the most fearful beings from another nightmarish dimension.

It could be a weird comparison but this album is like “The Beauty and The Beast.” It is so beautiful to look at and listen to but also so fierce, being capable of eviscerating one’s soul and replacing it with an infinite nightmare. Each second of “Tekeli-Li” gets you closer to the unknown horror and further away from the light of the day. The Great Old Ones demonstrate a clever use of storytelling, composition and musicianship.  A step up in their craft, that’s for sure. The lyrics and their adaptation to the music is a role model. Everyonce in a while, there are passages of spoken words in French, which eventually turn into a violent assault of post-black metal, accompanied by an ambience of pure Lovecraftian horror.

If SBM has had a rating system, then “Tekeli-Li” would have gotten a 10 out of 10. It’s got the high quality production; mastering, mixing and packaging wise. It’s got the BRILLIANT artwork, (see more of Jeff Grimal’s work here) which I personally cannot take my eyes off of. It stands out with by approaching black metal with post/avant-garde-ish touch, which fits perfectly the given theme. The Great Old Ones certainly nailed their style and I’m very curious to see how they’ll develop it in the future.  Listen to “Tekeli-Li” below.

The Great Old Ones – Tekeli-Li
Les Acteurs De L’Ombre Productions, release: 16.04.2014
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1. Je ne suis pas fou
2. Antarctica
3. The Elder Things
4. Awakening
5. The Ascend
6. Behind the Mountains

Total running time: 53:18