Numerous metal bands have drawn inspiration from the horrors spawned by the imagination of H.P. Lovecraft, but few have devoted themselves so single-mindedly to capturing the atmosphere of the stories as The Great Old Ones. They continue this mission on their new album EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy, which will be released on January 27 through Season of Mist. The seventh track on the album is “Mare Infinitum“, and we’re helping to premiere it in this post.
In Lovecraft’s mythos the Esoteric Order of Dagon was the dark, terrifying religion brought to the benighted community of Innsmouth by Capt. Obed Marsh upon his return from the South Seas, seducing the townspeople with promises of prosperity, power, and through interbreeding with the amphibious Deep Ones, transformation and eternal life. Those listeners familiar with The Shadow Over Innsmouth will recognize the reference in the new album’s title, as well as the connections of the song titles to that horrifying tale — and that’s because the album conceptually represents an original sequel to that famous story.
“Mare Infinitum” takes its time building an enveloping atmosphere that’s grim, surreal, and haunting — yet also entrancing. Blending elements of post-metal with black metal, this 11-minute piece unfolds in movements of changing pace and intensity. At first, you’ll hear droning ambient tones, a distorted string melody, and the swelling sound of gasping voices. When the full band make their entrance, the music is slow and heavy, something like the rhythmic stagger of a great leviathan striding across a blasted landscape.
In time a mournful guitar harmony arrives, and becomes a prelude to an eruption — a storm of blasting drums, abrasive vibrating guitars, and scalding vocals. The drums eventually begin to tumble and the guitars to seethe, like the boiling of deranged minds, creating a paranormal vortex of violence that tears at the listener’s sanity (the warmth of the bass line creates an unexpected contrast with the spectral lunacy of the guitar work).
Further changes follow, creating a growing sense of unease, with bleak melodies and strange guitar emanations that scatter ghost lights over dense walls of riffing. When haunting choral voices wail and soar majestically near the finale, the experience is spine-shivering rather than exultant.
In this song The Great Old Ones have succeeded in creating music that’s both terrifying and mesmerizing — perhaps something like the effect of the EOD and the Deep Ones on the doomed and degraded inhabitants of Innsmouth.
Vocalist and guitarist Benjamin Guerry has given us this comment about the song on behalf of the band:
“We are proud to present the new track taken from our new album. It is full of melancholy, but also of transcendence. The song pays tribute to the infinite depth of the sea – an essential plot device within Lovecraft’s mythology. For those, who want to keep the surprise element about this tragic trip to Innsmouth, we will give no further explanation or spoiler about our story. Like with any book, you will have to experience it for yourself. We are also stoked about the great production work made by Mobo at Conkrete Studio!”
As noted, EOD… will be released on January 27, 2017. You can pre-order HERE. This is the track list:
1. Searching for R Olmstead (Introduction)
2. The Shadow Over Innsmouth
3. When the Stars Align
4. The Ritual
6. In Screams and Flames
7. Mare Infinitum
8. My Love for the Stars (Cthulu Fhtagn)
Below is our song premiere, along with a stream of the previously released track, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”.
The Great Old Ones on Facebook:
I just heard this on another site, thanks to the newsletter. Sorry to cheat on you. Mare Infinitum isn’t only a great song, it’s a devouring beast.
This is sounding great. Love the cover artwork too.
Yes, the cover art is wonderful — created by Jeff Grimal.
Just FYI https://www.facebook.com/thegreatoldone is not the same as https://www.facebook.com/thegreatoldones
Thanks — I fixed that.
The whole album is a masterpiece, they are a band that gets better with every release. Also their art works is as always sublime.