In May of this year the Greek black metal band Prometheus independently released a superb EP named Astrophobos, whose title track took its inspirations and its lyrics from a mystical, otherworldly poem by H.P. Lovecraft that (as one writer described it) “tells the tale of a misinterpreted golden star and its truly terrible reality”. Where once the narrator beheld with yearning a place in the night heavens that he imagined to be a utopia of happiness and virtue, he realizes, as the glorious light turns crimson, that instead demons gaze back from a realm of haunting horror.
Now Prometheus have expanded upon that EP, adding three more songs to create an album-length work that will be released by I, Voidhanger Records on October 23rd. Its title is Resonant Echoes From Cosmos Of Old. As the label explains, the music carries forward the heritage of both Hellenic and Scandinavian black metal (from early Septic Flesh and Rotting Christ to Emperor and Setherial), while also interweaving elements of the esoteric death metal of such bands as Morbid Angel and early Absu.
To help introduce the new album, we are today presenting that stunning song that grew from the seeds planted by Lovecraft’s frightening poetry.
“Astrophobos” the poem is indeed otherworldly and frightening, alluring and shattering, and so is “Astrophobos” the song. As the music moves, it changes, exposing the listener to a range of contrasting sensations, the overall impact of which is unsettling in the extreme.
Slow and hypnotic at first, the music fashions an alchemical combination of simmering, luminous melody and ominous groaning chords. An eerie, squirming pulse emanates from a morass of radioactive distortion and bubbling bass tones. As the music unfolds the drums hammer and the riffing begins to boil in a semblance of poisonous madness, but no more mad than the combination of abyssal growls and terrifying shrieks expelled from the throat of vocalist Aggelos.
There’s a frightening, cyclonic quality to these swarming and battering sounds, and a punishing physicality that accompanies the chime-like tones that ring and reverberate in chilling fashion from within this spectrum of sonic horrors. The guitars shriek and moan as the rhythm section engage in a brutal, methodically pounding assault, but when the song’s shifting attacks on sanity diminish, and drummer Nodens moves to a syncopated cadence, a wash of celestial ambience drifts above, paving the way for a seductive, intoxicating guitar finale. (Credit for the array of guitar, bass, and synth performances goes to Esophis).
All these experiences together really do create a disturbing but mesmerizing impact, very effectively giving voice to both the mystical magnetism and the blood-freezing terrors expressed by the poem.
I, Voidhanger will release Resonant Echoes From Cosmos Of Old on 12″ vinyl (black or purple) and in a digipack CD edition, as well as digitally. Pre-orders are open now.
Also below you’ll find a stream of the new album’s opening track, “Gravitons Passing Through Yog-Sothoth“.
LP / CD: https://metalodyssey.8merch.com/
1. Gravitons Passing Through Yog-Sothoth (7:51)
2. Azathoth (6:00)
3. Astrophobos (8:37)
4. Resonant Echoes From Cosmos Of Old (9:04)
5. Ανεμοι των Αστρων (3:45)
6. The Crimson Tower Of The Headless God (7:47)
Total Time 42:54