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Various Artists - The Black Stone – Music For Lovecraftian Summoning [Eighth Tower - 2021]

The obsidian works of H.P. Lovecraft and the grimmest ambient go hand in tentacle. Hearing low, vile, chthonic dirges sends forth such a vibe of utter, otherworldly chaos that one cannot help but think of the terrors of Lovecraft's universe, whether inspired by or not. Eighth Tower's compilation The Black Stone – Music For Lovecraftian Summonings is a perfect example of how well these two worlds mesh. Long after his death, Lovecraft's vivid imagination continues to inspire in every genre imaginable, and this grim and vile collection is a wonderful representation.

Like a compendium of tales from the Cthulhu Mythos, the low, varied blend that comprises The Black Stone works together in a subtle melding of time, space, and form. Shifting like an amorphous shoggoth, the pieces on display fill the cavities and crevices set before them, leaving the listener helpless - stuck staring at as the musical madness takes hold. While the basis for each song remains in similar theme with the dark, brooking that one would associate with a subterranean invocation, each artist puts his/her own mark on the work and the collaborators' eldritch vision shoots forth from the bubbling mass like an eye shaped pustule before returning to the protoplasmic body. An eerie mix of subtle, rough, electronic, and acoustic, the works culled by Eighth Tower cover a fairly broad spectrum (albeit in a fairly narrow focus) to add an aural menace to the countless words (and worlds) that describe the Cthulhu Mythos. Dark ambient with some arms reaching out toward (light) death industrial, The Black Stone has something for everyone that likes their music bleak and grim, and is a complete fourteen track masterpiece collection for those that enjoy it all. The myriad artists bring their finest and foulest, and this compilation is a true love letter to the Lovecraftian Universe.

Eighth Tower have collected a wonderfully grim mix of artists for their latest compilation, The Black Stone - Music for Lovecraftian Summonings. Spread lushly over fourteen tracks, the pacing and darkness fits in lock-step with the documents chronicling chthonic rituals. Music to go insane to, spinning this album shows the artists' care and commitment to creating bleak and dark wonder. Perfect for a rainy day tear down the Lovecraft rabbithole, The Black Stone is worthy of many repeated listens.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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