Updated: Mar 17, 2019
Cthulhu is a subject that many metal bands have tried to conquer. Some capture the mood in lyrics only, while musically the album's just another typical death metal production. However, with one-man black/death metal band TEMPLE OF DEMIGOD, the atmosphere is realized to its potential, conveying a sense of horror, despair, power and beauty. Mark Erskine (GHOULCHAPEL) makes it sound as if a full band were playing along with him, which is an effort multitudes seem to fail at. This epic, swaying, slithering album, "The Great Old Ones", will capture your attention early. First full-length after the "Profane Doctrine" EP is an adventure unto itself.
The piano-drenched opener 'Labyrinth' leads into the chugging guitars of 'Ominous King', with its death metal vocals smothered in a symphonic background and throbbing, razor-quick drums, before relaxing into a mid-paced build-up reaching twisting/turning heights of intensity. There's even a little Emperor and Behemoth influences thrown in for good measure. 'The Awakening of A Mighty One' dodges and fidgets with crisp guitars and towering vocals. 'Azathoth Supreme Chaos' begins with a hypnotic piano piece before releasing a monument-like rise of guitars until they swirl back downward to match the guttural vocals. Every song is epic in its own way. The aggression isn't high, but the majestic riffs and melody move each track forward while keeping the same feel to an album of creative songs. The Lovecraftian 'Mountains of Madness' reaches another crescendo of malefic proportions. The album continues its pace throughout, reaching final track 'The Great Old Ones', which slithers like a waking leviathan waiting for its prey.
If you like horror-oriented metal with Cthulhu themes, check out "The Great Old Ones". Dim the lights, crank up the volume, and wait for Lovecraft's gods to enrapture you.