2xCD, Brume Records, 2009
“Nyarlathotep” is a limited edition re-release by Flint Glass, co-founder of the acclaimed French label, Brume Records. This incarnation “Nyarlathotep” is accompanied by a fresh EP: “From Beyond”, and adorned in the dark organic artwork of famous French illustrator Romain Fournier. Set against a backdrop of pyramids and smoky black clouds, the new artwork depicts tentacled monstrosities with gaping maws, inspired – like the music – by tales of cosmic horror by the late H.P. Lovecraft.
Like the new artwork, the music is multi-layered and complex. Skilfully woven layers of dark electronics and samples evoke a quiet, eerie atmosphere, haunted with menacing tension. Despite its complexity, the music does not draw attention to itself.
I want to call this ‘chilled dark electronica’; for the most part, the description is fitting. Each track evolves from an ambient intro into pieces of smooth synth work, guided by tight but light percussion. Creating an interesting contrast, the clean surface is often disturbed, for example, by the brittle beats and shanks of dirty electro of the Middle Eastern-influenced “Al Takwi”, and the driving bass and whips of sound in the slow anthem “Al Azif”. However, a few tracks such as “Nephren-Ka”, with its tribal thump, and the nightmare chase of “The Hound”, are too rousing to be called ‘chilled’.
The most interesting aspect for me was the range of percussion, from the gigantic submarine heartbeats in “R’lyeh La Morte”, to the dance floor stomp of “Cthulhu Dawn” and the Middle Eastern trills in “Al Takwi”, not to mention the hints of tribal drumming throughout. More than once I was reminded of Tzolk’in, Flint Glass’ Mayan-inspired side project with Empusae.
This is a rich listen and rewards returning to it. This release will hold a prized position in the collection of any dark electronica fan.
— Rudolf Vavruch