CD, Brume Records, 2006
Four years after the release of Flint Glass’ excellent debut album “Hierakonopolis” and following an astonishing collaboration with Empusae in “Tzolk’in”, comes the second full-length release by this French artist, “Nyarlathotep”, inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Some knowledge of the Mythos is not a prerequisite to the enjoyment of this album but it allows the association of the music with the imaginary concepts that inspired it.
Flint Glass brilliantly succeeds in conveying the sense of “cosmic horror” alluded by Lovecraft in his writings, when interpreting the almost indefinable abstract concepts that provide the foundations for many subjects of the Mythos through masterfully composed and skilfully layered musical compositions of haunting nature. Like in Lovecraft tales, there is also a crescendo of tension and dread in each track of “Nyarlathotep”, a crescendo that extends to the album as a whole and culminates in the madness that is the track “Slither Chaos”. The progression of this aural journey is punctuated by short interludes (mostly titled after Mythos deities), almost as if to remind the listener that there are unspeakable things out there and that one isn’t simply dealing with concepts in “Nyarlathotep”.
In “Nyarlathotep” there is a clear evolution of Flint Glass’ compositions and style. The essence of his melodic and ambiental work remains, with the most obvious changes being found in rhythmic structures, which have become more complex, even incorporating seemingly tribal elements into his multi-layered structures. In short, Flint Glass’ music has evolved towards a more soundtrack-like style and matured, acquiring more intensity and depth. The solid production work put into “Nyarlathotep” also has a clear influence in the strength of this release further enhancing Flint Glass’ compositions.
Track highlights are tricky with an album such as this but “Angular Space”, “De Vermis Mysteriis” and the seemingly chaotic “Slither Chaos” caused a strong first impression. “Cthulhu Dawn” is also particularly impressive as a layered crescendo progression, especially if one considers the subject described by the music. The four remix tracks are interesting but aren’t essential to what is by already a great album in itself.
For some, the too obvious album and track titles may be a fault but a very minor one considering the end result. An excellent release that grows with every listen, “Nyarlathotep” is definitely worth checking out, whether or not you are an appreciator of the Cthulhu Mythos.
— Miguel de Sousa