The Great Old Ones - EOD: A Tale of Dark LegacyLovecraftian atmosphere in music is a tricky thing to nail down. The number of metal bands attempting to emulate H.P. Lovecraft’s pioneering brand of cosmic horror in aural form seems to increase exponentially from year to year, and while many of them come close, most fall short. I believe this is because people underestimate how many elements Lovecraft pulled together to craft his fiction. His works aren’t just about ancient gods famed for their tentacles; they successfully intersect classic horror with themes of insanity, religion, and the supernatural at an intersection that teeters on the edge of our grounded, minuscule existence and the vastness of what lies beyond the realm of human comprehension. Make no mistake: France’s post-black metal outfit The Great Old Ones get Lovecraft, perhaps more than any other band I’ve encountered. Their third outing, EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy, is the best product of their vision to date, even though it comes with a shoggoth-sized caveat.

A sort of musical fan fiction that acts as a sequel to The Shadow Over Innsmouth, EOD feels monumental despite its sub-forty five-minute runtime. TGOO has recorded an impressive and engrossing production with this album. Their three guitarists never rest on their laurels, constantly working in tandem to create a rich tapestry that feels authentically cosmic, and the peppering of larger-than-life choirs and organ performances make it feel like the soundtrack to some twisted, extra-dimensional Sunday mass. Despite the majesty, EOD is easily the most chaotic and violent sounding of TGOO’s works; the twisting maelstrom of riffs in the latter half of “The Ritual,” for instance, recall the frigid blasts of Immortal at their most vicious, while Léo Isnard’s drumming possesses a newfound vigor that’s death metal-like in its delivery. I never knew I needed death metal fills in Altar of Plagues-inspired post-black metal, and yet here they are, and I fucking adore them.

While this record has given me every reason to love it, you’ve probably detected a foreboding “but” lurking under the surface of the review thanks to my first paragraph. Recall how I described EOD as a richly layered album, and then take a look at that DR value down below. That’s right, folks; TGOO has built a brickwall between their listeners and this album, and they’re making their eardrums pay for it. EOD is a record so immaculately textured that it’s practically begging for a great master, and yet everything sounds like it’s been congealed by an ooze secreted from some hideous, eldritch being. I absolutely loathe the way this album has been mastered, and I feel there are great elements of it that I’m completely missing out on because they’re locked away beneath the heavy compression. As it’s been produced, though, it feels like TGOO’s ambitions have been squandered in favor of making them the latest casualty of the Loudness War.

I may detest how EOD’s been crushed to oblivion, but that doesn’t mean the production isn’t without merit. The drums still manage to pop despite the compression, and I love how punchy and dense they sound in contrast with the ethereal guitar distortion. I’m also pleased to hear that TGOO is still implementing the slow, doomy passages that helped them stand out from the post-black crowd from the beginning; the inclusion of such sections makes for excellent build-ups, especially when serving as the introduction of the colossal closing track “Mare Infinitum.” This is my hands-down favorite of EOD, a would-be dark masterpiece (again, blame the mastering) that features some of the band’s most effective melodies and impressive performances thus far. The haunting cello melody that serves as a prelude is really something else.

We’re not even a full month into 2017 yet, and already I have a solid pick for the album in greatest need of a remaster this year. I really, really want to love EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy; it’s the first fully realized vision from a band that never quite met my expectations, and every moment of it (aside from the hokey, spoken word interludes) feels carefully crafted. The mastering undoubtedly puts a damper on The Great Old Ones’ achievement, but that’s certainly not a reason to miss out on it. It’s a record that a lot of people are going to love unconditionally, and as the year wears on, I may eventually find myself in that place as well.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Season of Mist
Websites: thegreatoldonessom.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/thegreatoldones
Releases Worldwide: January 27th, 2017

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  • ashcindersmoke

    This is the first record I’m really excited to listen to this year. Absolutely love this band.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    I’ve been in a rut with audio devices lately so listening to my promo copy of this was met with confusion regarding the mix. Glad to see it wasn’t just my crappy temporary set up. Great album nonetheless.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      Are you REALLY glad about that though?

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        Now that is the real question

  • LExpoZiod

    It really sucks when an otherwise fantastic album is let down by shoddy production. Swanö should open a school.

    • Varun Dixit

      And Steven Wilson too !

  • One of the most anticipated releases of 2017 for me. The most disappointing thing about this album (which won’t avoid you enjoying it) is the production (not too bad though, really), otherwise it’s incredibly fantastic. Loved the singles, loved the album (as expected).

  • Reese Burns

    I’m beyond hyped for this one. This is one of the few bands that I feel uneasy listening to, they do a great job of creating a palpable sense of dread in their music.
    Also: who better to review this than someone name Eldrich Elitist? Great review!

  • Jrod1983

    Can’t wait for this, I have been listening to the advance tracks for a while now.
    I do agree about the mastering, but like last years Ulcerate I’m pretty sure I’ll accept and enjoy it regardless.

    • Frost15

      Perfect example.

  • Grymm

    If it weren’t for the production, this would have easily been a 4.5 for me. No one else has captured the essence of Lovecraft quite like these guys do, and they make it look so damn easy.

    Still, despite the production, this is easily Album o’ the Year material for me. The aforementioned cello in “Mare Infinitum” in your review, the violent second half of “The Ritual”, and the utterly jaw-dropping final two minutes of “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” have to be heard to be believed.

    Great review!

    • Eldritch Elitist

      Thanks! Man, if I had known in advance how much you would end up liking this one, I would’ve asked you to review it. I hate that I don’t love it as much as you do.

      • Grymm

        Oh, I never even heard them until EOD, so you are more capable of reviewing this album than me… and you did a damn fine job of that.

        • Eldritch Elitist

          Whoops, sorry for the double reply. I made this a couple of hours ago and it only just showed up!

    • Eldritch Elitist

      Thanks! I’m honestly bothered that I don’t love this as much as you do, though I’m certainly not done listening to it.

      • Grymm

        No, man, you had a very valid complaint with it, so don’t feel bothered by it. In fact, I can only listen to this in small doses, but I love what I hear.

        If this was mixed better…

        • Name’s Dalton

          Is it the mix or the master?

          Surprisingly, it still sounds good enough, and while that’s not what this music deserves, it still sounds pretty damn good.

          Those guitars: talk about palpable dread!

          • AlphaBetaFoxface

            If the mix is garbage and compressed, there is not much that can be done about the master. It’ll sound garbage either way.

            Though there is a small chance the mix was awesome then the mastering guy just ran it through a bitcrusher.

    • Hideous destructor

      Those last two minutes are fucking A!

      • Grymm

        They were so good, I needed a cigarette after… and I don’t even smoke.

    • Gnarlyroot

      The mids are REALLY scooped away, making the overall mix seem a bit muddy. I tried messing around with the EQ in iTunes to see if I could bring up the vocals and mids a bit… I barely ever use this setting, and wouldnt reccommend it for most albums BUT… putting it on “Spoken Word” or “Vocal Boost” and pushing it up about 3db actually improves the mix for this album, it brightens it a bit so it doesn’t seem so damn muddy without making it sound overly trebly.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Too sludgy for my taste. That doom/death combo…

  • ZEbyiUWvbe

    Let’s hope we get a better sounding vinyl version. At the moment I only see a CD on the Season of Mist shop.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      I’ve seen the vinyl up for sale. I went ahead and bought the CD, just for the limited edition that comes with the fantastic looking art book. Someone should buy the vinyl version and report back here on the sound quality!

    • tomasjacobi

      I would have gotten the vinyl, but instead of doing a single LP, which would be totally fine with a running time of 45 minutes, they chose to do the 2LP 45RPM thing, which is silly IMO. I don’t want to change side every 10 to 12 minutes.
      So I went for the CD book edition which looks very nice (it’s still in the mail as we speak).

  • h_f_m

    There’s plenty of good albums that could use a remaster, some unquestionable classics. I would argue that shouldn’t be a reason to be hesitant about it.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      Hesitant? Absolutely not. I still encourage pretty much everyone to check this out, but I wanted people to know not to expect the best production.

      • h_f_m

        I stand corrected you pretty much said that in the last paragraph. m/

  • DrewMusic

    Meh. Maybe I was spoiled by last year, but seriously, nothing has stood out and grabbed me like Departe’s Failure, Subside did and I hate it.
    I just want to be grabbed, is that so wrong?

    • Eldritch Elitist

      The year is still young. Be patient!

      And yes, it IS wrong. Blog security is on its way.

      • DrewMusic

        …to grab me?
        And the year may be young, but the world seems hellbent on destroying itself as quickly as it can; I want to have the absolute best playlist possible when it’s time to watch everything go down in flames.

        • Eldritch Elitist

          Just don’t put modern In Flames on your in flames playlist.

          • DrewMusic

            In Flames has been dead to me for over a decade. You wound me.

  • sir_c

    The embedded track is really promising, I’ll check this one out. Sad the production doesn’t do it justice. Does anyone know how their previous albums are? Any good?

    • Eldritch Elitist

      I would give their last two albums a 3, probably. Great atmosphere, but the compositions are a bit lacking. It’s probably best to give them a spin before EOD comes out and spoils you!

      • sir_c

        What I heard so far from Tekeli-li I’d rate it higher than 3, prolly a 4.

    • AndySynn

      I voted Tekeli-li as one of the best albums of 2014, and I stand by that assessment today. Absolutely spellbinding from start to finish.

      • sir_c

        I just listened Antarctica on YT. Absolute stunner of a song. Will definitely check this album too, to see if the rest of the tracks are at least this good.

        • AndySynn

          For me it’s one of those albums which you put on… and then you don’t dare even think about turning it off until it’s run its course. It really is that engrossing.

          • sir_c

            Thanks for the suggestion, the album sounds pretty damn good to me. It’s too soon to tell which I like better (Tekeli-li or EOD), but in a way I don’t care: there are 2 more albums worth listening to that I know of now.

    • VikingSchism

      When I listened to the embedded, there were quite a few moments where I thought ‘this is perfectly lovecraft’. I think it’s possible to live with this production if this is what we get from it

  • Frost15

    As other user mentioned I find this album excellent, even though the comments about the mastering are spot on. Reminds me of last year’s Ulcerate, and that album ended on my top 10…

  • Oberon

    What were your thoughts on Sulphur Aeon’s Lovecraft worship then?

    It sounds worse than a DR 8, but I always thought an 8 was above average?

    • Eldritch Elitist

      Sulphur Aeon is awesome! But in terms of atmosphere, TGOO has ’em beat, even if they can’t touch SA on a technical level.

      And yes, DR8 is above average. DR6 seems to be the modern standard, and on many records a DR6 can sound great – for example, check out the embedded track on the Undrask review. But Undrask doesn’t utilize nearly as many layers as a band like TGOO, who incorporates reverb-heavy distortion effects, synths, choirs, and THREE guitarists, sometimes all at once. A DR8 would have been the acceptable minimum for a production of this complexity.

  • Thatguy

    Thanks, EE. I’m a bit over Lovecraftian themes so I was wondering about this, but it sounds great.

    Good band photo too…

    • Eldritch Elitist

      I like the uniformity of it.

      • Thatguy

        Oppressively uniform and black. These are good things.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        So much uniformity it almost looks like the same guy pictured five times.

  • tomasjacobi

    I’m a bit surprised about how everyone seems to agree that this has terrible production. I can’t hear what’s so objectionable about it.
    There are lots of terrible sounding albums being released and I find it odd to single out this one.
    I would classify the mastering here as being close to invisible, meaning it doesn’t get in the way of me enjoying the music unlike for instance the latest Ulcerate which is almost unbearable.
    But even if we let that go and say that there IS something wrong with the production, then I don’t think you’re correct about blaming the mastering. In my experience, a DR6 mastering doesn’t change how something sounds in a big way. If you don’t like how this album sounds, you should talk about the mix or how it has been recorded, not the mastering.
    I’m not saying I wouldn’t like less limited masterings in general but for a mastering to really ruin how something sounds, it needs to squash everything way lower than DR6.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      Hey, thanks for the comment – It’s only been in the past year that I’ve started getting into the nitty gritty of what makes for great production, so you may very well be more knowledgeable than me in this respect.

      I had pinned down the mastering here as the source of my dislike for the album’s sound because, despite being able to hear all of the components at work here, they don’t seem to have room to breathe. The guitars all seem lumped together, and I blamed that on the compression limiting just what can even be done with them in terms of volume. Am I off base in pinning this on the master? Or could the DR6 mastering allow for a more dynamic sound if it was mixed better?

      • tomasjacobi

        Ha-ha, no I’m not very knowledgeable at all. Sorry If I come across as a “know-it-all” :-)
        But as I said, the times when I have had the change to compare a DR5/6 mastering to a more dynamic one, be it on vinyl or a digital release of the vinyl master, I have found the differences to be subtle. B beneficial and positive, but subtle; a little more punch from the drums and slightly more seperation between the instruments.
        I think for this album to sound like you wish it to, it would have to be mixed differently.
        Most likely the band wants it to sound like this, since their 2 previous albums also had this very crammed, claustrophobic mix.

        • Eldritch Elitist

          You didn’t come across as a know-it-all, just as someone with knowledge! Yeah, I think the way this album sounds is very intentional, but to their credit this is the best sounding album they’ve made thus far. I really need to start frequenting Metal-Fi more, though – I’d like to be able to more accurately articulate my issues with bad production, and to know when the mix is the issue for a cramped sound rather than the master.

          • tomasjacobi

            The thing is, unless you actually get to compare the unmastered mix to the finished product, you won’t know for sure how big the difference is, so in the end it’s always going to be speculation to a certain degree..
            Anyway, nice review. I pre-ordered the CD book edition which hasn’t arrived yet, so for now I’ve only heard the 3 preview tracks.

          • Eldritch Elitist

            I have that edition on the way as well. Really looking forward to digging into the lyrics and oggling the art.

          • ashcindersmoke

            My wife thinks it’s silly when I buy physical copies of music, but I think it’s worth the lecture to get the book edition

      • Sean Sky

        Mastering doesn’t usually bother me on a number of records where it’s mentioned around here but this album, even before I read reviews knocking the mastering, really made me want to stop listening. Everything felt so flat and bland. That Ulcerate record is really bad for it too. There are times when a wall of sound can be useful and intentional… but for a whole record it just kills me.

  • Norfair Legend

    Sounds amazing, just went over and almost all the vinyl was gone. Managed to grab the clear one, said there was three left. Phew!

    • Eldritch Elitist

      Make sure to report back here on how the vinyl sounds!

  • Dudeguy Jones

    Awesome album! Floored by it. Bested all expectations. As good as that Dumal album that came out. Maybe better!
    I have cauliflower for ears so it doesn’t sound bad to me in the least.

    One picking point, as a big Lovecraft fan; I don’t think these guys come very close to giving me any sense of the elder or the cosmically horrific.
    Actually, most things fail to hit those points that I hope for.
    Of course, this is entirely subjective. What you get out of Lovecraft may be entirely different.

    That said, I’ll toss the bid in again for Unaussprechlichen Kulten as being the most legit Lovecraftian listening experience. Theres something lurching and not right about it. Like the riffs are sick with some quasi virus and they’re expectorating all into your ears.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      I’m gonna check that out, thanks for the rec. Glad you like the album!

    • xengineofdeathx

      I recently had to make the switch to big headphones cuz ear buds don’t fit in my ears now. But yeah this album rules.

  • PanzerFistDominatrix

    ”… the vastness of what lies beyond the realm of human comprehension.”

    How does one judge the size of what one doesn’t comprehend? Is that a black metal version of Donald Rumsfeld’s unknown unknowns? http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/51c177b739e7142ef3d39c9952e1676b875e522502bb0d4c755c31c2ca3f5939.jpg

    • Tongue in cheek or not, it’s a good question. Looking back at what they didn’t know regarding any given discipline only a 100 years ago, not to say 1000, leaves only one conclusion; we still got much more to learn, and there are forces and aspects of life and nature we have not discovered yet.

      Also, apropos politics, I just finished reading The Washington Decree, a fictional triller about a new president who go to extremes, sending the US into a chaotic slippery slope of state of emergency. Whilst initially released a decade ago, it suddenly feels oh-so relevant.

      • PanzerFistDominatrix

        True to form, I was being my pedantic self with my tongue bulging out in my cheek like I was… nevermind :-)
        The question is interesting but allow me to be even more pedantic: I think you conflate the extent of knowledge with what is humanly comprehensible.

        • …or perceptible. Like frequencies. Those folks of yore simply didn’t see that one coming.

  • I have one of their past albums in my Bandcamp wishlist. This one isn’t going to stay as long on the wishlist before purchase though. It sounds fantastic. I don’t really have a big problem with the production. At least it’s not fatiguing or harsh and the music doesn’t fall to pieces under the weight of the compression/limiting. It’s certainly near the top of the pile so far this year along with Helheim and… I don’t know, maybe it’s just those two so far this year.

  • Requiem

    Such frustrating production, such great music. A crying shame, truly.

  • Grymm

    I will have to give this some time. Sick vocals, too. Thank you for turning me on to this!

    • AndySynn

      You are welcome.

  • Hey RS:

    You’re absolutely right that DR scores aren’t the be all end all of production, and no one on this site is saying that AFAICT. In fact, this very website discussed this exact issue here not just a few weeks ago:

    http://www.metal-fi.com/angry-metal-fi-on-dr-scores/

    In terms of the differences between a high dynamic vs low dynamic record being “subtle,” that all depends. A great article on this topic is my partner in crime’s “Take the Swano Challenge” found here:

    http://www.metal-fi.com/taking-swano-challenge/

    Take it for yourself. Make sure you level match.

    I myself have not heard this record yet (it is on preorder). My guess is that if it was bricked and everything has been slammed to 0dbFS or close to it, it’s gonna sound fatiguing. Btw, you mention YouTube – I’m sure you know that YouTube is volume normalized and that some labels actually upload higher dynamic versions because of it (otherwise the overly compressed version sounds worse). You can read about that on Production Advice or talk to our very own Whiz in the forums who has done a lot of research on the topic.

    I don’t know who told you that *ALL* CD masters are the same as vinyl masters but that my friend is DEFINITELY a myth. Yes, it’s true that most masters are the same for both formats due to budgetry constraints, but there are bands who DO CHOOSE to actually produce a dynamic master for vinyl and then compress that down for the CD to meet Loudness War requirements (read: label wouldn’t take it that quiet or the band thought the iTunes version had to be loud enough to compete with their peers).

    Case in point, the last Vainaja record or the one before it (I get them confused, the names are hard to spell!), Dan Swano did exactly that. He produced one high dynamic master that made it to the vinyl but compressed it down to DR6 for the CD. The vinyl master is absolutely a different sounding product than the CD one. Again, yes, this is far and few between but it does happen (btw that example was verified by Swano himself in multiple interviews). I can give more examples if you like (I think the Be’lakor vinyl remaster on Bandcamp is another fine example).

  • An album may sound “fine” to you, but not to others. There are many albums I personally feel are hurt by their production and overall sound.

    We never claimed all could be determined by a DR rating, and some albums sound fine despite a low DR. It can be a valuable shorthand indicator in many instances though.

    Since we strive to limit reviews to 700 or so words, we can’t go into excruciating detail on the production so at times we use terms like “brickwall” or “loudness” as readers generally understand what is meant by those terms.

  • I’m sorry, you are changing your own argument to fit your narrative. You are also grossly and rudely generalizing the readers and staff on this site.

    Right here: “By the way, vinyl masters being different to CD and WEB masters is a myth,…”

    That was your main point before you backtracked on it. I was just simply pointing out that it is
    NO MYTH. You even referenced HA in the process too (which is more about format myths than mastering ones).

    I’m not offended by any of your comments. However, I do feel they are not even begin remotely fair to me, what I’ve written in the past, or this review. He didn’t like the production – get over it.

    As Steel pointed out, there is a word count limit here and on Metal-Fi. I do however try to go into more technical details in our AMF series. So look to those if you want more in-depth analysis.

    • RS

      I’m sorry if it seems I’m unfair to you or the people here and I apologize for that, I’m just trying to point out something that bugs me. I’m not even a big fan of TGOO (they’re fine in my book, nothing spectacular though). I could have just come here and say “you are just a bunch of know-it-all elitists who doesn’t actually know anything about mastering” but I didn’t and I’m honestly trying to to have a serious conversation about this.

      tl;dr I’m perfectly fine with the reviewer not liking the production. However, I’m not fine with the way he or she blames it all on the mastering without giving any significant information about it.

      Finally, I didn’t change anything, you just need to quote the whole phrase: “By the way, vinyl masters being different to CD and WEB masters is a myth, most of the times it’s just the exact same master so please stop asking people to report the vinyl sounds better”. My English may not be the best and the phrase could be a lot better but I think it’s pretty clear.

      I’m not even sure why are we still discusing this, it was just a minor detail and I posted it because there was some discusion about vinyl going on in the comments. It’s evenin the HO article I posted before:

      “There are documented instances of different masters being used on vinyl releases compared to CD releases. One notable example is The White Stripes’ Icky Thump. However, there are also instances of the same masters being used on vinyl releases compared to CD releases. In fact, if you purchase an album produced in the last two decades on vinyl, it is likely that the master will be no different than the one used on CD”.

      We’re saying exactly the same, not sure why you keep antagonizing me on this.

      • RS, this is how you started the conversation:

        “I don’t mean to be rude but I’ve seen a lot of common misconceptions
        about audio mastering in this website and it surprises me that people
        who seem genuinely interested in the subject know so little about it.”

        First off, you come off very accusatory right from the get go and have an aireof superiority in that statement – ironic too that the resident “audiophile elitist” is pointing this out.

        But then say things like this:

        “My point was this album sounds fine even in Youtube 128 kbps mp3,
        normalized or not (I honestly couldn’t care less about this topic, it’s a
        shitty way of listening to music).”

        A “shitty way” to listen to music? So ether a) you don’t know what you’re talking about (hint: the overwhelming majority of people listen to volume normalized music, see iTunes, Spotify, TIDAL, YouTube, etc.) or b) you are just making sweeping generalizations about production in an effort to make a broader point about why reviews are too heavily reliant on the actual DR score.

        I will give you the benefit of the doubt and stick with b. So on that topic:

        The fact is I have been very clear on my positions about DR scores in reviews, how we *subjectively* listen to music, why we think heavily compressed records suck, etc. etc. When I say “we” I mean Metal-Fi – I would not be so bold to speak for the AMG staff though I suspect their position is probably somewhat similar to mine so let’s go with it!

        If you think there is some technical inaccuracy in a review, please feel free to point them out so we can discuss. However, don’t make general sweeping statements like you did in the last two responses and then backtrack on them by saying, “we are basically saying the same thing.” We might be, but we are going about it in very different ways.

        Regarding DR scores: There are plenty of readers on AMG who don’t dive a rats arse about the
        DR number but sometimes still agree with the production bits in the
        review anyway (and vice-a-versa). The DR scores btw are meant to make a broader point about the state of metal production in the context of the Loudness War. I just want to be crystal clear about it (not saying you don’t understand that, just stating it for other readers who might come across this conversation).

        I empathize with you to some degree that the use of certain terms like brickwall limiting, DRC, et al. in certain reviews can start to sound like a self-fulfilling prophesy at times (particularly on Metal-Fi). However, as Steel pointed out, we are limited by word count and it is sometimes implicitly understood that our readership has some understanding of the lexicon and gratuitous use of Unicorns used in reviews because of previous in-depth articles featured in the past that introduced these terms and explained them. Note that trying to get into minutiae about whether or not soft or hard-knee limiting was used or other such technicalities I think would prove to be a boring review anyway. But I do hear ya and again, empathize to a certain degree.

        Can we be friends? Hi, I’m Alex!

        • Sean Sky

          I don’t want to dig up this whole month old argument but I did want to point out that Spotify volume normalization can be turned off in the settings.

          • Yes it can. How many folks do you think even bother or worse still, prefer playing music this way?

  • brklyner

    Hammer, meet nails.

  • Merijn Kooijman

    Don’t call out others on unfair/incomplete quoting, when you don’t quote fairly yourself:

    “Recall how I described EOD as a richly layered album, and then take a look at that DR value down below.”

    Here, the DR is no sole parameter for production. It is presented as related to the amount of layers.

    “I may detest how EOD’s been crushed to oblivion, but that doesn’t mean the production isn’t without merit. The drums still manage to pop despite the compression, and I love how punchy and dense they sound in contrast with the ethereal guitar distortion.”

    There’s nuance.

  • Felchmeister777

    Re: the production: Bollocks. I don’t understand this viewpoint where you’re striving for ‘perfection’. Too many metal albums these days, ironically, are ruined because their production is so ‘good’.

    I don’t want to picture guys sat in a studio, I want to be engrossed, wading through murk, picking out subtleties as the listens pass by. Certainly in the case of music such as this anyway…

    This weird obsession with production never struck me as the be all and end all in the pre-internet days. Plenty of my favourite 90’s records have flawed productions but that, if anything, only enhances their brilliance (Emperor/Arcturus/Abigor/Enslaved/Morbid Angel – to name but a few).

    It’s a really shitty ‘evolution’ in criticism…

    • Last I checked, we hardly had ANY criticism about production. I think that is just as bad.

    • Merijn Kooijman

      The crux here is that a ‘brickwalled master’ (often, not always, I should say) has nothing to do with creative choices, nor with lack of technology/money. Instead, it’s largely based on the myth that ‘modern production entails brickwall’.

      Even if you would want to listen to music as if you’re wading through murk, which is a perspective on music I wholeheartly share, a more dynamic master could enable this experience even more than a brickwalled one.

      I totally agree with your vision on fidelity/realism, though. I don’t always want to envision someone playing bass guitar when I’m trying to drown in the music. Dynamics in music are sometimes presented as if the main function of dynamics is only to contribute to fidelity/realism. Also on this site/Metal-Fi, I sometimes see glimpses of this idea.

      However, and this is where we might disagree again, even a bit crushed, ring modulated drum sound could have more impact and sound nicer in a dynamic master.

      • Felchmeister777

        Really well said…

    • brokenalarms

      Criticism about production generally is quite different from criticism about brickwalling specifically. Brickwalling is a new problem that was not present on the pre-internet albums referred to, and is a new and valid problem that ruins the experience in a far more obvious and repeatable way than the vagaries of different production styles between albums.

      I actually came on here to applaud the quote “has built a brickwall between their listeners and this album, and they’re making their eardrums pay for it”, but now I find myself arguing on the internet. Who would have thought?

  • Plutarch X

    “Of our studies it is impossible to speak, since they held so slight a connection with anything of the world as living men conceive it. They were of that vaster and more appalling universe of dim entity and consciousness which lies deeper than matter, time, and space, and whose existence we suspect only in certain forms of sleep—those rare dreams beyond dreams which come never to common men, and but once or twice in the lifetime of imaginative men. The cosmos of our waking knowledge, born from such an universe as a bubble is born from the pipe of a jester, touches it only as such a bubble may touch its sardonic source when sucked back by the jester’s whim. Men of learning suspect it little and ignore it mostly. Wise men have interpreted dreams, and the gods have laughed…”

  • bvrialchamber

    The deluxe edition CD has an 8min+ bonus track, ‘My Love for the Stars (Cthulhu Fhtagn)’. The production seems noticeably more room filling and pleasing than the rest of the album. Sure enough, DR8. If only…

  • Francesco Bordoni

    I know it’s been like a month but yeah thanks for Obed Marsh – I slapped them carelessly in my List upon reading your comment and finally came around and listened to their 2016 album yesterday: their stuff is SICK and is growing on me like sores or extra appendages in a Cronenberg movie.

    Extradimensional cheers and Ïa-s to you Sir!

    • AndySynn

      Ah, you’re very welcome, and I’m glad you liked it.

      I’m just waiting for them to put out a physical version now (and no, cassettes don’t count).

      • Francesco Bordoni

        I know it has been said before but man, bringing back cassettes is really something I don’t get.