Friday, April 25, 2014

The great old ones - Tekeli-li

Genre : Post-black metal
Release : April 16th 2014 on Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions.

Being both french and Lovecraft-lover, just like The great old ones, I couldn't miss their new boxset including new album Tekeli-li and novel Mountains of Madness, from which the new album takes its inspiration and essence. What could have been a better deal, as I never read this one before? I quickly started to dig it while listening to Tekeli-li only, for more immersion regarding that clever association. And I'm happy I did so. Now I can tell you more about the actual album, while you hit the play button of the embed stream above, as usual in the new reviews.

Needless to say there's far more to speak about that the mere music, be it artwork, concept, related items. The overall work, as such, is impressive way before you hit the play button. And when you do, it still is. Tekeli-li kicks in with ambient guitars and a french narrative part, dealing with the novel events. Later on and all along the tracks, there are others low-tempo breaks for some more narrations, always with the same deep male voice, perfectly fitting that role. Those parts surely builds a coherent atmosphere and helps keeping the album really close to the book, although they will probably make less sense for non-french speakers. Musically speaking, The great old ones uses most of the elements they used on their first album, Al Azif, with the same success : be it the anguished vocals, the shrieking guitars or the oppressing and clever mix, which makes everything sound clear despite the number of instruments and their aggressivity. Band's trademark surely is their huge and impressively strong walls of sound, but more than the actual music, the horror feeling perfectly fits the Lovecraftian influences, even though a wider use of dark ambient parts would surely have pleased me for that case. But it's a very personal opinion. Yet, tempo changes quite a lot throughout Tekeli-li, and not only for the narrative breaks : from the solid doom metal played at the beginning of 'Awakening' to the intense, fast-paced drumming on the instrumental track 'The ascend', least I can say is that this new album is as powerful as versatile.

Although obviously minimalistic in its essence, Tekeli-li is an impressive record, successfully creating a strong atmosphere while mostly sticking to the basic instrumentation. A couple piano and violin lines can be heard at some points, but they're not prominent, neither are any acoustic parts by the way, as this release is definitely more metal than anything else. However, those slow-tempo moments definitely add the needed layers to the record. Just as cold and despaired as Antarctica is, the six tracks surely fit Mountains of Madness with their special atmosphere, and they're also using songtitles easy to associate with the novel events. But even if you're not into books, this album will be amazing in itself. « Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li! ».

Personal highlights : Awakening, The ascend.
Links : Facebook, Bandcamp, Bigcartel.

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