Released By : Metal On Metal Records
Genre : Classic Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, NWOBHM
Simon Iff? – Vocals
Emily Ningauble – Drums
John Demaine – Bass
Aldo Dodo – Guitars
01. David Lund
02. At The Mountains Of Madness
03. Iron Shadows In The Moon
04. Infernal Machine
05. The Cloven Sea
06. On A Horse Called Vengeance
07. Gods Of Storm And Thunder
08. Kult Of Kutulu
09. Legions Of The Deep
10. We’re From Keighley
It’s been a while since I have reviewed an album from the METAL ON METAL Records stable, the reasons why are irrelevant, but let’s just say that’s nice to be back on board. Especially with a release like LEGIONS OF THE DEEP, the second album from British metal act ARKHAM WITCH. As you may or may not gather from the band’s name, ARKHAM WITCH are big fans of all things H.P Lovecraft, certainly not the first metal band to be inspired by such things, but as a fan myself, another reason to revisit his works is always welcome. Seeing as though you guys come here for info about music rather than a literary discussion about Lovecraftian themes, I’ll make sure to get to that straight up next. Let’s just say though, if you are a fan of all things H.P Lovecraft, then everything about this album will tickle your senses in a fantastic fashion.
Musically this album treads an interesting combination of Traditional Heavy Metal, NWOBHM and some late seventies inspired Doom Metal too. It’s a classic sound that encapsulates a time where Heavy Metal was finding its feet and just starting to branch out into some of its first sub-genres. A couple of bands that I’m sure most people will mention when talking about this album are WITCHFINDER GENERAL and SAINT VITUS, and if you are a fan of some of the ground-breaking music either of these guys released earlier on in piece then there should be enough on this album to keep you interested. But there is also a few other elements taking place throughout this album that add to the mystique of it all. WE’RE FROM KEIGHLEY draws as much inspiration from SEX PISTOLS type early day Punk Rock as it does any form of metal. KULT OF KUTULU takes a less-distortioned approach to what is comparable to RIDE THE LIGHNING era METALLICA, especially in the proto-thrash riff work. There’s one more comparison I need to make too, which was the most surprising and possibly most enjoyable element of the entire album and that is the second track AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. Now for starters I absolutely love the lyrics for this track, to be fair the rest of the album is written pretty darn well too, but this track just works for me in that department. The odd thing though is that sound-wise, this is almost what I can imagine what would have happened if BLACK SABBATH and ROLLING STONES had of gotten together in 1977 to record a song together!…. Don’t believe me, check the chorus and tell me that tonally it isn’t straight out of the Jagger/Richards playbook. I loved the uniqueness of this mixture and I think a lot of fans of both classic rock and classic metal will appreciate it too.
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this album as much as I did, and truth be told it almost passed me by without a listen, but I’m so glad I got to spend some time with one of the more interesting releases of the last half of 2012 and I am happy to recommend it to anybody that either loves the earlier side of classic rock/metal, or is a Lovecraftian at heart.
Written By ZeeZee