Polish groovemeisters Lovecraft are a bit vague about their band's personnel stating, in the notes on their Bandcamp page, "Names? Way too many to mention". Going by their social media they seem to be a collective made up of five members but their individual roles and instrumentation within the group, at the time of writing, remains a mystery. However, the fact that x played bass and y played drums is on the whole irrelevant and it is the music they create together that we are most interested in, and that music is pretty damn good as their debut album "Can Abyss" will attest to.
If you scroll down to the bottom of this albums Bandcamp page, you will notice tags describing Lovecraft's music as heavy prog, psychedelic and stoner so imagine our surprise when first track "Awakening (From the Sea)" comes drifting out of our speakers sounding like a previously undiscovered outtake from a late 60's Doors session fronted by an appropriately Morrison-esque rich baritone. Of course, given those tags mentioned things are not likely to stay Doors-ish for the duration of the song and between those Lizard King like verses things get a little more complex and heavier with the vocals taking on a more forceful dynamic and the music mirroring that dynamic. "Mooneater pt.I" follows and finds Lovecraft channelling a little Iron Maiden-esque prog-metal gallop into their attack with the vocals following a similar path, not quite hitting the air raid siren range of Bruce Dickenson but certainly coming relatively close. It's back to the Morrison-esque tones for next track "Another Damn Idiot" but only briefly as things soon take a left turn and take off in a more stoner metal direction with a mixture of clean and growled singing and call/response vocal trade-offs delivered over a virtual tsunami of crunching guitar chords. growling bass and pounding percussion that is only interrupted by a lysergic laced middle-section. Next up is "Horrors in the Attic" a superbly executed number that feels almost theatrical in feel thanks in part to the ear catching swing of its vocal melodies and its penny opera style lyrical content while musically the song switches between complex heavy prog and vaudevillian doom linked together nicely by bursts of highly impressive drumming. "Grasshopper" has a punk-ish feel in its initial stages, both vocally and musically, but then shifts down the gears and morphs into a lysergic blues groove over which spoken narrative tells its tale in low heavily accented tones ably supported by some truly stunning guitar work, the song then returning to its punk-ish origins for its finale. For penultimate track "The Deep Dark Slumber" Lovecraft revisit the theatrics they toyed with on "Horrors in the Attic" and merge them with the bluesy grooviness they explored on "Grasshopper" only this time throwing some doom-ic dankness into the mix for good measure. Lovecraft finish "Can Abyss" with "Bar Cannabis", a song that cherry picks from everything that has gone before and then blends it all together, Morrison-like vocal tones. spoken narrative, lysergic interludes, crunching riffs, thundering rhythms and screaming guitar solos all combining to create a fitting curtain closer for what is a diverse and highly entertaining album.
In turns theatrical, atmospheric, angular, lysergic and raucous Lovecraft's "Can Abyss" is an album that doesn't quite play by the rules, it is a collection of songs that on the whole start out straightforward and somewhat traditional but then along the way will regularly take unexpected left turns into uncharted musical territories, it's quite a ride.
Check 'em out ......
© 2022 Frazer Jones