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Rating:
8.7
The Great Old Ones - Tekeli-Li
16 April 2014


01. Je Ne Suis Pas Fou
02. Antarctica
03. The Elder Things
04. Awakening
05. The Ascend
06. Behind The Mountains


Bands that choose to take literary works as the thematic inspiration behind their music can tend be pretty hit or miss. It's an interesting idea, this fusion of artistic mediums, but it's not always executed in a way that makes the music feel relevant to the writing. Fortunately, BM Frenchies The Great Old Ones are proving this year that they know very well how to do just that, and they're doing H.P. Lovecraft proud yet again.

Tekeli-li, the group's sophomore effort, revolves around Lovecraft's novella At The Mountains Of Madness, which was basically about underground aliens in Antarctica before it was cool. As one would think is necessary with a dangerous alien theme, the music crafted is both raw, dissonant, and upbeat (the dangerous part) as well as melodic, dreamlike, and a bit eerie as well (representing the foreign, "trippy" nature of aliens). No track really sits too deeply in either territory, "Antarctica" perhaps being the best example: it dances between slow, heavy, fast, and crushing, all the while flirting with the tasty melodic flavor already established on Al Azif, which is the icing on the cake.

The production is definitely a step up from the debut album, however, which is certainly one of the album's most attractive qualities. Whereas things on Al Azif felt a little buried and murky, here everything pops out crisply enough to immediately grab your attention. It's a bit of a paradox, really, but a clever one at that: it's rough black metal, definitely, but it somehow retains that razor sharpe edge without being smothered too much in the gritty, lo-fi smoke so many other bands employ. The 17 minute closer, "Behind The Mountains," is just as good as it sounds: a fantastic blend of fury, sophisticated attention to ambiance, and spine-tingling spoken word that all comes together both in its mixing and overall structure to create a climax that feels more than worth it.

If you're familiar with At The Mountains Of Madness, you'll see how cleverly Tekeli-li really seems to follow along musically with the narrative. What happens to the humans in the story is horriffic and nightmarish, but in an entrancing, almost otherworldy way, and The Great Old Ones seem to reflect this strange dichotomy with the contrast between the harsh and more relaxed sides of their playing. Definitely one of the most well-composed black metal albums of the year thus far, with Tekeli-li The Great Old Ones give a very noteworthy follow up to their debut, further proving (as if we didn't already know?) that the French BM scene is not to be fucked with.

The mountains are beckoning.

*Also seeing these guys at Roadburn in 4 days with a veteran Dutchman and a tiny Chilean. Get hype!

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: The Great Old Ones
Album: Tekeli-Li


 



Written on 06.04.2014 by
Apothecary
"Show me a sane man, and I will cure him for you"
-Carl Jung
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psykometal - 06.04.2014 at 15:25  
Nothing like a good Cheview in the morning. Time to read dis bitch...
Apothecary - 06.04.2014 at 15:39  
Written by psykometal on 06.04.2014 at 15:25

Nothing like a good Cheview in the morning.

Goes well with coffee. Drink responsibly.
psykometal - 06.04.2014 at 15:51  
Written by Apothecary on 06.04.2014 at 15:39

Goes well with coffee. Drink responsibly.

Don't drink coffee, but I do drink coffee-based energy blends.
tea[m]ster - 06.04.2014 at 16:01  
Wow, that was fast...gotta check out the album, thanks for the review
Mr. Doctor - 06.04.2014 at 16:01  
I read it with some wild strawberry juice and walnut cake. Keeping it classy, considering the album, theme and review.

I can't wait to see these guys live. I won't listen to the album though. I wanna buy it right there.
Apothecary - 06.04.2014 at 16:06  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.04.2014 at 16:01

I can't wait to see these guys live. I won't listen to the album though. I wanna buy it right there.

Where's the fun it that?
To each their own, I suppose, but I'd rather become familiar with the material now, so I can better recognize it and enjoy myself when they throw out tracks from it in their set.
Mr. Doctor - 06.04.2014 at 16:11  
Written by Apothecary on 06.04.2014 at 16:06
I'd rather become familiar with the material now, so I can better recognize it and enjoy myself when they throw out tracks from it in their set.

To me, if I become too familiar with the tracks, it feels less like a full concert experience and more like a set of songs which are performed life. I get distracted if I go all "Oh hell yeah this track is awesome... oh and it here it comes this part... oooh yeah". For concerts, I want surprises and I usually prefer when the tracks live are a bit different from the album.

I rarely care for the trees. I care for the woods.
Apothecary - 06.04.2014 at 16:12  
Written by psykometal on 06.04.2014 at 15:51

Don't drink coffee, but I do drink coffee-based energy blends.

It's ok, I used to be big on bull testicles too. The first step is admitting you have a problem.
Mr. Doctor - 06.04.2014 at 16:13  
Monster > Red Bull.

Just saying.
Apothecary - 06.04.2014 at 16:15  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.04.2014 at 16:11

To me, if I become too familiar with the tracks, it feels less like a full concert experience and more like a set of songs which are performed life. I get distracted if I go all "Oh hell yeah this track is awesome... oh and it here it comes this part... oooh yeah". For concerts, I want surprises and I usually prefer when the tracks live are a bit different from the album.

I can totally understand that point of view, I'm like that myself to a certain extent. But I'm more about knowing what's gonna go down before it happens, everyone loves hearing their favorite songs. Also, as you'll probably see at the fest, I can quite often be one of those sing-along concert guys, so if I know what's in the set beforehand I can better prepare myself
Mr. Doctor - 06.04.2014 at 16:17  
Dear Cthulu.... You sing along? You better get away from Marcel and me.
Unhealer - 06.04.2014 at 16:19  
As good as you describe it (the album, not the cocaine).
Apothecary - 06.04.2014 at 16:21  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.04.2014 at 16:17

Dear Cthulu.... You sing along? You better get away from Marcel and me.

Yeah, I was figuring I might have to restrain myself on that end if I want to get back on the train home with yall. Oh well, any opposition shall simply be met with , so I'm not too worried.
psykometal - 06.04.2014 at 16:23  
Written by Apothecary on 06.04.2014 at 16:12

It's ok, I used to be big on bull testicles too. The first step is admitting you have a problem.

I don't drink Red Bull, I prefer Monster and Amp. And Red Bull doesn't make coffee energy blend anyway (at least that I've ever seen).

(don't eat mountain oysters either btw )
Apothecary - 06.04.2014 at 16:45  
Written by psykometal on 06.04.2014 at 16:23

I don't drink Red Bull, I prefer Monster and Amp. And Red Bull doesn't make coffee energy blend anyway (at least that I've ever seen).

Pretty sure Amp does though
psykometal - 06.04.2014 at 17:28  
Written by Apothecary on 06.04.2014 at 16:45

Pretty sure Amp does though

Not that I recall ever seeing.
Oerath Windsoul - 07.04.2014 at 12:35  
I listened to their previous album and found it quite interesting. I am also a fan of Lovecraft's works and seeing that this one's based on 'At the mountains of madness' only increases my curiosity. Your review was also good and informative. Definitely going to check this one out.
Draugen - 07.04.2014 at 19:16  
I don't remember much about their debut album other than I found it quite enjoyable but not spectacular in any way. Despite that though, I will give this one a go at some point as well.
1Yossarian1 - 08.04.2014 at 22:06  
Great review, I am dying to give this a listen!

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