Serpents In The Fields Of Sleep will be released by Cadabra Records on vinyl in multiple colours/variants and packaged in a deluxe tip-on gatefold jacket as well as a limited CD, both of which will ship next week, with a digital download following on 28th October. To place your order, head over to the labels webstore or Psilowave.
Serpents In The Fields Of Sleep Tracklisting: 01. Leaving Redemption Behind 02. Pathogenesis 03. Seeds Of Trepidation 04. A Perfect Void 05. Blood Of The Iconoclast 06. Colors Of Incrimination 07. Serpents In The Fields Of Sleep 08. The Underworld Beckons 09. Night Of The Final Act
Serpents In The Fields Of Sleep was produced by David Castillo and Anima Morte, engineered and mixed by David Castillo with engineering assistance from Iñaki Marconi at Studio Gröndahl in Stockholm between October 2018 and May 2021, with additional recordings handled at Roth-Händle and Uninvited Studios. The record was mastered by Thomas ‘Plec’ Johansson at The Panic Room and completed with striking cover artwork by Randy Ortiz, design by Eric Adrian Lee, and photography by Martin Gustafsson.
Playing on Serpents In The Fields Of Sleep are: Daniel Cannerfelt – Electric/Acoustic Guitars Fredrik Klingwall – Mellotron, Synthesizer, Electric/Acoustic Pianos, Organs Teddy Möller – Drums Gustaf Hielm – Bass Mattias Olsson – Electric/Orchestral Percussion, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone Hanna Ekström – Violin, Viola Anna Dager – Cello Lars Åhlund – Saxophones, Clarinet Erik Palmberg – Trumpet Kristian Persson – Trombone Roger Öjersson – Guitar solo on The Underworld Beckons Thomas Ohlsson – Additional electric/orchestral percussion on Night Of The Final Act Stefan Granberg – Co-composer of Night Of The Final Act
In the H.P. Lovecraft story, “Pickman’s Model,” there is something of the writer himself to be found. In narrator Thurber’s relation of the tale of his acquaintance, friendship, and subsequent breaking of ties with the artist Richard Upton Pickman, one can imagine Lovecraft working out some of the criticism he might have had directed at the “fussy old women” who didn’t understand what true artists could do.
If ever there were a more self-relexive line in all of Lovecraft’s work than “only a real artist knows the actual anatomy of the terrible or the physiology of fear,” it’s difficult to imagine, but that’s what makes “Pickman’s Model” such a delight to experience. In this short story, the reader – or in this case, the listener – gets to come along with their surrogate, Thurber, as he gets a behind-the-scenes look at what the Lovecraft surrogate, Pickman, does in the darkness.
And, oh my goodness, is it ever a descent into darkness. Much as “The Statement of Randolph Carter” is a quite literal trip underground, so is “Pickman’s Model,” and the journey to the darkest, oldest corners of Boston feel as though it’s a trip to another world, unseen just beyond the known universe. Thanks to reader Andrew Leman’s adroit transitions between Thurber’s upper-crust tones and Pickman’s staunchly New England accent, the listener is not simply hearing Thurber tell a story, but getting to walk alongside the narrator into the depths of the house in the North End.
Anima Morte’s score echoes the tale being told, as well, gliding so smoothly from music to sound design that one scarcely notices that the beat of the drums has slowed to match their own nervous heartbeat or that the synthesizers are now howling like the wind through the trees during talk of a “Witches’ Sabbath.” There’s all of that and yet still, Anima Morte knows when to take things into a mood which is almost orchestral, as near to anything James Bernard did for Hammer Films or Hans J. Salter did for Universal Pictures as can be imagined.
“Pickman’s Model” is a masterwork of constructing terror, and the voice of Andrew Leman and the Anima Morte’s music make the resulting edifice that much stronger, as though it were a fortress of the uncanny, with the final, breathless delivery of, “It was a photograph from life,” acting as a dramaturgical cornerstone upon which this building rests.
Available in limited Red Smoke, White and 180 Gram Black Vinyl
Includes an insert with new liner notes by weird fiction scholar S. T. Joshi and Anima Morte
H. P. Lovecraft’s The Festival LP – Read by Andrew Leman, score by Anima Morte
It is at once horrible and beautiful, this score, and Anima Morte’s music will cause the hairs on one’s arms to stand at full attention as goosebumps run up and down. Combined with Leman’s skill at conveying the ever-increasing sense of unease at what the narrator is experiencing, the end result is a story which fairly leaps out of the speakers and becomes something fully visible in the mind’s eye.
* Printed on a deluxe heavy weight gatefold tip-on jacket
* Includes liner notes by S. T. Joshi
* Newly commissioned art by Jesse Jacobi
* Hand calligraphy by Josh Yelle
For their latest selection of H.P. Lovecraft tales, Cadabra Records presents two stories featuring the recurring character Randolph Carter. Carter, usually assumed to be an avatar for the author himself, featured as the main character in five of Lovecraft’s works, appears briefly in a sixth, and is mentioned in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
Given the adventures which Carter experiences in the tales related by Lovecraft, one must wonder just how the character makes it through an ordinary day, given that he’s experienced so much terror that one hopes he can open a locked door without suffering from an all-consuming fear at what lies behind it. This is especially true in the two stories which make up this record, “The Statement of Randolph Carter” and “The Unnamable,” which are incidentally the first two tales which feature the character.
Read here by by Andrew Leman and scored by Anima Morte, the two incidents are related first-person by Carter himself, and Leman’s delivery ably coveys the panic which Carter obviously felt at the time these incidents took place, but also the immense sense of world-weary exhaustion which has set in afterward. The recitation of the written lines themselves will surprise no one who has previously listened to Leman’s work on The Call of Cthulhu, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and other of Lovecraft’s stories, but here, certain incidences of improvisation lend the readings a new verisimilitude. At once point in “The Statement of Randolph Carter,” Leman lets loose an exhausted sigh which conveys so much, it hits like an emotional punch to the abdomen.
The score, as written and performed by Anima Morte, is uniquely-suited to each tale. For “The Statement of Randolph Carter,” the musician drops in sudden noises which will cause the listener to turn around, panicked at what might behind them, so unexpected are they. Additionally, much as Carter returns to certain phrases in his titular statement, so does Anima Morte return to certain musical themes in his composition, resulting in a brilliant series of parallels. Utilizing low bassoons and flanging lines when Crater is speaking with his friend, the occultist Harley Warren, as the latter character descends into the depths of a hidden stair, the tones themselves readily mimic what is being related by Carter. There is also a delightful combination of dirgey synthesizers and twanged guitars which evoke nothing so much as the introduction to Pink Floyd’s “Time,” minus of course the ticking and clanging clocks.
On the flipside, we have “The Unnamable,” where one can feel the sun setting and darkness falling, before turning to pitch-black night in the cemetery. The story begins rather humorously, especially when listened to immediately following the record’s first side, as Carter’s friend, Joel Manton, chides Caryer for his “constant talk about ‘unnamable’ and ‘unmentionable’ things” as “a very puerile device,” quite in keeping with [his] lowly standing as an author.”
However, as the sun descends, so does the score, becoming replete with chimes and echoing hollowness, once again mirroring that which goes on the story, in this case the very sepulcher on which Carter and Manton are reclining. While “The Statement of Randolph Carter” begins at a very highly tense place and ends with heart rate and terror sky-high, “The Unnamable” eases the listener into fear, but is no less effective for it.
The Call of Cthulhu 2x LP – Read by Andrew Leman – Score by Anima Morte
“The Call of Cthulhu” is the seminal story in H. P. Lovecraft’s literary output, and perhaps the seminal story in the entire history of twentieth-century weird fiction. It of course initiated the Cthulhu Mythos (a term devised not by Lovecraft but by August Derleth), and it heralded a remarkable burst of creativity that would belatedly establish Lovecraft as one of the premier writers in the history of supernatural fiction.”
– From the introduction notes by weird fiction scholar S. T. Joshi
Andrew Leman’s reading of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Call of Cthulu” is accompanied by the music of Swedish progessive rock act Anima Morte, and the pairing of voice and score results in an audio experience which serves to increase the tension which imbues every word from the writer’s pen.
As Lovecraft describes, so does the musical score from Anima Morte go: “the malevolent tom-tom” with “its incessant beating,” “insane shouts and harrowing screams, soul-chilling chants” – “nightmare itself” within a “voodoo orgy.” As Leman reads the words, “It may have been only imagination and it may have been only echoes which induced one of the men, an excitable Spaniard, to fancy he heard antiphonal responses to the ritual from some far and unillumined spot deeper within the wood of ancient legendry and horror,” the music provides that cry of the distantly glimpsed creature, as though the Old Ones had once again come down from the sky.
The opening music features faint, distant and wordless vocals which foreshadow the swamp cult which we will later encounter. When describing the Cthulu statue encountered by Inspector Legrasse, there is also jangling sounds and rhythmic pulses to again hint at the celebratory worship of that cult, replete with hints of chants and shakers, as though “the swamp and lagoon country to the south” of New Orleans had come north to the American Archaeological Society’s annual meeting in St. Louis.
The sonorous notes which echo throughout every moment of “The Call of Cthulu” are portentous, as well, reflecting the vast oceanic depths from which “The Madness from the Sea” will rise and be encountered by the crew of the Vigilant. The mellotronic tones, coupled with the ever-growing intensity of the drums, recall Fabio Frizzi’s immortal themes for Zombie Flesh Eaters and The Beyond, eerie in their unnatural reproduction of acoustic sounds.
The slow, sweeping chords which accompany the tale of R’lyeh are interstellar in their scope, further demonstrating the skills of Anima Morte to convey the many aspects of this globe- and galaxy-spanning work of Lovecraft’s. Once the crew enters the “sea-soaked perversion” of non-Euclidian geometry, the music becomes as grand and mythic as the environment in which the sailors find themselves. It’s chiming while grinding, two sounds which causes one’s nerves to twinge as though they were there in R’lyeh themselves.
ON SALE NOW!!! H. P. Lovecraft’s Dagon, read by Andrew Leman, score by Anima Morte, art by Karmazid and hand calligraphy by Pencilmancer. Includes liner notes by weird fiction scholar S. T. Joshi and Anima Morte. There will be a few very limited packages available. Cadabra also have a limited amount of 24” x 36” posters that will be included in direct orders, first come first served. This is a very limited first pressing so don’t sleep on this!
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