The Pitch: An atmospheric, Lovecraftian black metal tale from French band The Great Old Ones and Season of Mist. FFO Wolves In The Throne Room, Blut Aus Nord. Cthulu mythology
What I Like: This album gets pretty epic. The creepy soundbite opens things on a sufficiently macabre note before "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" (possibly my favorite track of all) rises like a giant looming demon - or in this case Cthulu - over an unsuspecting populace. Between the nefarious levels of reverb on the howling guitars and the malicious snarls, It is enough to bring one to their knees. With some very powerful drums, strong dynamics, and even some ripping solos, there is a great attention to maximizing impact.
What I Don't Like: I had some initial complaints about pacing and how the album closes on a slower note, but subsequent listens have squashed most of that argument. A request though: more strings.
The Verdict: A pretty stunning tribute to Azazoth with lots of variation and some very powerful crescendos. I could see how a few tweaks in the overall flow might have made this an AOTY contender, but even without it is a powerful piece of work.
Flight's Fav's: The Shadow Over Innsmouth, When the Stars Align, In Screams and Flames