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CD review: Poisoned Dreams anyone?

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Poisoned Dreams
The Unquiet Void
(Middle Pillar)

Yet another ambiant CD based on the works of HP Lovecraft. There seems to be a real glut of Cthulhu-inspired music at the moment. Guess the Great Old One is stiring again and affecting musician’s minds. He needs to try harder. This is an all instrumental album that I assume was done to accompany the reading (and for some of us writing) of mythos tales. For me, at least, it does not really do the trick. Its just vaguely creepy background music that adds nothing to either the reading of a tale nor the writing of one. In fact, to be honest this CD falls flat. Jason Wallach is obviously a talented musician, but this stuff is boring. I suspect many of the budding Lovecraft movie makers might find something of use on here. I am rather guessing that putting me to sleep was not on his agenda. I suppose if you like ambient music and you read Mythos tales, you might like this sort of thing. Slayer, Metallica (old) or even the excellent Nox Arcana are far more appropriate.

2/5

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About Marty Dodge

  • http://www.kalyr.com/weblog Tim Hall

    Have you ever heard “Shoggoth on the Roof”? The song “If I was a Deep One (blobloblob-blobloblob-blobloblobloblobob!)” is a really bad earworm…..

  • Tawni

    Interesting review of Poisoned Dreams… personally, I’ve always felt that Metal as a representation of Lovecraft was completely contradictory. Lovecraft is all about what you don’t see and how it effects humans in the most horrible ways. Metal is completely blown in your face, agressive, and usually has cookie monster on vocals. In all seriousness it is the complete opposite of Lovecraft’s intentions. Now I am not the leading authority on Lovecraft and I don’t claim to be. Let’s face it, anyone who knows anything about Lovecraft would pick up on his intentions, it’s not brain surgery we’re talking about.

    Don’t get me wrong, you have every right not to like the thing… but comparing The Unquiet Void to Metallica and Slayer is, quite simply, retarded. That’s like saying that you don’t like Barbara Streisand because she sounds nothing like Slipknot. Doesn’t seem like the qualification is there for you to be reviewing dark-ambient music although I’m sure you feel more then qualified to review anything Cthulhu being a published mythos writer and all. This CD amires the essence of Lovecraft and therefore possesses some of it. I think mythos fans would definitely enjoy this disc, it’s right out of Lovecraft and there’s just no denying that. However, if Metal is the only thing that floats your boat then I see how you wouldn’t get it.

  • http://www.andrewiandodge.com Andrew Ian Dodge

    Actually many people miss the point of Lovecraft…ones who consider his mythos writing horror for one thing. He considered it dark fantasy. There is a lot more to Lovecraft that its creepiness.

    Tawni before you accuse me of only liking metal it might help if you actually read some of my reviews. I have reviewed hard rock, metal, folk-country and jazz. If you don’t agree with the review fine, but calling me retarded merely makes you look silly. You seriously miss the point of my review. The CD adds nothing to the body of work that is music based on Lovecraft. I gave it 2/5, not 1/5…

    Were you sent here as an attack dog for the record label? Because if you are its rather pathetic. The reason I ask is that your comment is almost a copy of the bitchy series of emails I got from the label.

    Oh yes and just for the record.. Nox Arcana is not a metal band either.

  • http://www.templeofdagon.com Aleister

    Music is a very personal thing. Everyone is going to have their own opinions of it, and express them in different fashions. Until everyone in the world has the exact same mind, reviews are always going to be biased from the point of the reviewer. Of course a good review is one that does take everything into account, and gives some sort of background for their decision rather than simply stating that it is good or bad.

    As far as Lovecraft, and what constitutes “right out of Lovecraft”, there is of course a lot of argument. The review did not say it was not Lovecraftian, but while one person may consider Lovecraftian to only include key names and phrases, others may attribute it rather to the mood and feeling of the music, and the overall effect of his literature.

    Anyway.. just another point of view :)

  • http://home.comcast.net/~esox99/ Edgar Allan Lovecraft

    I’d have to say that Andrew’s review was more than gracious. “Poisoned Dreams” has less Lovecraftian ambience than a juicy beer fart. Seriously . . . this snoozer is an insomniac’s wet dream. There’s nothing there that couldn’t be replicated by some ritalin-dosed kid with a decent keyboard and 10 minutes to kill.

    It would be more appropriate to claim that “Poisoned Dreams” was influenced by the tales of August Derleth; partly because they were third-rate attempts to cash in on Lovecraft’s genius, but mostly because they just plain suck.

  • http://www.theunquietvoid.com jason wallach

    Hi there, no I’m not going to attack anyone! :D

    I ran across this review and, well, it’s a review – one persons opinion of the CD. I think most of the responses to the review are pretty silly but the review itself? Hey, you didn’t like it… oh well. However, I honestly have to say that I have never read any work in the mythos other then from Lovecraft himself so for Edgar Allen Lovecraft to deny the fact that I was inspired by HPL is just plain silly. I understand the need to defend your friend or favorite author, whichever Marty may be, but you’re wrong about that.
    I’m really not concerned with who doesn’t like the CD, you are all entitled to your opinions. Tawni’s response, although a sweet gesture, was unnecessary… I don’t sweat it and neither should anyone else. And Marty, just so you know I have known the folks at the label for five years and this person who responded to your review is not affiliated with them, that’s just not their style.
    I did see the e-mails written to you and I disagree that they were bitchy but that’s just me and I do not knock you for that… in fact, I don’t knock anyone including Edgar so please don’t take it as such (or maybe you will, I don’t know).

    I just thought it was funny that there’s so much hostility over a simple CD… there’s absolutely no reason for it. If anyone should be offended by it it should be me and I’m not offended in the least.

    So I’m sorry that your review had to undergo scrutiny Marty, truly, and it’s complimentary that people feel the need to defend it but there’s no need to. If you like the CD then like it and if you don’t then don’t, it’s all good and it doesn’t change the work I have done or will do.

  • http://www.djredskull.com/boards Decadence

    Lovecraft is DEAD. His works live on because a cabal of uber-obsessionists won’t let it go.

    Making songs based on a mental image generated by a long dead writer’s work, then arguing about what his thoughts would sound like, is like arguing with a corpse on the side of the road about what the punchline to death’s joke was. Stop wasting your energy and either like it, or not like it, but spare me the Daytime Soap Opera!

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Lovecraft is not dead. He just went home.