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Lee Brown Coye: Where is Abby? & Other Stories

I have an article coming out next year on the connections between heavy metal music and the writings of H. P. Lovecraft. I won't take the space here to talk about my main points, only to say that there is a connection and that it's as deep and as broad as one might expect. Lee Brown Coye, the name at the front of this recording, was connected to the Lovecraft circle in at least two important ways: first, he was a key illustrator in the weird tradition, providing art work for magazines like Weird Tales and others. He is an important artist in this genre, an artist everyone who reads Lovecraft should be acquainted with. If you've ever read an edition of Lovecraft's stories that featured artwork, there's a chance you've seen some of Coye's work. Second, Coye was also a short story writer and worked within the tradition of the weird and the fantastic. I know very little about his overall career or whether he wrote extensively in a Lovecraftian vein, but these stories are a good introduction both for me and for you.

This album is the first release from Cadabra Records, a new label that wants to release more projects like this one. I think it's an important and significant project, especially since the extensive nature of America's horror / fantastic / weird tradition tends to be pared down to only a few authors here and there. Don't get me wrong, the best horror writers are worth all the attention we give them, but there are many other writers who deserve greater recognition.

The recordings of the stories are good. Coye's son reads them in a manner that is less dramatic and less polished than the audio books one finds at the library, but that's what gives this recording its appeal. It's a labor of love, an attempt at preservation and a reminder that modern icons were influenced by figures that have faded from our sights. I liked the stories, though I'd like to give the album a few more listens so I can savor the often sudden plot twists a little more. Coye writes weird tales and does a great job establishing a moody and dark atmosphere. Some of the shorter pieces are fantastic for their sudden twists and dark hints of macabre events lurking beneath the surface.

I do have one suggestion for the good folks behind this recording: It would be cool to include some music between stories that helps establish the mood and the larger themes of the stories. It seems to me that the overall experience of buying an album like this can be enhanced with a combination of music and the spoken word.

As I mentioned above, I think this project has great value. I will follow it eagerly for as long as these guys keep producing albums. I also think this album is worth checking outómostly because more people should get to know the work of Lee Brown Coye. As for me, a teacher who offers courses on American Horror, I will eagerly grasp on to not only this recording, but also those to follow.

Track Listing:
1. Where is Abby?
2. The Cradle
3. What Remained of Margaret Rogers
4. The Undertaker 1
5. The Lincoln Train 1
6. ...And Portions of Hannah
7. Some Canarys Don't Sing
8. The Church

Added: September 5th 2015
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1573
Language: english

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