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Obed Marsh: Innsmouth

In Lovecraft's story "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," certain characters take on the "Innsmouth look," features of the face and the body that might be described as fish-like. If the tale was simply about transformation, that summary would just about cover things. But Lovecraft is never simply about what appears on the surface; instead, his story addresses the larger problems such transformations entail. In this case, the story points to the fears of uncovering secrets about one's ancestral past. It also addresses the ways human beings willingly pursue profits even if the unintended consequences lead to things almost impossible to understand. Stephen King, a writer that routinely draws on Lovecraftian insights, develops similar themes in It, especially in that novel's revelation that many people in the town of Derry, Maine, not only know about Pennywise's cyclical appearances, but almost welcome it as part of the price of doing business.

Obed Marsh's album, the band's first, delves into Lovecraft's "Shadow Over Innsmouth" in ways that would be fun to examine in more detail than a short review will allow. I would especially like to compare and contrast the lyrical content with passages from the story, but I'll save that for another time and place. Musically, the band appears to be playing with Lovecraft's own tendency to take readers on a journey that builds feelings of doom slowly and deliberately. The music, blackened death metal, sets the right tempo and the right mood effectively. Obed Marsh is especially good at letting the music develop slowly, thereby allowing the atmosphere to spread like a slow, silent, and deadly, fog.

For those unfamiliar with Obed Marsh, the band was formed by Sam Ford and Drew James Griffiths (both members of Ur Draugr) in 2014. With this album, Ford and Griffith's show off their fascination with Lovecraft and their talent for creating blackened death metal rich in mood and atmosphere. I look forward to hearing more from these guys.

Track Listing:
1. Prologue
2. Innsmouth Ritual
3. Esoteric Order
4. Usurpers
5. Deficient
6. Desquamate
7. Seeping Wombs
8. Epilogue

Added: August 29th 2016
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1969
Language: english

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