Sunday, 4 March 2012
Ah Pook the Destroyer - The Silver Key
I happened upon this well crafted and rewarding Lovecraftian concept album after hearing a glowing review on a Call of Cthulhu/RPG themed podcast. Naturally I took this praise with a healthy dose of salt as RPG podcasts are not necessarily the most reliable form of musical criticism but in this case the geeks were spot on.
Ah Pook the Destroyer is essentially an adaptation of Lovecraft's final (if memory serves) Randolph Carter story, the tale of a man seeking to restore something lost to him as he grew older and more 'scientific' in focus. I won't spoil the story but it is definitely one of Lovecraft's more poignant and possibly personal stories, and as such is perfectly suited to such an evocative and mellow suite of music as is presented here.
The mixture of narration and soft vocals intertwine lovingly with the progressive rock stylings of the principal musicians to create an experience that bears little comparison with most modern 'prog rock' and it has little in common with the traditional giants of the genre like Yes, Rush or even the more contemporary holders of the mantle Muse. The Silver Key, if anything, sounds like an hypnotic blend of elements ranging from early Moody Blues epic Days of Future Passed, the choicest cuts of The Alan Parsons Project and King Crimson, and the magnificent soundtrack album to The Virgin Suicides by the super-versatile and restless french experimenters Air. It is necessary to point out after these comparisons that the album is not a self-absorbed, pretentious exercise in self-indulgence but a cohesive collection of tracks that feature not only evocative soundscapes but catchy hooks, great musicianship and well-balanced production.
For lovers of Lovecraft this should be an essential buy as it is easily as vital and refreshing as any host of Lovecraft inspired movie/comic-book/audio play adaptations and for fans of progressive rock Ah Pook the Destroyer has something genuinely rewarding to offer.
If you fit the above criteria then for the paltry price you owe it to yourself to check it out here.