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8.5/10 Avi
 

SHUB NIGGURATH - Introduction - CD - Soleil Zeuhl - 2009

review by: Avi Shaked

The French chamber rock band Shub Niggurath, named after a deity made up by horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, has something of a cult status among avant rock fans, especially due to its seminal 1986 album, Les Morts Vont Vite. The 2009 release Introduction unearths a recording that may be considered a revelation to some: the band's 1982 demo tape.

Shub Niggurath marries classical chamber music with the creepiness and the temper of rock. The tone is malevolent, with instruments roaring like demonic creatures gushing from the depths of hell, contradicted by female chants, often alluding victims screaming. The guitar wails, the bass is especially wild in its unrestrained timbres, and the use of trombone is fascinatingly threatening with power.

The opening "Yog-Sothoth" (another reference to Lovecraft's writings) is the only one of the tracks found here that was re-recorded for Les Morts Vont Vite, and it is truly foreboding in the aforementioned manner. The following "Entresol" picks up from there, serving as violent declaration of war with the trombone trumpeting achingly, suggesting that the walls of Jericho are likely to fall at any minute. Accordingly, spine-chilling human screams slice through the air as Introduction emerges, before venturing into female vocalization over a bed of creepy keyboards and freeform, explorative percussions.

The fifteen minute "Barback" restores some serenity at first, but its delicate instrumentation is still highly disturbing and eventually evolves into what sounds like a partially improvised, dark ritual. "In Memoriam" concludes the album on a gloomy, airier note.

The sound is surprisingly rewarding. The limitations of the source tape from which this was transferred (read more about it here) are evident but they do not detract from the sonic experience in fact, they add a mysterious, underground vibe.

Those who like to dwell in avant rock of the somber sort (and especially fans of Univers Zero) need this recording! (8.5/10)

 

All related articles (interviews, live, from the vault)
 

 

ISSUE 70
ALBUM REVIEWS

(A-AT)  (A-B)  (B-BR)  (C-D)  (D-F)  (F-G)  (G-H)  (H-L)  (L-N)  (N-O)  (P-S)  (S-ST)  (S-T)  (U-V)  (W-WU)

SHRINEBUILDER
Shrinebuilder

SHUB NIGGURATH
Introduction

SIGH
Scenes From Hel

SNEW
We Do What We W

SORGELDOM
Inner Receiving

SPALTKLANG
en Suite

STAR FK RADIUM
Blue Siberia

STRATOVARIUS
Polaris + Live

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