H.P. Lovecraft could fill the pages of the volumed encyclopedias people once sold door-to-door with the amount of metal albums he’s inspired. Even the music set to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien may pale in comparison. For many, the monster which cannot exist under any reason whatsoever will forever be fascination.
Obed Marsh are a funeral doom band built upon a ledge of engulfing madness. Their ‘shadowy’ 2016 release Innsmouth showed their take on apocalyptic Lovecraftian lore with sludge soaked blacked doom; their 2019 album Dunwich slows the previously hellish soundscape to dirge levels of ‘horror.’ Tyranny and Colosseum were my first exposures to Lovecraftian funeral doom. They set the stage of cosmic fear and built the Old Ones. And right beside them, Obed Marsh have brought you into a nightmare beyond words, where you’re surrounded by grainy tones reminiscent of being consumed by a cosmic deity. It doesn’t care that you’ve been devoured. It doesn’t think on that level.
The instruments played are the internal organs beyond imagination, allowing your mind to truly understand the nature of what their function is. Even upon the fifth or sixth listen, time signatures still shudder in a way that’s foreboding and unfamiliar to even the most seasoned veterans of the genre. The vocals are so buried, not hidden mind you, that they take on something akin to voices screaming to be heard deep within your skull. Is the monster existence the frightening part, or the insanity that accompanies it? Sprinkled throughout Dunwich are ethereal pianos and orchestration which gracefully lure you into a false sense of security, while the faint wretch inches along the background. A juxtaposition of beauty, fear, and fascination to crumble anyone.
When all is finally completed, you’re attempting to pick your fractured mind back into order. But you can’t. I realize we, the listeners, are the cover art. The music has embedded itself inside of us. Each riff is planted into our skulls. Each song is a frightening new abomination simply waiting to become a parasite and spread further until nothing else could possibly remain in the known universe.