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The Great Old Ones - Cosmicism

The Great Old Ones
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 09 December 2019, 4:20 AM

THE GREAT OLD ONES is a French band formed in 2009; “Cosmicism,” is their fourth full length album.  This is my first time listening to their music and my research had them labeled as Post-Black Metal.  I can definitely see why they have that label; the lush, atmospheric tones and layers that so often make up anything thing within the “Post” subgenre are present here across the seven tracks, and 50-minute run time.  However, they are definitely a lot rawer and more intense than a lot of music I hear with “Post” attached to it.  I really feel that a lot of Post metal is more rooted in the feeling of one’s state of mind.  “Cosmicism,” is a state of mind for sure but also more of a journey that was taken physically.  Musically, this is like experiencing a sort of profound yet tragic journey that you see a second time on the outside looking in.  Same fear but a different depth and level to it.

The first track, “Cosmic Depths,” is made up of clean guitar and spacey keys.  It ends just seconds before the next track, “The Omniscient,” begins.  This track too begins with cleaner tones and guitar that begins an ascent into electric fury.  At this moment, around the minute and a half mark, the band is straight up Black Metal and brings with them a cacophony of sounds.  Towards the end of this passage, their sound opens up more to reveal a cosmic them that fades out into a quiet, almost tender moment.  The riffs that arrive afterwards are a different style than the all-out Blackened rage from early, but they are just as menacing.

For me the center piece of the album is “A Thousand Young,” an almost 12-minute tour de force.  Everything about this album’s mood and approach is represented here, into this ultimate culmination of spacey textures, dense melodies, and Black Metal.  The first couple minutes is the soundtrack to freezing to death in the blackness of space or lost among the waves of the deep.  The guitar riffs that burst through this offer no respite other than the promise of a tremendous fall down the rabbit hole of the cosmos.  The guitar solo around the five-minute mark is strangely emotive but in a way I have yet to understand; it is familiar with alien as well.

The final track, “Nyarlathotep,” is the most disturbing and creepiest of all the track.  I mean, it just sounds so evil, cold and ancient.  The deep voice that speaks during the bass, ambient noise, and drums just sends the song over the edge and it drops like a ton of rocks into a moment of metallic chaos that ends on a brutal crescendo.“Cosmicism,” is an album that reaches for a dark void among the stars and not only resides there but thrives as well.  So much Post Metal is filled with depression and anguish, but this album presents an atmospheric depth of twisted reality with a cold yet dangerous alien atmosphere.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Cosmic Depths
2. The Omniscient
3. Of Dementia
4. Lost Carcosa
5. A Thousand Young
6. Dreams of the Nuclear Chaos
7. Nyarlathotep
Benjamin Guerry – Guitars, Vocals
Leo Isnard – Drums
Aurelien Edouard – Guitars
Benoit Claus – Bass
Alexandre “Gart” Rouleau - Guitars
Record Label: Season of Mist


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