H.P. Lovecraft In Metal Music
Oct 7th 2009 Patrick Saad Miscellaneous

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H.P. Lovecraft is a very renowned 20th century author who wrote countless classic horror/fiction tales with a philosophical twist that made his stories realistic and believable, whether they were short novels or lengthy sagas that shaped his cult status.

hpl

Lovecraft died in 1937 to cancer of the intestine along with malnutrition but his legacy carried on with his famous Cthulu Mythos which influenced painters, film-makers, writers, musicians, etc.

Since Metal music has sometimes been associated with dark lyrical themes of the occult, it was inevitable that the two giants would eventually cross paths.

In this article, I’ll try to show you how great Lovecraft’s influence is on the Metal music culture. You’ll be surprised once you see the endless list of bands who were, in one way or another, influenced by Lovecraft.

Let’s start off with some obvious ones:

  • Black Sabbath‘s “Beyond the Wall of Sleep”

  • Poison‘s “Yog-Sothoth”

  • Metallica‘s “The Call of Kutulu” and “The Thing That Should Not Be” (credit goes to Cliff Burton for introducing the band to Lovecraft).

And now to some less known ones:

  • Morbid Angel refer to the Ancient Ones and Yog-Sothoth, characters built around the Cthulhu mythos, in albums such as ‘Blessed are the sick’ and ‘Formulas Fatal to the Flesh’.

  • Nile’s first full length, “Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka”. Both the words “Nile” and the title of the album can be found in the same sentence at the end of “The Outsider” by Lovecraft.

98_amongst_the_catacombs_of_nephren-ka

  • Cradle of Filth’s “Cthulhu Dawn” and “Lovecraft & Witch Hearts”.

  • Septic Flesh‘s “The Crypt”, “Lovecraft’s Death”, On the Topmost Step of the Earth”, etc.

  • The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets > possibly every song they have ever written was influenced by Lovecraft.

  • Samael‘s “Rite of Cthulhu” and Therion‘s “Cthulhu”.

  • Deicide‘s “Dead But Dreaming” and Dies Irae’s “Nameless City”.

  • Massacre‘s “Dawn of Eternity”, “From Beyond” and others.

  • Vader‘s “R’Lyeh” and The Vision Bleak‘s “Dreams In The Witch House”, “Kutulu!”, “The Curse of Arabia”, etc.

  • Mekong Delta‘s “The Music of Erich Zann” Mercyful Fate‘s “The Mad Arab” pts. I & II.

  • Evol‘s “Dreamquest” album and Engorged‘s “The House of Cthulhu” album.

  • Hypocrisy‘s “Necronomicon” and Rigor Mortis‘ “Re-Animator”: both are Lovecraft tales.

The list goes on and on, but I figured I would get you all started here. Perhaps you aren’t into horror/fiction but if you’re into Metal, you have to have some respect for the people who inspired the whole movement, whether musically, mentally (lyrics) or physically (clothing, tattoos, etc).

Listening to the music is satisfactory, but understanding the message behind it is a bonus that many intelligent people always go for, since that separates creative bands from the non-creative ones.

sothoth

Lovecraft’s legacy will always remain relevant to Metal music, as long as bands feed their imagination. Perhaps more cult figures will arise in the future to inspire a whole new generation of people who are searching for creative ideas in this digital world.

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  • Nizar Hawat (Le NeeZz)

    Great Article Patrick
    i have never come across or read any article of this kind i like the relation you wanted to show us between H.P’s 😛 and the metal music its very obvious that this man was a pioneer in this field.

    And now after you have honored him and emphasized on his “metalious contributions” 😛 can you honnor him once again and talk a bit more about his biography.

    Thank you patrick for this great article.

    PS: recommending a link where that is possible would also do it 🙂

  • Dana Halabi

    I was waiting for this one 😀 !
    Love it! Awesome work Patrick 🙂 !

  • Lou

    Great work Patrick =D Keep it going…love it.

  • houhouh

    I’m disappointed the Misfits weren’t mentioned. They’re basically the creators of ‘horror punk’ and they were cliff’s favorite band, which is why he introduced horror-themed music to metallica.
    I’m not really sure about wether or not Lovecraft was an influence on the Misfits though, i think he must be but i can’t find any documents relating the two.

  • Patrick

    Thanks guys, I’m a big Lovecraft fan so I needed to express it in a musical way.
    Nizar > http://www.hplovecraft.com/

    I considered talking about the Misfits but indeed they were inspired by their own imagination I suppose. Cliff read many Lovecraft tales, I’m sure about that. It shows when we captured the mood in The Call of Kutulu.

    The list goes and on actually, but I mentioned the bands that are relatively known to the metal fans, so they kinda relate to the subject in some way.

  • Rami Rouhana

    Love his craft !

    and your crap Patrick !:P

  • Nizar Hawat

    thank you patrick 😉

  • Dijt

    Its interesting when you see these extreme bands refereing to writings by a humble author. Some claim that their lyrics are crap but I guess it shows that they do in fact READ more than the average rocker right ?

  • Mike

    a misfits review shall be added soon enough dont worry about that! anyways patrik i hope u will write something about the influence of edgar allan poe on metal/horror industry!

  • SerJ Panossian

    heard about H.P. Lovecraft whill i was readin cliff’s biog 🙂 … amazing work patrick .. keep it up

  • ma7fouz

    u should try reading the kthulu mythos while u listen to the call of cuthulu

  • ma7fouz

    btw this is one of my favorite articles. Im not a huge Lovecraft fan , i just read 3 of his stories but i really appreciate the influence he made in the metal industry. And yes mike a review must be made abt Edagar Alen Poe , and it better be the grimmest review ever made 😛

  • your father

    great man, this Lovecraft n great article, Patrick

  • Imperium des Tenebras
  • Renato Zampieri