Maculatum – The Nameless City CD Malignant Records 2012
HP Lovecraft and his trademark unspeakable and unknowable horror styled writings have long struck a chord with travellers on dark paths of inspiration, and interestingly it seems that his writings, and particularly his Cthulhu Mythos, has been obtaining wider appreciation in recent years. Likewise for this new project Maculatum – a collaboration between two existing Malignant Records artists Collapsar and Rasalhauge – they have taken inspiration from a short story of Lovecraft’s, and used the name for their album’s title.
Whilst archaic sweeping dark ambience is certainly the overarching tone, ‘The Nameless City’ is far more than just being cavernous droning fodder, particularly as the album contains considerable motion and dynamics throughout. Ranging from tense and brooding to calmer passages, there are various tonal aspects which liven up the sound palate, including: segments tribal percussive rhythms, garbled disembodied voices and chanted vocals (sampled?) which sporadically appear. Actually being quite heavily percussive in parts, such sections hold a deft tribal / otherworldly aura which very much suits the source material which inspired it. The production and mastering also adds a great deal to the atmosphere, as sound wise the whole album is impeccably produced, with both its sonic clarity and tonal depth.
People familiar with the artist’s main projects, or more broadly the dark ambient aspects of Malignant Records roster, will find much to be pleased with on ‘the Nameless City’.