Exposé Online banner

Annot Rhül — Leviathan
(Black Widow BWR 170 / BWRCD 170-2, 2014, LP / CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-01-23

Leviathan Cover art
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
(In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming)
– H.P. Lovecraft from The Call of Cthulhu

H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos has fascinated authors, filmmakers, and musicians since its debut in 1928. The latest incarnation is Leviathan, the studio project of Norwegian Sigurd Tonna, aka Annot Rhül. Sigurd composes and records demos and then enlists his friends to play the parts that he cannot: Halvor William Sanden on drums; Burt Rocket, Jürgen Kosmos, and Organ Morgan (Seid); Lars Fredrik Froislie (Wobbler); Sven Arne Skarvik and Ingrid Velle (Love Revolt); Allessandro Elide (Manifest/Hoist); and Erlend Naalsund (Asiago). The result is 60s/70s inspired psych and prog rock composed around the Cthulhu Mythos. The album opens with the sinister “Leviathan Suite,” which sets the mood for the rest of the disc. The music is quite symphonic, at times calling to mind Le Orme. The second track is “The Colour out of Space,” based on a Lovecraft short story that foreshadows Cthulu’s arrival. This instrumental track is a strong aggressive slice of prog rock and analog synths. “Surya,” the chief Hindu solar deity, is the subject of the eerie third track with what I believe is a hammered dulcimer lending a mid-eastern vibe to the music. The next track, “Distant Star,” is pure 60s sci-fi rock and roll. “The Mountains of Madness,” Lovecraft’s 1931 novella about Cthulhu’s star-spawn, is the inspiration for a very cinematic track with some crazed laughter in the mix. And the disc closes with “R’lyeh,” named for Cthulhu’s undersea domicile, that begins with a music box melody that morphs into another excellent Gothic progressive instrumental that goes through different emotions, dramatic and beautiful. At times I am reminded of Pulsar’s Halloween and Opus Avantra’s Introspezione. Then near the end of this 12-minute track, the music becomes aggressive as Cthulhu awakes. There is the hint of wailing voices and martial music. Leviathan is quite an impressive release and well worth investigating.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Seid, Annot Rhül (Sigurd Tonna)

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Fit & Limo - Astralis – Fit & Limo have been producing some of the finest psychedelic folk music ala the Incredible String Band since the early 80s. Astralis, subtitled New Studies on Strange Folk, has just been released...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues