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Various Artists

H.P. Lovecraft's Fungi From Yuggoth and Other Poems

Review by Gary Hill

I recently reviewed another release from this outfit (Fedogan and Bremer). This could be seen as a companion to that release, which was a reissue of an older set with additional material. This is a new recording. I really like this one more than the other one. I just think that it works better. You’ll note that, like with the other one, I’ve included this as a various artists release and under progressive rock. The whole poetry set to music lands this as progressive music, I think. While there are two people involved here (the material is read by William E. Hart and scored by Graham Plowman), when you figure in Lovecraft himself as a third party, it just seems that putting it under various is the most effective idea.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Fungi from Yuggoth

                   
Opening Credits

Dramatic symphonic styled music serves as the backdrop for the opening title.

The Book
Piano is heard at first. Then the voice joins to recite the words. There are other musical elements added to the backdrop as it continues. This is mellow, sad and macabre.
Pursuit
The voice comes in with just a little backdrop. Music turns to a soundtrack type element that has a real energy and tension to it.
The Key
The music to this one is a bit stripped back. Piano is the central (but not only) instrument. This is an intriguing piece that works very well in a creepy way.
Recognition
Dramatic and dark, this is symphonic and quite theatrical in texture. It gets quite intense musically at points.
Homecoming
More theatrical and rather frantic, this is cool.
The Lamp
A mellower bit of music, this reading is quite effective. I like the sounds that serve as the backdrop.
Zaman’s Hill
Macabre and dramatic, this is theatrically powerful.
The Port
Dark and Gothic, this is another classy piece.
The Courtyard
There is a real percussive driving element to parts of this. It’s energized and still dramatic.
The Pigeon-Flyers
I like the symphonic edge of the music here.
The Well
The music slower and mellower here. It’s rather trippy in a lot of ways.
The Howler
The music here really feels like something that would serve as the backdrop to a creepy movie.
Hesperia
 I like this one. It has an almost psychedelic symphonic sound.
Star Winds
The piano here is pretty and just a bit creepy. It serves as the central backdrop here. The recitation seems more inspired than some of the rest. That’s more about how cool this one is, than it is any weakness in the rest.
Antarktos
Dreamy and yet dark, this is not intense like a nightmare, but more like some subtle horror.
The Window
Somehow this feels adventurous. This is less macabre, but yet still dark. It is soundtrack like for certain.
A Memory
Classically tinged music makes up the backdrop for this cut. The ending is suitably horrifying.
The Gardens of Yin
This is dramatic and soundtrack like.
The Bells
Pretty and rather dream-like, this is cool stuff.
Night-Gaunts
The symphonic based soundtrack like elements here are dark and dramatic. An unsettling, noisy element rises up near the end.
Nyarlathotep
Dramatic soundtrack elements rise upward ever further as this piece builds.
Azathoth
There is a dark and mysterious beauty to this piece. It has a soaring quality to it at times. It gets rather crazed later.
Mirage
Piano and strings create a melancholy soundscape for the backdrop here.
The Canal
Very foreboding in tone, this has a definite soundtrack texture to it.
St. Toad’s
The characterization parts here are too over the top theatrical for my tastes, but the music builds a real tension.
The Familiars
This is pretty in a dark way. It’s another somber piece of music.
The Elder Pharos
There is a dark, otherworldly element to this number.
Expectancy
Although still dark, there is an almost hopeful tone in some ways to this piece.
Nostalgia
Piano opens this and creates the melodic backdrop. Strings are heard over the top, too.
Background
This is really pretty. It’s less dark than some of the rest.
The Dweller
Dramatic science fiction meets horror soundtrack concepts make up the backdrop here.
Alienation
There is a driving kind of beauty to the soundtrack like elements here.
Harbour Whistles
Very much a science fiction styled soundtrack tone makes up the backdrop to this.
Recapture
A piano dominated arrangement is the concept here.
Evening Star
 This is dramatic and powerful.
Continuity
I like the pretty melodies that dance behind this one. It’s classical and rather oddly adventurous.
Closing Credits
This is quite literally the closing credit section.
..... and Other Poems...
                  
Despair

Piano and other strangely pretty musical elements create the mood for this one. It’s longer than most of the rest. It is suitably melancholy in tone.

Festival
There is a growing, almost swirling, musical element to this.
Hallowe’en in a Suburb
I love the pretty dark music at the basis of this recitation. This is one of my favorites here, really.
In a Sequester’d Providence Churchyard Where Once Poe Walked
Piano moves slowly at the heart of this melancholy piece.
Nemesis
The piano plays the prominent role here, too. It’s more mysterious in a lot of ways than the last piece was.
On Reading Lord Dunsany’s Book of Wonder
There is a mysterious, adventurous tone to the music here.
The Ancient Track
A dark beauty serves the music that runs here quite well.
The Messenger
 I like the soundtrack meets operatic element to this number.
The Outpost
There is a real ominous tone to this one.
To a Dreamer
 A pretty piano melody with some strings makes up the arrangement here. It moves slowly with measured steps. There is a dramatic peak at the end.
To Clark Ashton Smith Esq Upon His Fantastic Tales Verses Pictures and Sculptures
Less dark in tone, this is pretty and rather mysterious.
To Mar Finlay Upon His Drawing for Mr. Bloch’s Tale, The Faceless God
This is another effective piece using piano and strings to create drama.
 
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