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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets

Let Sleeping Gods Lie

Review by Gary Hill

An unusual concept, this collection of insanity from Darkest of the Hillside Thickets was assembled for use with the new version of the Call of Cthulhu. In keeping with that concept, the back cover actually includes rules on how game play is changed by the playing of various songs. This disc includes cuts from all of the band's previous albums. Since only one of those albums is currently in print, this is definitely a great find for recent recruits to DOTHT fandom, but this is just a limited edition release, so don't wait too long or you will miss out on it. This really would make a great introduction to the band as it includes some of their strongest material.

Please note that where I have already reviewed individual tracks on other albums I have used those reviews in the track by tracks here for consistency sake.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
A Thousand Fists
A crunch burst starts this one, and as the thundering melody begins one can picture a thousand fists rising into the air. This is a very well-produced and fun hard-edged cut that is full of energy. A false ending gives way to a cool instrumental break that feels a bit like The Dead Kennedys. Then a completely new melody, again in the vein of the DK's, emerges. The familiar chorus returns to end the cut.
Colour Me Green
A guitar riff that feels like someone screaming out of fear starts this one off, and as the cut continues it is in a frantic metal mode that really is quite effective. It has a punk oriented chorus and a great feedback dominated break.
Goin' Down To Dunwich
Bells and metallic tones begin the piece, after movie sound bites. The cut seems to combine metal and punkish formats with processed vocals. Sound effects add to the mayhem, and one break sets a very strong mood. "Into the box you go, invisible mass feed it and watch it grow."
Shoggoth`s Away
A driving bass line begins the track, which is mostly metallic. The song features sound clips from a famous film. "While on a flight one day I passed over the polar city, And curious set down to see what I could glean, Behold a nightmare pit that splashed with piping shapeless monsters, I packed them in the bay of my B-17, Shoggoths Away!"
Yig Snake Daddy
The piece is based on a rock and roll sort of structure with metal stylings. The ending to this cut is unusual. One could call it "the ending that just won`t end".
Please God No
A classic rock and roll sounding riff begins this one, then a punky sort of melody (quite Ramonesish) Takes over. This one, despite the title, is fun and bouncy.
Six Gun Gorgon Dynamo
Drums are the intro here, and with an echoed "whew", we're off on a frantic high-engery ride. It has some killer guitar textures and is oh-so fast.
The Innsmouth Look
Hard-edged, fast-paced and driving, this one rocks out quite well. The humorous Lovecraftian lyrics are great. "One glance was all it took, She gave me the Innsmouth look"…"She's got secrets, but they'll soon be mine, Oh father Dagon smiles upon me from the bas relief, And something's fishy down at devil reef." The bridge on this one is quirky and fun and features the lyrics, "Obed was a sailor, He sailed the 7 seas, He made love to the fish, He made love to the fishies."
Sounds of Tindalos
Beginning with a bass line that feels a lot like early Alice Cooper, this one is quirky yet accessible. Not many bands can pull that combination off. It gets quite punky at times and features a very tasty guitar solo.
The Chosen One
Starting with the sounds of a car running off and an ending of another song, this one is quite quirky and driving. It shifts gear later to a more raw and punky segment.
Yog Sothoth
Chanting and screaming of "Yog Sothoth" over a mid-tempo punky sort of jam is what makes up the majority of this one. The jam that ensues has a classic punk sound that feels like so many of the punk groups who drew inspiration from the '50's/early '60s elements. This one is quite cool, and nearly an instrumental.
Cthulhu Dreams
Beginning with another film snippet, spooky instrumental work begins to build. This piece is an extended (althought slightly shortened from the original) psychedelically weird creepfest. It features odd vocal sections, spoken word snippets and sound effects. When the track ends (following a false ending), it is after a frantically chaotic crescendo which dissolves into disarray.
 
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