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

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

33 Dao - Xunzhao Guowang – There has always been a kind of surreal appeal to the sound of carnival music, and it has managed to creep into a variety of genres, from Broadway musicals to Hamster Theatre. This Shanghai band (No....  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues