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

2020-01-21
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

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Strawbs - Live at NEARfest & Hugh's Room – Strawbs line-ups have undergone quite a few changes in recent years. Having never seen Brian Willoughby, I was happy to view his guitar stylings since they are substantially different from Dave...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues