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henever Cthulhu’s tentacles are slithering outside your door, it’s nice to have a playlist of H.P. Lovecraft-inspired music to calm him down. Not surprisingly, the metal genre offers much to choose from. There is, for instance, Black Sabbath’s “Behind the Wall of Sleep.” Or, for those who prefer their homages more obvious, Metallica’s “The Call of Ktulu,” Cradle of Filth’s “Cthulhu Dawn,” and Bal-Sagoth’s “Shackled to the Trilithon of Kutulu.” (And yes, the pulp horror writer did spell the octopudlian Elder God’s name in various ways, so don’t make fun of them.) The latest practitioner of this arcane lyrical tradition is Denver’s “Bardic black metal” band Crafteon, who released their debut offering, Cosmic Reawakening
, last month. The album’s eight songs, all of them based on Lovecraft’s stories, are overrun with guttural warnings of waxing moons, howling winds and cyclopean horrors, which is never a good combination. And then there’s the band’s dungeons ‘n’ dragons garb, as well as the mythic names of bandleader Lord Mordiggian, guitarist Fthaggua, bassist Ithaqua, and drummer Rhagorthua. Only the vengeful Cthulhu truly knows if this is all meant to be tongue-in-cheek. For the band’s sake, it had better not be.