H.P. Lovecraft is a very renowned 20th century author who wrote countless classic horror/fiction tales with a philosophical twist that made his stories realistic and believable, whether they were short novels or lengthy sagas that shaped his cult status.
Lovecraft died in 1937 to cancer of the intestine along with malnutrition but his legacy carried on with his famous Cthulu Mythos which influenced painters, film-makers, writers, musicians, etc.
Since Metal music has sometimes been associated with dark lyrical themes of the occult, it was inevitable that the two giants would eventually cross paths.
In this article, I’ll try to show you how great Lovecraft’s influence is on the Metal music culture. You’ll be surprised once you see the endless list of bands who were, in one way or another, influenced by Lovecraft.
Let’s start off with some obvious ones:
- Black Sabbath’s “Beyond the Wall of Sleep”
- Poison’s “Yog-Sothoth”
- Metallica’s “The Call of Kutulu” and “The Thing That Should Not Be” (credit goes to Cliff Burton for introducing the band to Lovecraft).
And now to some less known ones:
- Morbid Angel refer to the Ancient Ones and Yog-Sothoth, characters built around the Cthulhu mythos, in albums such as ‘Blessed are the sick’ and ‘Formulas Fatal to the Flesh’.
- Nile’s first full length, “Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka”. Both the words “Nile” and the title of the album can be found in the same sentence at the end of “The Outsider” by Lovecraft.
- Cradle of Filth’s “Cthulhu Dawn” and “Lovecraft & Witch Hearts”.
- Septic Flesh’s “The Crypt”, “Lovecraft’s Death”, On the Topmost Step of the Earth”, etc.
- The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets > possibly every song they have ever written was influenced by Lovecraft.
- Samael’s “Rite of Cthulhu” and Therion’s “Cthulhu”.
- Deicide’s “Dead But Dreaming” and Dies Irae’s “Nameless City”.
- Massacre’s “Dawn of Eternity”, “From Beyond” and others.
- Vader’s “R’Lyeh” and The Vision Bleak’s “Dreams In The Witch House”, “Kutulu!”, “The Curse of Arabia”, etc.
- Mekong Delta’s “The Music of Erich Zann” Mercyful Fate’s “The Mad Arab” pts. I & II.
- Evol’s “Dreamquest” album and Engorged’s “The House of Cthulhu” album.
- Hypocrisy’s “Necronomicon” and Rigor Mortis’ “Re-Animator”: both are Lovecraft tales.
The list goes on and on, but I figured I would get you all started here. Perhaps you aren’t into horror/fiction but if you’re into Metal, you have to have some respect for the people who inspired the whole movement, whether musically, mentally (lyrics) or physically (clothing, tattoos, etc).
Listening to the music is satisfactory, but understanding the message behind it is a bonus that many intelligent people always go for, since that separates creative bands from the non-creative ones.
Lovecraft’s legacy will always remain relevant to Metal music, as long as bands feed their imagination. Perhaps more cult figures will arise in the future to inspire a whole new generation of people who are searching for creative ideas in this digital world.