More than ever, the sprawling shadow of Howard Philips Lovecraft hovers over the world: cinema, music, theater, literature… no media is spared. And if his influence is still so strong today, it is because no other author has ever been able to capture the inexpressible essence of Horror as he knew it (and as he endured it throughout his life).
With COSMIC HORROR – The Mind of H.P. Lovecraft, Synthspiria tried to bring together a “dream team” (or rather “Nightmare Team”) in order to pay homage to the most tortured and tortuous work that has been born from the dark corners of the Human Spirit… You who launch this compilation, give up all hope: heretical rituals, desperate madness, creeping and nameless horrors: whether in the frozen void of space or in your neighbor’s cellar, you will never be safe.
Listen Cosmic Horror – The Mind of H.P. Lovecraft
Before introducing you to the brave (or crazy!) artists who made this project possible, Synthspiria would first like to thank them for taking part in this musical, but also artistic, adventure with the superb and disturbing cover of Andros Graphix. We are a little afraid of waking up a great old man with such a heavy compilation… But it’s worth it.
Each artist knew how to honor Howard Philips Lovecraft in their own way, an author whose work and legacy is so dear to us.
It is all the more impressive and all the more important in our eyes that this compilation was carried out in large part during the lockdown linked to the COVID-19, which made the work even more difficult for many of them.
Their unwavering support, creativity and talent will never cease to impress and touch us. Thank you so much! Fhtagn!
Humanity in Decay (FR) – A Gaze From No Eye
H.P. Lovecraft has influenced many musicians, and some claim it openly. More than an influence, the French Humanity Of Decay devotes himself totally to the Great Old Ones.
Since 2017, with 2 albums and one EP, he has been trying to wake them up mixing DarkSynth, Horror Synth and Cyberpunk.
Obviously, his presence on this compilation is totally natural. With his track A Gaze From No Eye, Humanity in Decay blew us away: a huge introduction, heavy djent guitars and a breathtaking final: we knew this song was destined to be the compilation opener on the first listening. It’s perfect to prepare people’s ears to what’s coming next…
More from Humanity in Decay
Released a few weeks before the compilation, the EP Seed is the logical continuation for anyone who would like to listen to more of Humanity in Decay after discovering it with the compilation.
You will find his guitar on the excellent Backup and Restore, the voice of fellow UntilBen as guest on SymBIOS and the magic Darksynth recipe of “classic” Humanity in Decay but pushed to 11 on the rest of the EP.
If you are in a more progressive mood, then listen to Neo R’lyeh: conceptual album composed of 4 long tracks, it tells the story of the city of Neo R’lyeh and its inhabitants who are condemned to adore Cthulhu and its cult of the Machine.
I warned you: CyberCthulhuHorrorPunk, we’re in the heart of it!
MASKED (AR) – The Call
Coming from Argentina, MASKED has been fighting his way with DarkSynth kicks in the teeth since 2017 and its first EP Welcome to Blindwich Valley. Initially inspired by Carpenter Brut, he knew how to evolve and push the genre to its extreme limits while remaining firmly anchored in its electronic roots.
More than any other artist, he manages to retranscribe the raw energy of Metal Music, both on stage and in his albums, without ever forgetting to tell a story and to drill his catchy melodies into his listeners’ brains.
His participation in COSMIC HORROR was obvious to us: who could have made cultists dance to the sound of the trampling steps of the Great Old Ones better than him? Probably no one.
More from MASKED
Still following Carpenter Brut‘s steps, MASKED has proven to the world with its Resistance trilogy that the best students can compete with the master.
Beautifully illustrated by Atomcyber, Resistance is a massive and relentless DarkSynth assault. Heavy, catchy and merciless: a must for fans of the Brutal French Carpenter, and a perfect entry point to MASKED discography.
In this conceptual EP, MASKED introduces new elements inspired by Techno and House in his powerful Darksynth. The result? Always more brutal, always more aggressive, always more in the face: unstoppable.
Lazer Station (US) – They Have Come From the Stars
Since 2017, Lazer Station has grown his own brand of premium horror and space DarkSynth. We noticed him thanks to his EP trilogy Chaos from Hyperion / Destination / Exit (Destination even slipped into our 2017 Top EP at the time). For Cosmic Horror, we knew that we were reaching a genre specialist and with They came from the stars, he did not disappoint us!
Distorted voices, insidious rhythm, increasing intensity which highlights both the danger and the impending madness, everything is there! We really hope that with his appearance on our compilation, the French public will notice his talent!
More from Lazer Station
Missions brings together Lazer Station’s first EP trilogy in one album and is a perfect entry point into its universe. If you like being scared in space, and if you’re looking for a logical sequel to They Have Come From The Stars, this is definitely the place to start.
Lazer Station‘s second album is more Cyberpunk, more dynamic, but nevertheless retains what makes Lazer Station strong: a threatening and cold shadow that hovers over its music constantly. This album deserves to be a movie soundtrack, and I admit that seeing the cover he made himself, it makes me even more eager to see it!
And it has absolutely NOTHING TO SEE with my fetishism of tight-fitting outfits with latex maxi-hoods.
Sierra (FR) – Prey/Hunter (Sierra Remix) of Minuit Machine
We really like to put “surprises” in our compilations: unexpected tracks by artists who seize the opportunity of a compilation to make a song that could not have appeared on an album. When Sierra sent us the first version of their remix of Midnight Machine, it was a love at first sight (or listening?)!
From the first notes, the atmosphere arose and directly stuck to my skin. This musical lightness in the arpeggios which however sound like the death knell immediately made me think of Archive (and it’s a huge compliment).
Like a puddle of oil, this viscous sweetness engulfed me and I admit that I was surprised on (very) numerous occasions to sing this song in my head during the following weeks.
Both icy and deeply organic, desperate and bright, predatory and fragile, this Remix is perfectly in its place on this compilation by adding a touch of finesse and beauty to this world of darkness.
More from Sierra
It’s almost impossible to choose between Sierra‘s 2 EPs : Gone and Strange Valley. The 2 of them are black diamonds, obsidian jewelry that defies the “rules” of DarkSynth and that pushes it to its most electronic and industrial limits.
The choice fell on Gone because it has more vocals from Sierra herself, which brings it closer to the remix of Prey / Hunter, but frankly: listen to both.
Faux EP – ANA
Under the pseudonym ANA, Sierra shows us a new side of her music: more urban, softer, more intimate, more poetic… but still quite dark in spirit. If you like very melancholy music that sees artists going on stage without make-up, then this EP is for you.
And on a side note (an important one), there’s also The Toxic Avenger featuring on Chaos!
Occams Laser (UK) – Indescribable Madness
When you think of DarkSynth and Horror, Occams Laser is one of the very first names that comes to mind, and it is an immense honor for Synthspiria to welcome him for the first time on a compilation.
Inspired by cinema, his music is heavy, sharp, melodic and pays a lot of attention to the emotions and details: each album could be considered as a movie on its own…
There’s a reason why he likes to create sequels and write scenarios for his releases!
As Lovecraft and Cinema work well together, it is quite naturally that we thought of Occams Laser to give us his own vision of the work of the Master of Providence …and the result is… insane!
Occams Laser pushes your mental health to its extreme limits, while causing extreme hips swaying! Such a great track!
More from Occams Laser
Inspired by 80s Horror films, the story begins with 86 (with a cover reminiscent of Poltergeist) where dark occult forces use television to propagate the messages of the True Prophet and rekindle the demon’s blaze!
If you only had to choose one, Occult 87 would remain my personal favorite (but opinions are divided right here in Synthspiria): varied, intense, with an incredible number of hits in it, there’s a reason why it landed in the Top of the Best Darksynth Albums of 2017.
I guess we should feel thankful his music cannot really invoke Satan, otherwise it would be very very very hot in here right now.
Picking a second album to present here was a challenge. I had to make a difficult choice between the modern and nervous actioner New Blood (whose REALLY REALLY GOOD sequel New Blood II was released on June 2!) and Tension, I finally decided to go for the later because it wants to be different: more retro, inspired by 80s B Movies Slashers, but always with this aggressive, leaping and melodic bass: such a blast!
And I couldn’t even talk about the EP Four Horsemen which I personally love, the Dante’s Inferno Trilogy (Purgatory, Nine Circles, Ascension) or his Tron Inspired albums (The Grid and Return To The Grid )!
Occams Laser is as talented as it is prolific!
Grabyourface (FR) & Star Noir (UK) – Strange Days
On one side of the ring, we have Grabyourface whose industrial noise and nihilistic music recalls the US scene of the 80s (in particular the one that launched in Chicago by Wax Trax! Records), on the other one, we have Star Noir whose Darksynth evokes both Cyberpunk Science-Fiction and the Noir Movies of the 40s.
As the two artists already knew each other, we told ourselves that the mix of their universes and their influences could give us an exceptional Lovecraftian track, and we were not mistaken!
Grabyourface‘s possessed vocals invoke Shub-Niggurath, the black goat of the woods with a thousand young, while Star Noir sets the scene for this impious ritual with infinite attention and rare intensity.
An extremely powerful, massive track, and quite perfect for COSMIC HORROR!
More from Grabyourface
Keep Me Closer
With Keep Me Closer, Grabyourface softens the noisy and destructive Industrial pattern of her beginnings (listen to philophobia, it’s a killer EP.) to get closer to EBM and darker electronic music.
More spoken words, a total openness to her deep self and a project that does not cheat on anything, Grabyourface does not care about anything but her Art and message and she will continue no matter what: with this album she started to play Live, and I admit that I would have really liked to see it with my own eyes!
More from Star Noir
On the eponymous track, we already find the Duo Star Noir / Grabyourface for a frankly desperate track which sets the tone of the album: emotional, cinematographic, immersive… Black.
If you like heavy atmospheres and more laid-back rhythms, then Society will make you want to curl up under your blanket.
With Unhuman, Star Noir pushes forward the “Film Noir” aspect of his music and releases a dark, mysterious, suave and even sexy EP (yeah I know, I’m sorry, I really do have a saxophone problem…).
More than a simple flavour or a gimmick used to set himself apart from the Darksynth scene, Unhuman proves that his vision of Synth Music is truely unique.
With one foot set in the 1940s and one in a dystopian future, Star Noir manages to find the shared elements of each universe, tie them together and blend them into one and only: his own.
IN†ERSIGNO (SP) – The Oldest Emotion
If you are looking for one of John Carpenter‘s most loyal disciples, you cannot miss IN†ERSIGNO from Spain. Minimalist and close to the genre roots in his approach, his albums Dark Space 1 and Dark Space 2 had already made a strong impression on us in 2015.
If someone had the crazy idea to adapt it for Cinema, the result would be a cross-over between Escape From New York and Alien (Escape From The Nostromo?).
Over the years, he has evolved a lot, but the shadow and soul of the “Master Of Darkness” have never left him. It was only natural that we wanted to invite him for COSMIC HORROR, and with The Oldest Emotion, he gave us a nightmarish track with freezing cries, real and permanent danger… and tentacles that stir in peripheral vision.
We wanted Horror, and this is probably the most terrifying track of the compilation. John Carpenter would be proud!
More from IN†ERSIGNO
Dark Space 1
The Nostromo opening track has always obsessed me. I fell in love with Intersigno as soon as I heard it and I hope this track will have the same effect on you.
All the rest of the album (and even its follow-up) are of the same ilk: a cold and minimalist odyssey like space void, yet with that typical Bad Ass vibe of John Carpenter in the melodies.
You just can’t miss it.
With his last album published in February 2020, IN†ERSIGNO continues to show us that he remains the worthy heir of the Master, but that he has also been able to enrich his repertoire with other influences and develop secret techniques: more modern, he still cherished his retro tones, his drum machines escaped from 80s movies and its Horror Synth lines that cut through skin like blades.
IN†ERSIGNO is in a way the very essence of what has made us all gravitate towards this movement, and it is already available for your ears.
Regression (FR) – Rebirth
Brand new to the Darksynth scene, Regression quickly made a name for himself with his single single Rebirth.
Also mixing DarkSynth and Horror Synth, he cheerfully hammers his melody as if he was forging a huge Claymore from hell to the sound of infernal chimes (did you see Mandy?). A promising first track and an artist that you’ll hear more about in the future we’re pretty sure!
Alunir (FR) – La Tombe (H.P. Lovecraft)
If COVID-19 and lockdown impacted our compilation, Alunir is the most telling proof. To tell you the whole story, we contacted a group of artists to offer them a place on our compilation. But unfortunately, the lockdown prevented its members from seeing each other, but far from abandoning us: one of them saw the opportunity to launch a project which was close to his heart and which he had not still had time to realize: Alunir.
The concept is to mix dark and retro synths with short novels reading. Original and never seen (or heard) in the Synthwave world, of course we were up for this experience!
The Tomb was the selected short novel for their first track ever, and yes, despite the narrator’s sweet and angelic voice, the synths behind will not fail to bring out all the discomfort inherent to the short novel… Close your eyes, you can almost smell the putrefaction!
Andros Graphix (FR) – Artwork
For Cosmic Horror, he tried to create a collage reminiscent of the strange Cabinets of Curiosity which brought together rare, unusual and often morbid objects … But in a Lovecraft version, that is to say even more terrifying!
With a lot of winks at his short novels and details hidden everywhere, this is one of the most impressive covers that he realized for us (and a little awkward, but I think I might have issues to solve with floating fetuses)!
Besides, you can try to look and find them all… but careful : don’t do it for too long or you could slip into the other side of the Mirror and lose more than sanity there…