H. P Lovecraft's The Lurking Fear LP

Distributed title
Composer Chris Bozzone
Artist Jeremy Hush
Label Cadabra Records
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Product information
Liner notes S. T. Joshi and Chris Bozzone
Packaging details deluxe heavy weight tip-on gatefold jacket
Vinyl color Natural White Vinyl

H.P. Lovecraft's “The Lurking Fear” is an intriguing story in many ways, not least of which is the fact that it was origi-nally serialized in four parts during the early months of 1923. The division of Lovecraft's stories via serialization is nothing new, of course, with “Herbert West–Reanimator” having been divided the previous year and even his master-work, At the Mountains of Madness, was divvied into three parts nearly a decade later.

However, the four parts of “The Lurking Fear” work not only as part of a greater whole, but each stands alone as a superbly-chilling adventure of a nameless narrator attempting to discover the secrets of Tempest Mountain and the surrounding area. Also, while not instantly identifiable upon reading, Andrew Leman's reading of this particular Love-craft tale reveals a certain something different about the approach which the author took.

Leman's reading here, as with all his work for Cadabra, is superlative, but he brings a certain nervous uncertainty to his voice work which allows one to really and truly feel the brittle nature of the man who is relating the events which took place in the fall of 1921. The listener knows right from the start that this man, thanks to what he has seen, is barely holding on over a year hence from the nightmares which occurred. He's telling this story to you, the listeners, “lest the brooding make me a maniac.”

Listening, however, might deliver a similar experience to those who drop the needle on the record. As with so many of Lovecraft's first-person narratives released by Cadabra, were it not for the music of Chris Bozzone which back-grounds Leman's recitation, one might think that this were an obscure recording from a century ago, brought to light for the first time and terrifying those who now live in the places where unknown horrors once dwelt. The first part, “The Shadow on the Chimney,” will make you fear the enclosure of old houses, but the final installment, “The Horror in the Eyes,” will bring the listener to the point where they “cannot see a well or a subway entrance without shudder-ing.”

Speaking Bozzone's score, the manner in which the composer and musician slips under Leman's narration with alter-nating acoustic guitar and electronic synthesizers helps to emphasize the inner and outer nature of “The Lurking Fear.” Much as the tale itself roams in and out of an old manse, the surrounding “maniacally thick foliage” of “certain overnourished trees whose very existence seemed an insult to sanity,” and certain underground lairs, the music which accompanies the tale goes from pleasant and open to closed-in and oppressiv