Dav Dralleon - KTHULLU
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
Dav Dralleon has always entertained the occult, demons, and other such mythology throughout his works but an area that remained primarily untouched is that of Cthulu. Sure, there may have been references to the beloved H.P. Lovecraft creation in the producer’s discography, but none touches on it so much as his most recent conceptual album titled after the malevolent creature “KTHULLU”. This dark dancefloor of madness offers thirteen individual tracks taking influence from dark synth, industrial metal, cyberpunk, and other such canonically dark genres.
The album opens up with ‘Dark Gates Ov R’lyeh’, a homage to the titular creature’s home. A thunderous assault of electronic guitar, brooding atmospheric electronics, and trippy bits of glitch all make a comfortable home within Dav Dralleon’s song. Most of the tracks on “KTHULLU” can be described as such, however. Instrumental in nature letting the music do the talking. There’s enough difference from song to song to make the thirteen-track length understandable. ‘A Cosmic Sacrifice To Dagon’, for example, focuses more on slow paced dark beats and pulse-pounding percussion, while the likes of ‘Necronomicon Witchcraft’ gives off cinematic, ambient vibes. And even ‘Dungeon Xoth Octoterror’ gives a video game sound with a wicked BPM.
There are a couple of collaborations on “KTHULLU” as well, such as with Fixions, Draven, and Void Stare. I am unfamiliar with Fixions and Void Stare for the most part, so I cannot speak on what they added to Dav Dralleon’s music that wasn’t already there. As both ‘Eldritch Horror Machine’ and Wizards Ov Azathoth’ feel like they belong in Dav Dralleon’s already stellar discography. But, as I know Draven and his sound design, I can hear his horrorsynth influence within ‘Invoking The Spectral Madness’. And it does sound lovely.
One area where I would like to see Dav Dralleon improve upon is his bass; I often feel as if the bass can be a touch too deep in some of his songs, squishing other elements into oblivion. And when DD sounds as good as he does, it’s a shame that he would use too much bass to squander other areas of his work. I would also like to see a lyricist or singer join the fray on Dav Dralleon’s future works. I adore his sound design, but I can’t help but think that sinister screams from a few guest vocalists would help liven up the album and add even more variety to it. Half the time I was hoping we’d hear guttural cries from something out of a power metal album join Dav Dralleon’s repertoire, but such is not the case this time around. An idea that may come to fruition in the near future.
The last criticism about the album that I have is that I believe a couple of Dav Dralleon’s works overstay their welcome. I was more fond of the tracks that lasted under four-minutes in length, as I believe those were a perfect length. The others that lasted four-minutes and above felt as if they were becoming repetitive, with those extra seconds doing nothing more than prolonging me from getting to the next track. Songs such as ‘Outer Gods Exodvs’ and ‘Voodoo Shubniggurath’ come to mind when speaking of this.
While I do have my fair share of complaints regarding “KTHULLU”, the overall effort in the end is noteworthy. It’s a fun and fast foray into someone’s love of the Great Old Ones with plenty of beats and nasties to get through. Not necessarily the soundtrack to the end times, but a mayhem filled dancefloor for the mental breaks our overlords will bring upon us mortals one fine day. Seven out of ten.
Dec 03 2022
Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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