Forgive the pun, but writing about Cadabra is starting to sound like a broken record. I already gave them a 10/10 — an MV first — for The Hound, released earlier this year. And save for a few subjective art issues, their latest Lovecraft release, The Lurking Fear, bears much of the same traits that allowed me to speak so highly of their past work. Once again scored by Theologian and read by the incredible Andrew Leman, The Lurking Fear can easily be viewed as a companion piece to The Hound, yet carries an even stronger story and vocal performance.
Whereas The Hound/Erich Zann had cover art that felt completely in sync with the story, The Lurking Fear falls a bit short. Reading through the extensive liner notes, artist Alan Brown talks at length about how he came up with the idea for the cover, and while I completely understand what he was going for, the white decrepit face on the otherwise normal portrait just doesn’t do it for me. It gives the impression of two completely different art styles and takes me completely out of the scene. That said, his work in the gatefold and liner notes is absolutely perfect and conveys the sense of dread and wonder one would expect from this type of story.
The gatefold package is rock solid with thick cardboard and stiff edges. While not a glossy finish on the cover, the amber, maroon and blue colors are printed to reveal deep and defined hues. Inside the gatefold, a dark blue creature crawls across the panels reaching out towards the air. Inside the package is a 4-page insert detailing the process of putting the release together, while also giving you more information about Lovecraft and the story. The record is housed in an archival quality paper sleeve with plastic insert. The variant I’m reviewing is a gorgeous amber/orange/yellow color with swirls of white streamed throughout the vinyl.
Perfect. The music is mixed effortlessly with Leman’s voice, weaving in and out during climatic story points and receding during slower sections. Leman acts the hell out of this, providing dramatic pause and breathless tension where needed. I can’t say enough good things about Theologian and Andrew Leman; they truly are a match made in Carcosa.
There is a substantial amount of information to read in the liner notes, and they provide a solid foundation for diving deeper into the world of Lovecraft. No download card was included, but realistically you probably won’t have this on shuffle in your car.
“The Lurking Fear” is available on metallic gold or caramel swirl vinyl at Cadabra Records.