Death metal band from Greece, Deathcraeft released their debut album, On Human Devolution, this July. The lyrics were inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, a pulp fiction author critically acclaimed for his work involving the Cthulhu Mythos. Below, we have a short video introducing you into the complex history and mythology behind the legendary being.
Though at first, you may see the stories of Cthulhu revealing an evil figure, but this creature of the sea is ultimately not good or evil, for his concepts of good and evil surpass that of humanity’s. What we do know, is that since H.P Lovecraft’s writings, this creature has spread all over stories, movies, and even in gameplay. Lovecraft left many interpretations of the mythology he formed up to the audience, as well as other authors who helped the series grow. He was a writer of ideas, not characters, which is why his work, impenetrable as it often is, has proven so immortal over the last century.
Although Deathcraeft wrote their debut album, On Human Devolution, to connect the ancient beings in Lovecraft’s writings, the band aims to focus their concept on how human nature faces socio-political issues today. The intensity of the album fits with the tension of the Great Dreamer, for one day, when he awakes, he and the other creatures of the realm will rise and wreak havoc and chaos upon humanity. In that, this tension becomes an orchestral tool to help listeners connect to whatever meaning lies in between the lines, the terror and ugliness within all of us that tends to come out when facing the unknown.
An eight track album, On Human Devolution demonstrates death metal with the classic thrashing elements of low and mid pitch shouts and screams meshing beautifully with bass, heavy drum beats, and squealing guitars, all while adding a full orchestra to enhance the human experience. Each song perfectly blends into each other, all while the poetically cryptic lyrics can describe the beasts in the famed mythology while alluding them to humankind.
Beginning with “The Ritual,” the album ropes you in with roaring winds, building the suspense slowly with long string notes and rattling; the deep seas vibrating and breathing with life. Introducing us to the band’s unique version of thrash, each instrument can be placed while vocals add to the musicality. The track feels like a revival of something ancient, modernized with electric guitar and harmonic, guttural growls blending beautifully with gritty semi-clean vocals. Falling into the next track beautifully, “Beginning of the End” poetically describes how humanity’s excessive lust for power can only lead to fire and destruction. I’m walking through fire. “This knowledge is power/I can feel it in my skin/Filling it with energy/The madness consumes me/The blackness amuses me/Falling into the eternal void/Crying and laughing, overjoyed.” At about the two minute mark, drummer Giannis Chionidis is on full display as the pace of the song suddenly quickens, and progresses throughout the rest of the track.
The full-orchestra continues occasionally throughout the album, continuing the inevitable story of our doom, which prevails throughout each song. In “Spreading Lies,” the intro begins with horns, strings, and more, all while building in tempo and discussing the blindness and hypocrisy in humanity as they hate and destroy one another, leaving their audience to question whether they will prevail or be enslaved by their own hubris, excessive pride, and destruction. Deathcraeft shows these evils in humanity as a beast, though old and sleeping behind a veil of ignorance, it is slowly awakening and building itself up, causing humanity to slowly destroy one another.
This theme continues in “Welcome to Oblivion” while poetically breaking down characteristics of the ancient beings and alluding to something much more; the ugliness in human kind being awoken slowly, and revealed, a hypnotism of mob mentality and the destructive behaviors it holds. “Numbing the mind – we’re in line,” vocalist, Nikonas Tsolakos, sings.
“Survival” begins with an throaty low scream, as the vocalist immerses the audience in moments of dread and a scramble to break free from a cycle of just getting by, and fighting to survive. The climax of the album, its darkness is tangible and ropes you in to the experience before trailing off at the four minute mark, and guitarist Kostas Kalampokas performs a solo that wails in terror. The song finishes with another guitar solo, echoing in the ears as if trapped in the darkest caverns of the mind.
“Daydreaming in the Abyss” is slower in pace, a dramatic shift from the previous tracks. The guitars and drums pair beautifully while vocals create a classic death metal edge while continuing the dark and dreamy state of feeling nothing but futile as waves of destruction crash around. Then, picking up the pace again, “Paving the Way,” follows as it tells the tale of a man following the possessed voices in his mind as he tries to stop the apocalypse from taking everything he knows.
And, to conclude the album, “Free into the Void,” puts the trio of Deathcraeft on display as they take you in for a wild ride, a seven minute track that stands alone to display their talents; and what a finale it is. As it seems to keep building on the previous tracks in the album, it leaves its audience wondering whether or not humanity will actually prevail. It’s a dark feeling, witnessing as brother turns against brother in this fight for survival. And just when you think it’s all over, the song returns and instrumentals hauntingly wail into oblivion.
Deathcraeft’s On Human Devolution is nothing short of that wild, sitting-at-the-edge-of-your-seat ride as you clench your fists, hold on, and hope you live through its intensity. We had the privilege of going into more detail as the band talked with us about their first album. Check it out below!
- How do you aim to connect listeners to the Cthulhu Mythos in your album?
Our aim is not to connect listeners to the Cthulhu mythos, but rather connect listeners to the human ethos.
- How are you connecting these eternal and ancient beings to the modern day in your music, including the unique display of orchestrated and black metal elements as well as the lyrics?
The orchestra is just a tool, it is there to create the atmosphere. As with most things concerning music it is the listener who will make the connection – to the ancient beings and whatever they represent and to the lyrics and what meaning lies between the lines. It is the experiences, the background, the wants and needs of the listener that will stay in the way. Listening to music ,not only as a mere for of entertainment, needs some effort from all of us.
- What is the main theme you want listeners to take away from in your album?
That, sometimes the unknown, the terror of the unrecognizable, does not lie somewhere in the far dark reaches of the space stretching above our heads, but here among – and inside – of all of us.
- What does your album cover symbolize?
It is one thing to read about something, and entirely different thing to know what you just read, and of course, what you thought you just read.
- What do you have planned next for the band?
Our plan is to complete the formation of the band’s line-up , begin touring and start writing the next album.
Stream Deathcraeft’s On Human Devolution now: