Chris Zimmel

The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
Cthulhu Strikes Back
(Great Old One/Independant)
rating – 6/10

The list of acts who have payed tribute in song to the reclusive American horror-fantasy writer of the early part of this century, H.P. Lovecraft includes Metallica, Morbid Angel, and Mekong Delta. Now from Chilliwack B.C. come the Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, (who you may remember played Calgary in November) to give us an album full of songs invoking Lovecraftian demons. Yig, Cthulhu and Yog Sothoth are just some of the names mentioned.

The music itself hearkens back to my nearly forgotten high school days of listening to Gwar, with a bit of early Anthrax on the side. This is not to suggest a competely unpleasureable experience, though, as the band manages to throw just enough of that ol’ punk/pop sound into the fray to keep my interest up. Some of the punkier songs, such as “Burrow Your Way Into My Heart,” “Yig Snake Daddy,” and “Worship Me Like a God” are downright enjoyable. Where the album loses points is in the production department, which is lacking in power, and tends to suffocate the band’s energy, which is the strongest element of their live show. Cthulhu Strikes Back won’t rise to the top of my playlist anytime soon, but won’t end up in any pawn shops, either.
Chris Zimmel