11.07.2013

DREAMS IN THE WITCH HOUSE: A LOVECRAFTIAN ROCK OPERA

With H.P. Lovecraft's work filled with unspeakable madness, eldritch entities, and forbidden knowledge, I suppose it's a perfect match for heavy metal.  The folks at the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society noted the parallels and turned Lovecraft's short story "Dreams in the Witch House" into Dreams in the Witch House: A Lovecraftian Rock Opera.
Dreams in the Witch House follows the original story pretty closely.  With the spoken framework of Frank Elwood (Andrew Leman) telling his story in a confession to Father Inawicki (Sean Branney), the rock opera tells the story of Arkham student Walter Gilman (Mike Dalager).  His studies in the title locale lead to the spirit of Keziah Mason (Alaine Kashian), a witch who vanished in ancient Arkham -- and who seems to be influencing Gilman's studies and dreams, leading to other dimensions, her rat-like familiar Brown Jenkin (Chris Laney), human sacrifice, madness, and even the dread entity Azathoth.

And it's all set to heavy metal music!  There's a sexy song from Keziah trying to turn Gilman to evil ("No Turning Back"), a dueling song between Gilman and a professor ("Bridge to the Stars"), an almost sympathetic power ballad for Keziah when she was alive ("Legends and Lore") and plenty of songs about madness and temptation.  There's a certain intense fun to the songs here, as everything is delivered so earnestly it sometimes borders on comedy, and the shrieks, musical duels, and loud electric guitars so prevalent in metal are featured throughout most of the songs here.

Dreams in the Witch House shows that Lovecraft's stories and themes fit rock opera quite well.  This metal opera is faithful to the source material while blasting away from start to finish.

Overall grade: A-
Reviewed by James Lynch

1 comment:

Brian OConnell said...

I totally agree...I like "Dreams in the Witch House!" It's awesome! Great review, Armchair Critic!