Monday 2 September 2013

Review: Tonttu – 'Nekrognomekon'


Well, a collection of tracks lands on me like a message from beyond the pale. I have obtained documentation of the dreaded 'Nekrognomekon', the package is a concoction of Finnish folklore, demonology and wild conspiracy theories in a gnomic twist on Lovecraftian terror. Finding the words for the sounds and related reading material is a challenge. Going through this reviewer's mind is "this is madness", repeating like a mantra being transmitted by the Elder Gods.

A stern baritone voice admonishes the listener from within spare and clinical electronic sound structures. One may expect Finnish folk instruments here, but the production is nearly clinical with sequenced drums and undistorted synths. With this approach the infernal gnomes are brought right to our doorsteps. Instead of dwelling in forests and haylofts, the production and included mythology puts these demonic beings beneath the Formica and linoleum surfaces of our urban homes, scheming, plotting and executing us as they see the need. Even those who favour "necro" black metal production and cassette culture industrial releases of yore may find the clean production as a disturbing aspect of this project. Later on black metal style raspy vocals and lo-fi distorted guitars that sound like they're being played through blown boombox speakers enter. The guitar and and black metal vocals remind a bit of the Swiss band Mordor, who anticipated and perhaps inspired funeral doom. These elements make it feel like the nefarious gnomes are entering this realm from their underworld hiding places and adds to the sense of narrative and storytelling.

Whatever the curious who stumble upon the 'Nekrognomekon' think of what they hear in its vibrations and read in its blood-soaked pages, they will find an uncomfortable feeling indwelling their innermost core. This feeling will persist, will grow into strange dreams and disturbing thoughts. Thoughts will become ever more obsessive and elaborate in their twisting insistence and impel to unwholesome researches and ultimately bring the hapless victims back to the 'Nekrognomekon' and into the gnomic clutches of eternal night and madness. When you hear the gnomes and their victims screaming at the gibbous moon, stay inside...

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