French black metallers The Great Old Ones are gearing up for their new album, Cosmicism, which is scheduled to arrive on October 25th via Season of Mist (pre-order here). The group’s latest effort continues to explore the workings of author H.P Lovecraft by bringing the Lovecraftian literature to life as a bleak atmospheric journey. The follow-up to 2017’s EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy is marked as their most impressive effort to date. We caught up with guitarist/vocalist Benjamin Guerry to discuss their latest offering, Lovecraft, and more.
Cosmicism doesn’t seem to hold back as it moves in a haunting direction that fits well with H.P Lovecraft’s literary philosophy. With that being said, what made you pick this particular philosophy as a follow-up to 2017’s EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy?
This philosophy perfectly reflects the atmosphere of Lovecraft’s writings, especially those related to the Cthulhu mythos. The fact that the human is only a small thing on a cosmic scale, and that he can’t understand or assimilate the issues that unfold in the universe, is at the heart of his stories. On our album, each song represents a Lovecraftian entity, and the story of the protagonist who will meet it, before sinking into veneration and / or madness. Cosmicism is therefore the perfect link to all these destinies.
What are your overall thoughts on the possibility that humans are insignificant in the grand scheme of intergalactic existence?
This is something entirely possible. Personally, I am an agnostic so I can’t say 100% if that is the case. But we have so little explored in the universe that there are surely many things to discover. And certainly things we are not ready to see. Humans often tend to think that they are very important, and some discoveries could put this into question.
The record continues to explore different workings of H.P Lovecraft, and I was curious what the process is like for you to interpret Lovecraft’s work into music?
I would say it’s a combination of things. The composition periods are solely dictated by emotions. The music we play must touch us first. The fact that the interpretation is linked to Lovecraft’s writings is quite natural. On the previous albums, mainly the last two, each title brought forward a story. So we had to follow the twists of this story. For Cosmicism, it’s a little different. As each piece represents an entity, the composition is based more on the characteristics of these entities. Violence and chaos for Azathoth, heaviness for Nyarlathotep for example. The goal is for us that the listener can always make images in the head, and create his own Lovecraftian vision, from our songs.
How would you compare Cosmicism to your previous albums?
It is in continuity with our previous albums. But with time, the experience, the new members, we were able to test new things, and we put ourselves in no barrier. For me, it’s the most complete album of our (short) career. I find it epic, dark, rather desperate, a real Lovecraftian album!
How has the creative process changed since recruiting guitarist Alexandre ‘Gart’ Rouleau and bassist Benoit ‘Barby’ Claus?
In terms of pure composition, it has not changed anything. From the beginning of the band, I compose most of the music myself. But of course they brought their technicality, their sensitivity, which allowed to test new things in the studio. Anyway, even if I compose the main base of the music, the songs of TGOO come alive only when we play them together, and each member takes them up.
Do you have any upcoming touring plans you’d like to reveal?
The touring thing I can talk about now is the French tour that we will be doing in November. But we really want to go everywhere, to visit the countries in which we have not yet played. So we are working on different tour plans.
Is there anything else you’d like to say or add about the new album?
We wanted to create an exciting album from start to finish, and an album that truly honors Lovecraft’s work. So if you want to listen to our music in a different way, do not hesitate to read the texts. I add that a video clip will be coming soon, directed by Zev Deans (Behemoth, Ghost, Portal, etc.). We can’t wait to introduce it to you!
01) Cosmic Depths
02) The Omniscient
03) Of Dementia
04) Lost Carcosa
05) A Thousand Young
06) Dreams of the Nuclear Chaos
08) To A Dreamer – Bonus Track