Marvelously Macabre and Masterfully Morbid
As the newest installment in Cadabra Records’ tribute series to H.P. Lovecraft, The Lurking Fear provides audio book lovers and soundtrack junkies with a perfect combo album that leaves one paranoid and thoroughly unsettled. The album features a reading of Lovecraft’s 1922 story, The Lurking Fear and haunting atmospheric music courtesy of Theologian. H.P. Lovecraft’s genius shines as a true Lovecraft enthusiast, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society co-founder and voice actor Andrew Leman, reads the tale with vigor.
The album is broken up into two parts: A and B. It is also accompanied by liner notes that explain the origin of the story and provide the listener with a historical context in which to place Lovecraft’s fiction. The notes give the world a firmer footing and ultimately make for better horror. They were a lovely addition, though they do get a bit wordy and seem to be directed at only the literature-lover. However, whoever chooses to listen to this over-the-top audio book is likely familiar with Lovecraft’s work and is a literature-lover, so you can’t fault them for their long-windedness.
Without spoiling the story, it must be mentioned that The Lurking Fear is one of Lovecraft’s darker tales. When preparing to listen, this must be taken into account. Don’t listen before bed, or on your own in the dark. There’s too much gore and unfortunate imagery for anyone to have peaceful slumber afterward. Obviously for a horror enthusiast, that means that this is a must-listen. Leman’s delivery is impeccable, Lovecraft’s creation is terrifying, and the accompanying music is just dark enough to unsettle us before anything even happens. The Lurking Fear (the album and Lovecraft’s story) is a triumph.
This album marks the first time The Lurking Fear has been read for vinyl and the scratch and pop of a record player is likely perfect for this suspenseful, stressful tale. If possible, listen to it how it was meant to be enjoyed. If not, the buttery, warm tones of Leman’s voice and Theologian’s brooding soundtrack will still be an absolute delight.