The Faceless God.
The messenger of the outer gods.
The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets is a perfect band for what I like to write about. Hailing from Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, this lovable band of rock nerds have created something truly wonderful; a cheeky punk rock band whose majority of songs are half comedy half grim homages to H.P. Lovecraft.
It is a perfect idea for a rock band, and something I dearly needed in my life.
This light-hearted approach to Lovecraft is something of akin to the horror comedy genre of movies like “Evil Dead” or “Reanimator,” where humour is found amongst the deadly and horrible. Such things have always touched upon my sensibilities and dark sense of humour and after many years of gradually listening to more and more music by Darkest of the Hillside Thickets I have come to love the band and all that they do.
Despite the fact no one I know has ever heard of them, Darkest of the Hillside Thickets have been around since 1993. That is almost twenty-five years of being virtual unknowns, and once again I have the internet to thank for introducing them to me. A cult band if there ever was one, the Darkest of the Hillside Thickets have done a handful of small shows every few years in the British Columbia area, sometimes branching out into Washington state, maybe elsewhere, I do not know.
Way back in the day I hosted a radio show, and one night I was digging deep trying to find songs to play in a Lovecraft theme episode, and that was when I discovered Darkest of the Hillside Thickets. At the time I had only been listening to songs like “The Innsmouth Look” and “Yog-Sothoth.” It would take a long time to discover some of their best that came out later like “Shhh,” “Frogstar” and “The Math Song,” none of which have any notable connection to Lovecraft, but “You Fool Warren is Dead!” is absolutely about “The Statement of Randolph Carter,” and it is fantastic. However, my favorite, is one of the first I ever heard “Nyarlathotep.”
I am a man who deeply enjoys deep lyrics, but today will not be one of those days where I post some quote from the song in the blog and blab about how clever it is, because in “Nyarlathotep” the words are not in English. If the comment section on youtube.com is to be believed, Darkest of the Hillside Thickets are singing in ancient Egyptian. Upon further research I have since learned that the band reached out to their fans to help write “Nyarlathotep” finding a fan who actually spoke, or at least knew, middle Egyptian. That sort of artist fan relationship is very endearing.
Also judging from the comment section, the Japanese really like “Nyarlathotep.”
From what sounds like a tambourine, a death rattle is created, and it is the first sound in “Nyarlathotep,” the first sting that brings out the deathly ambient sound. Next the war drums hit and a rolling thunder carries us forward to the lead guitar and Egyptian vocal melody.
Everything Lovecraft wrote, and everything he created, was horrifying but also nihilistic, and the being Nyarlathotep is no exception. The space monsters in Lovecraft’s works are also ultra dimensional gods, and are often very difficult to describe because they are so alien. As I explained in the last review, Cthulhu physically is the most human, somehow, and as such he has proven to be the easiest for fans to rationalize in their minds and illustrate, and this probably goes a long way to explain Cthulhu’s popularity. The most human cosmic god Lovecraft created in personality is probably Nyarlathotep. None of the Lovecraft gods have any relatable human motivations or emotions, they are completely unrelatable, except for Nyarlathotep.
Using his shape shifting powers Nyarlathotep has through out history appeared as a human, most notably as an obsidian dark skinned Egyptian, who shows devices and objects of wonderful and terrible affects. His powers are many and he could cause massive harm at any time to all human civilization, but he relents, for Nyarlathotep enjoys toying with humans, we are his play things, his greatest source of amusement. Nyarlathotep’s playfulness and cruelty are inherently human traits, his dark sense of humour and manipulative manner is the behavior of a trickster, and humans can relate to that.
This video from the Exploring Series explains Nyarlathotep better than I can:
The Exploring Series - Nyarlathotep:
I really like the Exploring Series, he talks about all my favorite things, Middle Earth, Elder Scrolls, and Lovecraft. We should probably hang out.
In summary, some nerds in British Columbia decided to make punk band where they combine horror and comedy to sing about a variety things, but namely Lovecraft’s mythos, and I like them because their fun.
- King of Braves