Yes, as you may have guessed from the album cover of Deities, the Polish Tortuga are fans of the good ol' Howard Phillips. Whereas most metal I've crossed with dealing with Lovecraftian subject matter tends to be dark, hypnotic, and vortex-like, Tortuga go in a considerably different direction, playing neither dreamlike atmospheric black metal nor swirling hallucinogenic death metal, but rather a more relaxed, lulling brand of crunchy stoner jamz. Packed with fat, spacious melodies and wave after wave of riffs, what Deities may be lacking in aggression it more than makes up for with a warm, inviting, and overall fun atmosphere.
A first spin of this album may leave a little to be desired on the originality factor, as Tortuga aren't really bringing anything that new to the realm of stoner metal, but all things considered this is a pretty minor issue when one considers the overall quality of Tortuga's songwriting. About midway through, the powerful riffage, the jammy, quasi psychedelic aura, and the soaring vocals all really start to set in for a pretty catchy, memorable experience, especially on "For Elizard" and "Black Pharaoh II." Additionally the production here has a very nice degree of fuzziness to it, which sort of serves to create something of a hazy, underwater feeling throughout. Intentional or not, it definitely serves to reinforce the Lovecraftian themes.
Released on the first day of the first month of the year, Deities is the first thing doom related to have considerably impressed me in 2020. While not groundbreaking in terms of innovation, it is quite an enjoyable listen from start to finish and one in which the riffs are only more likely to get cemented in one's head with each subsequent listen. While most Lovecraft influenced metal seems to go in a direction of chronicling the horrors of HP's mythos and his various cosmic entities, Deities offers a more lighthearted, playful story, perhaps a tale of one day the homies Cthulhu, Azathoth, and Nyarlathotep spent lazing on the couch watching TV in R'lyeh. It's definitely a different alternative to what we're normally accustomed to with Lovecraft metal, but quite a satisfying one at that!
|Sub-Genre: Doom / Psychedelic / Stoner / Space.|
|Catalog No: OSR-004.|
|Color: transparent black with sticker imprint.|