Once in awhile, a band comes along that not only stops you in your tracks, but absolutely floors you. The Great Old Ones are such a band, and their debut release, Al Azif, is a glorious triumph of modern black metal. Their name and concept is clearly born of Lovecraft's poisoned pen, and Cthulu's scabby tentacles are draped across the recording in obscure homage. Al Azif is black metal in the simplest terms, full of tremolos, raw agression, and gruff roars from beyond the stars; but it builds upon that greying template with swaths of glimmering post-rock and ambience, bleeding beauty into brutality and back again. This French quintet embrace the horrors within and light below, and gracefully go their way into the unknown. We've posted the title track below for your hopefully profound enjoyment. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.