Another Dream in the Witch House

Just above a year and a half after his last visit to Fantask in Copenhagen, Mike Dalager returned to our shores, bringing with him his good compatriots Doug Blair (W.A.S.P., Signal2Noise) and Anders Ringman once again.
There were fewer stools put out this time around though, and the setlist was shorter than it had been the last time around. All in all, a smaller, more compact show. As if it had been sucked into and compressed by the super gravity of a black hole…
trio togetherThe boys are back in town

group photoGathering of the witch's coven

Now, why would I mention something as unrelated as that? Well, because it turned out to not be unrelated at all, that’s why.
You see, Dalager had chosen a very specific focus-point for this new get-together. As if the release of the project’s new 12” maxi single, The Refuge Of Penitence, as well as the dawn of the graphic metal Signum Crucis: Unholy Mutation companion comic fold-out (in lack of a better explanation) to the recent rerecording of the Signum Crucis song from the original album, Dalager also came armed with science on his side! You know, science, the thing that many of Lovecraft’s characters set out to find. Because it always turns out so well for them in the end.
schooling timeDalager telling it like it is, pt. 2

Anyway, side-tracking aside, much of the talk of the day was in the line of what helped keep Dalager focused and committed to this project, and one thing was definitely the many new depths that can be found in the original story (Dreams In The Witch House, in case you were wondering), that have to do with the science of it. It is no secret that old HPL himself was quite a science aficionado, and that he used his knowledge of this as part of his inspiration for his stories. Leaving out enough to let the audience ponder the dark spaces untold, much like scientists ponder the dark spaces making up the vast majority of the universe around us. A universe often occurring in Lovecraft’s tales. It’s all connected, in strange and unspeakable patterns, shapes, and forms.
signing timeBlair puts music to words

RingManRingman countered Blair both in the rhythm and solo section

Dalager connected other things as well, to our dark delight. For instance, the group opened the day, after a quick introduction, with the reading of the story fragment Azathoth, which was connected to music played by Blair and Ringman. The music, we were then told, was a precursor of Argo Navis: Heart Of Darkness. Whether or not the Heart Of Darkness part of the title was a subtle reference to Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now was not revealed, but there’s another clear story of an investigative journey, ending in a road to madness. Another connection.
Azathoth, as the attentive reader will know, also plays a vital role in the Dreams In The Witch House story, as the daemon sultan sitting on the throne of chaos at the very centre of the universe. A universe, which is said only to be a dream of the mighty elder god, one which will disappear together with everything in it when Azathoth once awakens from its sleep. And so we return to the universe, and what it actually is. Connection.
foursomeAnd the trio turned into four...

Returning to Fantask once more, there was also another face present this day. A red-bearded man we had up to this point not been introduced to. Not in conjunction with the Dreams In The Witch House – A Lovecraftian Rock Opera project at least, or well, at least not in the flesh.
You see, the man was none other than Courtney Gains, American actor who debuted as Malachai in the original Children Of The Corn film.
Gains sat mostly in silence for the duration of the musical section of this day’s performance, which was basically the whole thing, and if you hadn’t kept up with your Facebooking, his connection to the project wasn’t revealed until Dalager introduced him as the new Frank Elwood. For the movie adaptation of the rock opera. Yes, that’s right. Movie adaptation. Colour me intrigued!
Now, even though Gains was with the group, and can be heard alongside Tony Todd (Candyman) on the song version of Signum Crucis: Unholy Mutation, he did not sing here, as none of his songs came up in the short setlist. He was, however, up for a chat and a signing session afterwards, and there were at least a few old VHS and DVD sleeves that walked home with his signature on them. Just as the new single, and the comic fold-out, also did, together with the signatures of gentlemen Blair, Dalager, and Ringman.
exchanging glanceYou think we're in the film as well?

For we were coming up to the end of the short get-together now. An hour of fun and games was what we got, and even though many of us probably could have handled more, what we got was highly appreciated by all as well. Two songs played, to readings read, and two of them bound together. Together, we had hummed along to an instrumental rendering of No Turning Back, and now au revoir’s were said, and promises were made of more meetings to come. You know, it’s important to stay connected…
signing timeCourtney Gains practising his Elwood signature

selling timeSaying farewell for now to the last customers


Azathoth / Argo Navis: Heart Of Darkness (accompanied reading)
Reading (Opening of The Call Of Cthulhu)
No Turning Back

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