The Hounds of Tindalos

The Transition of Titus CrowI’ve long been a devotee of the Cthulhu Mythos; in fact a number of unfinished posts for this blog have been Mythos themed.

This January just gone I have had something of a Mythos renaissance.  I finally regained use of a multi-region DVD player and had some success in tracking down a number of US release only Mythos DVDs.

Even better, I’ve read through Brian Lumley‘s Primal Lands and Mythos sequences, back to back.

I love Lumley’s take on the Mythos.  General Mythos stories tend to have the protagonist left gibbering, driven to insanity by the unspeakable horrors they have witnessed.

Whilst this does still happen in Lumley’s tales, there are heroes to stand up to the oneiric machinations of Cthulhu and his kin.

Hound of TindalosIt was during this last series that I was reminded of the Hounds of Tindalos,  temporal vampires that leech into our world through acute angles.

In Lumley’s Mythos sequence, these fluttering hunters of the fourth dimension plague Lumley’s heroes, literally hounding them through time.

I remember the feeling of sheer desperation the first time I read The Transition of Titus Crow, as the hounds push Titus Crow from one well thought out trap to another.

Later in the series, Crow’s friend, Henri-Laurent de Marigny, is likewise hounded but deals with them in true Lumley hero style.

The Hounds of TindalosThe Hounds of Tindalos were first introduced to the Mythos by Frank Belknap Long in his short story of the same name.

The tale is a favourite of mine; ahead of its time with regards the combination of occult thought and methodologies to scientific theory and practice.

The musings of Long’s ill fated Chalmers at the story’s opening, echo my own opinion on scientific thought.  In fact the Chalmers character reminds me somewhat of 1930s Peter J Carroll.  Of course Carroll would likely deal with the Tind’losi Hounds in a manner that any Lumley hero would be proud.

Whilst musing over the Hounds of Tindalos, and the feeling that their initial pursuit of Titus Crow left me with I was reminded of a similar feeling of relentless pursuit that I encountered in my youth.

Hounds of LoveYears before first reading anything remotely Lovecraftian, I remember feeling that same sense of desperation from Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love.

Released in 1985, (I think), I would have probably encountered the song a couple of years later, on a VHS version of The Whole Story.

The pursuit of Kate and her lover, in the video, fits well with the theme of the song.

Although, I’m fairly sure that Kate’s intention was more to show the inevitability of the eventual submission to love’s pursuit in the heart of a romantic (or at least that’s what the song means to me, when I’m not likening it to the futile evasion of some dark eldritch horror).

It’s in the trees… It’s coming!

I think the opening line is taken from Night of the Demon, in turn based on MR James’ Casting the Runes.

Synchronous that the two sources of such a powerful sensation of unending pursuit share such a similar name.  So much so that I had to google to check if there had been some kind of Kate Bush Hounds of Tindalos/Hounds of Love parody; sadly nothing more than this hounds of history link.

And so in lieu of a version that is to hand and with deference to the wonderful Kate Bush and the works of Lumley and Long; I have attempted to create my own Tind’losi version of the song.

The Hounds of Tindalos (To Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love)

“They’re In My Dreams!
They’re Coming!”

When I Was Asleep:
Dreaming Strange Dreams,
Afraid Of What Might Be

Dreaming In The Dark,
Hiding In The Dream,
And Of What Was Following Me…

The Hounds Of Tindalos See Me.
Have I Always Been A Coward,
And I Don’t Know Where to Go From Here.

Here I Go!
They’re Coming For Me Through My Dreams.
Help Me, Someone!
Help Me, Please!

Take The Corners,
And Mould Them Into Curves,
And I’ll Be,
Safe For The Moment.

They’re Forming Cracks,
Led By Dholes.
I Try To Smooth Them With My Hands.

My Fragile Heart,
It Beats So Fast,
And I’m Ashamed Of Running Away.

From Nothing Real?
I Just Can’t Deal With This,
But I’m Still Afraid To Be There,

Among The Hounds Of Tindalos,
And Feel Their Presence Reach For Me.
Have I Always Been A Coward,
And Now I Know It’s Too Late For Me.

Oh, Here I Go!
Don’t Let Me Go!
Hold Me Down!
They’re Coming For Me Through My Dreams.
Help Me, Darling,
Help Me, Please!

Take The Corners,
And Mould Them Into Curves,
And I’ll Be,
Safe For The Moment.

I Know It’s Too Late For Me.
I Know It’s Too Late For Me.
I Hear The Hounds Of Tindalos, Yeah!
Tind’losi Hounds!

Take The Corners,
And Mould Them Into Curves!

Do You Know What I Really Hear?
Do You Know What I Really Hear?
I Hear The Hounds Of Tindalos, Yeah!


Top 10 Workout Tracks

Creative Zen X-FiHaving doubled in weight since my teens I’ve been visiting the local gym of late, doing what I can to chip away down to a BMI that’s under my age and not the speed limit on a dual carriageway.

The simplicity of the gym appeals to me, although it is difficult to keep to a slow pace (I’m told that a heart rate of 156+ is not a good thing).  I’ve found over the last few sessions that the best way to focus is to deafen out the gym’s own sound system with my own choice of tracks, streamed over my beloved Creative ZEN X-Fi.

The problem with the gym’s music selection is that it seems to have been edited and compiled by some kind of nineties hardcore techno DJ with a speed-core addiction; this may be really useful to the kind of ‘roid head beefcake that scowls at me, whilst I’m on the rowing machine but it doesn’t help me one bit.

So during my last session, whilst my legs were pumping away at 100rpm, I compiled my top 10 workout tracks.  I will add the caveat that the playlist I was listening to has a limited selection of around 500 tracks on random play.  I’ll also add the caveat that this is more of a good, solid, bike session play list following guidelines for warming up and cooling down.

Moloko Familiar Feeling10 – MolokoFamiliar Feeling (video)

A great track to start out to; a steady increase in tempo until it quickly reaches a steady rhythm. I love Róisín Murphy‘s voice, she can evoke so many emotions and I’d consider replacing this track with something like Pure Pleasure Seeker or Statues but they would actually end up being more of a distraction.

I think Róisín actually tempers herself with Familiar Feeling and that is what makes this such a great warm up track.

Nirvana Territorial Pissings9 – NirvanaTerritorial Pissings (video)

I always feel a little childish when I revert back to Nirvana. Nevermind and Bleach were the soundtrack to my late teens.

Territorial Pissings has a good pace to it, I find that I can build up a good speed whilst this track briefly plays; I also don’t feel too guilty for getting my heart rate too high, seeing as the track is only a couple of minutes long.

Pendulum Propane Nightmares8 – PendulumPropane Nightmares (video)

As I understand it, this is not the usual fare for Pendulum. I first came across this track on the XBOX shortly after switching to the 360. It was a free music video given away to advertise the music marketplace I think.

To me the track has a similar energy to running a race with a pack of dogs chasing you.

Butthole Surfers Locust Abortion Technician7 – Butthole Surfers – Human Cannonball (video) (video)

From their classic 1987 album Locust Abortion Technician, Human Cannonball is another of my favourite “Rage” tracks. Whilst it might not have a specifically angry content, it does keep me in a tightly wound state and is great for maintaining focus.

Nneka Heartbeat6 – NnekaHeartbeat (video)

I stumbled across this track during the back end of last year; it was playing on one of the music TV channels and hooked me the moment I heard it. It has an empowering rhythm and Nneka’s voice is truly enchanting. Like the other tracks on this list, Heartbeat has a great pace: steady, strong and constant; kind of like a heartbeat I guess.

China Drum Goosefair5 – China Drum – Wuthering Heights (video)

As a child I remember watching the VHS version of Kate Bush’s Kate Bush – The Whole Story [VHS] [1986] over and over again to the point of obsession. Later in life I remember hearing China Drum’s cover for the first time; we were in a club called Abrahams on a Rock Society night (Huddersfield University Rock Society, Re-enacting Society and Roleplay Society seemed to meet in the same venues, share the same members and do pretty much the same kind of thing, socially at least).

Energetic, bordering on the violent, this version of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights is another pace setter, helping keep pace and focus without letting the mind wander.

Jonathan Coulton Re: Your Brains4 – Jonathan CoultonRe: Your Brains (video)

More of a cool down song but still a great one to pop up in the workout play list. It may not be as fast paced as the other tracks on this list but that is why it makes such a great addition. It manages to hold your attention whilst encouraging a steady drop in pace.

I’d really hoped we could get everyone singing this at the last Huddersfield Zombie Slouch but didn’t think to actually put any effort into it.

Killing Joke Extremities3 – Killing JokeExtremities (video)

From the phenomenal album, Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions this track maintains Killing Joke’s usual rage but at a slower pace. It makes for a great warm up or cool down track. Other tracks on this album would suit a slower session; in fact I sometimes substitute the album in place of a mixed playlist.

Killing Joke Pandemonium2 – Killing JokeExorcism (video)

Track 2 from Killing Joke’s Pandemonium, this is such an evocation of rage! Pandemonium remains my favourite Killing Joke album, probably because it is the album that introduced me to the band.

At over seven minutes duration, Exorcism is a good focus to move from warm up into your core workout. I also find the track therapeutic, as the title implies it makes for a good exorcism:

Get it out – get it out – get it out now
Let it rise to the surface – let it rise – let it rise – guilt
All your guilt and the pain and the hurt you cause
All the tears in the child’s face
All resentment undeclared
Let it rise
Let it rise let it bubble to the surface

Not an exorcism in the Ama Nazra spirit rescue sense of the word, more a personal emotional cleansing. In fact, Exorcism always strikes me as being almost like a Sith prayer, so full of passion and hate.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion I gain strength.
Through strength I gain power.
Through power I gain victory.
Through victory my chains are broken.
The Force shall set me free.

Sith Credo

Kava Kava Maui1 – Kava Kava – Maui (alternative video as Maui isn’t on YouTube)

From the album of the same name, Maui is incredibly energetic.

Uplifting and vibrant, this track and most of those on the album surpass any other in my collection; the only reason I don’t just play Kava Kava and nothing else is that I need variety in music. If I listen to one band at the expense of others then my appreciation for that band wanes.

Kava Kava are also great to see live, I can highly recommend tracking them down if you’ve not heard them before.

The video linked above is actually the track Bank Job, I could just as easily substituted Sicfuck or Terrorists in place of Maui – honestly, Kava Kava are awesome!

Music Video Nasties

As I have mentioned before, music is very important to me. One of my other guilty pleasures is a good old supernatural horror – no matter what medium it comes via.I'll eat your soul

One medium that is often overlooked for supernatural horror, or related themes, is the music video. There have been some fantastic horror themed music videos over the years and I’d like to share some of my favourites here.

Come to DaddyThe very best has to be Chris Cunningham‘s award winning video for Aphex Twin‘s Come To Daddy. What a truly awesome (in the fullest sense of the word) music video.

I get goosebumps just writing about it. Chris Cunningham’s work often has a dark or at least fantastic side to it; with Come to Daddy he manages to capture a rare kind of urban horror that you usually only get from British horror or J-Horror films. Chris Cunningham manages to evoke that feeling of being truly alone, disturbing us with the latex masked Aphex Twin children and seemlessly synching the video with Aphex Twin’s own audio horror. The music and the video direction work absolutely as one, each being less without the other.Kate Bush

Second in my list is a video that has haunted me since my childhood, Kate Bush‘s Experiment IV. The song itself is quite a haunting tune on its own but the video has aclassic British Horror feel to it. I was a big fan of the Comic Strip when I was younger and this video came across as a bit of a Comic Strip Nasty, with the likes of Dawn French and Hugh Laurie appearing throughout.  The creature in Kate’s video is very similar in both origin and appearance, both born from technology and yet ghoulishly demonic.  Experiment IV

My third and final offering is a music video that sums up everything I like about haunting entities on film. Another music video in a British horror style is the fantastic Mary by Supergrass.

SupergrassWhilst not as visually shocking as Come to Daddy, I love this video for its depiction of supernatural forces at work. I recommend the full version as opposed to the comedy “Onions” version (which blocks out the more horrific scenes with pictures of onions). The video itself is a pastiche of paranormal shorts: a man insane and alone in a room with bleeding walls, a woman hallucinating death and a girl attacked in her bath. There are nods to British screen paranormality, like shots of the water pipes evoking memories of “Mr Pipes” from the BBC’s Ghostwatch.Mary