When musician Matthew Knight contacted me about his new release, The Beast of Averoigne I admittedly had to do a bit of research. I knew I had heard of the story somewhere, but could not immediately place it.
The story’s author, Clark Ashton Smith (1893 –1961) was one of “the big three” of Weird Tales, alongside Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft. Smith was a member of the Lovecraft circle and his literary friendship with Lovecraft lasted from 1922 until Lovecraft’s death in 1937.
First appearing in the May, 1933 issue of Weird Tales, Clark Ashton Smith’s story “The Beast of Averoigne” concerns itself with a man of science whose superior knowledge enables him to deal with a dark threat that the ignorant, religion-besotted inhabitants of 14th century France simply cannot. What sets “The Beast of Averoigne” apart is that it might be called a science fiction tale rather than a fantasy one, for the titular “beast” is not some demon from Hell but an alien invader.
And it is around this story that Matthew Knight weaves his debut release under the label Haunted Abbey Mythos. The theatrical, musical audiobook presentation consists of a dramatic narration of “The Beast” read by Knight and set to a backdrop of eerie soundscapes scored by avant garde electronic musician, Jon Zaremba. The CD also contains five unique interlude pieces by Knight, which range from ambient synth-driven, to darkly romantic.
Check out a bit of it here:
CD which is available at Majestic Metal Records includes 12-panel booklet, featuring elaborate artwork and an extensive fold-out map of Averoigne penned by Disney artist Tim Kirk.
It’s a great way to rediscover a classic story with a new audio dimension, and the perfect addition to your summer-night bonfire eeriness.