Regen Graves Delivers A Cacophony Of Desolate Ambience On ‘Climax’

If I had to summarize my thoughts of the latest Regen Graves album, ‘Climax’, in a single word, it would be unsettling. There is something very disconcerting with this release and if I were to offer my opinion as to what the overarching theme is, it would be “abandonment through chaos.” Each of the six tracks on this recording shakes the foundation of dark ambient music and expands upon bereft energy to reclaim an insurmountable space of bleak, ominous refrain while challenging the listener to identify the boundaries of unpleasantries and infirmity. Even with that being said, there is an amiable amount of sustainability with these tracks, specifically with regards to arrangements and how compelling it really is.

Lead off track, “Immutable Reality” begins with a slightly distorted drone and morose soundscapes, setting a scene of obscurity and gloom right off the bat. Off-kilter organ chimes present an anatomical sound that depicts a particular calmness amongst an apprehensive environment. As the droning menace grows thicker and more evil, ambiguous samples produce an ominous theme of pre-apocalyptic visions. “The Last Stage Of Decline” commences with grim, celestial modulations that ride the spectrum of audial terror. Soothing but austere narrations add a bleak atmospheric while Berlin School styled sequences build in layers. A deluge of sound samples and effects complete this unconventional track but will leave the listener wanting more. “The Window” begins with a rhythmic pattern that is easy to follow along with, while haunting synth leads and elongated drones fuse in total solidarity. A progression of sound is ever so present here, as a multitude of arrangements complete the cycle of chaotic ambiguity. “Digetic Distortion” is aptly titled, as a barrage of stringed mutilation and amplified buzz emits a grueling appeal. While awaiting full-scale havoc, bits of sonic sounds adds a level of intensity that demands to be heard. As the murmur continues, it becomes more earth-shattering by the second. “Nothing Will Be Better” starts with a traditional Dark Ambient vibe and a hint of horror-generated sounds can be heard off in the distance. As it slowly crescendos, in unison with the bellowing drone, sinister back masking narrations create a sense of fear and apprehension. This continue for a few minutes before dying out into a single instance of deep, dismal droning. The final track on the album is the bonus track, “Heat”. Taking the listener on a completely different journey, this trance-like EDM track provides a foundation of mesmerizing beats, rhythmic synths and assorted samples to create a futuristic style of music that blends obscurity with pop fascination. I wouldn’t mind if Regen Graves created a whole albums worth of this type of music. A very interesting, yet powerful way to complete this chilling album.

This is my second time reviewing a Regen Graves album on this site and they definitely do not disappoint. Their brand of Dark Ambient may be off the beaten path (in relation to traditional Dark Ambient music), but it’s certainly an unheralded journey into a darkened world of celestial atmospherics and haunting malevolence. ‘Climax’ is a fantastic album that is sure to get multiple listens in order to intake everything that is happening across these six magnificent tracks. Please show your support for this amazing artist and download this album from the link below.

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Links:

https://regengraves.bandcamp.com/album/climax

Eyre Transmissions XVII – Interview With Dungeon Synth Trailblazer, Erang

If you’ve been a fan of Dungeon Synth for longer than two minutes, then you should be familiar with the name Erang and all of the glory that has been brought to the genre by way of an extended catalog of influential albums. With a successful foray into the many folds of synth music, there is no doubt that Erang is a progenitor of a unique style of Medieval summonings. Voyaging beyond the confines of Dungeon Synth, Erang is heralded for creating many exclusive endeavors that bridge the gap between Dungeon Synth, Synthwave and Black Metal – just to name a few. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of ‘Tome I’, the artist behind this crowning craft has allowed me to borrow some of his time to discuss his music, achievements and emotional declarations behind all things Erang.

1. Thank you very much for taking the time for this interview and congratulations on 10 majestic years of Dungeon Synth ventures. Take us back to 2012 and tell us at what point Dungeon Synth became a creative focus.

Thanks for your words, glad to be there. Well, to tell you when DS became a creative focus we need to go back a bit further, in 2011, when I stumbled upon the Dungeon Synth blog. Prior to that I discovered some Ambient tracks from Black Metal project in the documentary « Until the Light Takes Us ». I fell immediatly in love with that sound. It was like if I found what I was looking for and I immediately stopped it to check online if I found similar stuffs. That’s how I ended up on the DS blog and the work of Lord Lovidicus… and it all clicked together: there was no turning back after that. Dungeon Synth til I die.

2. The Dungeon Synth genre didn’t flourish back then as it does today, so what were some of the processes for which you promoted your craft?

“Didn’t flourish” is a light word, as it was pretty desert in 2011 and 2012. I’m not sure the word “promote” fit well because of that. There was no facebook group, no board, no youtube channel, so I just posted in some Ambient or Metal group, or in the forum of Encyclopedia Metallum. There might still be some old posts from me from 2012… it was mostly on forums : RPG forums or Fantasy forums.

3. Erang truly transcends the Dungeon Synth genre by composing in other realms of synth music. Has this always been a vision for this project?

The only vision behind Erang is to stay true to my Imagination and inner feelings, no matter the musical genre. Of course Dungeon Synth is at the core of it because of the involvement I had in the revival of the genre back then. But I’ll never be afraid to mix it with many other influences or thematic if I feel it in my guts. Like with my prior album PRISONNIER DU RÊVE : I knew the theme was too french and too obscure for a broader audience but, at that time, I needed to do it because it had a really personal resonnance toward my past and childhood.

4. Who are some of your greatest influences for creating this kind of music.

That is absolutely impossible to say because it changes on each album and even on each track… It is always a very large mix of so many things. And lots of them are not musical but come from movies, books, cartoons… that and, of course, my own personal history and things from my past…

5. Did you have a musical career prior to forming Erang back in 2011/2012?

I don’t (and never will) consider what I’m doing as a “career”. I make music because I have to, I need to, it’s like the air I breathe. Without it I would be dead and empty, I have no choice. 

I’ve been making music since I was 14, I guess, but just for myself. My first real musical connection with the outside world was with my first Erang album, Tome I, in 2012.

6. Let’s talk about ‘Tome I’ (2012). Was there an overall concept for this album? To me the music flows just like a storyline or script for a movie.

The concept was simple : I told myself to stop trying to make art or something modern or innovative or I don’t know what… I told myself : make music like you used to draw when you were a little child. Without thinking about the outside world, just alone in your bedroom, lying on the ground with papers and markers. Without thinking about technics or what is right or wrong… Just make something straight from you heart. I thought about movies or books that were important for me as a Kid and named the songs after that… And after that first album, I understood who I was for the first time and things have never been the same since then.

https://erang.bandcamp.com/album/tome-i

7. That album has truly stood the test of time, as those songs still sound really fresh. What made the songs on that album so resilient in a genre that has sprouted in a vast way in the past few years.

Thanks ! Well, that’s hard for me to say… I guess the most well placed to say it (if it’s true) are the people who enjoy it.

8. ‘Tome II’ as also released in 2012 but there is a noticeable growth in song compositions. What influenced this growth spurt in such a short amount of time?

From my point of view, the first 4 albums are really linked together and from the same vein, hence the « Tomes » names. So I wouldnt say there are a real difference in compositions or sounds from my point of view. It was really me toying with the Dungeon Synth basics… They really are a whole together. Things started to change with the album just after these : « Another World, Another Time ». That’s why I named it like the first track of « Tome I ». Because it was a rebirth for me. If you noticed, that’s why the 4 albums just after the fourth first Tomes, are all named after a track from the respective previous Tomes.

https://erang.bandcamp.com/album/tome-ii

9. One of my favorite albums by Erang is ‘Within The Land Of My Imagination I Am The Only God’ (2014). This album was so full of Medieval substance that in my opinion, it’s a true structure of the Dungeon Synth genre. In your opinion, what makes this album so audibly different?

I guess this one is an important one in my discography. I think that, mainly, it was different in scope : 17 tracks was a big thing to put out for me back then. And the title of the album is also an important and strong statement for me. When I knew it was named like this, I remember thinking that I really had to put out something worth this title. I hope I didn’t failed. Because that sentence ‘Within The Land Of My Imagination I Am The Only God’ is really something at the ground of my personality and the world of Erang.

https://erang.bandcamp.com/album/within-the-land-of-my-imagination-i-am-the-only-god

10. On 2016’s ‘Anti Future’, you ventured into the synthwave/darkwave and the results were a highly addictive album. What was the mindset behind its creative concept? Do you plan to produce anymore albums of this nature?

Well I already produce SONGS of SCARS which was the direct inheritor of ANTI FUTURE. I really wanted to make something in that vein for a long time. Being a child from the late 80’s, the synth sounds from that era were really a cradle for me. In advertising, in TV shows, etc. it was full of synth everywhere because back then that sound sounded « new » and was also way cheaper to produce rather than a full orchestra (mainly for TV or B movies). I was also a huge fan of John Carpenter and, if you listen closely to this album, it is not synthwave like the ones you find the most (which is more « outrun » in the vein of the movie « Drive » you know) my two albums are really more in the vein of horror b movies or science fiction movies from back then, Stephen King’s TV adaptations.

https://erang.bandcamp.com/album/anti-future

So as I said, I was really into that sound for a long time and what achieved to give me the impulse of doing it was the first album of new material from John Carpenter : Lost Tales. I loved this album and decided to give it a shot myself.

11. Now let’s fast forward to 2020’s ‘Imagination Never Fails’. Again, this was a multi-genre masterpiece that flows like a soundtrack or a large-scale production. What was it like to create this magnum opus? How do you pull off these tracks in a live setting?

Thanks again for such compliment, I’m humbled. Concerning live, I’ll never play live. Or maybe if I do it one day it would be under very specific circumstances which I still can’t figure now. Because it could kill a part of the mystery that is, to me, the most important thing. I once read a reply from Summoning in that same vein… so, no live setting. And concerning the creation of this album it was a pure bliss. More than one time you struggle while creating an album. You’re full of doubt, hesitation, etc. but not this time. Mainly because it was my ‘comeback’ after pretty much 2 years of silence. So I was really inspired and, when I announced it I had such an incredible and overwhelming feedback from the community that it get my heart pumping to deliver it.

12. Recently you release 5 amazing EP’s. All have different sounds and a variety of focuses. How did this endeavor come about and how did you come up with the entity known as The Land of 5 Seasons?

The creation of the Land of the Five Seasons was an organic process if I could say so… it slowly came together albums after albums and when I drew the map of it. For this specific set of 5 EP’s I really wanted to make something different because of the 10 years anniversary. But on the other hand, as it was a marking point anniversary, I also wanted to make something as an ode to the genre you know? That’s how I ended up with that concept of mixing my own Land of the Five Seasons with 5 different (and even more) flavors of Dungeon Synth : from old school to ambient, from cinematic to new age, with also the black metal influences, etc.

13. What are some of your favorite Erang albums and why?

That’s truly impossible for me to say. Each album is a snapshot from a moment of my life and means something really strong and personal to me.

14. What is your opinion on the current state of Dungeon Synth and the sub-genres that have spawned from it over the past few years.

I find it very alive, diverse and full of creativity. So many great things to discover and navigate through. Very inspiring !

15. Who are some of the modern Dungeon Synth artists that you admire on a creative level?

There are too many to names… I will start with some french acts if you don’t mind : Silu de Mordomoire, Elixir, Arathgoth, Arsule, Weress or Descort… Also some already famous names but there are well known for a reason : Fogweaver, Hole Dweller, all the works by Adam Matlock… Recently I’ve been amazed by ‘A Lantern Swathed’ by Erreth-Akbe : a great piece of art. Also I really enjoyed ‘Arda’s Herbarium Vol. 1’ by Ithildin, very diverse and charming… Really, people just have to browse through bandcamp to discover hidden treasures.

16. What are your musical plans for the remainder of 2022?

Many things and surprises will come in 2022. Some great physical releases with awesome labels but also few unexpected things here and there… you’ll see !

17. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions. Do you have any final words for those that may be reading this interview?

Thanks to you for the interview! I just want to say that without Erang, I wouldn’t be there… life wouldn’t have the same meaning to me… and if the Kingdom of Erang is there, it is also because of all the people who follow and support this fragile weird and obscure music since ten years now… Thanks to all of them for what they are doing, it means more than they imagine.

Enter the Land of the Five Seasons below:

Bandcamp: https://erang.bandcamp.com/

Main Website: https://www.erang-dungeon-synth.com/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/084f5VMGkCRs4mV96QhJUM

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kingdom_of_erang

A Journey Into the Land of the Five Seasons: https://youtu.be/TIqRMzKEx2g

Odivm Vitare Relives The Essence Of Triumphant Medieval Times On Impressive S/T Debut

Let the horns sound, in triumph and in victory. Not all is doom and sinister amongst the catacombs and dungeons inside the kingdom walls, and within sight of the magnificent keep. When the hours sound with cheerful impact, a cause for celebration is abound. This is the sound that dominates the magnificent debut by Odivm Vitare. Composed of six tracks of gratifying synth music with an emphasis on horn effects and narrative samples, this is a unique spin on Dungeon Synth music, showing a lighter, more victorious side that is normally dominated by sinister, war-like dirges of darker desires. This album represents achievement, massive strides toward community strength and homage to the more conducive, Medieval times.

Heroic album opener, “Manifestovertvre” is a cheerful and bold statement that firmly guides the direction of the album with audacious horn effects and decisive narration samples. It’s sets an ancient mood that allows the imagination to branch out beyond life’s current existing state. Pounding drums also indicate a time of ceaseless victory and passion throughout a venerable kingdom. “5 Finger Hat Die Hand” is an impressive follow up as it includes impulses of outlandish horn arrangements and harmonious backing effects. Once the angelic keys are introduced, layers of sonic excellence fully engage the listener in a tranquil motion of audial combat. The inclusion of drum patterns and fills adds a modern spin on an otherwise relic of a sound. “Sonata Adversvs” takes the album in a slightly different direction with discordant synth effects and ominous background ambience. Early into the song, a groovy drum line prevails, causing an immediate head bob that resides in unison with the addictive cadence of the track. More narrations are heard throughout as whimsical tones sooth the soul. Classical elements are fused around the middle of the song, as a vibrant arrangement produces an alleviating radiance. “Metvs Et Odio” is an inspiring comfy synth anthem that builds upon layers of haunting synth effects and sonic narrations. Mollifying drum beats begin as synth soundscapes build a relaxing wall around the listener, providing an environment of soliloquy and security. “Linkentanz” continues with the pacifying melodies as this is like a lullaby from ancient times. As the easement of sound continues throughout, a change in atmospherics and synth effects maintain the dreamy experience of this track, from start to finish. The final track on the album is the peaceful endeavor, “Canto Di Speranza”. This is a playful tune with an infectious drum pattern and looping synth leads. Relaxing ambience builds in the background as this daunting little melody is a sure sign of peace and happiness wherever music can be heard throughout the lands.

Odivm Vitare has created a charming and inspiring Dungeon Synth album that is different yet appealing on so many levels. From the arcane narrations and creative synth techniques to the impressively playful drum tracks, this album has a plethora of styles and sounds that contributes to its fantastic arrangement. If you’re seeking a new flavor of Dungeon Synth, look no further than the self-titled album by Odivm Vitare. Please support this excellent project by downloading the album from the link below.

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Links:

https://gulikrecords.bandcamp.com/album/odivm-vitare-glk-064

Drones Of A Lighter Nightmare Prevail on Sonologyst’s ‘Interdimensional’

I truly enjoy the bleakest of Dark Ambient albums. As with any other genre, there are times for a particular taste that maximizes the power of connection between music and the listener. One of my favorite sub-genres of Dark Ambient is Drone. Sure there are some similarities between Drone and say, Industrial Ambient but it has some differences as well. Instead of harsh tones and mechanized discordance, there is a reticent, more ominous sound that allows for the utmost space for meditation and a dream-like state for potential out-of-body experiences. One artist that majestically captures these types of moments is Sonologyst. The latest album, ‘Interdimensional’ is a top-rate experience in eerie modulations and dismal tones that are equally creepy as they are thought provoking. These six tracks create a dynamic world of gray, scenic prowess and a cold atmosphere that blurs the line between dark and light.

Haunting lead off track, “Ad Astra” slowly comes into picture, like a group of propelled planes slowly flying overhead, destined for a doomed mission. As soundscapes fuse this modulated terror, a complex scenario builds despite the minimalistic tones. The various sounds create a revolving intonation that builds and collapses, causing terrifying moments of anxiety and angst. The relentless chaos doesn’t let up, even as the track fades into oblivion. “Interdimensional Beings” immediately sets a lethargic pace with low-end rumbles and spots of synth notes that blend in chaotic discord. As this nightmare settles in, the tonal quality increases and expands to include random sound bytes and unhinged effects. As it nears the final moments, celestial tones produce a nostalgic effect, which shows a complete balance between disorder and minimalist aptitude. At just over four minutes long, “Paraphysical Phenomenon” is not only the shortest track on the album, but probably the most adventurous one as well. Beautiful synth melodies clash with spacious drones and the result is a mesmerizing blend of sonic tranquility that gives the illusion of endless travel beyond the deepest corridors of space. Going from the shortest song to the longest, ‘Through Memories And Galaxies” is a near fifteen minute ride through muffled voids and spacey vacuums and exudes a supremely addictive host for traveling through blissful territories of the mind. Barely audible vocal narrations and lengthy drones complete this lengthy effort that goes from dreamy modulations to terrifying screeches. “Multiverses” commences with some of the darkest drones presented on this collection of songs. Unparalleled soundscapes hint at a celestial vibe while the overall tone continues to thicken throughout. There are moments of psychedelic sound play that emphasizes a tumultuous moment in time. Complete with very eerie undertones, this is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The last track on the album is “God-Level Traveller” and it begins with very demented droning sound until a peculiar instance comes into play, altering the scaled synth notes at a slow pace. The natural hissing in the background adds a dreamy essence while minimalistic noise continues to gather, creating an abrasive tone that is quite quixotic. This is certainly an impactful statement to end this very dark and brooding musical collective.

Sonologyst exquisitely bridges the gap between several sub-genres of Dark Ambient music while producing elite electronic euphoria. ‘Interdimensional’ is masterclass in drone music that branches out with a plethora of haunting soundscapes and production tactics. The end result is an amazing album that is surly to stand the test of time. Don’t sleep on this album, as I highly recommend it for those that expect an esoteric and ominous audial output. Check it out at the link below and support this prodigious artist and the addictive music he produces.

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Links:

https://sonologyst.bandcamp.com/album/interdimensional

Count Von Günter Creates A Medieval Eruption With The Multi-Genre Treasure, ‘A Tomb For Rebirth’

Since I started this blog – almost 3 years ago – I’ve experienced (and enjoyed) a vast array of music from various genres and it’s been the most fulfilling experience one could imagine. However, it’s even better to come across an album that’s simply fun to listen to, no matter the genre. One artist that provides such enjoyment is Count Von Günter and on his latest album, ‘A Tomb For Rebirth’, there is much to take in and the savoring experience is well worth the thirty eight minutes of your time. A splendid blend of Dungeon Synth and Black Metal, this album is like a retreat into ancient times while relishing in the glory of metal mayhem.

Right from first note of “Dawn Awaits Greater Violence”, we are reminded of heroic Black Metal intro’s and ancient Medieval battles, as a barrage of synth leads pummel through harmonious chords of melody and menace. About halfway through, volumes of distorted synths and Black Metal shrills instigate the start of violent beginnings and the dawn of something evil. This is as good of an album opener of any album I’ve heard. “Traversing The Ghostly Void” continues the destructive commotion with war-like percussion and valiant synths, layered with musical unity and vibrant tonal colors. The sound of horn effects catapults this track to grand scales with offerings of royalty and bloodshed. “Failed Pantheon” continues the frantic pace of the previous tracks but introduces lyrical hymns via the stylings of Black Metal vokills. With enough reverb to keep the music necro, it’s the fusing of light synth tones that makes this sound unique and addictive to listen to. “All Is For Naught” is more in the vein of traditional Dungeon Synth, as it’s reminiscent of a more peaceful period with a variety of instrumentation and production techniques. “Hymn Ov The Spectre” commences with a funeral dirge-like cadence before shifting into more of a doom-laden canticle that has a mesmerizing tone with airy synths and bombastic drum rhythms. The harsh vocals blend nicely, especially when the more strident aspects of the track come into play. This song yields a huge sound that could easily become an anthem for Dark Dungeon Music. “Visions Ov Valhalla” begins with a sultry synth chop that hammers away at a mesmerizing melody. Soon after the intro, Black Metal styled narrations reveal a near in-audible storyline but aligned with the solid and steady percussive beat, the realization is that this is a track of inevitable war and destiny. The sudden inclusion of horn effects are always welcomed and the end results is beyond amazing. “Dragging Bones” is a short piece that includes droning keys, modulated synth tones and eerie soundscapes that together, present the beginning of a dark demise. Old school Black Metal riffing are somewhat buried beneath the chaos but are loud enough to appreciate the ominous atmosphere that they bring to this track. The final offering is “A Tomb For Rebirth” and it’s the most grandiose oblation yet. Beginning with a soft, clashing noise and a ticking clamor, the title track runs through a gamut of maniacal changes that cycle through several genres of music. Soon after the introduction, Black Metal vocals and doom styled drumming change the pace, keeping this an interesting endeavor. As the verse finishes, the pounding of double bass drums and additional synth layers create a cinematic tone of blissful arrangements and beautiful atmospherics. Although the momentum shifts focus several times, this beautiful composition continues to find its way back to a creative spot before closing out in a short blast of chaotic noise.

Count Von Günter has created a masterpiece of Black Metal-fueled Dungeon Synth and the proportion of each genre is exquisitely represented. There are many occasions – with multi-genre albums – in which one genre is dominant, but that’s not the case here. Because of the exceptional blend of musical endeavors, this is a very fun album to listen to. Each track is different, exciting and certainly memorable. The cassette release sounds even better, as the classic tape hiss adds another layer of overwhelming power to enhance the listening experience. I highly recommend this album, as well as well as ‘Forced To Wander’, the jubilant debut album. Click on the link below to enjoy this magnum opus and please support this amazing artist.

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Links:

https://countvongunter.bandcamp.com/album/a-tomb-for-rebirth

Ideal Father Examines The Despotic Aftermath Of An Industrial Age Coup With The Chilling, ‘Paradice Death’

The coldness of industrial music has a particular haunting effect that emits emotional angst, rebellion and sometimes fear. The influence of an industrial-themed environment is the essence for blazing energy across multiple genres of music. Boasting an apocalyptic setting or ventures in dystopian wastelands, Industrial music is a tantalizing hybrid of music and machine, joining forces to lay the foundation of corrupt manufacturing lineage. In the realm of Dark Ambient, industrialized influences play a crucial role on one of the genres most harsh sounding sub-forms. Ideal Father grasps that ideology and doesn’t hold back with delivering a savage performance in ‘Paradice Death’. Nine tracks of grinding decay is all that it takes to create a despondent world of barbarous and strident modulations to help desensitize the traumatic situations of futuristic environments.

The dissonant lead off track, “A Mind In Evil Ruin” pulls no punches as it crashes in like a video game character warping to a desolate world, right in the middle of scenic terror. Haunting, reverberated drones drift in like a sandstorm on a reluctant desert town, unable to flee the grasp of demise in any direction. A variety of effects set a creepy vibe as the wall of noise surrounds you in every direction with no viable means of escape. “In Paradice Death” commences with a supernatural narration that sounds like a menacing black metal styled vocal with an echo effect that is made for ruining all positive thoughts. A squall of ear-piercing synths and soundscapes project an even darker world of hatred and corruption while inaudible voices and screams can be heard throughout, cementing this nightmarish vision of disturbing results. “Blood Torrent” begins with heavily distorted tones that are reminiscent of the distant buzz of mechanical infrastructures running on autopilot and out of control. Various disturbances echo from left to right, as if you’re being stalked by a maniacal being. “Crepuscular Soul” emits a muffled, underwater sound that loops uncontrollably while discordant tones and buzzes build around it. This track also offers clean and clear synth passages that are just as poignant as the other, darker tones set forth on this album. It’s almost as if it’s playing a bizarre scale that is melodic in nature but instead discharges an accord of sadistic intent. “Tongue Mosaic” is one of the shorter songs in this brooding collection, but it’s intermittent spikes of tonal despair, set on top of a sustained drone, presents a harrowing look at nightmarish entities in the void of nothingness. “Crosshair Mantra” starts with a doom-laden drone with heavy modulated breathing sounds that soon fuse with vociferous synth shrills and gruesome effects. The field recordings in this track display a scene of horror and ferocious resolve toward the end of existence. Life forms become scarce as mechanical objects rebel and conquer in pre-programmed unison. “Wall Of Crying Eyes” is a minimalistic piece with divergent drones that sway in and out of audial captivity, while mechanical noises meander aimlessly in search of their next victim. Sonic and celestial modulations depict a retrospective vibe while the tonal distortion of assorted soundscapes create a sense of abandonment and isolation. The massively distorted take off of “Nobody Will Know” is a severe reminder of a condemned society and the point of no return to normalcy and conventional existence. As this dynamic increases in layers, the sound thickens into a spiteful wall of harmonized noise and it’s deafening quality becomes even more mesmerizing as it continues to play out. The final track on the album is “Dream Slurja”. Signaling the end of existence for living organisms, this minimalistic piece represents the true dawn of industrial power and it’s agonizing takeover of humanity. With a deficient dose of harsh effects, this is one of the more peaceful efforts in this collection but none less terrifying than the rest of the album. Hints of stifled vocals and discrete field recordings are antagonizing reminder of the strength of industrial components and the new mechanical civilization that will forever remain a dark spectacle of potent energy.

Ideal Father just may be my new go-to artist for when I desire the hasty sounds of industrial ambience. With only a few albums in circulation, ‘Paradice Death’ has proven to be a jolting experience in the harsher side of Dark Ambient music. This sound and style isn’t for everyone but for the unique audience that lives for this experience, then look no further than Ideal Father. Please show your support by checking out this album at the link below.

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Links:

https://idealfather.bandcamp.com/album/paradice-death

Skuggkonungen Showcases The Unique Infusion Of Dungeon Synth And Retro Synthwave On ‘Det Glömda Landet’

This album has been in my review queue for a long time and I’m so excited to finally be able to share my thoughts on this unique and triumphant effort. Many times when Dungeon Synth fuses with aspects of other genres, the traditional essence of the music takes a back seat to a more modern approach of genre melding. However, that’s not quite the case with Skuggkonungen’s mystical offering, ‘Det Glömda Landet’. Eight esoteric offerings of synthwave influenced Dungeon Synth produce a propitious atmosphere that will haunt the various era’s of influential realms

Album opener, “Äventyrarnas Brunn” dabbles in the territory of Dark Ambient before a quaint Dungeon Synth melody bursts through the bleak foundations and extends a harmonic dimension of lush keyboard melodies. Synthwave effects seamlessly enter the fold and takes this track to levels beyond musical imagination. The buildup of synth leads are undeniably refreshing and this is just the beginning of a hauntingly beautiful album. “Adralei” commences with ominous effects and begrudging background hisses while devilish pads seem to infiltrate at will. Somber Medieval leads are introduced and have a retrospective feel to it. This track boasts a strong refrain of good versus evil as dismal tones are crafted to blend transparently with light-hearted harmonies. “Lärkdal” quickly blasts an eloquent synth lead that is airy and peaceful. Comfy Synth styled intonations create a dream-like state and the layers of abating refrain is charming. Next up is the hypnotic, “Gråskägg”. Elongated synth effects are used to produce an environment of retro gaming influences and nostalgic characterizations. As the leads come in massing a grandiose sound, it slowly begins to fade, preparing you for the next suspenseful song. “Riddare Av Hella” begins with a slightly reverberated synth chop that continually loops in a light cadence. Menacing effects establish an eerie setting and vocalized sounds add a touch of cinematic elegance. “Thursagash Grymkäft” contains percussive elements atop a blissful synth lead that is reminiscent of an early morning dawn amplified by fog and drizzling mist. This is definitely a track to get lost into – if it were only a bit longer to enjoy it’s mesmerizing affect. Next up is the ghostly incantation, “Dödsdrömmarens Sista Vila”. The way that the main keyboard loop interacts with the melodic effects is completely enthralling. Psychedelic styled synthwave sounds establish an alluring dirge that is sure to garner repeated listens. The final track on the album is the grimly arousing title track, “Det Glömda Landet”. This spooky offering seems like a mix of random effects and digitized modulations, but is more like a bleak anthem of terror to the point of no return. It’s almost like an unforeseen evil lurks around every corner but predicting when that will be, will create a serious dose of anxiety.

This is another fantastic album for the Dungeon Synth community, especially for those that like an expanded sound with a no holds barred aspect – with regards to styles and influences from other genres. Skuggkonungen has laid a foundation of synthwave influenced Dungeon Synth and ‘Det Glömda Landet’ is the fascinating results. I’m really impressed with this release and I’m most certain that you will be too. Please click on the link below and support this amazing project.

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Links:

https://skuggkonungen.bandcamp.com/album/det-gl-mda-landet

Monstruwacan Transcribes The Struggles Of Agony With The Ritualistic And Ominous ‘Mourn At The Grindstone’

If I asked you to provide one word to describe how you feel about music (in general), I’m sure their would be no wrong answers. No mater what adjectives are used to characterize your perception of music, there is no doubt that it’s a powerful entity. Music is inspirational, emotional, provides comfort, describes other subject matters in a relatable way, and is a reliable source of affection and warmth. Many of these identifiers can be associated with the massive audial offering by Monstruwacan, ‘Mourn At The Grindstone’. Six tracks of haunting modulations that provide a ritualistic listening experience through grim guitar tones and decaying vocalizations. These songs are an amenity for coping with grief and well, life in general as the turmoils we are all faced with on a regular basis seem to never end.

Blistering album opener, “Which Side Are You On (w/The Windborne Singers)” just may be my new favorite song! Featuring a sorrow song-style vocalization about old Union worker banters, this jubilant piece supremely incorporates droning soundscapes to give it a cinematic sound that are reminiscent of the musical endeavors of early Zeal & Ardor. The vocals specifically standout, as the quartet harmonizes beautiful with crystal clear annunciation, thwarting the listener back to the days of coal mining and black lung disease along with the perils of that era. “Mourn At The Grindstone” quickly builds into an eerie, minimalist drone that captures the essence of dread. Faint wails of a guitar can be heard in various spots, adding to the mystique of the song. As this tonal creature grows in volume, the sense of misery become obvious while the shrills of ominous soundscapes continue to fluctuate. Suddenly, harsh narrations divulge information of sincere pain. You can hear the agony as the vocals elicit painful cries and every strum of the guitar is like opening an emotional tomb of anger and resentment. I can imagine this is what it would sound like if Sunn O))) and Blood Of The Black Owl we’re to collaborate. Next up is the somber, “Pupils Like The Hole In Space Where It Sings”. Commencing with a melancholic guitar part, things quickly spiral down into a harsh guitar tone with full-on distortion and resonance. This doom laden masterpiece also features deafening screams and harrowing, bleak ambience, as the mood is quickly set for a slow decent to annihilation. The torment continues with “Feast In The Dark”. A perpetual drone is accompanied by low, back end soundscapes that are audible enough to peak your curiosity. Just as this mild endeavor begins to settle in, heavily modulated guitar chords bear down like a speeding freight train while strident vocals evoke a story of bitterness. “Song For The Dead” begins as a spooky Dark Ambient piece that casually infuses bits of guitar effects. The elongated drone provides a demonic backdrop and when the harsh narrations come in, this becomes a complete ritualistic experience. The middle section of this eight minute opus softens to a simple drone that fades to the point of obscurity and then blazing guitar chops ignite a doom laden offering that showcases the climactic ending of angst and fear. The final track, “What Keeps Us In This Wretched Place” begins with a dose of sonic soundscapes that reside more in the background instead of the forefront, as if we can soon expect vociferous leads to play out. A ton of reverb is used in the beginning section, kindling a stark setting of bleak space ambience. As the droning grows louder in volume, it’s apparent that we will soon see the end of this amazing journey. Layers of drones and effects dredge forth until the song faintly comes to an end.

Every once in a while, an album comes along and completely blows me away. ‘Mourn At The Grindstone’ is that album and then some. These songs are well thought out and put together with meticulous detail so that is flows with utter transparency. Caldon Glover, the mastermind behind this project, knew exactly what he was aiming for with this album and the results are in – Monstruwacan are already becoming a heavy hitter in the Drone Metal/Dark Ambient sub-genre. Although this album has been out since May of 2021, it deserves to be heard by a much larger audience than what it already has. Do yourself a favor and listen to this one right away and support this artist by downloading this masterpiece at the link below.

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Links:

https://monstruwacan.bandcamp.com/album/mourn-at-the-grindstone

Caliginous Empire & Natura Carcerem Synthesize For Dungeon Synth Greatness On ‘Shadows Reflected’

Two of Dungeon Synth’s upcoming artists – Caliginous Empire & Natura Carcerem – have joined forces for the monumental offering, ‘Shadows Reflected’. However, this is no simple collaboration; this is two compelling creators showcasing the best side of their craft and extending a long overdue exposure to up and coming artist as they show solidarity in one of the best musical genres around. Caliginous Empire exhibits a soothing blend of symphony tones and melancholic soundscapes, while Natura Carcerem ventures more into aspects of Dark Ambient and ominous atmospherics. However, on this joint venture, they both step out of their comfort zones and expand on their musical creativity resulting in an ethereal experience that flows with haunting transparency.

“Before I Depart” is the somber album opener that starts with melodic keys and piano chops that slowly builds into a grand intonation. A short narration constructs an ancient storyline before percussive beats and layers of melody complete this soothing musical affair. The excitement really begins on “Hidden Penumbra”. Commencing with the soft crashes of ocean waves on a desolate, ancient shore, dense keys and pads create a fantastical soundscape of cinematic proportions. Soon, the tonal keys descend into an emotionally-charged passage of atmospheric modulations and alluring patterns. Out of nowhere, the track blasts into a melodic Black Metal section, complete with harmonic guitar chords, blast beats and ominous vokills. It then dwindles down to a quiet symphony of swaying keys that close out the track. The next track is “Reflected Shadows” and it showcases the talents of both musicians as they merge their unique sounds to present this stunning effort. A gentle piano ballad starts this epic adventure then an array of sounds and effects slowly builds a wall of discordance that is hypnotizing to say the least. Toward the end, tasty guitar leads mirror the main melody and establish a theatrical dose of affinity and atmospheric creativity. Natura Carcerem presents the next two tracks, the first being “On The Precipice Of Despair”. This is a beautiful flowing song that is held together by rigorous drum beats and celestial keys. Filled with eerie arrangements and haunting soundscapes, there is also an effervescent crypt hop beat that will have your head bobbing for the last portion of the song. The final track is the ghostly, “These Shadows Know My Name”. The cawing of crows and frightening modulated tones produces ghoulish atmosphere of haunted mansions, graveyards and nocturnal creatures that are bound to scare all those in their path. A soft Berlin School sequence adds a nice touch, as it increases the nostalgic vibe. More narrations and Black Metal vokills close out the track as this exceptional album draws to an end.

It’s never too late to recognize a fantastic album. ‘Shadows Reflected’ was released almost a year ago and it – so far – has stood the test of time, as these songs are unique, impressive and memorable. Caliginous Empire and Natura Carcerem have successfully blended their talents for supreme song writing and arrangements on this album and I can only hope that they will team up again in the near future to present us with another endeavor of this magnitude. If you like your Dungeon Synth meshed with other style of music, do not look past ‘Shadows Reflected’ as this is a one stop shop for your extreme Dungeon Synth needs.

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Links:

https://uncomfyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/shadows-reflected

https://caliginousempire.bandcamp.com

https://naturacarcerem.bandcamp.com

Fugue In Sea Absorbs Mythological Subject Matter For Enthralling Release, ‘Py-A-Saw’

If the thought of legendary creatures don’t get the creative juices flowing, I don’t know what does. The chimerical energy that is produced by such entities is not only astounding, but it creates a boundless spectacle for imaginative tales of nefarious beings and settings. Missouri-based electronic musician, Fugue In Sea, uses these obscure entities to an advantage by creating an unconventional soundtrack for their existence. ‘Py-A-Saw’ is a five track excursion that demonstrates the agility of music and how it can translate to a vicarious world of ingenious resolve. From Dark Ambient tones to hypnotic and industrialized sequences, this is twenty eight minutes of unprecedented and ritualistic storytelling.

“The Bird That Devours Men (Theme)” is the insanely crafted lead off track that commences with obscure sound bits and eclectic drones that drift slowly like frozen air flow over a daunting mountain peak. The bizarre sound effects carry on in a chaotic commotion as if frantically trying to communicate with other entities in an unfamiliar tone. Suddenly, the clamor resends into a particular calmness before fading into oblivion. “Attack Along The Mississippi” begins with a tribal-like cadence, as layers of peculiar effects rapidly ascend with stunning creativity. More communicative reverberations begin their sequence as an industrial screech comes bellowing in with menacing fortitude. Heavily distorted guitar shrills create a trance-like instance as this ritualistic track comes full circle. “Cave Of Bones” begins with a mix of ethereal soundscapes as somber drones quietly come into play. Constant, pulsating beats create an agonizing experience of bleakness while aggressive key’s emphasize an ambiguous setting for unknowingness. “The Return; Ouatoga’s Ambush; Aftermath” introduces and dark, industrial-type aggression with loud frequency screeches, heavy modulations and the sensation of an icy cold wasteland. A durable beat instills a harmonic essence of mechanized allurement for most of the track, but fades into a space ambient offering that is completely meditative. The final track on the album is “The Bird That Devours Men (reprise)”. This frigid offering continues with the space ambient theme by creating a droning void of eclectic sounds and effects that throttle the listener to a desolate demise. This ends the album on a very eerie note (literally) and you’ll immediately want to listen to this mythical experience all over again.

‘Py-A-Saw’ is a well put together, well thought out ambient adventure. Although just an EP, there is a ton of adventure and sonic madness that is typically experienced on a much longer dark ambient album. Fugues In Sea has the dexterity to incorporate many aspects of electronic music to create a symphony of auditory compositions that are unique and captivating. ‘Py-A-Saw’ is just another notch in the belt for hopefully a long career in Dark Ambient creativity for Fugue In Sea. Please check this album out at the link below and support this exceptional artist.

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Links:

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/py-a-saw

https://fugueinsea.bandcamp.com