Dungeon Synth provides a great escape from the real world. Most of the time we can look at an album cover, match it with the song titles and embed ourselves in an imaginary world full of endless adventures and possibilities. Whereas a good book drags you into its catacombs through its imaginative talks, a lyric-less musical endeavor has to be more thought provoking, as it pulls on your senses and emotions in order to create character, time, and place. Fortunately, for the captivating release by Faery Ring, ‘The Urchin Prince: A Century Of Dust, Vol. 1′, the cassette release comes with a twelve page story book that whimsically takes you to the coast of Bellspall, where the Pallor family rules the Pale Crag. It is here we learn the tale of the tragic beginnings of the Urchin Prince and his eventual, unnecessary fight to take the castle. I’m sure that subsequent volumes will continue this wonderful story and we’ll eventually learn if the Prince will become King.
Musically, ‘The Urchin Prince’ masterfully combines old school Dungeon Synth and grim, neo-classical instrumentation, as if it’s being provided as the soundtrack to a modern-day horror film. Album opener, “Saltmouth”, is a short piece that describes the horrors that take place during the birth of the Urchin Prince. The music is very dark and begrudgingly evil. “Grim Enceinte, The Old Gaoler” sets the tone of complete obscurity as the infant Prince is rescued from the sea and brought to his new safe haven, even though its almost as gloomy as stranded life at sea. “Dust, The Urchin Prince“, contains mesmerizing musical crescendos as the Prince comes of age and sets out on his own to reclaim what is rightfully his. “The Uncherished Parlours”, contains more of a Dungeon Synth vibe which perfectly describes the hidden place that the Urchin Prince finds that is filled with centuries old swords and rotting tomes. “Bellwether, Herald Of The Long Slumber” is my favorite track on the album as it beautifully combines cinematic film score, classical arrangements and an overall medieval vibe of betrayal and misfortune. “The Starless Stargarden” is another well-played DS track that emphasizes the power of black magick and the darkness it brings in the end. Much like the spell that was cast on the Stargarden, this track soon fades into nothingness. “Mauveine, The Daughter Of The Comfortless King” has a very uplifting, fantasy synth sound to it, showing another astonishing musical direction for this album. “Prolix II, The Comfortless King” contains a very alluring keyboard melody that comes into play as the cymbals crash with the climax of the song. The albums final track, “Lemures” not only musically describes the confrontation of the Urchin Prince, but also serves as the ending credits for this volume of work. The end is almost a dark ambient piece with ghostly violin riffs being played until it fades out, as to say this story will be continued in the very near future.
‘The Urchin Prince: A Century Of Dust, Vol. 1′ is an enthralling tale of sadness, betrayal & revenge, in which our protagonist rises from the ashes of near death to reclaim the family wealth he never knew was his. Although, this musical adventure is just twenty two minutes long, there is so much going on that will keep you entertained beyond any time limit or restriction. I cannot wait for the next volumes of this story to be released so that I can find out what the future hold for the Urchin Prince and the Pale Crag. Please show your support for Faery Ring and Gondolin Records by purchasing this wonderful release at the link below.
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