The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word dungeon as “a dark usually underground prison or vault.” In essence, Dungeon Synth is music that we’ve portrayed (or imagined) to be played in these catacombs of evil, that have have become the eternal holding pits for the many adversaries of the kings court. In the modern age of Dungeon Synth, subject matter has transcended the depths of the ancient medieval kingdom and have taken on many contemporary forms. From drifting in endless space, to modern history atrocities, the ever expanding means to tell a story with this wonderful music style continues to amaze and grow with renewed excitement with each release. That brings us to Blue-Ghost, a modern spin on classic DS that tackles the unique subject matter of WWII Naval conflicts. ‘Coral Sea’ is a particular collection of short, depressive hymns that take over the imagination and puts the listener at the helm of these doomed WWII vessels, where the sailors roam the decks and prepare for battle. In a way, not knowing their impending fate, these war vessels could be considered modern day dungeons – a fitting description for the music that portrays the action that lay ahead.
The opening track, “Prologue – Before Battle Of The Coral Sea” is a melancholic introduction that takes us back to 1942 with its scratchy undertone and dual layer keyboard sound. The perfect introduction as the fleet prepares for battle. “5th Carrier Division” has some very sea worthy sound recordings, depicting live rounds being fired, and single-engine planes flying overhead. The spooky keys are very dungeon synth worthy and equally portray devastation on this oceanic battlefield. “Auspicious Phoenix” is a chilling piece that sets a grim tone as if all has been lost and man-overboard has been called out by the ships captain in order to save lives before the imminent sinking of the ship. This is my favorite track on the album and truly defines what this project is all about in the short span of just over two minutes. The next track, “Auspicious Crane” is a harsher track that starts with an alarm sound – a warning of sorts – depicting another inevitable attack. Destruction is all around and there is no escaping the enemy. Suddenly the warning sound stops, but does the battle continue? “Lady Lex” is another short track, written to pay homage to the USS Lexington, which was damaged heavily in battle by a Japanese carrier attack. The keys in this track are beautifully harmonized and tasteful without being overbearing. “The Fighting Lady” again features some seaworthy field recordings and portray an image of the Lady Lex standing her ground and fighting off the enemy to the best of her ability. I love how the keys are mixed loud, giving an echoing affect, providing a damaging sound just as in the battle scene that it’s portraying. The albums final track, “Epilogue – Coral Sea”, exquisitely sums up the five day battle known as the Battle of the Coral Sea, in which both sides lay claim to victory. Although another short track, it powerfully suggests peace and harmony through destruction.
Although ‘Coral Sea’ has only seven tracks, and about eleven minutes of music, this is an excellent debut release from Blue-Ghost. With the admiral music and astonishingly matching field recordings, this is a well thought out conceptual release that is perfect in many ways. I hope that Blue-Ghost continues with these types of releases, concentrating on historical subject matter, as it is very unique and affective. Please show your support for this artist by downloading ‘Coral Sea’ at the link below.
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