Dark medieval times were known for unruly kings, countless battles filled with harrowing bloodshed, serious structure amongst the township and an all around malevolent aura that plagued kingdoms and villages alike. Within the Dungeon Synth genre, we are constantly reminded of these scenarios with fascinating music that brings forth imaginative tales of what may have been during those desolate times. Fortunately, there were also festive times where constant partying and bantering seemed to be the norm throughout the commoners. Enter the bewildering music of Borg. Instead of austere synth tones that exemplify the aforementioned, Borg creates an unconventional and bizarre twist on the genre that is more like a menagerie of maniacal misfits with a trunk full of random instruments. Surprisingly, this is some of the most addictive music I’ve heard in quite some time. Not only does it showcase a buoyant side of Dungeon Synth, but the musical showmanship and songwriting abilities of Borg are simply captivating. ‘Woodland’, the sophomore effort from this quirky creator, brings forth sixteen new tracks of unorthodox Dungeon Synth that will have the listener hooked from the very first note.
“Toward Woodland” is the perfect track to get the festivities going, as a single obscure sounding instrument plays a harmony and then is slowly joined in by additional instruments until a jolly rhythm section fills the air with free spirit and gracious tones. “Pt. 1 – A Trusty Companion” is a galloping guitar sectional that is backed by some bizarre instrumentation. “Pt. 2 – Lullaby For Lonely Mountains” is a slow, dirge-like track that could have been taken from a 60’s spaghetti western film. The acoustic guitar passages sound amazing and the fact that there is a short brass instrumental interlude, is very impressive. Just the amount of the various instruments used on this track is enough to make this one of the stand out pieces amongst the sixteen fascinating tunes. “Pt. 3 – The Scorched Land” is a short ballad-like anthem that sounds like a recorder and a guitar providing individual solo ideas in a synchronized ensemble. “Woodland Theme 1” brings back a little of the quirkiness that Borg is known for, as the main harmony is played over child-like instruments, but sounds extremely fun in the process. “Woodland Theme 2” is more of a recorder led tune with some slight percussion but without a doubt it fits right in with the rest of this uniqueness. “Foliage Fade” is another ballad-esque type affair, almost like something you would hear if walking through a field of flowers while mythical creatures gallivant about vicariously. “The Last Summer” is an acoustic guitar heavy tune and various eccentric instruments can be heard while classical-style strumming and picking complete this song. “The Garden Of Fruit Trees & A Bad Omens” is a jubilant synth track that changes into a darker tone and features various instruments toward the end. “Empty Halls – Greeted By Sorrow” is a wondrous violin based track that contains a great Medieval dance melody and ancient style percussion. “Empty Halls – Funeral” is a short, droning dirge played over a well produced (and layered) wind instrument recording. “Empty Halls – A New King” once again introduces the unconventional instrumentation, simple note playing and play-along style rhythms. However, these are the types of songs that really stand out as being true and authentic to that medieval style. “The Joy Of Water” begins as if it could be a western tune and features the sounds of what could be an accordion. Very laid back and jubilant, this represents the best of peaceful times. “A Proposal In Moonlight” again features the high-pitched sounds of a recorder, with various other instruments – including a xylophone – playing synchronous sounds of a tranquil nature, as if an adventure deep in the woods yields a prosperous reward. “Wedding Dance I” is a minute long canticle that’s pays celebratory tribute to one of the most joyous occasion their is, and “Wedding Dance II” continues that celebration – but probably after a couple of pints of ale. In the end, everyone is happy, celebrating the happiest of occasions and without a worry in the world.
There simply isn’t any other artist in the Dungeon Synth community like Borg. Although this idiosyncratic style of music may not be for everyone, it sure it appealing to these ears. Additionally, I can totally admire the musicianship, effort and thought process that must that gone into creating a precarious project of this nature. However, this music is needed in Dungeon Synth and from what I’ve seen so far, it’s been welcomed with wide-open arms. If you are one of the few that has never had the opportunity to checkout this unbelievable artist, then do so at your earliest convenience. I can not recommend this enough, so click on the link below and check out ‘Woodland’.
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