Dungeon Synth is such a fine art form! There are so many directions in which the music and subject matter takes the listener these days that it’s inconceivable to think that it was once mainly associated with just the primitive side of medieval aesthetics. No matter what version of Dungeon Synth I’m listening to, I love the fact that I can close my eyes and meander into a mystical world in which the artist has sent me. Glomstriden is another excellent Dungeon Synth artist that successfully envisions an esoteric place with just the sounds of powerful and beautifully written electronic music. The songs on ‘The Faded Kingdom’ are melancholic yet elegant, dreamy yet energetic, and tell a compelling story of a scorned and defeated kingdom that has more fight than finish! Whereas most people have written this particular kingdom off as being conquered and left alone, there are still some loyal villagers willing to go to battle to save the only place they’ve ever called home.
“Eternal Lord Of The Forest” begins with a gentle melody that has a gloomy and sorrowful tone to it then layers of encouraging keyboard effects continue to build, creating a warm and inviting sound. Never loosing sight of the original melody, soft drum beats are introduced around the halfway mark to show an upbeat side to this track. The depressing sounds of “Miatig” provoke a feeling of forlorn abandonment. When the layers of reverberating key tones are added, a sense of coldness fills the air as this dark harmony continues its addictive tone throughout the track. “Faru A Feorland” has a grandiose cinematic introduction with multiple synth sounds that are arranged in an eloquent manner. I love when the layers dissipate into a single keyboard chop and then slowly builds back up again. The lead keyboard effects toward the end of the track are some of the best licks on the album and make this one of my favorite tracks as well. “Unyielding Mountains Of Mourning” is a slow brooding track that gives the sensation of a bleak sunlight barely breaking through the thick morning fog high on the mountainside. Even as dawn fades to day, there is no change in brightness as it remains eerily cold and dark. Droning keyboard tones provide a chilling background while an ethereal lead part steals the show for the majority of the track. “March Into Eternity” is the exact opposite of the last track as it is energetic and full of ambition. After a lead off keyboard into, a fast-paced drum part is added, giving meaningful life to this track and subsequently representing the positive nature of the villagers that are willing to stand up and fight for their kingdom. The final track on the album, “Land Of Dead Heroes” sets a quick pace right from the very beginning, with galloping drum beats and majestic keyboard parts that sound confident and radiant, as if ‘The Faded Kingdom’ is still around and moving forward in a productive direction. The synth arrangement on this track has a very medieval sound to it yet ends the album on a very cheerful and luminous note.
I really love this album by Glomstriden and appreciate how it starts dark and gloomy and ends cheerful and full of hope – as if it’s telling the complete story of ‘The Faded Kingdom’ and relying on the listener to fill in the blanks with the details. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more work from this artist, as the music, songwriting, and production is top-notch for this genre. I highly recommend checking out ‘The Faded Kingdom’ so please click on the link below and add this album to your collection.
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