Nature is the essence of many aspects of life. Whether good or evil, the crux of its attributes supplies endless amounts of viable resources in order to create an unfathomable sense of inspiration for music. From placid elements that relate to the morning dawn, peaceful wilderness and the natural formations of the land to dark & eerie forests, storms & gray skies and desolate terrain, music can take on these exact same forms and emit either a somber or malevolent side. Alloch Nathir’s ‘The Emerald Grotto’ takes the best of both worlds and combines them into a soothing and melodic style of forest/fantasy synth that will have the listener bonding with all elements of nature. Within these eight tracks, the listener will be summoned deep into the forest to a mystical cave that will transcend an ordinary forest floor into an unprecedented hidden treasure.
“Tome Of The Mercurial Font” fades in like a soft, flowing stream, deep in the heart of a secluded forest. Majestic strings pluck a simple but melodic tune to entice the mood. At once, harmonious sounds are brought in to create a peaceful environment, abundant with life. Subtle keys in the background induce feelings of tranquility and enlightenment. “Lost In The Wooded Labyrinth” takes us further down the stream where the currents are stronger and the exalted beauty is matched by sovereign string arrangements. The constant chirps of birds signifies a particularly sheltered environment where the scenery has the upper hand on any unforeseen visitors. Faint synth effects can be heard, but are distinct enough to create a balance between forest and fantasy synth. “Embraced By Dawn’s Gentle Grace” exemplifies all of the core qualities of a great dungeon synth track; slightly upbeat keys, great fills that don’t stop throughout the majority of the track, as well as the delicate warbles of the local inhabitants. Although this is a fairly short track, it exemplifies the content of this album as a whole and really stands out as a memorable piece. “Beyond The Traveled Trail” is a fast paced anthem that features a groovy percussion part that maintains a rhythmic stance throughout. The muffled synth lead is a whimsical nod to somber isolation, yet has an encouraging tone. “The Conjurer’s Cauldron” begins with an aggressive, deep sounding synth tone that plays opposite to a staggering lead part that is reminiscent of a suppressed horn. The polyrhythmic percussion melody is outstanding and fits in perfectly. “Reflections In A Windshorn Mist” continues with the vigorous fantasy synth elements and will have the listener drifting off into the heart of the forest, in search of inner peace and expansion. The final minute of this song changes directions slightly with a solo synth work that is bold and slightly passive. “The Pearl In The Cavern Pool” is my favorite song on the album. It starts with a reticent rain shower field recording and is soon followed by a restrained synth arrangement that has a beautiful melody, but is cold and dark at the same time. The final track on the album, “The Emerald Grotto” is a bleak offering that would be perfect for a hazy autumnal morning, just before the season changes to winter. Although nature’s intonations are absent from this track, it’s apparent that deep inside the hidden cavern, all is lost from the outside world. This is a trance inducing offering that blends droning keyboard effects with harmonic leads that find a delicate balance between repetition and beauty. I can’t think of a better track than this one to end such an amazing album.
Alloch Nathir uses the beauty of nature as well as the mystifying sounds of forest and fantasy synth to deliver an exceptional album that is worthy of multiple listens and will probably be a staple in my DS playlist for a long time to come. Although clocking in at just twenty five minute in length, every bit of this time is used superbly and the field recordings are just about flawless. If delicate synth music riddled with the sounds of nature is your thing, then I can not recommend ‘The Emerald Grotto’ enough. Support this amazing artist and download this incredible album from the link below. You’ll not be disappointed.
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