Some artists just have that IT factor. The IT factor being the difference in quality and quantity in artistry that makes them stand out amongst the masses. From songwriting, compositional arrangements, effective use of soundscapes and field recording, production and even the visual aspect of the artwork, achieving this level of excellence is often curated by many but seldom maintained by few. One of those that stand out, albeit in a brief Dungeon Synth career, is Lord Orots. With a few EP’s, several singles, and a split release under his belt, we also have the massive full-length album, ‘Latzineko Erresumaren Itzulera’ to absorb and appreciate. This album is true, Medieval Dungeon Synth of the highest order with a cinematic quality like no other. The eight tracks contained within will no doubt take you back to a darkened, Middle Ages period of mystical wonder and endless tales of fantasy and adventure.
Right from the opening seconds of “Mendekurako Garaia”, the sounds of nature bring forth peace and tranquillity and pave the way for a celebrated transition to pulsating drum beats and melodic keys. The slight presence of a rain storm changes the mood to a grim appeal as this brief introduction comes to a close. Not wasting any time, the grandeur’s of Medieval essence can be felt as “Ziegan Giltzapetuta Betiko” announces its audial arrival. The awe-inspiring layers of synths fuse gallantly without becoming over imposing. Mixed perfectly, every instrument can be heard throughout its entire arrangement with complete clarity. The addition of a palpitating rhythm section adds a unique depth to this already wondrous track. Fading right into “Zeberio Errekako Iamiak“ with an elongated drone, it swiftly migrates into an ancient sound, courtesy of harmonized keys and harp-like effects. About halfway through, the action begins to pickup with choir-like vocal effects and muffled drums. “Oreina Eta Ontza Gauaren Ezkontza” is a beautiful piece that is filled with magnificent melody and sorrowful keyboard chops. Wonderfully composed, this track not only has an emotional standard throughout, it’s complimented by a deep drone that often goes unnoticed, but is crucial to the massive sound. The vocal effects are used sparsely but in great taste and just as this track puts you on the edge of your seat, it comes to a halt. That leads right into my favorite track on the album, “Ehun Mila Urte”. Commencing with a drum beat that is more in line with an enthralling death-march than a tribal pattern, it sets the stage for a bleak affair with an austere synth arrangement and a slightly discordant drone. Crisp lead keys flow smoothly across the electronic ivories as tensions start to rise. An intensity in the drum beat and layered tones begin to build as the song reaches a climatic point. After a short bridge section, influences of Warhammer 40k and Gregorian chants belt out in a victorious effort, and this dynamic song soon comes to a close. “Basoaren Besoetan” features lush keyboard melodies that sway between the soothing sounds of nature as birds randomly chirp in the background. At almost ten minutes in length, this is the longest track on the album and contains many sublime moments of dreamy, harmonized synth leads and it never loses focus on establishing a a connection with the essence of its environmental surroundings. “Udazkena” is another one of my favorite tracks on the album and it’s musical prowess enables this gem to standout amongst the others. Consisting of mostly slowed down synthwave chops and marginally distorted drones, this piece is full of early-dawn emotions and borders somewhere between melancholic and downright ominous sounds. The final track on the album is the war-like anthem, “Amaiera”. Although mainly consisting of calming synths and synchronous drum beats, this would be an effective composition for either rallying the troops or bringing unity throughout a discordant kingdom.
When it comes to uncompromising Dungeon Synth, Lord Orots has proven to be the chieftain of the synths and quite the skillful composer. Showing no timidity to venture beyond the borders of DS, Lord Orots incorporates many musical facets and ideas to create a unique musical experience, while staying true to the genre and the time period that it represents. I’m thoroughly impressed with ‘Latzineko Erresumaren Itzulera’ and am certain this album will stand the test of time. This one has been out a while already but if you’re one of the unfortunate few that hasn’t checked this one out yet, I highly recommend clicking on the link below and adding this masterpiece to your collection.
Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!