Pathworn Pilgrim Perpetuates Cinematic Elegance On The Exceptional Fantasy Synth Offering, ‘Breath & Bellows Of The Old Kingdom’

Pathworn Pilgrim, the dynamic offspring of Guild Of Lore mastermind, debuted in 2021 with the fascinating ‘Beauty Of The Bitter Coast’. Overflowing with sonic Medieval dirges, the thirty five minute long effort was a great start, especially coming from the already legendary Guild Of Lore Camp. Now, just over a year later, Pathworn Pilgrim have ascended from the keep with an exquisite collection of Dungeon Synth anthems that entertains for the better part of seventy minutes. Better production, excellent blend of instrumentation and songwriting beyond comprehension proves that Pathworn Pilgrim is not just a side project, but a valuable mainstay in this community. Twelve tracks that flow from upbeat canticles to darkened soundscapes provide a vast soundscape for any type of Medieval adventure.

It’s obvious from the very first note, Pathworn Pilgrim has set out to paint a vivid and ancient landscape built on melancholic atmospheres and dismal times. “Untamed & Unforgiven” does an excellent job of setting a mood of Medieval candor while displaying an uncanny approach to symphonic synth music. An excellent blend of Dungeon Synth vibes and orchestral ambience, this track perpetuates a theme that will continually be painted over the course of fourteen tracks. “Breath & Bellows Of The Old Kingdom” commences with dark, whispering drones and naturalistic soundscapes in the background. However, the mood changes to a lighter atmosphere as somber synth leads create a heart-warming environment of peace and tranquility. “The Pilgrims Path II” is a groovy little piece that will have you bobbing your head in unison with the crisp and joyous intonations that build in layers throughout the track. Brisk percussions and amplifying tones create an inspiring mood that can be enjoyed at all levels. “Against The Mighty Jeralls” is my favorite track on the album as it uniquely combines dark, ambient tones with soothing field recordings and mighty orchestrations. This track could easily fit in on any fantasy-adventure movie soundtrack. “The Fells Of Falkreath” is another Dungeon Folk inspired track with stringed effects and a percussive cadence taken right from a Medieval songbook. The imperfections on the flute sounds solidifies the organic balance of this song and it’s another one of my favorites. “From Rift To Reach” focuses on long, drawn out notes instead of faster synth rhythms. This creates a brooding and dreamy atmosphere with amicable intent. “Echoes Of The Dwemer” contains some sinister sound effects right from the start, portraying an ominous vibe and setting a darker tone for the album. As the orchestration elements kick in, the notes are lower and deeper than on previous tracks, invoking bleak atmospherics of sinister subject manner. “Throat Of The World” begins with clean synth tones, almost gothic-like in delivery. As the crisp, synth leads commence, a trance-like effect comes into focus and the soft, ambient textures in the background are amazing. “The Frozen Flora, Fain The Fauna” is a bleak, ethereal piece that transcends time and space with an inevitable destiny of abysmal obscurity. The ambient tones are at times depressive and the assorted effects presents a theme of coldness and disarray. Picking things back up a notch and moving toward an enlightened direction, “Of Hearth & Mead” is the track that will get your blood flowing again. Clean stringed effects and a bombastic beat are at the heart of this buoyant canticle and overall, it has a New Age feel to it. “Snowfall Upon The Pale” is a chilling ambient piece with a huge cinematic production. At times, this sways toward a space ambient piece but then dives back into the vast hole of theatric tones with an audial approach to magnificent soundscapes. “A Hush The Holds Over” continues with the theatrical theme and further enhances the sound of the previous track. As if moving in slow motion or meditating in the early morning air, this composition loiters in the fray of hibernating effects, giving the listener an endless space for contemplating majestic realities. “The Road To Sovngarde” begins with a choir effect, producing a sense of positive light and unheralded energy. As if providing the audible conclusion to a climactic battle, this song envelops victory and valor at the highest sense. The final track on this magnum opus is the impudent “Honor & Strength”. Instead of adding beats to layers of synth tones, this piece commences with an enigmatic beat that provides a backbone for building an array of synth effects that firmly engages the pulsating rhythms. This is one of the most intriguing songs on the album and although it’s different from proceeding tracks, it fits in perfectly and closes out this mammoth recording in dignified fashion.

This Guild Of Lore side project is a musical endeavor that is more a secondary outing; it’s a statement of theatrical and Medieval values that wanders down a completely different path, bringing forth a renewed sense of being and modern synth transparency. Although this is just the sophomore release from this musical entity, it’s a seasoned spectacle of synth greatness with alluring arrangements and beautiful songwriting. I see limitless potential with Pathworn Pilgrim and ‘Breath & Bellows Of The Old Kingdom’ is a huge step toward toward not only Dungeon Synth greatness, but overall grandeur in electronic music in general. Please support this amazing album by listening and downloading from the link below.

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