Machina Coeli Embraces Traditional Dungeon Synth Intonations To Invoke An Allusive Visionary Tale On ‘Lure Of The Forgotten Lake’

Machina Coeli is a legend in the dungeon synth community, having a lengthy career that has spanned over twenty years. Additionally, his visionary, audio art has garnered praise from other legendary and noteworthy acts such as Mortiis – which many consider to be the first to provide a mainstream outlet for the genre. Although only three albums have been released under this moniker, they are staple outings for the genre and easily cement Machina Coeli as one of the principle artists to make dungeon synth a rising form of music all over the world. The three epic anthems that make up ‘Lure Of The Forgotten Lake’ tell the tale of a masterful retaliation with the help of a set of secret scrolls that are sealed away in a chest at the bottom of the Forgotten Lake. With the aid of these scrolls, new and magical weapons can be conceived to help demolish those that are oblivious to the familiarity of righteousness. The evil that stands in the way of this protruding knowledge will surely suffer in the hands of defeat!

“Approaching The Forgotten Lake” contains the mysticism and production of traditional dungeon synth and with its positive sounding vibe, valiantly leads the effort to recover the scrolls from the Forgotten Lake. Layered keyboards, minimal field recordings and the use of choral chants are the focal points for this track and their collision produces a grand entrance for the album and sets the stage for the two mammoth tracks that follow. “Lure Of The Forgotten Lake” begins with a soft flowing stream sound that fades into the echoes of nature followed by a crescendo of tribal drums as if a battalion of knights and warriors stand lined up on a battlefield, ready to defend their kingdom to the death. As the drums continue to pulsate, luminous keys play a battle worthy melody and intensifies, signifying the approach to the Forgotten Lake to claim the abundance of magical findings that will propel them to victory. At around the five and a half minute mark, the music shifts to more of a medieval township melody, layered over a steady drum beat. The sound is uplifting and provides a positive spiritual tone, considering the task at hand. At the ten minute mark, samples of battle cries and yells can be heard, symbolizing another shift in musical direction, as well as the start of the mission to recover the lost scrolls. At around the fourteen minute mark, the climax of the song comes to an end and the melodies from the beginning of the track are now heard again, indicating the recovery from battle and the resumed search for the lost scrolls. “Search Of The Lost Scrolls” is a fourteen minute long inspiriting canticle that utilizes layered keys and delicate melodies to soothe the souls of those searching for the scrolls. The track moves into several minutes of exhilarating ambience with spots of water-like samples. This soon fades into more traditional sounding dungeon synth keyboard arrangements that echo with every key stroke. As the final section fades, the waters from a shoreline can be heard, along with the cries of a local owl as he looks on from above to the great warriors below, as they sift the chest of lost scrolls from the water. With their mission accomplished, it’s now time to create the new magical weapons that will solidify their kingdom forever!

Machina Coeli has pulled out all the stops with the exciting new story that is betrayed on ‘Lure Of The Forgotten Lake’. Although only containing three tracks, they create over thirty five minutes worth of music that is multifaceted when it comes to its musical direction. The traditional dungeon synth vibe is the gigantic under layer that is equally augmented by forest synth, fantasy synth, RPG sounds, and medieval ambient tones. This is not only a must have for your DS music collection, it’s also a necessity for the genre as a whole. Show your support for this legendary artist that has devoted over two decades of existence to the music that we love, and download ‘Lure Of The Forgotten Lake” from one of the links below.

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Links:

https://nigraopera.bandcamp.com/releases

https://machinacoeli.bandcamp.com/album/lure-of-the-forgotten-lake-2019

Vandalorum Soothes The Soul With Warm Vibes On Prodigious Conceptual album, ‘Flagellum Dei’

Atilla The Hun was one of the most revered leaders in the history of the world. He was greatly feared by his enemies and respected by the warriors that fought by his side. Although his unsuccessful surges into Rome, Persia and Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) brought moments of uncertainty, he subsequently invaded and decimated the northern areas of Italy and also the Balkans. What better way to immortalize this great figure and the culture of The Huns than by an atmospheric dungeon synth recording. ‘Flagellum Dei’ by Vandalorum presents a beautiful, conceptual album that is based in Dungeon synth, but also contains atmospheric field recordings, a good dose of percussion, and some twist and turns throughout. Although the overall musical output of ‘Flagellum Dei’ is calm and soothing, it portrays the story of harsh, war-time battles, when countries and territories were overtaken by great force. There is also a great cinematic sound quality to these tunes as well, as they could easily be part of a soundtrack that depicts action and adventure from medieval times.

“Death And Plunder” opens the album with a traditional dungeon synth sound and contains a backing drum track that brings out more emotions as the melody graces our ears in multiple layers. Next comes “Battle Of Chersonesus” and with its gloomy introduction and battle cry samples, depicts a scene of warriors preparing for battle. Although it has mostly an ambient feel to it, the last part of the song kicks into high gear as the dungeon synth sounds come to the forefront (along with more battle cry samples), putting the listener right in the heart of the battle. “Honoria’s Ring” starts with an alluring keyboard arrangement and contains an abundance of melody and empathy that matches perfectly with the lush field recording sounds throughout. “Mounted Archers Of The Steppe” is my favorite song on the album as it begins as a consoling ambient piece with perfectly matched added sounds and samples, as well as various instruments to broaden the scope of the arrangement. Throughout the song, you can feel it building into something exciting, as if the climactic ending of a battle is in near pursuit. Close to the end, the song erupts into a full-on rock arrangement. “Punishment” begins as a grim dark ambient recording and then fades into a cinematic dirge, with droning tones, layered with an echoed keyboard pattern. This is another standout track, as it is well written and performed near perfectly. “Wielding The Sword Of Mars” is a slow, ethereal song that summaries all of the style of the album into a single entity. From the ambient textures, dungeon synth melodies, to the intertwined drum patterns and superb writing, this song has all of the qualities necessary for repeated listens. “Hidden Burial Of The Chieftian” has a quirky dungeon-esque vibe, in which I can see Attila himself hanging out with his troops, enjoying a moment of downtime and festivities, after one of their great invasions. This song is a well-received surprise to the album, especially since it is mostly filled with ghostly and vivid tunes. The final track, “Atilla And Bleda” is a great arrangement in which I envision a gruesome showdown between the two brothers that resulted in the slaying of Bleda. Although historically there are several accounts for how this showdown commenced, the ending is undeniable and the creepy music (especially the monotone drum pattern) does it justice.

Vandalorum have created a monumental dungeon synth recording with ‘Flagellum Dei’. Combining the sounds of various genres of music with battle-like field recordings and an overall cinematic sound, this is an excellent recording and worthy of representing such a historical figure and leader in Atilla The Hun. Although Realm And Ritual will be releasing a physical version of ‘Flagellum Dei’ in the near future, it can be downloaded digitally now, at the link below. Vandalorum is an excellent up and coming dungeon synth artist that has proven he has what it takes to have longevity on the dungeon synth scene. Show your support and download this amazing album now.

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Link:

https://vandalorum.bandcamp.com/album/flagellum-dei

Physical Release (TBD):

https://realmandritual.bandcamp.com/merch

Interstellar Space – Special Halloween Review #3: Erythrite Throne – ‘Ghost Stories’

Erythrite Throne is one of those amazing bands that has the gift of seamlessly combining multiple genres of music into a singular platform to convey a sound like no other. In this case, the genres of Dungeon Synth and Black Metal are the dominant art forms that take center stage and their merger leaves the sound of Erythrite Throne undeniably, and unmistakably one-of-a-kind. However, on this very special Hallows Eve release called ‘Ghost Stories’, the harsh black metal tones are vacated, in place of symphony sickness that is sure to mesmerize and soothe the angriest of night spirits.

Conjuring up ghostly spirits, “Devil’s Night” seems like a fitting album opener as the soothing keyboard sounds fool the listener into a trance-like state before the somber dirges (of the remainder of the album) take over and evoke the essence of evil that only come out on this particular eve. “Decaying Burial Grounds” is an excellent symphonic piece with catchy melodic hooks and fluid low-end bass keys that provide a stable platform for eliciting frightful pleasures from beyond the grave. The beginning of “The Dhampyre’s Tomb” would be a great intro for a black metal album, but when the lush keyboard kicks in, it’s reminiscent of a song taken from an 80’s horror film soundtrack. Elements of this song are very dark and grim but the standout arrangement make it deceitfully beautiful. “Shriek Of The Witch” exhibit elements of classic dungeon synth in the way the lead off keyboard style and patterns are played. It is combined perfectly with the back end track to create a tasty treat to ward of the ghoulish entities. My favorite track on the album, “A Dance In The Cemetery Fog” combines elements of dungeon synth, symphonic keys, twisted & macabre sounding instrumentation, and simple keyboard arrangements to create a grave worthy track of haunts and frights. The albums final number, “Tale Of The Lonely Ghost” is another exemplary track that incorporates a drum beat and multiple, haunting melody tracks that are sewn together to form contorted dirge that are sure to please all of the ghastly beings of the underworld.

Erythrite Throne definitely have the upper hand when it comes to releasing Dungeon Black Metal. Even though some releases do not contain the sounds of harsh vocals or guitars, they contain the symphonic elements of the lighter side of black metal, thus remaining classified in the same genre of music. ‘Ghost Stories’ is no exception to that, as beautiful keyboard arrangements and lush-type synths take the lead on this special Halloween album release. I recommend listening to this with the lights turned off, under the natural light of a single burning candle and be willing to communicate with the afterlife, as this album can be used as the perfect medium. This superlative album can be downloaded at the link below.

Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon. While your at it, please check out my friends podcast called “The Opinionated Optimist” at one of the links below, where he reviews anything and everything. He will be releasing a special Halloween Podcast as well.

Link:

https://erythritethrone.bandcamp.com/album/ghost-stories

The Opinionated Optimist:

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Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1lVoWSvmJCB7A6hJTYTpaq

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Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=477939&refid=stpr

Halloween Episode: https://anchor.fm/brian-caraviello/episodes/Halloween-Special-e8asia

Interstellar Space – Special Halloween Review #2: Solus Woods – ‘All Hallows’ EP

For my second Halloween review, I’ll be checking out the latest from Solus Woods entitled, ‘All Hallows’. Just released several days ago, Solus Woods dives into the spooky sounds of the scariest night of the year and replenishes our senses with the shrills of horror films from yesteryear; and when I say yesteryear, I’m talking mid to late 80’s slasher flicks. Although these five tracks total at just under ten minutes, they pack quite a punch and would make for the perfect background noise while handing out candy to the trick o’ treaters that think their approach to your front door will scare you.

Lead off track, “A Lonesome Ghoul Rises From The Grave” could have easily been written as the into track for the Day Of The Dead soundtrack, as it conjure up the undead with its haunting ambient tones and mesmerizing keyboard arrangement. “The Death Omen Of A Radiant Boy” drones with the hiss and crackle of an old record, while celestial soundscapes resinate with power. The sounds of an eerie music box provide a sense of dread and torment and the scare factor is real. “In The House, A Sad Ghost Reflects On Life” contains bleak soundscapes, a discordant piano provision, and a grandfather clock that signifies that time is up for the lost souls that are held captive in the afterlife. “Wendigo” is an alluring ambient-style piece with lush soundscapes and contain a touch of special effects at the end to keep the arrangement interesting. The final track, “Beyond The Threshold, The Fiend Lurks” would be the perfect piece to play during the ending credits of a movie that contained a horrific ending. Although minimalistic with scorching synthesized tones, the sound is quite evil and the abrupt ending will leave you wanting more to listen to.

Solus Woods continues to outdo previous albums with each new one that is released. From the quality of writing, construction of the songs and overall product production, Solus Woods is quickly becoming one of my go-to bands for not only dungeon synth, but for dark ambient recordings as well. I highly recommend checking out and supporting this magnificent artist and downloading not only ‘All Hallows’, but the entire back catalog as well.

Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon. While your at it, please check out my friends podcast called “The Opinionated Optimist” at one of the links below, where he reviews anything and everything. He will be releasing a special Halloween Podcast as well.

Link:

https://soluswoods.bandcamp.com/album/all-hallows-ep

The Opinionated Optimist:

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Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1lVoWSvmJCB7A6hJTYTpaq

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Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=477939&refid=stpr

Halloween Episode: https://anchor.fm/brian-caraviello/episodes/Halloween-Special-e8asia

Interstellar Space – Special Halloween Review #1: Rhäzüns – Halloween Manifesto

The time is upon us in which we annually celebrate Allhallowtide – the remembrance of the dead – otherwise known as Halloween. In the modern day, Halloween is celebrated by trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, visiting haunted houses or attending costume parties. However, some of us prefer to press play on some of the recently released dungeon synth and/or dark ambient releases that pay tribute to this dull and chilling festive day. If you’re seeking something hair raising to listen to that will satisfy your taste of both the DS and DA genre’s, look no further than ‘Halloween Manifesto’ by Rhäzüns. A collection of two previously released EP’s, the first half is more in the dark ambient realm, whereas the second half dives into dungeon synth – the perfect combination for the types of music my website was designed for.

Album opener, “Brume” quickly manifests into a haunting soundscape as if you are floating seamlessly in the vacuum of space and then are suddenly thrusted through a dark nebula and sucked in a voracious black hole. The grim echoes of the keyboards ring from ear to ear as background noises cause a panic throughout the track. “Mire” contains classic instrument sounds as if they were peeled from an Alfred Hitchcock movie soundtrack. the ambient tones provide the perfect backdrop to combine all of the arrangements happening in this track and it makes for one creepy dirge. “Gale” contains more of an industrial ambient sound as harsh textural undertones contribute to the eerie expression of multiple droning sounds, which results in a terrifying elegy. “I” is the first dungeon synth track on the album and has both grim and upbeat parts, as well as constant drum rolls to make for a very entertaining piece. “II” contains some bizarre voice-like sounds, mixed with some off-kilter keyboard arrangements to provide more of a variety of tunes on the second half of the album. “III” is a simple keyboard arrangement played over and over again with various soundscapes and drum beats playing in the background. However, this is very affective, as it’s one of the most melodic and accessible tracks on the album. “IV” has an awesome cathedral-style keyboard part in the beginning that is complimented by a dungeon synth keyboard melody. Although it’s one of the shorter songs on the album, it’s one of my favorites and I find myself playing this one over and over again. “V” is very well written and could easily be used in a fantasy or science fiction movie soundtrack. From the steady drum beats to the various keyboard arrangements and the low-end bass pattern, there is a lot happening in this song and may take multiple listens for the listener to comprehend what all is going on. “VI” is another masterfully written piece as it contains a flute-like sound and a simple drum beat with a soft sounding guitar melody that can barely be heard. This is another stand-out track for me, as groove and riff in this song make it seem like something being played at a war dance or a festival before a great battle is about to take place.

Rhäzüns have released something very special in ‘Halloween Manifesto’ as it covers several genres of music that I love and is dedicated to on of my favorite holidays of the year. Wether you’re a fan of dark ambient or dungeon synth, I’m pretty sure that you’ll love this album as it meshes the two genres near perfectly. Show your support for this excellent artist and album and download it from the link below.

I would also like to give a special shout out to Waclaw Traier and Droned Artworks for designing and painting this wonderful album artwork. He is also the mastermind behind the artwork of The Dungeon In Deep Space and I cannot recommend his art enough. Not only are his paintings fantastic, but he is a true professional to deal with and I’m also happy to call him my friend! Check out his work at the link below.

Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon. While your at it, please check out my friends podcast called “The Opinionated Optimist” at one of the links below, where he reviews anything and everything. He will be releasing a special Halloween Podcast as well.

Link:

https://handwerkmusic.bandcamp.com/album/halloween-manifesto-2

Droned Artwork:

http://www.droned.eu

The Opinionated Optimist:

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/402374343773766/?ref=share

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1lVoWSvmJCB7A6hJTYTpaq

Google: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9kNWVhZjZjL3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=477939&refid=stpr

Halloween Episode: https://anchor.fm/brian-caraviello/episodes/Halloween-Special-e8asia

Mausoleum Wanderer Shows No Restraint On Battle Fantasy Heavy ‘Kabal of the Ashuvrahqt’Aild: A Rasataalian Adventure’

In terms of great battles that are held in ancient fantasy lands from far, far away, there is nothing better than a good dungeon synth release to provide the soundtrack for its ethereal existence. For our protagonist in this story, a wild adventure awaits and music provided by Mausoleum Wanderer is just what is needed to motivate him for suitable action. On debut album, ‘Kabal of the Ashuvrahqt’Aild: A Rasataalian Adventure’, the listener is treated not only with the sounds of traditional dungeon synth tunes, but also battle hymns that span more than just the DS genre that are worthy of multiple listens. Although the beautiful album cover depicts a lone warrior on a hilltop in a mystical land, standing his ground in the face of adversity, he is prepared for battle, and Mausoleum Wanderer is leading the way.

On the album opener, “On A Certain Day, Under A Certain Sign”, an incoming rain shower drifts over the land as haunting – but subtle – keyboard melodies provide a light in the darkness and crash into an introduction filled with battle-like drum patterns and fantastic thematics. “Peer Through The Sage’s Eyeless Sockets” begins with an Egyptian- like keyboard arrangement and then morphs into an upbeat, island-like tune due to the use of the conga drum sounds. This works rather well with the dungeon synth sounds that compliment them. At about the halfway mark, the song goes into more of an ambient (and cinematic) feel, and then soon winds down with just a single keyboard track playing. On “Glades Betwixt Sleep And Wake”, the sounds of supernatural keys come to the forefront and paint a vivid picture of what’s to come once the battle commences. At this time, there is peace, but it’s only temporary, as the protagonist prepares his garrison for war. Up next is “Halls Scarred By Defiled Magicka” and if the album has its climactic battle-track, this is it. Soaring synthesized drums are in sequence with the rest of the arrangement as the adventure of infiltration has occurred. “Hymn’s Of Eaba’a, The Unsatiated Corruption” is a superb mix of dungeon synth tones but played in an ambient-style setting. Although this is a minimalistic track, it depicts the devastating outcome of the battle that has taken place. Next up is “A Debate Of Spell And Blade” and with its heavy cinematic overtones, sounds like a harsh victory song, yet with more battle left to play out. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album and could easily be used as a black metal intro/outro track. The final track, “Wealth Beyond Measure”, features a lovely acoustic guitar sound accompanied by lush keyboard soundscapes. More than an outro, this song signifies a new beginning to a new adventure.

Mausoleum Wanderer’s debut is a brilliant dungeon synth album full of cinematic elements, a touch of ambient, and multiple instrument sounds from around the world. The element of story telling, from the album art, song titles, and music in general are incredible and I can see many more adventures for the protagonist in this story coming soon. I highly recommend this if you’re into fantasy synth or cinematic score, so please click on the link below and support this outstanding artist.

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Link:

https://mausoleumwanderer.bandcamp.com

Count Shirintsu Deliver Two Powerful Mixes of Ancient Orient Inspired Dungeon Synth on ‘Welcome Home, Count Shirintsu’

Imagine being a noble king, in charge of a great kingdom where everyone prospers and respects your loyalty and commitment to the common people. Well, almost everyone. A small group of rebellious outcasts decided to thwart the king of his throne and forced him into complete exile. After a very ceremonious – but fabricated – funeral, the kingdom fell under new rule. However, a loyalist of the king realized the betrayal and set out to find the exiled king to help him exact vengeance and regain the kingdom that was wrongfully taken from him. Welcome to the world of Count Shirintsu and prepare to be bedazzled on the debut album, ‘Welcome Home, Count Shirintsu’, that tells the tale of his courageous, yet vengeful homecoming. To provide multiple musical perspectives of this wondrous adventure, a Dark Mix was released in June and then a Light Mix was released in August. I will examine both of these releases and prepare a viewpoint on how they relate to Count Shirintsu’s monumental homecoming.

The first of the two mix albums that were released was the Dark Mix, and the album opener, “Welcome Home, Count Shirintsu” starts with a ceremonious ambient tone with howling winds in the background. As additional keys crescendo in the mix, oriental style patterns are revealed before a short video game audio sequence is brought into the mix, adding an extra touch of creativity. Samples of samurai-like battle cries can be heard throughout, as Count Shirintsu himself, prepares for battle to reclaim his kingdom. “Fire Of Thinking” starts with a fiery field recording, layered with a haunting keyboard melody that signifies the dawn of battle. As this calm-before-the-storm piece reaches a close, Count Shirintsu is ready and motivated to finally lead his people once again. “Kyoden” is a track named after the loyal friend that learned of the evil wrong doings of Count Shirintsu, tracked him down and helped him on his quest for retribution. Although a short track, it serves as an introduction to this essential character to the story and contains some evening time field recordings with a short keyboard piece blended in. “Akashiga Castle” is a more traditional Dungeon Synth style recording with some excellent, stand-out arrangements embedded in the middle. I imagine it’s night time and Count Shirintsu and Kyoden have now entered the kingdom and have plans to overtake the castle and the cruel occupants that inhabit it. “Exile” begins with a grim ambient tone and is soon followed by an eerie keyboard provision, where the tone fades in and out with the pre-adjusted volume. Count Shirintsu is now recollecting the past where he was wrongfully exiled and it provides much motivation to continue his mission of restoring newfound peace throughout the kingdom, one again being under his rule. The final track on the album, “Restoration” can be summed up as the soundtrack for the impending battle to oust the wrongdoers of the kingdom. A simple drum track provides a smooth pace for this picturesque traditional Dungeon Synth track as Count Shirintsu once again takes the throne of his kingdom. The final few minutes of the track provide a beautiful ambient soundscape that resembles peace throughout the commonwealth.

For the Light Mix of the album, we have the same great story and the same excellent songs but some of the keyboard parts throughout the album have been brought to the light (sort of speak), by enriching the sound and providing an extra layer of energy to enhance the sound quality. This is most noticeable on songs such as “Fire Of Thinking”, “Kyoden” and “Akashiga Castle”. That’s not to say that every track hasn’t benefitted from the updated sound edit, but these are the most distinct as far as the value of production is concerned.

‘Welcome Home, Count Shirintsu’ (both mixes) is a grandiose album full of audio surprises that range from tradition and modern dungeon synth to ambient soundscapes, enriched with a plethora of sounds – including 8-bit video game jingles. This album also has a wonderful storyline that I hope will continue on proceeding albums. Show your support for Count Shirintsu and download one of these (or both) amazing albums at the link below.

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Link:

https://countshirintsu.bandcamp.com/