Robert Eggplant Leads Us On A Musical Excursion With Plenty Of Acoustic Guitar And Field Recordings On ‘Dog Island’

Robert Eggplant is one of those artists that certainly has an unmistakable sound. Although the base of his work is ambient, there is a particular abstract design to his albums that result in a Dark Ambient, experimental conglomerate that is gloomy, nostalgic and full of neutral colors. On his stunning fourth album, ‘Dog Island ‘, he takes field recordings, acoustic guitar effects and ominous loops to another level. Fifteen obscure tracks that takes up a better part of eighty minutes, set a minimalistic scenery that’s perfect for a dreary afternoon. So, light a few candles, turn down the lights and prepare to meditate for the course of these gripping tracks.

The album lead off track, “Witanic Path” commences with a humming drone noise that resides far off in the distance. The soothing texture of rain drops present a darkened day and when the strumming guitar loops hit, there is a sense of calming amazement that penetrates the air. Anytime an album showcases the sounds of desolate winds, it has my immediate attention. “Tremorous Dreamer” is a fantastic follow up track as it fires off a barrage of minimalistic field recordings, hissing loops and obscure guitar strums. It’s like having a dream that turns into a nightmare, in which you never awake. There is something really sinister about this sound. “Magpies In The Cherry Tree’ continues the menacing atmosphere with an industrialized hum in the background while the sounds of nature try to elicit a particular purity. More random guitar strokes and beautiful use of field recordings continue this endeavor that is like a journey into the unknown. “Paroxysm” begins with a beautiful & retrospective melody that is joined with slight wind and rain sounds. As nature takes a turn for the worse, the journey must continue and the bleak field recordings lead the way. Again, looping guitar strums become a focal point and may even cause a startling reaction due to being the loudest intonation in the mix. “Leaf Blowers In Paradise” is up next and the title alone is a hit in itself. This song presents another masterful blend of field recordings, many which are audible to the point of knowing what they are, while others provide a grim backplane for the track itself. As random as these pieces may sound, they provide a wonderful sense of balance in not only this track, but throughout the entire album. “The Devil will Always Chase The Hungry” is another marvelous song title and it perfectly matches the minimalistic ambience that ensues. There are more classic synthwave textures on this track and a soothing resonance that is a much welcomed surprise. “The Dynamical Nature Of Time” pieces together chirping birds, environmental elements and looping instrumentation. Overall, this song is bleak, with austere timbres that has an uneasy effect. “Drug Rug Wedding” is an interesting title that combines looping buzzes, howling winds and creepy modulations to produce an extremely horrid outcome. Reverberated guitar tones sound so apocalyptic as it demonstrates an ever growing presence of demise. “Plague Demon” begins with the sounds of doomed terror via haunting synth keys before settling into a more holistic dirge complete with soothing guitar tones and aquatic-styled field recordings. “Device Control” is a suitable follow up track as it showcases the same aesthetics as the previous track but in a more hurried way. Although there isn’t a lot going on in this song, the synths provide the lead instrumentation while the adamant rain drop field recordings showcase a percussive element. The guitar strums sound very distant – almost dreamlike – in the mix, allowing for a wide imaginative space to contemplate these sounds. “Shadow Signifier” begins with a deep, spacey drone that soon fuses with harshly reverberated acoustic guitars and random field recordings to break up the monotony. “Left Hand Pathogen” starts like a cosmic soundscape with high pitched screeches and samples. The desolate sounds of walking down a damp path comes into play while audible rings signify the beginning…or the end. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. “The Summoner And The Summoned” is one of the most bizarre tracks as the guitar loops are like a deformed echo moving through a modulation chamber while the chirps of bird are caught singing next to this industrialized musical gear. The sounds of stones scraping in the middle of the song is really creepy, while the untimed strums of a detuned guitar continue to impress. “Desert Storm Memorabilia” is a thought-inducing track that could represent a variety of subject matter. More naturalistic soundscapes accompany acoustic guitar strums and other borrowing sounds that present a bold tone of menacing proportions. The final track on this mammoth of an album is, “Vertical Burial (Improvisation)”. For this track we get a clear picture of compositional acoustic riffs combines with tape hisses and the occasional field recording. This is such an intriguing effort and another one of my favorite tracks. I could listen to a whole album of these type of improvised acoustic guitar textures. As the album closer, it brings everything into prospective as if the harsh elements of a monstrous journey has come to a triumphant end.

I’ve been a huge fan of Robert Eggplant ever since ‘Amalgamation’ came out back in 2019. His recordings have a very distinct sound and rely heavily on field recordings rather than traditional Dark Ambient instrumentation. For me, this is a breath of fresh air, as it showcases something distinct and unique to the artist that is undeniable in every way. On ‘Dog Island’, he continues with that same recording technique and delivers another masterpiece of an album. If you’re into something that is less song structured and more sound structured, then I can’t recommend Robert Eggplant enough. Please click on the links below to download this amazing album and check out his previous albums as well. You definitely won’t be disappointed.

Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!

Links:

https://shimmeringmoodsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dog-island

https://roberteggplant.bandcamp.com

Eyre Transmissions XXI: Interview With Multifaceted Dungeon Synth Producer, Skuggkonungen

The first time I heard Skuggkonungen, it was an instant gratification to these ears. A masterful blend of my favorite musical genres to include Dungeon Synth, Dark Ambient and Berlin School, this kindred fusion of Medieval resolve produces an output of top notch synth music that is really impressive and warming to listen to. I recently had the opportunity to communicate with the entity behind the project and found a humble, yet engaging dude that loves making music. Heres what he had to say:

1. I really appreciate this interview opportunity and Happy New Year to you. How’s 2023 going so far?

Likewise! Thank you! So far it´s going pretty good! Me and my wife spent New years eve in a cabin in the countryside with some friends. How was yours?

2. It was time we’ll spent with family, thanks for asking. I’m always interested in learning about an artists beginnings. How did you learn of Dungeon Synth and what made you want to play this style of music?

I was always kind of aware of it. I heard about Mortiis when i was a young ultra-TRVE teenage metalhead, but i was not at all interested in electronic music at that point, it was far later that i “noticed” DS. I got really interested in it in 2019/2020 when i was dming a lot of fantasy ttrpgs, it was the perfect music to have in the background, or just when writing or just chilling out. I´ve played in punk and metal bands since i was 13 and later “discovered” electronic music, and started making it myself when i was 16-17. I was drawn to the aspect of making music yourself without other people, not needing to compromise which im sure that everyone who has ever been in a band will know all about.
I think what drew me to try and make it myself was just experimentation. That´s how i usually learn how to do things, by trying out a specific genre, or technique like: “Hmm i wonder if i could make a techno track, let´s try”. One of the things that drew me towards it was the sense of DIY, especially the culture of releasing on tapes. I have a unhealthy obsession with cassette tapes haha.

3. Your first album, ‘Det Glömda Landet’ has a lot of Dark Ambient textures. Is that another genre of music that influenced your brand of Dungeon Synth?

I´m a bit ashamed to say that i have ZERO experience with dark ambient haha. I´ve surely enjoyed some dark ambient artists/bands but I could not tell you like a single band/artist name im afraid! Det glömda landet was as you probably know inspired by a ttrpg campaign I ran for my wife and some friends, so I was mostly trying to capture the feeling of that setting (which is so amazing, please check out Forbidden lands) and the vibe of the characters.

https://skuggkonungen.bandcamp.com/album/det-gl-mda-landet

4. Where you going for a particular theme with this collection of songs?

The campaign that we played focused a lot on an ancient demon slowly gaining power in the region that the players were in, so I tried to capture that vibe of impennding doom. Two of the players were Orcs belonging to basically a death cult so that was a theme I tried to incorporate as well. I wanted to make a tribute to the campaign and to my players, something that they could listen to and remember those game sessions.

5. On ‘Västmarken’, I notice a shift in ethereal soundscapes, was this in an attempt to expand your overall sound?

I actually wrote most of Västmarken before Det glömda landet, but I remember trying to make something more ambient and not so melody driven. I have a modular synth that I remember using a lot on those sessions. Im a very lazy musician and I try to be very cautious of just doing the same thing over and over again, so I try and make music in very different ways and I think Västmarken is a perfect example of that, just trying a different approach.

https://skuggkonungen.bandcamp.com/album/v-stmarken

6. I love how dreamy this album sounds and it seems to embody a particular celestial spirit. What is the meaning of this album for you?

I recorded most of Västmarken in the late summer of 2021, and I remember playing a lot of Skyrim and Stardew Valley on my switch at that time and I definetly think that influenced the sound of it! I think it reflects on that period of late summer, autumn is slowly creeping in, in sweden the late summer and early autumn is kind of a very somber, or bittersweet time. It gets very dark and cold, but in the same time it´s very beautiful. I enjoy that time very much and i wanted to capture that feeling i think.

7. My introduction to this project was the amazing release, ‘Månens Vidunderliga Kraft’ and again, it shifts toward a very minimalistic vibe. What was the influence for this recording?

Månens vidunderliga kraft was the first Skuggkonungen music I ever recorded actually! I sent it off to a couple of labels, I was expecting rejection but hopefully someone would give me some constructive feedback so I was kind of amazed when Voices of the Ainur wanted to release it! So I think the minimalism of it was mostly due to me not knowing how to write “Dungeon synth”! The phrase “Månens vidunderliga kraft” was something that came to me when I was working night shifts at my job. It translates roughly to: “The wondrous power of the moon”, I thought there was something powerful about that sentence. It´s like an incantation in a way, or a warning. Beware the wondrous power of the moon. I always like to start with something in that vein when I start a new project, a phrase, word or vibe that will go on throughout all the album.

https://skuggkonungen.bandcamp.com/album/m-nens-vidunderliga-kraft

8. The title track for that album has such enlightening harmonies. What instruments did you use to record that song?

Thank you! I´m pretty sure the main melody is a electric piano patch on my Korg volca FM, I also used an access virus TI Snow for the pad, and the Korg Minilogue for other chords and melodies. The Minilogue in particular is one of those synths that I’ve used on all Skuggkonungen releases.

9. As you may know, ‘Dar Skuggor Aldrig Bleknar’ was included in my Top 10 Dungeon Synth albums of 2022. What does the title mean (In English) and what was your focus for these icy cold songs?

And I’m so thankful for that! I was kind of amazed when I saw it! Där Skuggor aldrig bleknar translates (roughly) to: Where shadows never pales”. The concept was sort of a place where the veil between the living and the dead were very thin, a place where shadows never pales, where no one is ever truly gone or there. The inspiration for that actually came from the Lucio Fulci movie “The Beyond”, I wont spoil it but if you´ve seen it, you´ll know…It also came from negative experiences with my last job. My line of work can be very hard emotionally and I really felt like a lot of the anxiety and dread that I was carrying around went into that album.

https://skuggkonungen.bandcamp.com/album/d-r-skuggor-aldrig-bleknar

10. The title track has a Berlin School influence – which is one of my favorite synth styles. Could you see yourself doing a Berlin School-styled project?

It´s one of my favorite styles as well! I think I’m leaning pretty heavily into Berlin school, sometimes I think to myself that I’m not even a “Dungeon synth artist” anymore haha. But I love that most people in this scene is actually very cool with artists expanding and experimenting with other genres inside the DS “sphere” if you will.

11. Your latest album, ‘Analoga Ritualer’ has a heavy use of Berlin School sequences but the base music form is almost like a return to your earlier albums. How did this album come together?

I think that it´s a combination of me listening to a lot of tangerine dream and trying to experimenting and trying to refine my own sound. It´s hard to define your own voice in a way, and that was something i was definetly aware of when making that album, and that reflects in the name: “Analogue rituals”, I’m trying to conjure up my own music. I usually write my music in “Manic episodes”. No Skuggkonungen album has taken more than two weeks to write and record. I wanted to capture that in that particular album.

https://skuggkonungen.bandcamp.com/album/analoga-ritualer

12. Of all the albums you’ve released, which is your favorite?

Im very fond of Det glömda landet. Mostly because of the memories attached to it. But all of my releases has a sentimental value for me.

13. How has the feedback been from your fans on the output of these albums?

I’m not sure actually haha. I love getting feedback but I suffer from intense shyness and a pretty bad self-confidence so I get kind of embarrassed when people compliment my music. Dont get me wrong: I’m very proud of my music and the success I’ve had but i always kind of feel like one of these days people are going to go: “Wait a minute, his music is shit”. This is a very swedish way of seeing things haha. We have something called “Jantelagen” which is a swedish mentality of: “Dont think you´re better than anyone”. It´s kind of hardwired into almost all swedes. A perfect example of this is this: Everytime I send music to a label I think: “They are probably going to reject me and tell me not to quit my day job”. On the flipside it kind of keeps you humble I guess.

14. What are your recording plans for 2023 and are there any additional surprises in store for us?

I’m becoming a Father in March so I’m not sure how music I will actually be able to make but I got a lot of music done that I’m looking to sign! I got a very special release with a “big” label in the pipeline but im not sure how much I can talk about it, so i´ll leave it at that haha. Im very interested in working with some labels I’ve released with in the past so hopefully that will work out! At the moment I’m gearing up to record a full-on Berlin school EP based upon the concept of Ancient astronauts and Erich Von Dänikens interesting (but full of bullshit takes) book “Chariot of the gods”. I’ve also played around a lot with my old gameboy so I have a lot of “chiptune Dungeon synth” that I don’t know what to do with haha. AND as a last surprise..: I recently started working on a follow-up or sequel if you will to Det glömda landet, based on the new West marches style Forbidden lands campaign I’m running!

15. Again, I appreciate the opportunity for this Interview and most of all, the wonderful music. Do you have any final words for those that may be reading this interview?

Thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed and for supporting my music, I really appreciate it alot! Keep buying tapes and if you want to support my music directly be sure to check out my bandcamp. And thank you to all the nice people who are saying nice things about my music!


Skuggkonungen Links:

BC: https://skuggkonungen.bandcamp.com/music

Instagram: https://instagram.com/skuggkonungen?igshid=NDk5N2NlZjQ=

Ten Of Swords Adjures Medieval Resonance On The Ominous, ‘You Were Once Far But Now You Are Close’

This has been an amazing year for the Dungeon Synth community as we’ve seen (and heard) more releases than ever, been exposed to a plethora of new artists and have witnessed many of the seasoned acts that we know and love release some of their best material to date. Amongst those artists is the newcomer, Ten Of Swords. Although Ten Of Swords has only been around a little over a year, there is already a huge catalog of memorable albums to check out. For my last review of 2022, I’ll be writing about ‘You Were Once Far But Now You Are Close’. Although not the latest album (as there has been at least nine addition releases since this offering from March), it was my introduction to this project so I thought it would be a good idea to write about my first impression.

Album opener, “Night Of The Worm Moon Festival” slowly creeps in with a cavernous effect on the synth leads. As the music comes into focus, a percussive cadence is fused in, creating a battle-like rhythm. There is a tinge of discordance to this track and it’s bound to put the listener into a mood full of Medieval crusades and bloodshed victories. “Raiding The Wizard’s Wine Cellar” is a festive piece with inimical harmonies and consoling textures. There is a twangy effect with the main keys and the off-kilter soundscapes that happen throughout adds a bit of dark color to this otherwise convivial song. “A Spinning Dance Of Ancient And Forbidden Pagan Rhythms” is an upbeat offering that immediately offers a sanguine groove on top of ancient Middle Eastern patterns. Production wise, it sounds very distant and dreamy which adds to its mystique. “Who Would Have Though There Would Be A Dungeon Here?”, is a seventeen and a half minute affair into a dark atmosphere that features reverberated ambience in the beginning and builds into so much more from there. Staticky keys and dark pulses come into play as this brooding track begins to take shape. There are spots of whimsical synths as well as heavily modulated key tones that sounds downright menacing. As the track continues to unfold, it becomes apparent that the various sections are akin to walking down an ominous path in a dark forest and encountering the unexpected along the way. Even with an extended playing time, this spectacular track is over before you know it. “Den Of The Fallen” commences with the tolling of bells, that ring out in angst while a dark, dismal groove builds around it. The effects used on the keys here is extremely thick, as if someone is plucking the lower notes of a piano wire. Toward the end, distorted ambience comes into play, adding layers of grim textures, before simplifying into the opening chops of the tracks. This is a really cool song that is probably my favorite on the album. The final song is, “The Day After The Worm Moon Festival” and although the composition is quite jovial, in delivery it’s rather quixotic and portentous. Again, the production ensures a distant tone, allowing for the audial space to be consumed by droning thoughts and mystifying clarity. Another excellent track to close out this isolated year astonishing album.

Ten Of Swords is a pretty unique project with a one-of-a-kind sound that is firmly rooted in the Dungeon Synth genre. With a quickly growing catalog of anomalous albums, this act is definitely one to watch for in the near future. ‘You Were Once Far But Now You Are Close’ is an entertaining album that offers a variety of tones and styles that are quick to grow on. The longer songs allow for a complete meditative experience, as these tracks are somewhat trance-like in transmission. I highly recommend this album if you’re into the more obscure side of Dungeon Synth.

Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!

Links:

https://tenofswords.bandcamp.com/album/you-were-once-far-but-now-you-are-close

Top 10 Favorite Dark Ambient Albums Of 2022

This was another amazing year for the Dark Ambient genre and again, I had a very difficult time fine tuning my Top 10 list. If truth be told, I could have probably created a Top 50 list. Many mainstay projects created some of their best music ever, while a lot up up and coming artist created spectacular albums that could easily compete with the best of them. Either way, these 10 albums are my favorite of the year and I’m excited to share them with you. How many of these albums made it to your Top 10 list?

10. Blackweald – From The Dust Of The Old Hungarian Plains, Emerges The Invisible Claw That Drags Us Into Our Rotting Grave

https://blackweald.bandcamp.com/album/from-the-dust-of-the-old-hungarian-plains-emerges-the-invisible-claw-that-drags-us-into-our-rotting-grave

Blackweald always leaves an quite an impression with each release. On his sole release from 2022, we get to experience a bold blend of space ambient, mesmerizing drones, soundscapes, narrative samples and enough field recordings to create a series of audial adventures that are spread across a ninety minute platform. Not as dark as previous efforts but certainly versatile enough to appeal to a wider audience in the electronic/ambient community.

9. God Body Disconnect – Spiral Of Grief

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/spiral-of-grief

God Body Disconnect never disappoints and I’m always looking forward to a new album by this project with eager anticipation. On ‘Spiral Of Grief’ we get a nice dose of the traditional narrative parts with soothing drones and soundscapes that are hypnotizing from start to finish. Tracks such as “Memories Become Distant Rooms” and “The Fathomless Heart” are downright otherworldly. However, as peaceful as this recording is, there is an underlying darkness – in the form of desolation – that gives these tracks extra meaning.

8. Ajna – Mors Ultra

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/mors-ultra

Ajna creates a slowly deteriorating realm of alluring drones and space ambient elegance on the nearly two and a half hour opus, ‘Mors Ultra’. Defining a process that lethargically gnaws at the psyche and combining it with an acumen of tonal clarity, this is a highly addictive album that has garnered a lot of playtime from me, hence earning a spot on my list of favorites Dark Ambient albums for this year. Not having a dull moment on the entire album, each track will have you listening (and understanding) with grave enthusiasm.

7. Eshaton – Arheia

https://eshaton.bandcamp.com/album/arheia?label=2690771343

This is one of my new favorite projects by Scorpio V. The mastermind behind Metatron Omega and Monasterium Imperi, presents another take on the Warhammer 40k sound with a much rawer style and delivery. Looping tape hisses and layers of Gregorian chants pave the way for this thirty four minute long track, as the grainy production and synth delivery is quite unique and enlightening. ‘Arheia’ presents a dark unknown from an ancient civilization that is part ritualistic and part spiritual – in the sense of how the music has such a strong, dynamic effect. It’s hard to count how many times I’ve listened to this album but even rolling into the new year, that counter will continue to climb.

6. Sana Obruent – Aftoktonia

https://sanaobruent.bandcamp.com/album/aftoktonia

I first became familiar with the works of Sana Obruent on the 2021 release, ‘Fatem’ and instantly became a fan. To say that I was extremely excited for another album is a huge understatement. This year saw the the release of ‘Aftoktonia’ and as expected, its a triumphant release. Nearly an hour and forty five minutes of minimalistic, looping drones. ‘Aftoktonia’ is an imposing collection of obscure tones and discordant modulations that are as eerie as they are tranquillizing. Sana Obruent excels at creating a world that’s easy to get lost in and ‘Aftoktonia’ is the ultimate, creative set to keep you there.

5. Caldon Glover – Labyrintia

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/labyrintia

Over the past few years, Caldon Glover has left quite the impression by releasing some amazing albums under a few different project names (a few in which I have reviewed on this site). However, his ultimate collection of Dark Ambient anthems just may be his current Cyclic Law release, ‘Labyrintia’. Deep, spacious drones and pronounced soundscapes make up the arsenal of this gigantic creation. With the backing of a major Dark Ambient label and a killer production, this is one of my favorite recordings of the year. It’s obvious that the passion that went in to the making of this album was spot on, as the distressed cadence and tense settings are sure to render a lasting effect.

4. Tineidae – Mothership

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/mothership

‘Mothership’ has been one of my most played Dark Ambient albums of the year so far. With a bludgeoning sound that reminds me of one of my all-time favorite movies (Blade Runner 2049), this is the empyrean dystopian-themed release of the year. The synth sound is so huge, portraying a trance-filled atmosphere with chronic tones and soundscapes. If this is what the distant future sounds like, please hurl me there now so that I can partake in post-apocalyptic battle for humanity, while playing this soundtrack for all to here. Such a stunning release that should be heard by all.

3. Colonial Skyway – Evening On Earth

https://colonialskyway.bandcamp.com/album/evening-on-earth

When I’m looking for a specific type of music that provides a meditative soundtrack of wonder and openness, I look no further than Colonial Skyway. My go-to artist for all things drone, Colonial Skyway has a niche for turning monotonous noise into asomatous art that is not only relatable but introspective to say the least. Each track has a disparate style but delivers in complete solidarity when played as a whole. Not only does this album provide a level of entertainment value, but is excels at cleansing the mind of reprehensible thoughts in exchange for a positive focus.

2. Mombi Yuleman – Hours Lost

https://mombiyuleman.bandcamp.com/album/hours-lost

It’s extremely hard to pick a Mombi Yuleman album for a Top 10 list, especially with everything he produces is FIRE! That being said, one thing that draws you in to his music is the conceptual themes that coincide with the audio. For 2022, the album that resonated with me the most was ‘Hours Lost’. Based on the true story of an alien abduction case from 1961, ‘Hours Lost’ has a particularly nostalgic value that takes the listener back to that era for an experience like no other. Deep drones, sinister soundscapes and an alien-like vibe are some of the key factors that ensure this album is the real deal. If you’ve not heard this one yet, you’re missing out on quite the Dark Ambient experience.

1. Metatron Omega – ISIH

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/isih

Metatron Omega is my favorite Dark Ambient artist and the intonations created by this project are something that must be experienced. Heavily themed in the Warhammer 40k universe, Metatron Omega uses Gregorian Chants along with malevolent ambient tones to create the most powerful electronic music around. Call me biased, but this is not only my favorite Metatron Omega album (so far), but my Dark Ambient album of the year. To top that, “Megalosthronos” just may be the best MO track of all-time. With the use of looping percussion, this song has an unusual groove and form that stands out amongst the rest. Don’t sleep on this exemplary album.


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Reality Scruncher Produces Otherworldly Timbres On Minimalistic Debut, ‘Deep Space Impingement’

I’m really excited to finally be publishing this review. Reality Scruncher is a new Drone/Dark Ambient project by jack-of-all-trades blogger, Casey Douglass. In case you’re not familiar, Casey always takes an impressive dive into all things obscure, including music, films and books. Speaking of books, Casey is also an accomplished author with many tales of horror and menacing bewilderment under his belt. Now, he is taking on the audial channels with his first Dark Ambient album, ‘Deep Space Impingement’. Thirty seven terrifying minutes of celestial modulations and deepened voids spread across five impressive tracks. How does this intro album stack up against the rest of the genre? Let’s take a deeper dive and find out.

Sinister lead off track, “Hope Into Terror” gradually comes into full perspective as it adjusts with audial bends in and out of earshot. With each louder intonation, it’s apparent that a horrific scene of deep space terror is abound. About halfway into the track, the wavering radiance declines as a mechanical drone – akin to a vessel drifting about in the far reaches of space – produces a mesmerizing sound with bits of chilling effects throughout. Toward the end, the tone grows louder as a doomed final destination becomes imminent. “Constricted Temporals” epitomizes the droning technique as a deep, hypnotic modulation emits an articulate and muffled sound. This track is nearly twelve minutes of eerie soundscapes that slowly builds with layers of ambient pitches that resemble the darkest areas of space where boundaries cannot be identified and the nearest celestial bodies are nowhere in site. This track represents nothingness and the imposing frequencies that it produces as a total sense of anxiety completely unfolds. “Shimmering Spectral Anomaly” continues the epic droning but with a wobbling effect of ominous proportions. As the timing continues to fluctuate, one begins to question the horrors of a possible cosmic impact that is bound to expire all life form in its path. As the song nears its completion, loud revolts form synth pads come into play, providing a level of audial defiance that could change the impending course of this unfolding terror. “Quantum Monstrosities Frolic” is another gigantic undertaking as the drones are presents with more reverberations and tonal distortion. This creates a malevolent sound and is also the pinnacle of horror for this album as a whole. There are some assorted sound effects throughout but are used sparingly, as this track is a true image of nightmares. The final track on the album is, “Suicidal Infinity”. Complete with hollow drones and industrialized soundscapes, this is the ravenous ending that I was hoping for. Most of the audial extremities occur slightly in the background, allowing for the white noise-styled drone to continue as the lead character for this song. The bits and pieces that do occur in the background sound like distant storms and interferences that could become closer as time continues. Suddenly, a loud, glaring alarm begins to blast away, as it warns of a distressed energy that is inbound, ready to infiltrate all forms of communication. As the warning fades away, we’re left with the icy cold sound of endless drones and the realization that nothing is more terrifying than the deep explorations of space.

‘Deep Space Impingement’ by Reality Scruncher is an absolutely amazing Dark Ambient effort and it truly captures the essence of deep space drones and the emotions that come with it. Minimalistic tones with sparse use of sound effects is the combination that is right up my alley and it works very well for this debut recording. I hope that Casey continues his recording career under this moniker and produces more Dark Ambient albums in the same vein as this one. I highly recommend checking out this album if you’re into cosmic drones with horrifying consequences. Please click on the link below and download this bleak but entertaining musical experience.

Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!

Links:

https://realityscruncher.bandcamp.com/album/deep-space-impingement

Sunken Basilica Produces a Spell Binding Fusion Of Nostalgic Synthwave & Dungeon Synth On Hypnotizing Self-Titled Debut

When I’m in the mood for gritty, uncompromising intonations with sinister, lo-fi production I often turn to dark dungeon music. Although I have a handful of “go-to” favorites that reside in this category, it’s nice to hear newer, up-and-coming artists that diverge their attention to this more abrasive style of Dungeon Synth. An artist that has certainly captivated my attention as of late is Sunken Basilica. With an intransigent debut album that reeks of caustic melodies and pungent soundscapes throughout, I find myself returning to this album more often than none. Residing on a fine line of raw Dungeon Synth with Black Metal undertones, this thirty one minute magnum opus is as entertaining as it is desirable.

Right from the opening note of the first track, “Interuniversal Osmosis”, we are blasted with nostalgic soundscapes that are reminiscent of classic science fiction soundtrack anthems. The low quality production adds an ominous value, as this creepy, celestial tune bolsters gritty, dungeon-esque qualities. Hints of inaudible Black Metal vocals enhance the ambiguity of this track. “Bestial Ciborium” commences with a modulated synth sound that is firmly relatable to Dark Dungeon Music. However, 80’s style synthwave chops create an ethereal place of vast voids and suggestive winter sceneries. The music is icy cold, as the melodies embody a discordant pattern, producing a haunting canticle. “Profound Bow” is a short piece that immediately goes off the rails with a variety of random tones and stints of ringing bells. Without a doubts, you’ll endure the sensation of anxiety and a belligerent psyche as the harrowing sections loop in vein. However, the synth leads toward the end are hypnotizing and don’t seem to last long enough. Such a superb track to have on repeat, it’s bound to provide much gratification. “Variegated Spheres Of The Throne World” starts with a heavily modulated drone that fluctuates between distant notes, producing just enough melody to anticipate what may follow. However, dismal keys exhausts a deeper drone, reeking havoc on the senses before oscillating to lighter notes once again. As the frequencies continue to shift, Black Metal vocals begin to pierce through like a desperate cry for help. Another amazing tune that deserves multiple listens. “Ascesis” is another track that commences with frantic notes mixed with flexible synth leads. As if being sucked through a massive black hole, an assortment of distant lights pass by at warp speed displaying a melting effect, enduring a hypnotic sense without the ability to move or react. This is certainly a compelling song that fits in well with the rest of these recordings. “Triglyphic Entablature That Rests Upon The Human Soul” is one of the most accessible tracks on the album, well, at first. Initially sounding like a disharmonic orchestra, Black Metal vocals begin to add to the already grim tone. However, a short stint of comforting melodies make their way into the mix before bowing down to a more disruptive harmony. The final track, “Urstaat”, distributes a ritualistic commotion, before a swarm of chaotic notes commence. There is a sensational drone at the outset of this track, but it soon disperses, giving way to an agitation of ghoulish orchestrations. After several minutes, this album ends just as it began, chaotic with angst-filled compositions that are controlled in a fierce and nebulous way.

Sunken Basilica produces my favorite type of Dungeon Synth – raw and chaotic yet nostalgic and alluring. This self-titled album is surely making a bold statement, especially for a debut. Each song is arranged in a dynamic way to tell a story as they build into a tumultuous arrangements and flow seamlessly into the remaining tracks. I highly recommend this album for fans of crude Dungeon Synth that elicit a sense of discomfort. Please click on the link below to download this album and to support this amazing artist.

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Links:

https://sunkenbasilicamca.bandcamp.com/album/sunken-basilica

The Lonely Bell Submerges To Abysmal Depths On ‘Kingdoms Of The Deep’

When it comes to Dark Ambient music – or Ambient music in general – it’s important to be able to connect to a theme or have an interpretation on the visuals. With a genre of music that is typically minimalistic, having an ulterior association is an important aesthetic. Although Dark Ambient mostly associates with Space, post apocalyptic or dystopian themes, it’s such an awesome experience when an artist takes a deep dive (no pun intended) into oceanic matters. That’s exactly what we get to experience on the latest album by The Lonely Bell. ‘Kingdoms Of The Deep’ is a submersible endeavor that chronicles life in the vast blue wonder. Featuring seven aquatic tales that blends diverse styles of music, listeners are able to easily engage these deep sea tales that are ultimate rooted in Drone Ambient music.

Album opener, “Under The Storm”, is a beautiful composition as it begins with the slightly chaotic sounds of a distant storm and then a tranquil transition below the surface as the storm fills are replaced with underwater tides and delicate synth notes. This is the perfect preparation for the rest of the album as it sets a certain sense of ease and relaxation. “Somewhere In The Baltic” commences with a deep drone and is soon met with warm tones and reverberated melodies. The balance of natural sounds and serene instrumentation is trance inducing and will peacefully transport the listener to dreams of vivid dark colors and pastoral territories. “Marine Life” consists of layers of opulent guitar strums and airy harmonies that produce the most easygoing sound that truly represents a peaceful aquatic life. Although this is one of the shorter tracks on the album, it connects to the soul with larger-than-life musicality. “Kingdom Of The Deep” vastly represents the album as a whole with its grandiose drones that depict the vast voids of subsurface space. The occasional sub harmonic wave create a low grumble that commands the listeners’ reverence for just how large and seemingly endless Earths oceans are. The physical attributes below the surface may represent the kingdom, but it’s the ocean itself that is king. “The Dancing Seagrass” is another terse offering that gives prominence to light-hearted melodies and warm drones. This quaint little piece illuminates the mood and offers a serendipitous take on a life of depth and darkness. At nine minutes and fifty two seconds, “Drowned Civilizations” is the longest anthem on the album and in my opinion is the crowning achievement amongst these compositions. Without rushing, a steady dose of warm drones and congenial keys comes into full spectrum while creating a balance of beauty and hypnotic intonations. As the song finally starts to fade, it is an awesome interpretation of the incessant realms of bleak fluidity. The closing track is the epic, “The Final Light”. Illusory drones and lethargically howling winds provide a backdrop for effervescently flowing guitar melodies that symbolizes an aggrandized submersion into darker territories that seemingly drift further from natural light. As haunting as it is melancholic, this is the ultimate way to close this wondrous tale. For the final minute, we’re left with a single drone that captures the pure essence of isolation.

The Lonely Bell is an unparalleled artist that isn’t afraid to venture into other sonic domains to expand the gift of drone music. Creating a subsurface adventure through audial sequences, our ears are afforded the opportunity to navigate uncharted territories as we glide through the depths of vast waters, armed with our imagination. To create an endeavor like this demands a huge creative sense and a passion for audial storytelling. Let ‘Kingdoms Of The Deep’ become your guide through liquid darkness and enjoy the journey along the way. I highly recommend this album for fans of cinematic drone music and pastoral escapades of the deep. Click the link below to download this superb offering.

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Links:

https://thelonelybell.bandcamp.com/album/kingdoms-of-the-deep

Calignosia Adjures Lovecraft Themes On The Luminous ‘What Has Risen May Sink, And What Has Sunk May Rise’

Since 2020, Calignosa has been producing a very distinctive brand of cinematic Dungeon Synth. Combining haunting orchestrations and majestic synth tones with ethereal Medieval themes, Calignosia has established a quality that is undeniable. On latest effort, ‘What Has Risen May Sink, And What Has Sunk May Rise’ Calignosia delivers his most gallant offering yet. Forty six minutes of ambient-filled Dungeon Synth, influenced by mighty Lovecraft tales complete this audial saga that transcends boundaries and amplifies spectacular songwriting.

On opening track “An Invocation To Cthulhu”, ominous tones and instrumental variants emit an introductory song riddled with mystery and haunting soundscapes. The percussive elements depict a time of precipitancy and excitement. “Once Upon A Time In Arabia” is a sonic piece with a Middle Eastern vibe and spacious orchestrations that are soundtrack worthy. As the arrangement shifts through volume changes and crescendos, Calignosia skillfully fuses patterns of beautifully constructed parts that produce a stellar orchestration. “Wandering In The Desert Of Rub’ Al Khali” is a light-hearted interpretation of vast melodies and layers of harmonious intonations with a touch of dreamy narrations that – at times – are very brooding. “By Night They Come Alive” is akin to a professionally composed orchestration with the addition of splendid narrations and a touch of traditional Dungeon Synth sounds. “Iram Dhāt Al-‘Imād” is a somber track with elongated synth notes and light ambient impressions with bouts of lead orchestrations and an overall ethereal vibe. Naturalistic field recordings add to the ambiance, creating a a warm world of solace and tranquility. “Spectral Winds Always Blow From The North” begins with an ambient fill that crescendos slowly into a dark soundscape with menacing results. Inaudible narrations with grim effects add a level of darkness that amplifies the gloomy sounds of this track. “Toward A Nameless City” is a buoyant song full of warm emotions and effervescent orchestrations. This track definitely represents a gleeful time in a distant fantasy world. Modulated narrations are a welcomed touch that injects a sense of animation into the overall experience of this track. “Meditations Of A Mad Man I (Within The Nameless City)” presents an obscure darkness that will keep you on the edge of your seat. With the feeling of a certain evil lurking around every corner, the menacing nuances throughout do an amazing job at painting a surreal picture of bleak embrace. “Meditations Of A Mad Man II (De Profundis)” is a continuation of the crepuscular sounds of Part I but in a more ambient way. With layers of elongated notes, angelic vocal effects and the occasional discordant tone, this is a quixotic way to conclude this two part magnum opus. The final track on this breathtaking album is, “Bedouin Song”. A lively song that embellishes peace and harmony, it features stringed instrumentation and a jaunty blend of synths and percussion that is sure to result in a celebratory dance of boundless energy.

Calignosia is an exceptional artist that epitomizes the orchestral sound and goes above and beyond to create an authentic brand of Dungeon Synth that is easily recognizable. Layers of exuberant orchestrations, unerring soundscapes and an ear for memorable melody are the keys to the mighty adventures that Calignosia always sends us on and ‘What Has Risen May Sink, And What Has Sunk May Rise’ is no exception, as it may be his most exploratory album yet. Fans of classical orchestrations and adventurous Dungeon Synth tones shouldn’t pass on this massive undertaking. Click on the link below to check out this astounding album, you’ll be glad you did.

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Links:

https://calignosia.bandcamp.com/album/what-has-risen-may-sink-and-what-has-sunk-may-rise

Eyre Transmissions XX – Interview With Cryo Chamber Labels’ Multifaceted, Dark Ambient Producer, Tineidae

One thing that is really unique about the artists on the Cryo Chamber Label, is that they all have their signature sound that distinguishes them amongst their label mates. Tineidae brings a fresh, exciting sound that is perceptible in several ways. For one, there is an invigorating fusion of Berlin School, trance, and other facets of electronic music that create a futuristic sea of emotion. There is also an abrupt sense of dystopian landscapes that are crushing in every way. That being said, Tineidae has become a premier up-and-coming Dark Ambient artist that you won’t want to miss. I had a chance to catch up with the rhapsodic producer to find out more about this exhilarating project, it’s beginnings and what the future holds.

1. I really appreciate this interview opportunity. Tineidae has already released a few really impressive albums on the mighty Cryo Chamber label. How did that relationship come to be?

Hey and thanks for the questions! Cryo Chamber is a bunch of creative people with quite a specific aesthetic, that I myself dig. I liked some of the older stuff of Atrium Carceri released in Cold Meat Industry era (in fact that was one of the first dark ambient projects I have enjoyed listening to). Naturally after some time I had a change in the sound of the project that seemed to be fitting. So as per usual, I looked up Cryo Chamber demo policy and sent in my demo (which was EXO at that time). It was a gradual development and there was communication going on between Simon and me, but in the end he quite liked it and so EXO was set to be released through Cryo Chamber.

2. ‘Exo’, released in 2020, had such a massive, dystopian sound – which perfectly matched the times of the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Did you explore a lot of Dark Ambient tones or situational events when coming up with your signature sound?

Ah man, it’s hard 😀 I’ll be honest, I don’t really remember what led me to it. It’s just more bass-heavy ambient, I guess. I wasn’t really aiming at something specific, as most part of it I think was created still when pandemic wasn’t a thing. But yeah, it played nicely together, esp. that I like heavier and darker feel in music in general.

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/exo

3. You impressively blend in subtle bits of Berlin School and Trance. What are some of your influences for the Tineidae project?

Funny that you mention trance, and actually you’re quite on point 🙂 For Berlin School electronica part, I think most of it comes from the time when i was a kid and my parents and i liked to listen to a lot of 80s electronica on cassetes or vinyls. And for trance, yeah, all the supersaw trance of 2000, but also later post-industrial stuff (aggrotech, rhythmic noise, dark-electro etc.) were all heavily focusing on synth leads with that trance-like feel and that is the kind of music that i like to this day. I just like catchy melodies i guess.

4. Before Tineidae, were you involved with other musical ventures?

There were some, yes, fortunately none of those are on the Internet anymore (or at least I hope so). At around 2007-2008 when I was quite under influence of post-industrial (and esp. goth industrial on peak of its popularity), there was one project where together with another guy we were making music (something akin to aggrotech) and I was on vocals. It was fun, there even were some local gigs, but ultimately I stopped enjoying it after a few years. Later on there were two other bands (some black, some death metal) where I tried as a vocalist, but I think I attended a few practice sessions at most and didn’t really feel like it was my thing.

5. Since you mentioned Black and Death metal, do you there there is a parallel between extreme metal and Dark Ambient music?

Oh absolutely. Someone was asking me on discord some time ago about what it feels like to release stuff on Cryo Chamber and be part of its roster, and I was joking that it often feels like a chill-room for tired metalheads, as a lot of artists are or were involved in different kinds of extreme music.

6. Earlier this year, we saw the release of ‘Mothership’ which greatly expanded on the ‘Exo’ sound. What was the process like going into producing this album?

It was indeed an attempt to expand the setup and have some more bits of lore here and there suggested by the track names. The sound turned to be a bit more aggressive (at least now when i listen and compare, i feel like it is), unintntionally, likely again due to the heavier influence of industrial and other dark electronica i’m into lately. We’re not done yet tho 🙂

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/mothership

7. What kind of world/dimension do you want your listeners to experience when listening to your work?

I don’t like to have things overly specific, as this way every listener has their own story in mind that unravels with each album. For me personally it is a story of distant future where people drift through space living aboard huge motherships, harvesting resources from the planet’s atmosphere, discovering new habitats and lifeforms.

8. “Behind The Seal” is my favorite track from ‘Mothership’. There are so many explorations in this track that make it stand out amongst the others. What was your vision for this particular track?

For people who are still living on the planet’s surface, Mothership is more of a mystery, they only see its lights slowly drifting in the night sky every once in a while, knowing nothing about what’s actually happening inside. As the album is retold from a point of view of a new recruit who comes aboard the mothership, it is that moment of unveiling the greatest mystery of his life (as no one ever returns back from the Mothership).

9. In terms of the equipment that you use for recording, did anything change between albums or did you use the same gear? Can you describe what your recording setup is like?

The setup is rather minimal – field recordings are done with good old Zoom h2n, some sounds come out of Roland JD-XI, some from a bass guitar meticulously tortured by different exciters, but like 95% is in the box (VST synthesizers and effects, samples etc.). Actually i think i even got the whole process of making at least one of the tracks during live-streams (uploaded to my youtube now), and that one was 100% in the box (okay maybe some odd field-recordings or other noises from “outside” sources, but that’s about it).

10. Going back to ‘Mothership’, another track that I find truly impressive is “Manufacturing Facility”. The dynamics of that track is so massive and the sampling sequences are quite mesmerizing. Do you approach each track with a particular idea or do you build a story and find ways to connect each track?

Thanks, yeah that’s a neat track. Usually there is a rough idea it all starts with and there are different approaches to try and implement it, sometimes it takes a good bunch of attempts to get somewhere. In this particular case it all started with a sound design session, which means, i just get some sound source and try to destroy it with a variety of effects, modulations and what not, all while recording it. Then a resampling comes into play, where I pick the parts that I like the most and do another bunch of processing and mangling and modulations and what not. The process continues till I arrive at something that feels particularly close to what I have in mind, or if not I may restart it from scratch. In this case I had a bunch of “best picks” from one of such sessions, that sounded quite mechanical to me. At that time I already had an idea of a space inside the Mothership that would be some sort of a factory or a refinery unit, so all these things pretty much started falling into their places after some time spent arranging and playing with moods and melodies. In other tracks I sometimes start with melodies instead, and continue developing ideas with more focus on melodies, but resampling and sound design usually still find there way in.

For the second question, I tend to have an idea first and at least try to lead the sound that way (it doesn’t always work tho and sometimes music just starts living on its own, which isn’t bad either)

11. Most recently, you released a collaboration album with Drifting In Silence called ‘Simulation’. How did this partnership come about?

Derrick has found me on facebook and IG some time after ‘Slowly Drown In Static’ was released. at that point I haven’t heard his music yet, we had some chats about music in general, he’s just a cool human being who happens to have a similar taste in music. At some point we started discussing the possibility of a collaborative release, and yeah he had some amazing ideas and so he was more like leading the way and we started working on it (slowly, with some breaks at least on my end due to IRL stuff and having several other projects ongoing at the same time – bad time management skill, simply put).

https://driftinginsilence.bandcamp.com/album/simulation

12. Musically, both Drifting In Silence and Tineidae are sonically different, yet the combination of these projects work quite well. How did the two of you collaborate on the actual song building?

As I mentioned, Derrick had some really good ideas, and some jams and drones recorded in his studio – those were a starting point. Some tracks were in my opinion pretty much ready, so i probably added just a bit of flavor, and others we worked on different layers, sometimes adding sometimes taking out things, or even splitting and rearranging some of the longer tracks giving them different feel and texture. There was quite a bit of experimentation and trusting the gut feeling so to speak on my end, but i feel like for the most part those experiments turned out pretty good.

13. Do you have any plans to collaborate with other artists in the future?

I love collaborations, really, often to the point that I start too many and have hard time finishing any of those in a timely manner. And so this year several of those came out and some yet to come out at the end of this year, and there are still several ongoing and I can’t wait to share more info about those when they’re more fleshed out.

14. Speaking of collaborations, I just realized that you took part in last years’ annual Cryo Chamber Lovecraft release, ‘Dagon’. What was that experience like?

The whole collab is akin to a big brainstorm process, but in musical terms – all artists have some ideas and generate sounds and drones that are fitting the narrative or overall atmosphere,and then those are used as building blocks to form a bigger picture. It’s a pretty cool opportunity, esp. for a more sound-design-driven approach (as not everything has to be a drone or a melody), and you get a chance to focus on the fine details of each sound as much as you want to. Also limited sound pool lets you find different ways for implementing creative decisions as some of the sounds may be out of your “comfort zone” and you have to figure out how to make it work the way you want it to.

15. When not creating music yourself, who are some other artists (any genre) that you enjoy listening to?

Without a specific order or priority: Access to Arasaka, Sole Massif, 0 0 0, Belief Defect, X1-Y2, LORN, Cresil, REZZ, Tzafu, Swarm Intelligence, Maenad Veyl, Swarm Intelligence, Braden Koksal, Filmmaker, Jim Kimchi, meii, Prox.Bleep, Carpenter Brut, Sierra, Restive Plaggona, Pact Infernal, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and stuff in that vein.

16. If not done so already, are there plans to bring Tineidae to a live setting?

Likely the other way around (at least for now) 🙂 Back in the days of Tympanik Audio, I had some live shows and performances here and there. Currently with all the stuff happening IRL I doubt I’ll be able to properly prepare for live events, so instead i’d rather focus on production more and stream the process for anyone finding any helpful info in it.

17. Again, I truly appreciate your time and most of all, the fantastic music that you produce. Do you have any final thought for your fans or anyone else that may be reading this article?

Thank you so much for the questions, and you’re very kind. Stay true to yourself, put the most effort into what makes you feel complete or fulfilled, make your dreams into goals and plan on how to realistically achieve them (if possible of course), and most importantly try to keep your physical and mental health in check. Cheers!

Links:

Bandcamp: https://tineidae.bandcamp.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/71ne1dae?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tineidae_music?s=21&t=Hx6EUIQZatjekYSjrQhWCw

Interstellar Space – All Hallows’ Eve Extravaganza 2022

For some reason, trees seem to be synonymous with all things spooky and evil. Whether it’s a darkened forest in a horror movie, or the ruffling of leaves in an evening breeze that has us looking over our shoulders for something creepy, trees create a space of frightening imagination with limitless potential for purpose. For Halloween, trees portray a gruesome shadow in the night that causes goosebumps and chills when not expected. Remember the tree in the original Poltergeist film? They also create a blockade for hiding behind so that you can jump out and scare your friends while trick or treating. Whatever the case may be, trees serve more of a purpose than the ecology for their existence. Like trees, music provides the same escape by enticing an imaginative spark for which you can escape from reality. That’s exactly the case for these twelve chilling albums. They are the soundtrack for the season and so much more. Please enjoy these summary reviews and show your support for these artists by downloading their killer albums. Happy Halloween!! 🎃


1. Lamp & Dagger – This Tape Is Haunted Too!

Lamp & Dagger is back with their second spooktacular collaboration, featuring a handful of ominous artists that aim to frighten your very existence. From Sombre Arcane’s psychedelic massacre to a modicum of Dark Ambient soundscapes from The Night Keep that feature morbid field recordings and samples. FVRFVR offers a chip tune spectacle that is part crypt hop and part nostalgic cinema. Whispering Mirror offers a droning canticle full of gruesome modulations, while Halm conjures up some disgusting field recordings to create a gruesome scene of terror. The final track by Spectral Manse proposes a climactic ending with eerie narrations, malevolent haunts and lots of dark melody that penetrates deep in the psyche, proving that the sequel is just as damning as the original offer. I’ll never get enough of these compilations so I’m already looking forward to Halloween 2023.

https://lampanddagger.bandcamp.com/album/this-tape-is-haunted-too

2. Guild Of Lore – Night Of Halloween

Dungeon synth stalwart, Guild Of Lore, steps beyond the realm of Winterstead, leaving behind the Medieval intonations to embrace a world of 80’s-influenced synthwave with elements of cinematic horror. The results are a fascinating blend of B-horror movie anthems full of ghoulish field recordings, theatrical samples and rhythmic patterns that scream the elements of classic horror film soundtracks. “Lurking In The Shadows” is a prime example of ample beats, darkwave undertones, and retrospective synths, while “The Festivities” is done in the style of a skit, with spooky narrations, haunting screams and bleak atmospherics. This is an album that’s not just enjoyable during All Hallows’ Eve, but can provide eerie entertainment throughout the year, and for many years to come.

https://guildoflore.bandcamp.com/album/night-of-halloween

FABLEHAVEN: “None who enter will leave unchanged. Trespassers will be turned to stone.” – Brandon Mull

3. Erythrite Throne – A Shade Of Melancholy In The Shadow Of Death

If your not listening to Erythrite Throne on All Hallows’ Eve, then you’re either very much afraid or have already been bitten by a post-apocalyptic zombie. In the case of the latter, perhaps ‘A Shade Of Melancholy In The Shadows Of Death’ has become the perpetual soundscape for your existence. Expertly fusing classical synth tones and the occasional blasts of tasty percussion, this is another magnum opus from the master of Dungeon Synth music. Just as the title suggests, this album is a bit more lugubrious than other Erythrite Throne albums, but that’s what makes this project so special. Especially on Halloween, this is some classically creepy music to enjoy on this malevolent night.

https://serpentsswordrecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-shade-of-melancholy-in-the-shadow-of-death

4. Aleksis Tristan Shaw – Crooked Teeth

The ever so cleaver Aleksis Tristan Shaw once again keeps us on our toes with a musical endeavor that defies genre categorization but is presented just in time for Halloween. These three tracks showcase beautiful, yet twisted piano melodies with a dreamy, atmospheric production. Just as the album cover suggests, I can only imagine a blurry figure sitting behind the ivories and playing these dirges to conjure up the spirits of ancient past, allowing them to provide frights once again. Although each track is different, they each have a thematic element that maintains a dark but elegant mood. A full album of these ghastly sounds would be awesome as well.

https://aleksistristanshaw.bandcamp.com/album/crooked-teeth

“No one who loves the woods stays on the path.” – Millie Florence

5. Wodenwyrd – The Teutoburg Massacre

Wodenwyrd presents a rather unique recording as a short narrative is read over obscure backing tracks that fusses Dungeon Synth, Dark Ambient and synthwave. Read over a series of Acts (seven in all), the story summarizes the first battle between German forces and the Roman Empire around 9 AD. As compelling as the story is, the music fits perfectly and produces a brooding gray background for a malevolent narrative. There are three stand alone tracks that serve as an intro, intermission and outro and they explore more nostalgic territories such as 80’s cinema and dreamy effects. In all, this is a fantastic album and I wouldn’t mind having a series of recordings in this style.

https://wodenwyrd.bandcamp.com/album/the-teutoburg-massacre

6. Born From Pain – Begotten (1989)

Just in time for Halloween, Born From Pain delivers another compelling motion picture re-score. This time, 1989’s horror/fantasy film, ‘Begotten’, becomes the object of creativity as the quest for Dark Ambient obscurity reigns supreme. Over seventy two minutes of ethereal order becomes the pallet for rediscovering this film in a more sinister light. The film itself, is supremely bleak and a boldly obscure statement for cinema at the time of its release. If your a fan of cult filmmaker, Maya Deren, then you’ll have a good understanding of this film. As for the music, Born From Pain masterfully captures that essence with gloomy soundscapes and haunting effects that will lead to nightmarish outcomes in itself. Another fascinating adventure that I can’t recommend enough.

https://bornfrompainbm.bandcamp.com/album/begotten-rescore

“When you go into a forest, anything can happen” – David Farr

7. Scott Lawlor – The Livestream Series, Volume V

Scott Lawlor, the king of spatial Drone music and a jack-of-all-trades Ambient musician that never stops working and has enough released material to create the soundtrack to your very existence for years on end. On Halloween of last year, he produced a five hour livestream special that will be digitally released on Halloween this year. Spanning eleven tracks, this colossal of an album, flows like a never ending experiment through celestial voids and dark passages, as enigmatic effects combine with baneful textures to create the realm you’ve always dared to travel through. Each track presents a malefic journey through dark regions of the subconscious, bringing a terrorized reality to the forefront of the mind. Good luck getting through all five hours of this but enjoy the breathtaking adventure along the way.

8. Orcchasm – OrcChasm!

Orcchasm is truly unique experience, as we encounter a variety of musical intonations during this thirty one minute endeavor. From creepy ambience and whimsical synths to bazaar arrangements and nonstop frills, this is a musical adventure that is equally enjoyable and fulfilling. From grandiose, Medieval incantations to light, flute fills, you never know what direction the music is headed. However, hold on to your witches hat and broomsticks because this is a venture that won’t want to miss. Each track flows seamlessly into the next, showcasing a story of dark dungeons and numerous escapades. “Groping For Wild Hogs In The Dark Paphian Abyss” is my favorite track and it truly represents the musical prowess of this album as a whole. Don’t pass up on this warm journey into the wildly unknown.

https://orcchasm.bandcamp.com/album/orcchasm

“The forest was not dark, because darkness has nothing to do with the forest – the forest is made of life, of light – but the trees moved with wind and subtle creatures.” – Lauren Geoff

9. Pumpkin Witch – The Return Of The Pumpkin Witch

It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from Halloween favorite, Pumpkin Witch. However, after finally rising from the Orange tomb of seasonal vegetation, they’ve returned with their most enigmatic spectacle to date, ‘The Return Of The Pumpkin Witch’. Eleven spooky anthems that provide an audial bludgeoning for almost forty four minutes, these progressive haunts are just what the doctor (or vampire or serial killer) has ordered to infiltrate your Halloween playlists. From distorted, doom-laden guitar tones and retrospective drum beats to hair raising electro sequences and synthwave tactics, this is the album that checks all the blocks for horrifying entertainment. Tape hisses and reverberated production efforts create a sinister ambiance that drives the mail in the coffin (no pun intended) for this masterful recording.

https://pumpkinwitch.bandcamp.com/album/the-return-of-the-pumpkin-witch

10. Ammothea – My God Is The Moon

Ammothea, the ambient-infused post metal project by Glacial Anatomy, is truly a riveting encounter that satisfies the pallet of those that enjoy the multi-genre experience. Soft, careening vocals, doom metal riffing and dreamy production yields a hypnotic effect, so that you can sit back, close your eyes and indulge in your own trip. These five tracks disperse almost sixty four minutes of playing time but, it’s over before you know it due to being completely lost in the mix of these alluring intonations. “Depth” and “My God Is The Moon” are standout tracks that incorporate a more upbeat approach without diverting away from the haunting gray that the entire album discharges. This is an extremely impressive release and I’m already looking forward to more from this artist.

https://syrupmooserecords.bandcamp.com/album/my-god-is-the-moon


11. Whöreplay – Whöreplay

A good dark wave tune goes hand in hand with the Halloween season, given its close ties to Gothic romanticism, vampires and grim landscapes. It also has provided bleak, atmospheric backdrops for scenes in classic horror films such as ‘Silence Of The Lambs’. This two track spectacle from newcomer, Whöreplay, fits right in with all of the aforementioned. Although only five minutes long, the artists wastes no time setting the listener on a collision course with haunting electronics, reverberated vocals, and a dreamy production. These tracks slice through like a jagged dagger, leaving a spot of coagulated blood for the creatures of the night to feast on.

https://whoreplay.bandcamp.com/track/misery

12. Unsheathed Glory/Ozeregroth – Nights Shadow Darkening

There is no better time to come together for delivering a darkened dungeon synth experience than Halloween. Unsheathed Glory and Ozeregroth combine their talents of Medieval summonings to render a five track split album, culminating in twenty four minutes of effortless canticles set to the gloomiest night of the year. Not only does each artist produce two tracks of their own, but they collaborate on the daunting self title track. Although each artist delivers contrasting tones, they mesh together very well and and flow transparently with ominous accord. This is one of my favorite Dungeon Synth collaborations of the year and I hope these artist get together again in the future, to produce more music like this.

https://unsheathedglory.bandcamp.com/album/nights-shadow-darkening

Additional forest photos courtesy of Carlton Whittle Photography. Please follow him on IG:

https://instagram.com/a_window_with_a_view?utm_medium=copy_link

The main article image is a unique creation from the WOMBO Dream APP.

Until next Halloween…