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…

Void Stasis Produce One Of The Years Best Dark Ambient Album With Stunning Debut, ‘Ruins’

Over the past couple of years, the Cryo Chamber label has added quite a few new artists to their lineup, broadening the spectrum of Cinematic Dark Ambient music with fresh ideas and the incorporation of other musical styles. One of these new projects is the acutely exquisite, Void Stasis. Three musical talents join forces in this modular blueprint to deliver a soothing array of dystopian soundscapes that transcend the realm of Dark Ambient music. Combining hypnotic beats, Berlin School and cold effects, ‘Ruins’ is quite the spectacular, debut release.

The insanely hypnotic album opener, “Frozen Fire”, begins like so many other Dark Ambient pieces; slow, brooding drones at an attentive pace, anticipating a transition into other domain of sorts. Once the listener gains comfort in this initial expression, profound adjustments are introduced, producing a retrospective atmosphere that is massively transfixing. Slow, Berlin School sequences begin to coil around the main droning sound and then a fixed cadence begins to take shape. There is a lot going on in this opening track but it’s completely suppressing, in a good way. Looping effects create a hypnotic effect as this song become more pleasing by each passing second. “Lung Fibrosis” continues on with the lavish energy of the first track and adds even more melody and dense atmospherics. A calm, static sound plays out in the background as a thudding bass line mingles with obscure sound effects. Various bits of haunting soundscapes completes this alluring piece and perfectly paves the way for one of my favorite tracks on the album. “Blood Eclipse” is a dark electronica journey through reflective Euro beats and gothic undertones. Looping vocalizations are simply mesmerizing with a calming essence. Nothing is out of sequence here, as even the simplest of sounds are synchronized perfectly, alluding to a rhythmic performance that could easily be executed in an underground Deconstructed Club. Up next is the title track, “Ruins”. Commencing with a ghostly piano chop, there are some particularly eerie soundscapes and samples playing in the background. As the track continues, an apocalyptic beat presents a slow tempo in order for the various pieces to all come together in an enigmatic fashion. The overall sound is very dreamy with a lot of reverberation, but that just adds to the mystique of everything that is being offered. “Clockwork” is a grandiose oblation with a huge orchestral sound and it could easily be a part of a Science Fiction movie soundtrack. The keys produce elongated, harmonious notes that are ethereal and reminiscent of classic synthwave sounds. Although the drum beats add a nice flare to the overall mix, they aren’t overbearing and are very enjoyable to hear. “There Is No Life Here” begins with a bleak tone and crescendos into a sonic space ambient texture that is greeted with the right amount of reverb and chaotic effects. Once the percussive element kicks in, it’s business as usual, as you’ll be nodding your head in unison with this superb offering. What sounds like short blasts of guitar riffs, it match the flow of the beats, producing another enjoyable intonation. The final track, “Vision Of A Dead Planet” begins with a piercing drone, with almost an industrial sound to it. Sonic keys begin to deliver another modulated performance with a pensive intonation that is melodic and inviting. Various effects create a dystopian vibe while melancholic keys offer a farewell message that won’t soon be forgotten. Finding a way to include a captivating beat, this track remains in a dark place, ending this album on a high note.

Three exuberant musicians have joined forces to conceive the entity known as Void Stasis and their debut, ‘Ruins’, is one of the most impressive albums I’ve heard this year so far. Combining tranquillizing synths with impressive beats and the incorporation of other electronic genres, this album is an exotic, one-of-a-kind auditory experience for the ages. Hypnotizing and addictive, this collection of songs is monumental and unequivocally belongs on the Cryo Chamber label. Sure to please more than just fans of Dark Ambient music, I can’t recommend this album enough. Please click on the link below and get ready for a breathtaking adventure through the past and future of electronic music.

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Links:

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

Sombre Arcane Constructs A Magically Melodic World On ‘Realmsong’

Sombre Arcane is a collective that needs no introduction. Going above and beyond to produce an electrifying amalgam of Dungeon Synth music, they are quickly becoming a premier element in the genre and have amassed a favorable following. Combining an exceptional mix of electronic and traditional instruments, they successfully craft masterful pieces that become more than just songs, but an unparalleled sonic adventure. ‘Realmsong’ finds the duo in top form as they weave their spell through twelve finely crafted canticles with sheer brilliance.

Taking a wistful approach on the album opener, “The Time-Space Conundrum”, somber melodies are met with galloping instrumentals that present a classic synthwave vibe. However, before the completion of the track, Medieval harmonies and drum beats turn this atmospheric offering into a Dungeon Synth anthem. Following up with “Rhythm Of The Saintless”, a harrowing drone commences, as we wait for whatever intonation comes about. With almost a jubilant delivery, dreamy keys belt out a traditional Dungeon Synth chop. Before too long, additional chord transform this track to a battle-ready opus that elicits the fighting spirit in all of us. “A Day’s March Through The Ancient Elven Forest” brings back eloquent effects and fills the empty space with chirping birds and brisk ambient tones. A quixotic synth melody penetrates the darkened soul and loops in a much wanted pattern before percussive elements enter the mix. Keeping a serene resonance throughout, this is one for the dreamers and forest wanderers that disengage from the sense of time. “Moon Sphere Of The Dancing Court” commences with the inaudible banter of a crowded tavern and then glossy instrumentals pave the way for a peaceful transition into vast landscapes and tranquil haunts. “Dinomace” takes us back to the battlefield with a velvety cadence that instills a sense of pride and victory with each and every note. The drums are very progressive and the lush textures are a warm welcome as well. “Kelthas The Dread” follows, with a meditative sound and pensive production that constructs an abysmal scenario with a massively rich tone. There is a nice dose of distortion on some of the keys that beefs up the modulation and the overall output is that of angst and betrayal. The distressing “Dread Certainty Of Our Chosen Path” is an ominous gouge at the psyche and the emotional output that pours from within. The arioso of the main riff is not only tasty, but one that can be enjoyed over and over again. A darkened cadence is introduces and provides the feeling of a sudden loss and the ensuing dirge that is needed for comfort. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album and I’m sure many other will feel the same way about it. “Devilry Of Inertia” is a beautiful follow up to such a deep track, that it’s easy to get lost in all that’s going on. Wondrous layers of celestial ambience creates a comforting sensation. Suddenly, this transforms into a Crypt Hop masterclass with thunderous beats and whimsical melodies. Truly unexpected but also extremely enjoyable. “Lansharra’s Leavetaking” is another masterful tune, as this piece aquatints the listener to a sonic vocal that layers folk sounds with noble storytelling. I can imagine drunken commoners at a local pub in a far away ancient kingdom, paying homage to their ancestry and love ones with this amazing vocal effort. “Finley’s Rest” is another placid effort of precise instrumentation and soothing background ambience that depicts an early morning dawn of halcyon times. Layers of magical instrumentation builds throughout the track and it eloquently leads into the next track, “Jebrin’s Ride Home”. Starting with some comfy textures and a synth effects that’s buried deep in the mix, this is a luscious guitar piece that renders pastoral vibes in a jubilant countryside setting. The final track on this magnum opus is the hypnotic “Return From Dragonspear”. Mixing dark undertones with warm instrumentation, this track sets a dynamic and climactic ending to the ‘Realmsong’ story. With an alluring orchestration mixed deep in the background, everything suddenly surges to a roaring grind, as the multitude of effects clash in unison. However, it comes to a halt and is calmly replaced with a suspended piano melody that will succeed in melting hearts. The pace begins to grow again and powerful guitar and drums synchronize in a heavy but melodic ending.

Sombre Arcane first struck Medieval gold with their 2018 self-titled demo. Gaining a huge momentum (and fan base) from that effort, it help paved a path of immeasurable opportunity to excel in the wondrous Dungeon Synth community. Now, with the release of ‘Realmsong’, they’ve cemented their place alongside the genres best. This is an album of beautiful orchestrations, galloping instruments, spacey ambience and a conglomeration of other effects that results in one of the best, most diverse Dungeon Synth albums in a while. Although this album has been out since last year, I can’t recommend this one enough. Check out the link below and support this amazing artist and their craft.

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Links:

https://sombrearcane.bandcamp.com/album/realmsong

The Nebula Breviary – A Voyage Through The Black Hole With Kalamine Records

Kalamine Records has been delivering stunning releases on its Bandcamp page since 2019. The online label from Bordeaux, France specializes in Dark Ambient, Noise, Experimental music as well as a vast array of obscure genres that migrate well off the beaten path. Producing top quality material on a regular basis, it’s difficult for me to schedule these albums for a normal review as I simply don’t have the time. However, with the introduction of this column last month and the multitude of spectacular albums that Kalamine Records have put out as of late, the timing was right for me to pick ten of these albums for summary reviews. I hope you enjoy this article and please check out Kalamine Records at the links below.

1. Mono Hideout – True Lord

‘True Lord’ is a thirty three minute session of adversarial ambience that depicts a dystopian atmosphere of chaos and evil. Although these tracks are shorter than the typical Dark Ambient intonation, the urgency of soundscape buildup and dismal drones fuel a fire of angst-laden heresy that are compelling as much as they are effective at providing huge, atmospheric settings. From celestial & spirited pieces like “Harpocrates” to sinister and minimalistic drones of “The Snake Himself”, Mono Hideout has fabricated a world of dark malevolence.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/true-lord

2. Helecho Experimentar – OU.. OU.. Sintaxis

Helecho Experimentar combines ominous sound effects, samples and controlled noise on the brilliant release, ‘OU… OU… Sintaxis’. Commencing with a thirty six minute opus that forges a tumultuous passage through layers of obscure musical stanzas, this album presents a relentless impression of restrained noises and hasty modulations. Truly a unique recording, this will soon become an addictive listen as the effort to notice additional peculiarities throughout, are inevitable.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/ou-ou-sintaxis

3. Mora-Tau – The Five Sutra

Mora-Tau has quickly become one of my favorite Dark Ambient composers and his ever-growing catalog of consistently great recordings is something to be proud of. ‘The Five Sutra’ is another paradigm of esoteric compositions that slowly portrays a story of tragedy through elongated drones, repetitive synth manipulations and a deep venture into angst-filled arrangements. This collection of retrospective anthems provide almost two hours of listening pleasure, allowing the listener enough time to mediate in its thought-provoking sound.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-five-sutra

4. Eijra Woon – Leïla

‘Leïla’ is a compelling offering of Dark Ambient, drone, noise, glitch and a touch of EDM, all wrapped up in a audial adventure that is both seductive and thought provoking. Haunting samples and various spots of vocalizations complete this mesmerizing collection of sonic objects that will leave the listener in a relaxed state at times, as well as emitting bouts of angst during other times. These twelve tracks ebb and flow into various emotive states and the harrowing soundtrack that ensues, is sonically unparalleled. Upon completion of this sixty five minute opus, the listener may become paralyzed with emotional shock and drenched in sweat from sheer survival of the audial jolt that took place.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/le-la

5. HEL – Innocently Wicked

HEL incorporates a plethora of vocal manipulations to establish a baseline of obscure ambient for showcasing a provocative blend of harmonizing textures and meaningful poetry. This anomalous recording also includes a variety of field recordings and effects to round out this massively peculiar effort. Taking a cappella to extreme realms, HEL emits an uncompromising take on enigmatic, yet experimental music. Highly recommended for those that are brave enough to indulge in uncompromising reaches into evanescent realms.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/innocently-wicked

6. Christian Fiesel – Barren Land

‘Barren Land’ sounds like a dismal exploration into mystical territories during the cultivation of 70’s or 80’s progressive-influenced synthwave. Vast wastelands are brought to light with soothing orchestrations and mesmerizing drones, as tranquil modulations produce a landscape of effervescent bliss and slow-moving sequences. This one hour long track is a lot to consume, but is equally rewarding and ominous sections fuse together in a single instance, as if wandering various rooms in a mansion, searching for clues to a portentous and puzzling storyline. One thing that remains constant throughout is the vibrant drones that seem peaceful and resonant.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/barren-land

7. Philippe Simon – Amarante

‘Amarante’ is a colossal offering of minimalistic Dark Ambience that stretches beyond the imagination and pushes the boundaries of atmospheric synth music. At almost eighty minutes in length, these seven tracks produce a transient environment of electronic music that combine Berlin School, drone, space ambient and quirky effects with resilient results. As these long players unwind, a deluge of celestial textures tell a haunting story of abandonment and foreboding solitary confinement. These songs are equally soothing and enthralling to say the least and once you begin this epic journey, it’s hard to stop. Enjoy this sonic masterpiece and the reward is well worth the endurance.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/amarante

8. Wasatch Front – I Walked Up Stairs

‘I Walked Up Stairs’ showcases a fascinating blend of Dark Ambient, industrialized soundscapes and contained noise. This is not one to relax to or have on as background music. Wasatch Front demands your full attention to the oblivion contained within these five tracks to fathom a true understanding of the audial depth that they collectively offer. Each track takes a grueling approach to the intricacies of obscurity as the listener ascends a staircase into the unknown. As the music breeches the subconscious, a perilous adventure awaits. However, be forewarned; what goes up, must come down.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-walked-up-stairs

9. Hostile Surgery – Into A Cold Light

‘Into A Cold Night’ contains six protracted anthems that extend to almost eighty minutes of playing time. These masterful drones mirror a creativity of malevolent proportions as they represent a barrage of hostile actions that can only be portrayed in nightmares. From deafening modulations to wavering sound effects, there is a certain demise that becomes paramount when indulging in its menacing grasp. Although each of these tracks produce a unique listening experience, the results for all of them is the same- dark, brooding ambience with rugged atmospherics that will leave the listener is a gloomier state than before listening to this massive recording.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/into-a-cold-light

10. Glamourie – Imaginal Stage

‘Imaginal Stage’ may just be one of my favorite recordings from Kalamine Records. It combines dark and light ambient with a touch of acoustic folk music and even some forest synth and there is so much variation on this album, it’s hard to grasp within a few listens. However, upon multiple listens, you’ll begin to experience a decaying, yet soothing journey into assorted realms of audial reassurance. On the downloadable version of this album, each track is combined with a beautiful, mystical painting that truly represents the soundscape that affectionately makes its way through the speakers (or headphones). This is such a delightful album and I highly recommend this for those that need a peaceful, meditative source to accompany them in their life excursions.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/imaginal-stage

Website: https://KalamineRecords.com

Arbadax Consumes An Eccentric Headspace On The Enthralling, ‘Yithian’ Release

Although only having a short endeavor in the realm of Dungeon Synth, Arbadax has already produced five captivating albums that dive into the mythos of ancient ventures and Medieval lore. On the latest outing ‘Yithian’, Arbadax submerges into a Lovecraftian world of horror and intrigue over ten astonishing tracks that become the outlet for fantasy and chicanery.

The album boldly commences with “Vortex Of Time”, a synth dirge that intricately weaves peculiar harmonies and momentous ambient tones. Complemented with a tribal-like beat, the overall obscure melody loops infinitely while soundscapes develop random clusters of sonic sound structures. This is just the arcane lead off track that this album needs to push through this collection of arsenic hymns. Following that amazing introduction is “Disembodied Consciousness”, a merger of enigmatic synth chops and sinister acoustic guitar riff that spreads its proverbial angst for the duration of this haunting track. “Projection” begins with a soothing radiance that is more inline with traditional Dungeon Synth, and contains a melodic ambience that resonates deep within the soul. Thumping percussion bits adds a mournful characteristic of impenetrable battles. Esoteric sound effects complete the odyssey of this track, creating a bleak adventure like no other. “A Strange Existence” starts with thick and obtrusive keyboard effects before a cleaner synth emerges, adding a cryptic layer of effulgence to the overall sound. Moments of synthwave excellence can be heard throughout, as this track continues a sonic build until it’s conclusion. “Disturbed Visions” initiates a dreamy synth sound that suffocates the listener with a thick, brooding lead that emulates a tone that can be heard from underwater or a far off distance. Various synth leads compete for auditory space as they weave amongst themselves with assorted flare and cadence. “Upon The Horror” is an edgy piece that contains whimsical keys and tense buildup, as this faster-than-normal paced journey develops into a haunting forest synth monument. “Aeon-Dead Black Gulf” is like a nighmarish scene as random pulses of energy create a series of cosmic pulses that rage out of control before suddenly shifting into a classic synthwave anthem. Sounding more like a track from an 80’s horror movie soundtrack, this is probably my favorite track on the album. “Down From The Stars” showcases an industrial ambient beginning before settling into a malevolent drone, and then ultimately fusing into a consoling synth piece that is more in line with Forest synth (with a touch of comfy synth as well). “Scattered Echoes” is a light-hearted song with modulated sound effects and a light drone in the background. Delicate guitar melodies add a sense of ease, as this is one of the lighter (and warmer) tracks in this collection. The final track is also the longest one on the album. “Abyss Of Sleep” is nearly eight and a half minutes long and borders on the edge of strangeness and synth wizardry. Mostly consisting of minimalistic keyboard chops, there is a looping bass sound that is quite amusing and works well in conjunction with the various synth manipulations that take place throughout. This is definitely an interesting piece of music and fits right in as the closing element of this bizarrely astonishing album.

With five albums released in just a year and a half of time, Arbadax is quite the busy artist and has done an excellent job of producing material that is memorable and that successfully translates awesome stories into masterful Dungeon Synth songs. On latest effort, ‘Yithian’, Arbadax summons the spirit of Lovecraft and renders a fascinating tale into a spectacular audial escapade that eclipses the Dungeon Synth genre and ventures into other musical territories. This is a wonderful album that I recommend to fans of both Dungeon Synth and the Lovecraftian universe. Please check it out at the link below and show your support for this enigmatic artist.

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://arbadax.bandcamp.com/album/yithian

https://linktr.ee/Arbadax

Eyre Transmissions XIX: Multi-Instrumentalist Baerdcyn, Invites Us To His Dungeon

These days, there are all forms and styles of Dungeon Synth. There is certainly a variance that aims to please not only the seasoned Dungeon Synth fan, but also for those that are curious if this genre is the right fit for them. One artists that has taken a different approach to curating a unique brand of Dungeon Synth is Baerdcyn. A fantastic multi-instrumentalist, Baerdcyn intertwines a plethora of soulful sounds and consoling ambience to create Acoustic Dungeon Synth. With a handful of beautifully textured albums, Baerdcyn invites us into his world to discuss his particular brand of music, his instruments and well, all things Baerdcyn.

1. I really appreciate you taking the time for this interview. How has 2022 been for you so far?

Not too bad! Busy with work and life, but that’s never a bad thing.

2. When did you get the idea for the Baerdcyn project and what were some of the objectives you sought to achieve musically?

Baerdcyn started in late fall of 2020 when my friends pushed me to play Dark Souls for the 1st time. I have always had the idea of making “Acoustic Dungeon Synth” before having owned a lute and some recorders at the time from my love of historical renaissance classical music. I never brought the idea to fruition however until I heard the menu theme and the “Firelink Shrine” theme from the 1st Dark Souls. When I 1st heard these tracks, they brought to me a feeling of orchestral Dungeon Synth. I promptly made a cover of the “Firelink Shrine” theme (Which has yet to see the main light of day) and from that recording process is what led to the ideas behind my debut.

3. What’s the meaning behind the name Baerdcyn?

So the name’s meaning itself was a complete accident. And for the record for all you reading, the pronunciation is (Bard-Koon) the “ae” is supposed to be an “æ” but alas I didn’t know how to get it to work on my phone at the time. The “y” in Old English is pronounced kind of like a cross between “ew” (in “ew that’s gross”) and “oo” (in “Racoon”). Back to the meaning of the name, I originally just made it because it sounded cool, but in the long run, you could take the modern english “Bard” and the Old English “Cyn” , meaning kin or offspring, to make a meaning of “The Bard’s Kin” or a little more interpretively, “The Son of a Bard”

4. You play a variety of instruments on your albums and you seem to excel at them all. Are you self-taught or do you have any formal training?

I am self taught on all my bardic instruments. I play a few more non-bardic instruments, but the only I play that I was professionally taught was saxophone.

5. Can you give us a run down on some of the instruments that you play?

In terms of the Bardic stuff, I can play the Lute, Lyre, Classical Guitar (along with steel string and 12 string steel string guitars), Celtic Harp, Mandolin, Bowed Psaltery, Hammered Dulcimer, Hurdy Gurdy (which I don’t believe is on a recorded release…yet), Irish Penny Whistle, Bass Recorder, Soprano Recorder, Kalimba, and Tongue Drum. As for the non-bardic instruments, I play Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Baritone Saxophones, Banjo (ragtime jazz), fretless banjo (old time folk), Bass Guitar, -very minimal- Electric Guitar and classical organ.

6. Does being professionally trained in the saxophone make it easier for understanding and playing other instruments?

I find that it makes the wind instruments I play a lot easier as it boils down to being a saxophone with less keys on it, in a simple sense.

7. What’s the backstory on your love for the saxophone? Can you read sheet music as well? If so, do you make tabs of your own music?

When I was in 5th grade, so about 11 years ago, I ended up signing up for school band and playing saxophone. As for the sheet music, I do read sheet music, but I do not make sheet music for Baerdcyn. My recording process is very improvisational, so transcribing the pieces to sheet music would make an extra step that I don’t really feel like doing.

8. Thematically and musically, you fit right in with the Dungeon Synth community. However, would you classify it as anything else

I have always believed I have sat in the realm of Dungeon Synth. Since day one, I have called myself “Acoustic Dungeon Synth” or “Dungeon Synth Unplugged”

9. Take us back to ‘The Cave Of Time’. What was the concept behind this album and was this your first recording experience or were you involved with anything prior?

So this was my 1st official recording experience. I did however have a very short lived run of a dungeon synth -with acoustic instruments too- audio drama called “The Tale of Bjorngar” which exists in it’s unfinished state on my bandcamp. The theme came from when I recorded the cover of “Firelink Shrine”. I had realized that the reverb patch I had made, when picking up myself wetting my lips, sounded like drops of water in a cave. Thus the cave theme was born.

https://baerdcyn.bandcamp.com/album/the-cave-of-time

10. In the Bandcamp notes for ‘Heritage Of The Bay’, you dedicated the album to your Grandfather. Was he a big supporter of your musical endeavors or did he have a major influence in your life?

He has and still does in both. My Grandfather is one of the leading causes of my love for nature. Living in the coastal salt swamps of southern New Jersey, we often would, and still do, go to the bay or the meadows. As a child we would spend hours just cleaning up trash and tidying up and then followed it up with a walk through the area looking for “treasures” anything from clamshells to oyster shells, long decomposed crab shells to cool rocks, driftwood to barnacle encrusted goods. You name it, I loved it. He is a major influence on my life, and keeps me going to this day. He also always gets an artist copy of my tapes when I have one to spare. You’ll most likely read this Pop, so thanks. Thanks for everything and all that you do.

https://baerdcyn.bandcamp.com/album/heritage-of-the-bay

11. ‘Fantasy February’ was a unique album, in that it contained short snippets of music. We’re these ideas that were never transformed into longer tracks or were these short pieces intentional.

So Fantasy February originally started as a drawing prompt challenge. I then added the idea of making a song for each picture I drew and thus the idea was made. The minute-per-song run time was due to the fact that my main platform of interaction being instagram didn’t allow videos longer than a minute at the time.

https://baerdcyn.bandcamp.com/album/fantasy-february

12. Speaking of snippets, you post a lot of videos on Instagram that showcases your amazing talent. Are these videos improvised?

All of the little snippets on my Instagram are improvised, yes. Being trained in Saxophone I took a deep interest in funk and jazz improv with that, and it has carried over into my newest field of music.

13. I really loved the concept of ‘Meditations Of Forests Old’. Have you considered creating a video for the main track?

I have! The release was originally to be recorded field recording style in my local trail, and then a video of a walk through was to be made to accompany it. It never came to be, but I still have the hopes of going back and doing such a thing.

https://baerdcyn.bandcamp.com/album/meditations-of-forests-old

14. On one of your latest releases, ‘The White Oak’, I sense some extreme somberness with these tracks. We’re these written to embellish a particular mood or experience?

Nope. I just have a knack for that somber feel, so I roll with it.

https://baerdcyn.bandcamp.com/album/the-white-oak

15. Your album covers are a mix of photos and drawings/sketches. Do you do all of the artwork yourself? If so, is there a story behind the development of the various characters?

I do all the art and photography myself. The Characters on the cover of my debut was just a wizard I drew, but I -might- have plans to embellish on him in the future, and the character on the inside of the J-Card from my split with Elminster is one of my friends DnD characters. Besides that not much thought goes behind the characters.

16. Speaking of your split will Elminster, that recording was amazing! Do you have any plans for future collaborations?

Not that I know of, no.

17. Do you have a goal in mind for the amount of releases you produce each year or do you release albums once you’ve completed a concept or theme and then move on to the next?

I release as I finish. Most of my themed releases start coming to mind about halfway through the previous release, but I like to release things as soon as it’s done. I absolutely hate sitting on things longer than I have to.

18. I really appreciate this interview opportunity and I’m truly a fan of your art! Any closing comments for those that may be reading this?

Thanks for having me here and thank you all that support. It means the world to me that I can bond with so many people so far away over our love for nerd music. It truly baffles me how wonderful of a community we have, and I love you all. Thank you all for everything you’ve done. Keep trekking through that dungeon, we are all gonna make it. One day or another.

Links:

BC: https://baerdcyn.bandcamp.com

YouTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCnrgbbkxDrBfsukpzw2XJBg

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/baerdcyn/

Conducive Produces An Immense Image Of Controlled Turbulence On ‘Global Makeshift Wounds’

Like all other genres of music, Dark Ambient comes in all shapes and sizes (figuratively speaking). A variety of sub-genres keeps this obscure pallet of music interesting and unique – to say the least. One of my favorite offsprings of Dark Ambient, is Drone. I know what you’re thinking; isn’t Drone and Dark Ambient the same? Should it be in a separate category all together? In my opinion, yes, it should be separate because there are subtleties and intricate nuances that render them differently. Drone is more experimental, minimalistic and sometimes, hard to tolerate (by those that aren’t quite familiar with this style of music). However, there is beauty amongst the controlled chaos of Drone music and it’s contents are entirely open for interpretation. As for me, I love listening to Drone music while working, reading and when I need something in the background to help me concentrate. One up and coming artist that has caught my attention is Conducive, and with their debut album, Global Makeshift Wounds, out now on Veinte 33 Records, I’m happy to report that is some of the most trance-inducing Drone music I’ve heard in a while.

This forty minute turbulent broadcast is cleft into two parts. Separately, they stand on their own as narrative transmissions that detail a dark, scenic reality that plays into the senses and provides the essence of real-world chaos. However, together, they fuse a building chronological that portrays a dismal landscape of time, brutal machinery and the inconspicuous element that spews “we are not in control.” On the surface, “Global Makeshift Wounds #1” begins with the every day sounds of a hurried life, perpetuating that we have a certain control of our destiny. However, underneath, esoteric droning commences, setting into motion a controlled, chaotic modulation of tempestuous energy of impending doom. As the volume of this monstrous effort escalates above the existence of all other natural sounds, a peculiar comfort begins to exist, taking over the listeners ability to grasp the humbleness of existence. As we continue to sink into this eclectic drone, small subtleties begin to emit imperfections with the machinery, causing angst and misguided nervousness. There is nothing that can be done, other than to give in to the systematic noise and become one with the grueling soundscapes. Just as you begin to get use to this setup, we get a semi-abrupt ending, providing a well deserved break from the pandemonium. It’s mind-blowing how this didn’t feel like twenty minutes at all. “Global Makeshift Wound #2” commences with audial samples of people moving about as if it’s part of their daily routine. Like there is no care in the world or fears of what’s to come, the calming pattern of their ordinary commotion is soon to be preempted by another dose of overworked machinery that has been put through the rigors of systematic stress and pressed beyond their capabilities with no regard for its malevolent impact of failure. By the five minute mark of this track, the exhaustive industrialism materializes in full spectrum, drowning out the majority of the quotidian annoyances. There is a magnificent power that is portrayed by these layers of drones that contributes to the overall mesmerizing output of this track, achieving a substantial audial radiance in the process. At around the eleven minute mark, a tranquillizing dose of white noises are mixed in and duplicated about a minute later, producing a menacing buzz that can be a bit terrifying for those that are not use to this kind of ambient projection. At around fifteen minutes in, all hell begins to break loose, as the machines struggle to maintain form, creating a disruptive audial flow In frequency and initiating an reprehensible cacophony of destruction. At the end of the track, the machinery gives in its catastrophic demise, diminishing all sound abruptly.

This year is shaping up to the the breakout year for Drone music. As one of the more minimalistic elements of the Dark Ambient community, Drone music is on the rise and more releases of this kind are piquing my interest more than ever. Conducive is an amazing artist that can now be added to that list and ‘Global Makeshift Wounds’ is bound to make an impact. For a debut release, this album covers a lot of ground, in particular with the audial arrangements and the exceptional production. I highly recommend checking out this album and you can support the artist by downloading it from 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!!

Links:

https://veinte33records.bandcamp.com/album/global-makeshift-wounds

https://conducivemusic.bandcamp.com/releases

Nachtjäger Fortifies The Aphotic Path For ‘The Eternal Traveler’

It’s a tranquil Sunday afternoon and I’ve decided to take a little time to catch up on some reading, as well as to focus on my next Dungeon Synth review. Since I love to listen to music while I read, I put on ‘The Eternal Traveler’ by Nachtjäger. It was the perfect arrangement, as the somber vibes emitted from this album played in to the harrowing novel that I was reading. This near seventy minute opus consists of eleven tracks that range in a myriad of synth varieties, albeit remaining steadfast in the realm of Dungeon Synth. The result is an amazing adventure through bleak – but alluring – domains, with minimalistic modulations and calming synth leads.

“My Watchtower In The Darkness” commences with a darkened intonation that would be fitting for a Medieval crusade. Slightly grim, yet composed in a way that exudes strife and victory. With a dirge-like cadence, this is such an emotional song to kick things off. “Crystalline Caverns” is one of my favorite songs on the album with its eerie vibe and haunting ambience that is detailed throughout. Limpid synth leads establishes a transparent connection with the layers of bleak atmospherics, causing a ritualistic effect. “Traveling On Spectral Vessels” once again changes the vibe of the album, giving off a lighthearted appeal that is enough to sooth a savage beast. Well written, there is a plethora of melodic parts and they are woven together seamlessly in an orchestral fashion. “Woodland Sanctuary” is a chilling abode with minimalistic drones and sparse synth leads. However, this approach is extremely effective, especially with creating an emotional sound of theatrical proportions. “Insights Born From Ashes” again alters the audial course and gives forth a Renaissance-era anthem with gothic undertones and slightly reverberated keys. “Lost Scripts Of Old” is an enticing piece that includes a psychedelic vibe and clean synth leads that are reminiscent of the Comfy Synth sub-genre. There are several layers of keys that create a delicate harmony and the outcome is quite mesmerizing. “Ancestral Homelands” takes us back to a darker sound, almost emitting a Black Metal-style song introduction. However, whimsical effects elicit a funereal vibe and concludes with a buildup of synth leads that has a massive sound. “Winds Tell Of A Dying Age” is constructed like a saddened symphony, with a reluctant pace and a passionate arrangement that is redolent of somber times and post-war struggles. Without a doubt, this is the most elegant track on the album and another of my personal favorites. “Astral Signs In The Northsky” is a besieging song that combines many elements of ambient music and Dungeon Synth variants. The slow climb and descent of the musical scale is fused with eccentric synth effects, producing a slightly lurid sound that ends rather abruptly. “Heralds Of The New Dawn” is a dreamy little dirge with retrospective effects and a heartfelt arrangement that combines rhythmic tones and atmospheric expression. The final track on the album is a majestic masterpiece. “Transcendental Relics” is a twenty three and a half minute long treasure that integrates soothing ambience and elongated synth tones is an epic symphonic composition. There are bits of synthwave, orchestral arrangements, and obscure melodies throughout that definitely keep this long player interesting and most of all, relevant to the theme of the rest of the album. With a substantial amount of reverb, this song sounds really thick and quixotic, demanding multiple listens with it’s addictive appeal. This is my favorite song on ‘The Eternal Traveller’ and such a beautiful way to finalize this exhilarating album.

Nachtjäger has successfully produced an amazing Dungeon Synth experience with ‘The Eternal Traveller’. With tracks that transfer the lister to majestic dimensions of castles, Medieval setting and mystical elegance, this album is a spectacle of synth amazement that resists genre tags and symbolizes musical growth in the community. If you’ve not heard this album, I highly recommend checking it out and please support the artist by downloading it from 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!!

Links:

https://nachtjaeger.bandcamp.com/album/the-eternal-traveler

The Nebula Breviary – A Voyage Through The Black Hole With Ithildin Tape Production

Welcome to The Nebula Breviary! For starters, I’m not sure if this will be a continuous column or just a one-off publishing. In either case, I wanted to create something where I could spotlight an artist that is involved in a variety of projects, with a steady amount of releases. I couldn’t think of a better entity than Ithildin Tape Production. The home of Dungeon Synth maestro Elminster, Ithildin Tape Production is the mainstay of many other activities that performs in the Dungeon Synth realm and beyond. Enjoy these summary reviews of some of the many projects from Ithildin Tape Production!

1. The Owl Knight – Chamber Of The Starplotter

One thing I love about this release, is that it covers a lot of ground although being very compositionally minimalistic. This assortment of flavors included winter synth, raw Dungeon Synth and nominal chip tune without the cheerful undertones. The constant tape hiss gives off a nostalgic vibe and the flow from track-to-track is well thought out. You’ll definitely be reminiscing through retrospective Medieval content and this truly sounds like something that could be played in a deep, dingy dungeon. This one is worth checking out and adding it to your collection is a must.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/chamber-of-the-starplotter

2. Elminster – Caern Mist

Elminster, the flagship project of Ithildin Tape Production, sends a mesmerizing reminder as to why this is one of the best, traditional Dungeon Synth projects out right now. ‘Caern Mist’ is an exceptional release that features a range of dynamic orchestrations and light-hearted patterns that are enough to sooth the soul. These lengthy tunes drift in slow motion as if waiting for the seasons to change or the lapse in light as day fades to nocturnal bliss. Beautifully produced and elegantly composed, this album is a true testament of the mature path traveled for Elminster.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/caern-mist

3. Muzgash – Hymn Of Hithlum

This is one of those recordings that you can turn on and then get lost in its vast atmospherics. A soothing ambience starts this twenty one minute long track and then it faintly reforms into a juggernaut of ritualistic beats and hypnotic loops that will keep you sedated for the duration on the track. Hints of Dungeon Synth effects are scattered throughout in a tasteful manner, as to not take away from the complete submersion of this audial spectacle. I would love to hear more from this project, especially if this is the material we have to look forward to.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/hymns-of-hithlum

4. Mahomet Renatus – Ire Of The Crescent Reborn

‘Ire Of the Crescent Reborn’ is an interesting blend of lo-fi Black Metal and sparse Dungeon Synth undertones. Minimalistic in approach, these three tracks complete a 20 minute cycle of trance-inducing wall of noise that is more of a controlled chaos that an all out blitzkrieg. The drums shift between blast beats and industrial thumps that maintains a deafening cadence. Overall a good release but the faster parts definitely stand out and create a whirlwind of noise that’s addictive and refreshing.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/ire-of-the-crescent-reborn

5. In Dusk’s Embrace – Earth End’s Pantheon

Atmospheric, primitive and seductive are a few words that come to mind while spinning ‘Earth End’s Panthron’. This thirty four minute opus is a single-track, tour de force of atmospheric black metal that is a melting pot of twisted & sinister riffs, ambient textures and grainy vocals that redirects the listener to early incantations of icy cold Black Metal. Other than a quaint acoustic intro and outro, this track procures a relentless pace and delivers top quality low fidelity music. I highly recommend this recording for those that love that old school necro sound.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/earth-ends-pantheon

6. Moss Keep – The Curtain Of Time

‘The Curtain Of Time’ exhibits two long-players of primordial Dungeon Synth with the essence of Medieval yearnings. Complete with hisses, cracks & pops of ancient recordings, the music leans on the side of melancholic compositions with somber soundscapes and a passion for mellow, emotive terrain. With both tracks extending beyond the thirteen minute mark, these depressive dirges are best heard on a dark, dreary day where emptiness is of the essence. This is a very entertaining release and amongst my favorites by Moss Keep.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/the-curtain-of-time

7. Howling Mire – Answering The Hidden Summons

‘Answering The Hidden Summons’ is like an album of distraught ellegies, assembled for those mournful souls lost in ancient battles. The keyboard work throughout this album is amazing and truly showcases a sophisticated effort from the Ithildin Tape Production camp. Complete with background hisses to supplement the overall dismal ambience, these four tracks are over before you know it, even though totaling almost thirty minutes worth of music. Save this one for a rainy day and it will fit right in.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/answering-the-hidden-summons

8. Dyvyná – Within The Walls Of The Promised Kingdom

From the music to the art work, this has the Renaissance era written all over it. Crisp synth leads and dreamy effects solidifies a haunting atmosphere of bright, effervescent colors. There is a slight reverb on the instrumentation as well, emitting a powerfully thick sound that aligns perfectly with the production efforts. This Dyvyná project is definitely one to look out for and an extensive catalog of music is already building up.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/within-the-walls-of-the-promised-kingdom

9. Whispers Of Umbar – Hail The Voidlord

Whispers Of Umbar is one of my favorite projects from Ithildin Tape Production. There is just something about that primitive sound that blurs the line between Dungeon Synth and Dark Ambient that brings joy to these ears. ‘Hail The Voidlord’ is a near twenty seven minute experience that is crafted in noise and brutal harmonics that produces visions of bleak landscapes and unfathomable bloodshed. By the time this insane track is over, you’ll need a nap and a chalice of spirits before your next listening experience.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/hail-the-voidlord

10. Üvegszakadás – In The Ashes Of The Fallen Empire

‘In The Ashes Of The Fallen Empire’ is a mammoth of an album, especially in regards to previous releases in the Ithildin Tape Production catalog. Almost an hour and forty minutes of granular Dungeon Synth that feels like a massive compression chamber of ghastly intonations that are sequentially summoning Medieval spirits for an upcoming apparitional raid. Haunting melodies compounded by wobbly effects and battle-ready cadences, this is an imposing outing that is sure to become a fan favorite.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-ashes-of-a-fallen-empire

11. Sorrow Of The Moon – Hávamál

‘Hávamál’ is one of six Sorrow Of The Moon demo’s released this year (thus far), each containing a single track ranging from twelve to twenty minutes of playing time. This project is a firm mashup of Elminster and Üvegszakadás, with its own production value that is gothic influenced and completely introspective. What I do love is the upbeat nature of this demo and how complete it sounds, with regards to the traditional Dungeon Synth sound. This is one that I can easily play over and over again without getting tired of it.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/h-vam-l

12. Maeglin – Screams Of A Frozen Heart

Unlike the other Black Metal releases on Ithildin Tape Production, Maeglin infuses more distorted guitar chords and focuses on melody and song structure, instead of trance-like atmospherics. The results – at least for ‘Screams Of A Frozen Heart’ – is that it’s more focused, catchy and quite enjoyable. There are definitely some Dungeon Synth undertones, specifically in the intro and various spots throughout the release. However, they are used more of as a background discord than being the focal point of the music. This is another admirable release from ITP!

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/screams-of-a-frozen-heart

Cassettes Can Be Purchased Here:

https://ithildintapeproduction.bigcartel.com

Planet Supreme Invokes A Stellar Collision On The Ever Evolving, ‘Creation Of A Star’

Anytime I see a Cryo Chamber Label release, it’s an instant download for me. Although not always the bleakest of Dark Ambient music, one things for sure is that each album from every artist (on the label) is prepared to submerge the listener into an extravagant, cinematic voyage – beyond the infinite realms of space and the darkest depths of the oceans. Relative newcomer to the label, Planet Supreme, released their debut album last year in the form of ‘Creation Of A Star’. Providing a true soundtrack for the stages of this miraculous celestial formation, each track not only stands on their own, but together form a tale of galactic nascency. These eight tracks construct an impressive journey through the cosmos with exceptional space ambience and a quest for ethereal development.

Gentle album opener, “Cometh Night”, initially resembles the boom of a celestial bang with a crescendoing drone that fades out and and back in again. This is the birth of a star, and the imposing musical journey that will play out for the remainder of this album. Heavily reverberated pads produce a drifting motion that simulates a noiseless meander through space. As this dissolves, other ambient tones represent planetary bodies and terrestrial objects traveling in a nearby orbit. “Black Earth” ascends into eternal darkness with a rigid drone and the perfect placement of a variety of industrial soundscapes. Polished synth leads emit a slight chaotic stance while a culmination of harsh effects surround it all with effortless subtlety. A sound reminiscent of a warning alarm, prepares the adjacent area for misadventure, as hauntingly beautiful synths harmonize with ease. “Machina” commences with an assortment of mechanized effects and monstrous blurbs, as if this canticle is preparing to focus on a singular pattern or instance. Warm drones sound off with confidence and an array of keyboard effects play a solid scale, portraying a communicative effort between human and immaterial beings from distant worlds. Toward the end, a peculiar sequence and sub-harmonies create an obscure picture of bleak existence. “Hectronic Lights” is an alleviating ambient piece with soft, melodic drones and synths that play in orchestral fashion. There is a slight hissing noise in the background that shows a separation between the chaos and the comforting atmosphere of this audial adventure. “Scanners” begins at a moment in time just before the commencement of some type of discord. Starting with a low, humming sound, bits of inaudible frequencies are played, causing angst and tension. However, that is soon replaced with highly reverberated tones and synth effects, carrying forth a mission of audial bliss in a slightly hypnotic state. “Genetic Cargo” contains a vast amount of field recordings and sound effects, especially in the beginning before morphing into a mesmerizing drone. The sounds are anesthetizing to the point where you won’t want this excursion to end. A beguiling bass line in the background is a refreshing experience for this album, showing another side of this spectacular project. “Stray” commences with the crackles of a small, contained fire while modulating pulses build around it. Several synth notes are played sequentially with a small echo effect. Harsh pads and tonal order play sporadically and throughout, giving the impression of a lurking presence in the vicinity. The final track on the album is, “Above Broken Ground.” Seemingly incorporating many elements all at once, a wall of sound emits an overwhelming sensation of the final moments of a stars creativity. As if everything is finally falling into place, this climactic track showcases onerous harmonies and layers of synthwave effects that don’t let up until the final moments of this track. Ending with a singular, harsh drone, the creative efforts are finalized and another stunning celestial body is created.

Planet Supreme is a welcomed edition to the Cryo Chamber Label lineup and I hope this project is here to stay. The beautiful soars of melody and mixture of dark and light ambience already equals that of more seasoned veterans of the label. I would love to see a collaboration between Planet Supreme and Beyond The Ghost or In Quantum sometime in the future, as I feel a co-existence of either of those projects could create something beyond amazing. As for ‘Creation Of A Star’, it is a stunning release that will surely stand the test of time. Not to mention, it features one of my favorite Cryo Chamber Label album covers of 2021. If you’ve not heard this superb release yet, head on over to the link below and prepare to be absorbed into a world of chaotic beauty. I highly recommend checking it out.

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://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/creation-of-a-star