Criptadel Takes Us On A Mythical Adventure Into The Precarious Part Of The Village Known As ‘The Goblin Market’

Goblins are grotesque and fabled creatures that are known to do malicious harm to humans. Imagine a market place in a chimerical village completely dedicated to these diabolical beings. I can conceptualize a forlorn situation for any outsider as goblins would completely terrorize anyone that visited this sacred location. Filled with mischievous activity and crude actions that are borderline malevolent, but at the same time, there is a sense of whimsical solidarity in this close nit area. Criptadel supplies an amazing soundtrack to amplify the necessity of this heinous village district simply titled, ‘The Goblin Market’.

Album opener, “The Goblin Market”, sets an abhorrent scene as various soundscapes and inaudible narrations provide an unhinged welcoming to the market place. After a quick, harsh black metal-esque vocalization, the Market opens for business as glorious & melodic synths – along with compounding percussions – provide an addictive jingle to display a sort of pleasantry for those that wish to conduct business in the Market. “Trolls Atelier” begins with a bold synth tone and the builds upon layers of clean synth sounds. A drum beat soon kicks in, playing a fast-paced anthem that is both cheerful and anxious. At about the halfway mark, the music gives way to a drone sound with a grotesque narration before picking back up with a more discordant melody. “The Coal Shop” plays a galloping harmony that features a soothing combination of beats and buoyant synths. After a few minutes of cheery tones, the song takes a more cinematic approach and changes things up a bit. However, it soon gets back to the original melody and closes out the track this way. “Dragon Spa” starts with a beautiful, classical moment and then dives right into a traditional dungeon synth part, along with some inaudible narrations that sounds like a old goblin explaining the details of his store. The last half of this song has a real soothing vibe, complimented with some middle-eastern beats. “No Sales” is a delicate little piece that unifies deeper synth chords with blissful overtones. There are several solo synth moments that provides a musical consonance throughout the track. “Frog Store” properly begins with the sounds of multiple croaking frogs, as the music crescendos into a bright mix of clapping percussion and richly layered synth effects. Deep horn sound effects are featured on this track and fit in perfectly with the theme that this track is portraying. “The Mush Room” is a short interlude that features someone walking up to a door and then knocking on it. Afterwards, creepy and inaudible narrations take over with some hallucinogenic-type laughter at the very end. “The Trasgo Inn” ignites things with a fiery field recording that molds into a hypnotic synth tune that strides alone with a jubilant beat and robust keyboard sound in the background. The track picks up the pace toward the end and fades out on a dashing note. “Cirque Cadavre” begins with a quirky keyboard chop as if you’ve stepped foot in a bizarre circus tent and madness of sorts is happening all around you. However, intricate synth melodies are interwoven to make this an intriguing, yet outlandish listening adventure. The final track on the album, “Ghoul Funeral Service (feat. Uxor Mortis)” is an eight minute finale of what all can be expected once you step foot inside ‘The Goblin Market’. From the slightly twisted intro and grand cathedral organs to the slower theatrical parts, this epic track completes this unique album in the most fascinating way.

‘The Goblin Market’ is an intriguing, conceptual Dungeon Synth album that is sure to entertain die-hard fans of the genre from start to finish. Not only is the music astonishing, but the production is pristine and the additional field recordings and vocal narrations are all done in good taste. I highly recommend checking out this album as it’s definitely a contender for Dungeon Synth album of the year. Please support this unbelievable artist and recording by downloading it from the link below.

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Links:

https://criptadel.bandcamp.com/album/the-goblin-market

Vää’s ‘Ur Sägen Och Hävd’ Is The Equivalence Of An Award-Winning Motion Picture Score

Like many other genres of music, Dungeon Synth has many facets when it comes to styles, production type and songwriting. Whether it’s a lo-fi synth track recorded straight to cassette tape or top-of-the-line equipment used for large-scale productions, I love it all. As long as the songwriting is good, I can get with any style and tolerate any production method. Vää is more like the later, with beautifully engineered music and crystal clear production quality, and the output on debut album ‘Ur Sägen Och Hävd’, is of cinematic quality and could easily be a soundtrack for a medieval fantasy-based movie.

The grandiose synth introduction on “Swarthnor” will immediately grab the listeners attention and as soon as the bass pads make their presence known, the real feast begins. Right from the beginning, the theatrical nature becomes a dominant fixture, not only in this track, but with the rest of the album as well. Swaying through adventurous parts, acoustic passages and bombastic percussive arrangements, this is an excellent lead off song. “Land Ur Havet” begins with an austere acoustical score before massive synths fill the air with such allure and clarity, that you’ll find yourself drifting off to a medieval time, where ancient kingdoms, forest folklore and dragons existed. The classical elements on this track really stick out and are very well written. “Vittradans” starts with a charming and melodic arrangement that slowly grows into a majestic adventure. The percussion elements really stick out in this tracks and are performed flawlessly with the rest of the music. “Vääflickan” is another melodic, yet adventurous piece that easily rivals any soundtrack score of this nature today! Probably my favorite song on the album, it has a slightly dark undertone but is arranged in a magnificent way, in that it ebb and flows like a montage scene from a fantasy film. The depths and layers of synths are magnificent and the clear production gives each of them the glory they deserve in this track. “Ur Hävd Och Sägen” is another large-scale arrangement with percussion and layered keys that sound extremely effervescent in the beginning before slowing down into a middle acoustic passage. The track finishes strong with flute sound, backed by strong keyboard arrangements and additional percussion. “Rå” begins with a delicate string arrangement that puts the listener right in the heart of the Middle Ages. The charming sounds promote peace and prosperity throughout the kingdom and happiness and friendship is at an all time high between the commonwealth and royalty. The string and flute duet in this track are amazing and really stick out as one of the albums finest moments. The final track on the album, “Drottning”, is an awe-inspiring score that signifies the glory of medieval times as well as the luxuries and success of a thriving kingdom. Peaceful synths and harmonious drum patterns play a key part in the tranquil sounds of this track and I can’t think of a better way to end this album.

Vää have produced one of the most exuberant albums I’ve ever heard from the Dungeon Synth genre. Although I love me some lo-fi, crusty dungeon synth, this album is absolutely amazing. ‘Ur Sägen Och Hävd’ is one of the cleanest sounding, top-quality produced albums I’ve heard from this genre. If you like Dungeon Synth with a cinematic quality to it, look no further than Vää. I can’t recommend this album enough so download it from the link below.

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Links:

https://vaamusiikki.bandcamp.com

Dark Ambient & Dungeon Synth Recordings To Enthrall You During The Global Pandemic Continuation

Back in March, I published a playlist of Dark Ambient & Dungeon Synth recordings to help tide you over during the shelter-in-place order. Well – here we are – almost two months later and not much has changed, with the exception of a lot of great music being released. So, whether or not you’re still stuck at home, or have the ability to venture out, please enjoy this personal playlist of Dark Ambient and Dungeon Synth recordings that have been keeping me entertained lately! This is all great stuff so please support these artist and download an album or two!

Dark Ambient Playlist:

https://melanohelios.bandcamp.com/album/the-psychonaut
https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/eternal-drift
https://blackweald.bandcamp.com/album/leonov-2
https://noctilucant.bandcamp.com/album/the-autumnal-end-2
https://roberteggplant.bandcamp.com/album/earth-sinking-into-water

Dungeon Synth Playlist:

https://varkana.bandcamp.com/album/cosmic-terror
https://lordorots.bandcamp.com/album/latzineko-erresumaren-itzulera
https://namelessking.bandcamp.com/album/downfall-of-drangleic
https://wyrmlodge.bandcamp.com/album/the-short-but-touching-tale-of-slime-golem
https://serpentsswordrecords.bandcamp.com/album/perpetual-cruelty

Eyre Transmissions V: Interview With Dungeon Synth Mainstay, Erythrite Throne

If you’re a fan of Dungeon Synth, then you are well aware of the many talented artists that contribute a steady amount of music for our listening pleasure. One artist that I consider a linchpin of the community is none other than Erythrite Throne. Releasing some of the most consistent blackened Dungeon Synth there is, Erythrite Throne continues to challenge the listener in diving into a medieval world of dark imagery, vampires, and lust for malevolence. With a distinctive sound and style that is unmatched by any other artist, Erythrite Throne is constantly progressing and improving with each release. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Erythrite Throne main man, Davey Sasahara, to talk about his Dungeon Synth endeavors, Serpents Sword Records and anything in between.

1. First of all, thanks for taking the time to respond to this interview. I have to ask, where do you find the time to write the massive amounts of music that you do? 

It’s pretty much the only thing I do with my free time haha. It’s something that I enjoy doing a lot so I write music as often as I can, I also have pretty bad ADHD, so this is something that helps me sit down and work on my concentration.

2. How many projects have you released music under?

Right now, I have 16 active projects, but I have a lot of projects I’ve stopped working on completely and there’s not much of a trace of them on the web. All together I’ve released music under maybe 30 or projects of varying musical styles.

3. When you are writing new music, do you go into it with a specific project in mind or do you improvise and let the music guide your path? 

I usually improvise everything and just feel it but there a few times that I sit down with the intention of making music for a specific project.

4. Take us back to before you started releasing Dungeon Synth. We’re you involved with music from other genres? 

I was! I was in a hardcore band as well as doing a few projects by myself. I was making some gothic electronic stuff, some vapourware, some trap. I like to experiment with music a lot. 

5. What influenced you to start writing Dungeon Synth? 

I’ve actually been making this type of music since around 2014, I just had no idea it was called Dungeon Synth, so I was just calling it gothic music haha. Actually, the first Voslaarum album Forgotten Vale is a compilation of stuff I made around 2014-2016, some of it is actually still on YouTube under a different name. 

6. I know this year you were slated to play live at the Northeast Dungeon Siege and due to the COVID-19 outbreak it was modified as an online festival (via Twitch). How was it preparing to play live online? 

It was good, it was my first time streaming so it took me a bit to figure it out, but I had a lot of help from my friends in the community and I think it turned out great. All those people put a lot into making NEDS happen and I appreciate them so much, it was a great time and I was honoured to play! 

7. I highly anticipated seeing your set and thoroughly enjoyed it. Did that inspire you to want to play more live gigs in the future? 

100%! I would like to play many more live shows in the future. 

8. It seems like Erythrite Throne is the “mothership” of all your projects. Is that the case? 

It absolutely is. I played around with a lot of other projects and musical styles before I landed here, it has a very special place in my heart.

9. Some of your earlier Erythrite Throne works contains a good bit of Black Metal (Instrumentation & vocals) whereas the more current material is mostly synth based. Was there a plan to make Erythrite Throne a more metal based project at some point? 

Erythrite Throne was always made to infuse Dungeon Synth and Black Metal, I never want to choose between the two because I love them both so much. Which direction I take an album really just depends on how I’m feeling in that moment.

10. One of my favorite projects of yours is Abholos. Although I can hear traces of Erythrite Throne in Abholos, the sound is more ethereal, and the texture is of a primitive nature. What influenced you to start this project? 

The first Abholos demo was actually supposed to be an Erythrite Throne album based on the work of Lovecraft, but it just felt different from Erythrite Throne, so I created Abholos which still has my kind of sound, but I try to make it it’s own entity.

11. Do you have more Abholos albums planned for this year? 

I absolutely do!

12. Another newer project that I absolutely love is Moss Golem. Initially “mislabeled” a Comfy Synth album, it’s actually like a synth-based black metal project. Did you create this project to defy the sub-genre stereotypes that seem to exist these days? 

I did. It was pretty much a fuck you to what you think something is or has to be called. MOSS GOLEM is a really important project to me..

13. One of your less talked about projects is Vokaron – which I think is an amazing project that leans toward the Crypt Hop genre. How did this project come about and do you plan to continue it? 

I actually made this album for my partner when he was recovering from surgery. He likes to sing so I made him this album to sing with well he was at home getting better with nothing else really to do. I do plan to drop at least one more Vokaron album!

14. Other than the projects that I’ve mentioned, what are some of the other ones that are near and dear to you, and why? 

I can’t really choose one honestly. All of them are important to me in one way or another and I try to put a lot into each one.

15. Tell us a little about Serpents Sword Records? 

I created Serpent’s Sword so I could have one spot for all my projects and tapes under one banner. I figured it was better than having 20 different Bandcamp pages.

16. Other than physical cassette releases, are there any plans to expand the merchandise (t-shirts, patches, stickers, hats, etc.) store for Serpents Swords Records? 

Absolutely. I’ve already had patches done for Erythrite Throne, but I’d love to get shirts and stickers done for that and a few of the other projects on Serpent’s Sword.

17. Have you toyed with the idea of releasing other artists material on Serpents Sword Records?

I have and I actually will be releasing some other artists music in the near future starting with a very special release for a good friend of mine! More info will come soon for that.

18. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions, as well all of your contributions to the Dungeon Synth community. Do you have any final thought you’d like to share with anyone reading this? 

I appreciate you taking the time to interview me and listen to my music; it really means a lot to me! I want to thank all the amazing friends I’ve made in the Dungeon Synth community and all the people who listen to and support my music, it really means more to me than I can describe. I’m excited to continue working on music for you all!

Links:

https://serpentsswordrecords.bandcamp.com

https://erythritethrone.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/serpentssword/

Borg Produces Quirky, Yet Highly Addictive Medieval Anthems On Clever Sophomore Effort, ‘Woodland’

Dark medieval times were known for unruly kings, countless battles filled with harrowing bloodshed, serious structure amongst the township and an all around malevolent aura that plagued kingdoms and villages alike. Within the Dungeon Synth genre, we are constantly reminded of these scenarios with fascinating music that brings forth imaginative tales of what may have been during those desolate times. Fortunately, there were also festive times where constant partying and bantering seemed to be the norm throughout the commoners. Enter the bewildering music of Borg. Instead of austere synth tones that exemplify the aforementioned, Borg creates an unconventional and bizarre twist on the genre that is more like a menagerie of maniacal misfits with a trunk full of random instruments. Surprisingly, this is some of the most addictive music I’ve heard in quite some time. Not only does it showcase a buoyant side of Dungeon Synth, but the musical showmanship and songwriting abilities of Borg are simply captivating. ‘Woodland’, the sophomore effort from this quirky creator, brings forth sixteen new tracks of unorthodox Dungeon Synth that will have the listener hooked from the very first note.

“Toward Woodland” is the perfect track to get the festivities going, as a single obscure sounding instrument plays a harmony and then is slowly joined in by additional instruments until a jolly rhythm section fills the air with free spirit and gracious tones. “Pt. 1 – A Trusty Companion” is a galloping guitar sectional that is backed by some bizarre instrumentation. “Pt. 2 – Lullaby For Lonely Mountains” is a slow, dirge-like track that could have been taken from a 60’s spaghetti western film. The acoustic guitar passages sound amazing and the fact that there is a short brass instrumental interlude, is very impressive. Just the amount of the various instruments used on this track is enough to make this one of the stand out pieces amongst the sixteen fascinating tunes. “Pt. 3 – The Scorched Land” is a short ballad-like anthem that sounds like a recorder and a guitar providing individual solo ideas in a synchronized ensemble. “Woodland Theme 1” brings back a little of the quirkiness that Borg is known for, as the main harmony is played over child-like instruments, but sounds extremely fun in the process. “Woodland Theme 2” is more of a recorder led tune with some slight percussion but without a doubt it fits right in with the rest of this uniqueness. “Foliage Fade” is another ballad-esque type affair, almost like something you would hear if walking through a field of flowers while mythical creatures gallivant about vicariously. “The Last Summer” is an acoustic guitar heavy tune and various eccentric instruments can be heard while classical-style strumming and picking complete this song. “The Garden Of Fruit Trees & A Bad Omens” is a jubilant synth track that changes into a darker tone and features various instruments toward the end. “Empty Halls – Greeted By Sorrow” is a wondrous violin based track that contains a great Medieval dance melody and ancient style percussion. “Empty Halls – Funeral” is a short, droning dirge played over a well produced (and layered) wind instrument recording. “Empty Halls – A New King” once again introduces the unconventional instrumentation, simple note playing and play-along style rhythms. However, these are the types of songs that really stand out as being true and authentic to that medieval style. “The Joy Of Water” begins as if it could be a western tune and features the sounds of what could be an accordion. Very laid back and jubilant, this represents the best of peaceful times. “A Proposal In Moonlight” again features the high-pitched sounds of a recorder, with various other instruments – including a xylophone – playing synchronous sounds of a tranquil nature, as if an adventure deep in the woods yields a prosperous reward. “Wedding Dance I” is a minute long canticle that’s pays celebratory tribute to one of the most joyous occasion their is, and “Wedding Dance II” continues that celebration – but probably after a couple of pints of ale. In the end, everyone is happy, celebrating the happiest of occasions and without a worry in the world.

There simply isn’t any other artist in the Dungeon Synth community like Borg. Although this idiosyncratic style of music may not be for everyone, it sure it appealing to these ears. Additionally, I can totally admire the musicianship, effort and thought process that must that gone into creating a precarious project of this nature. However, this music is needed in Dungeon Synth and from what I’ve seen so far, it’s been welcomed with wide-open arms. If you are one of the few that has never had the opportunity to checkout this unbelievable artist, then do so at your earliest convenience. I can not recommend this enough, so click on the link below and check out ‘Woodland’.

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Links:

https://borg.bandcamp.com/album/woodland

Two Obscure – Yet Groundbreaking – Genres Collide On The Unfathomable ‘Crypt Hop Compilations I’

Who would have ever thought that two musical genres at the farthest ends of the sonic spectrum could provide so much listening pleasure when combined? Well, quite a few obviously, because it’s definitely a thing. Crypt Hop was born out of the enigma known as Dungeon Synth and the ambiguities of Memphis style hip hop from the early 90’s. If you’ve not heard artist from that genre such as Manson Family, Gangsta Pat and Three 6 Mafia (among others), you’re missing out on some of the early, most innovative artists from the Memphis Horrorcore genre. If you strip away the gangsta rap, hip hop beats and underlying samples, you’ll actually hear an early 90’s rendition of Dungeon Synth, that typically features lo-fi production and the structural hissing of vinyl and cassette tapes. Fast forward to 2020 and we have the Dungeon Synth-led ‘Crypt Hop Compilations I’, which features thirteen daring tracks from various artist that intend to leave their mark not only in the Dungeon, but also in the Crypt!

The track that begins this morose phenomenon is “Poltergeist Manifestation At Midnight Cemetery” by Kravtun. Ghastly lo-fi synths compete against background static before a stunning hip hop beat immerses to synchronize everything. A swift breakdown in the middle with layered synths before the massive beats and bass tone reignites to finish out the track. “Astrals” by Leneaux has the warm sounds of fantasy synth that is soon accompanied by smooth drum & bass with a constant clap track. The background organ tones throughout add a nice texture to the track. “The Horla” by The Spirit Of Luvenium begins with a traditional Dungeon Synth sound then is bombastically merged with a mid-paced trap beat that is right on point. “Unterwelt Pt. 1” by Orcaluv is more of a hip hop track, as it features some grime style rap but the music is undeniably cemented in Dungeon Synth. “Tenebris Et Spiritus” by Lurk starts with droning synth notes that tip the creepiness scale. Barbaric percussions are interlaced to give a big, theatrical sound as layers of instrumentation continue to build. As soon as it reaches that “wait for it” moment, narrative samples take over, leading the anticipation, then it happens – slow, doom-like hip hop beats explode onto the track for the final minute. “Towers Of Time” by Moon Druid is truly unique in that it features an early 80’s style hip hop beat and clean sounding synth tone. Soon in, it changes to a more modern sound with a lush atmosphere. The track then morphs back into its original beat to close out the track. “On The Darkest Occurrence That Has Ever Happened By Right Of My Own Hand” by Pharanick is a straight up horrorcore rap track with eerie backing music and with medieval rapping about wizards and daggers, what can go wrong? “Windy Night (Crypt Hop Remix)” by Francis Robert is another superb fantasy/forest synth-based track with manic hip hop beats and throbbing bass lines. “From The Ashes Of Bael’s Kingdom” by Erythrite Throne is my favorite on this compilation. The multi-layered synth work is amazing and the quality Of Dungeon Synth in this one track is unmatched. Not only is the production spot-on, but the beats are amazing as they consistently ebb and flow with the tempo change of the music. “His Crimes Against The Realm” by Poodle Knight is another amazing track as it has multiple genre influences. Not only hip hop and Dungeon Synth, but I also hear influences of early synthwave on this track and it fits in perfectly. “Skull Bong” by Resinator begins with ambient undertones, Tibetan bowl sounds, and narrative samples before introducing a dark dub beat and discordant sound effects that are reminiscent of early-90’s pioneering electronic experimental artist, Scorn. “Noblesnatch” by Were-Panther is one of the most unique tracks on this compilation as it features medieval times centered rapping, 8-bit sound effects, chorus breakdowns, and a whirlwind of strange instruments. However, as weird as it is, it’s also a highly addictive listen and probably my second favorite track on the album. The final track, “Belabored With Mysteries” by DJ 行者, is a three and a half minute trip hop, psychedelic adventure that properly closes out this astonishing compilation.

What more is there to say? This compilation album is pure fire! The artists selected for this project have a gift for fusing two seemingly incompatible genres of music and making it sound like a band of gangsta’s should be raiding a castle with 9mm’s instead of swords. At any rate, this compilation is an incredible body of work in which these artists should all be proud to be a part of. If this is any indication of what’s to come, then I can’t wait for what the future has in store for Crypt Hop! Show your support for these artists and download this album from the link below.

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Links:

https://crypthopcompilations.bandcamp.com/releases

Influenced By The Appalachia Region, Leander Summons Cultural Sources On ‘A Journey Lost To Time’

The scenic beauty of nature has been the source for countless number of artistic endeavors for centuries and the stories they hold are memorable and irreplaceable. When you combine the scenery from a specific region with a cultural temperament that has been inherited from previous generations, the story telling can become quite grim, yet fascinating. For a genre, such as Dungeon Synth, this value still holds true as the listener is use to vacating the premise of vocals for providing a story and relying on the musical experience for setting the scene. This is quite a call to action for the artist that tell the stories with their instrumented crafts, and many are able to capture the resilience of this synchronous endeavor perfectly. Leander is one of those artists, and on his debut Dungeon Synth album, ‘A Journey Lost To Time’, the essence of mountainous isolation is captured beautifully in these five tracks.

“Elegy For Gone Days” begins with a soothing and dreamy piano melody that plays repeatedly until it resonates with the soul. Quietly, synth tones are introduced that resemble more traditional Dungeon Synth arrangements. These haunting sounds have more of a Forest or Fantasy Synth feel as the gentle vibes are warm and extremely melodic. Next up is the heavily percussive “Wandering The Summerlands”, that immediately kicks things off with a thunderous drum beat and synchronized keyboard tone. At around the minute and a half mark, the song settles into a keyboard heavy groove with a steady drum beat that sets a hurried pace. Halfway through, synthwave sounds are introduced, creating a despondent atmosphere that is dark, yet sublime. Without a doubt, this is my favorite track on the album. “Beneath The Ridge” has a low and reserved sound that focuses on the somber tone of the synth notes. The refrain during the last minute or so has an alluring sensation that you’ll not want to end. “In The Deep Glades, A Blade Lies Buried” is a slower-paced canticle that has almost a 70’s progressive/psychedelic vibe to it. The combination of the various synth tracks and the drum beats work really well together. The final track, “A Spirit Kneels By Singing Waters” begins with slow, droning notes that create a haunting backdrop for the spirited keys as they provide a solo story line that transcends the imagination.

Leander definitely uses the landscape and surroundings to his advantage to create isolation-themed Dungeon Synth that is based on the myths and culture of the area. Not only are the keyboard elements on point, but the addition of percussion really oscillates through these recordings with positive effects. I’m really impressed by this debut effort and am looking forward to many more recordings by this talented artists. Please show your support and download ‘A Journey Lost To Time’ from the link below.

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Links:

https://leander33.bandcamp.com