Eyre Transmissions XVII – Interview With Dungeon Synth Trailblazer, Erang

If you’ve been a fan of Dungeon Synth for longer than two minutes, then you should be familiar with the name Erang and all of the glory that has been brought to the genre by way of an extended catalog of influential albums. With a successful foray into the many folds of synth music, there is no doubt that Erang is a progenitor of a unique style of Medieval summonings. Voyaging beyond the confines of Dungeon Synth, Erang is heralded for creating many exclusive endeavors that bridge the gap between Dungeon Synth, Synthwave and Black Metal – just to name a few. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of ‘Tome I’, the artist behind this crowning craft has allowed me to borrow some of his time to discuss his music, achievements and emotional declarations behind all things Erang.

1. Thank you very much for taking the time for this interview and congratulations on 10 majestic years of Dungeon Synth ventures. Take us back to 2012 and tell us at what point Dungeon Synth became a creative focus.

Thanks for your words, glad to be there. Well, to tell you when DS became a creative focus we need to go back a bit further, in 2011, when I stumbled upon the Dungeon Synth blog. Prior to that I discovered some Ambient tracks from Black Metal project in the documentary « Until the Light Takes Us ». I fell immediatly in love with that sound. It was like if I found what I was looking for and I immediately stopped it to check online if I found similar stuffs. That’s how I ended up on the DS blog and the work of Lord Lovidicus… and it all clicked together: there was no turning back after that. Dungeon Synth til I die.

2. The Dungeon Synth genre didn’t flourish back then as it does today, so what were some of the processes for which you promoted your craft?

“Didn’t flourish” is a light word, as it was pretty desert in 2011 and 2012. I’m not sure the word “promote” fit well because of that. There was no facebook group, no board, no youtube channel, so I just posted in some Ambient or Metal group, or in the forum of Encyclopedia Metallum. There might still be some old posts from me from 2012… it was mostly on forums : RPG forums or Fantasy forums.

3. Erang truly transcends the Dungeon Synth genre by composing in other realms of synth music. Has this always been a vision for this project?

The only vision behind Erang is to stay true to my Imagination and inner feelings, no matter the musical genre. Of course Dungeon Synth is at the core of it because of the involvement I had in the revival of the genre back then. But I’ll never be afraid to mix it with many other influences or thematic if I feel it in my guts. Like with my prior album PRISONNIER DU RÊVE : I knew the theme was too french and too obscure for a broader audience but, at that time, I needed to do it because it had a really personal resonnance toward my past and childhood.

4. Who are some of your greatest influences for creating this kind of music.

That is absolutely impossible to say because it changes on each album and even on each track… It is always a very large mix of so many things. And lots of them are not musical but come from movies, books, cartoons… that and, of course, my own personal history and things from my past…

5. Did you have a musical career prior to forming Erang back in 2011/2012?

I don’t (and never will) consider what I’m doing as a “career”. I make music because I have to, I need to, it’s like the air I breathe. Without it I would be dead and empty, I have no choice. 

I’ve been making music since I was 14, I guess, but just for myself. My first real musical connection with the outside world was with my first Erang album, Tome I, in 2012.

6. Let’s talk about ‘Tome I’ (2012). Was there an overall concept for this album? To me the music flows just like a storyline or script for a movie.

The concept was simple : I told myself to stop trying to make art or something modern or innovative or I don’t know what… I told myself : make music like you used to draw when you were a little child. Without thinking about the outside world, just alone in your bedroom, lying on the ground with papers and markers. Without thinking about technics or what is right or wrong… Just make something straight from you heart. I thought about movies or books that were important for me as a Kid and named the songs after that… And after that first album, I understood who I was for the first time and things have never been the same since then.

https://erang.bandcamp.com/album/tome-i

7. That album has truly stood the test of time, as those songs still sound really fresh. What made the songs on that album so resilient in a genre that has sprouted in a vast way in the past few years.

Thanks ! Well, that’s hard for me to say… I guess the most well placed to say it (if it’s true) are the people who enjoy it.

8. ‘Tome II’ as also released in 2012 but there is a noticeable growth in song compositions. What influenced this growth spurt in such a short amount of time?

From my point of view, the first 4 albums are really linked together and from the same vein, hence the « Tomes » names. So I wouldnt say there are a real difference in compositions or sounds from my point of view. It was really me toying with the Dungeon Synth basics… They really are a whole together. Things started to change with the album just after these : « Another World, Another Time ». That’s why I named it like the first track of « Tome I ». Because it was a rebirth for me. If you noticed, that’s why the 4 albums just after the fourth first Tomes, are all named after a track from the respective previous Tomes.

https://erang.bandcamp.com/album/tome-ii

9. One of my favorite albums by Erang is ‘Within The Land Of My Imagination I Am The Only God’ (2014). This album was so full of Medieval substance that in my opinion, it’s a true structure of the Dungeon Synth genre. In your opinion, what makes this album so audibly different?

I guess this one is an important one in my discography. I think that, mainly, it was different in scope : 17 tracks was a big thing to put out for me back then. And the title of the album is also an important and strong statement for me. When I knew it was named like this, I remember thinking that I really had to put out something worth this title. I hope I didn’t failed. Because that sentence ‘Within The Land Of My Imagination I Am The Only God’ is really something at the ground of my personality and the world of Erang.

https://erang.bandcamp.com/album/within-the-land-of-my-imagination-i-am-the-only-god

10. On 2016’s ‘Anti Future’, you ventured into the synthwave/darkwave and the results were a highly addictive album. What was the mindset behind its creative concept? Do you plan to produce anymore albums of this nature?

Well I already produce SONGS of SCARS which was the direct inheritor of ANTI FUTURE. I really wanted to make something in that vein for a long time. Being a child from the late 80’s, the synth sounds from that era were really a cradle for me. In advertising, in TV shows, etc. it was full of synth everywhere because back then that sound sounded « new » and was also way cheaper to produce rather than a full orchestra (mainly for TV or B movies). I was also a huge fan of John Carpenter and, if you listen closely to this album, it is not synthwave like the ones you find the most (which is more « outrun » in the vein of the movie « Drive » you know) my two albums are really more in the vein of horror b movies or science fiction movies from back then, Stephen King’s TV adaptations.

https://erang.bandcamp.com/album/anti-future

So as I said, I was really into that sound for a long time and what achieved to give me the impulse of doing it was the first album of new material from John Carpenter : Lost Tales. I loved this album and decided to give it a shot myself.

11. Now let’s fast forward to 2020’s ‘Imagination Never Fails’. Again, this was a multi-genre masterpiece that flows like a soundtrack or a large-scale production. What was it like to create this magnum opus? How do you pull off these tracks in a live setting?

Thanks again for such compliment, I’m humbled. Concerning live, I’ll never play live. Or maybe if I do it one day it would be under very specific circumstances which I still can’t figure now. Because it could kill a part of the mystery that is, to me, the most important thing. I once read a reply from Summoning in that same vein… so, no live setting. And concerning the creation of this album it was a pure bliss. More than one time you struggle while creating an album. You’re full of doubt, hesitation, etc. but not this time. Mainly because it was my ‘comeback’ after pretty much 2 years of silence. So I was really inspired and, when I announced it I had such an incredible and overwhelming feedback from the community that it get my heart pumping to deliver it.

12. Recently you release 5 amazing EP’s. All have different sounds and a variety of focuses. How did this endeavor come about and how did you come up with the entity known as The Land of 5 Seasons?

The creation of the Land of the Five Seasons was an organic process if I could say so… it slowly came together albums after albums and when I drew the map of it. For this specific set of 5 EP’s I really wanted to make something different because of the 10 years anniversary. But on the other hand, as it was a marking point anniversary, I also wanted to make something as an ode to the genre you know? That’s how I ended up with that concept of mixing my own Land of the Five Seasons with 5 different (and even more) flavors of Dungeon Synth : from old school to ambient, from cinematic to new age, with also the black metal influences, etc.

13. What are some of your favorite Erang albums and why?

That’s truly impossible for me to say. Each album is a snapshot from a moment of my life and means something really strong and personal to me.

14. What is your opinion on the current state of Dungeon Synth and the sub-genres that have spawned from it over the past few years.

I find it very alive, diverse and full of creativity. So many great things to discover and navigate through. Very inspiring !

15. Who are some of the modern Dungeon Synth artists that you admire on a creative level?

There are too many to names… I will start with some french acts if you don’t mind : Silu de Mordomoire, Elixir, Arathgoth, Arsule, Weress or Descort… Also some already famous names but there are well known for a reason : Fogweaver, Hole Dweller, all the works by Adam Matlock… Recently I’ve been amazed by ‘A Lantern Swathed’ by Erreth-Akbe : a great piece of art. Also I really enjoyed ‘Arda’s Herbarium Vol. 1’ by Ithildin, very diverse and charming… Really, people just have to browse through bandcamp to discover hidden treasures.

16. What are your musical plans for the remainder of 2022?

Many things and surprises will come in 2022. Some great physical releases with awesome labels but also few unexpected things here and there… you’ll see !

17. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions. Do you have any final words for those that may be reading this interview?

Thanks to you for the interview! I just want to say that without Erang, I wouldn’t be there… life wouldn’t have the same meaning to me… and if the Kingdom of Erang is there, it is also because of all the people who follow and support this fragile weird and obscure music since ten years now… Thanks to all of them for what they are doing, it means more than they imagine.

Enter the Land of the Five Seasons below:

Bandcamp: https://erang.bandcamp.com/

Main Website: https://www.erang-dungeon-synth.com/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/084f5VMGkCRs4mV96QhJUM

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

A Journey Into the Land of the Five Seasons: https://youtu.be/TIqRMzKEx2g

Odivm Vitare Relives The Essence Of Triumphant Medieval Times On Impressive S/T Debut

Let the horns sound, in triumph and in victory. Not all is doom and sinister amongst the catacombs and dungeons inside the kingdom walls, and within sight of the magnificent keep. When the hours sound with cheerful impact, a cause for celebration is abound. This is the sound that dominates the magnificent debut by Odivm Vitare. Composed of six tracks of gratifying synth music with an emphasis on horn effects and narrative samples, this is a unique spin on Dungeon Synth music, showing a lighter, more victorious side that is normally dominated by sinister, war-like dirges of darker desires. This album represents achievement, massive strides toward community strength and homage to the more conducive, Medieval times.

Heroic album opener, “Manifestovertvre” is a cheerful and bold statement that firmly guides the direction of the album with audacious horn effects and decisive narration samples. It’s sets an ancient mood that allows the imagination to branch out beyond life’s current existing state. Pounding drums also indicate a time of ceaseless victory and passion throughout a venerable kingdom. “5 Finger Hat Die Hand” is an impressive follow up as it includes impulses of outlandish horn arrangements and harmonious backing effects. Once the angelic keys are introduced, layers of sonic excellence fully engage the listener in a tranquil motion of audial combat. The inclusion of drum patterns and fills adds a modern spin on an otherwise relic of a sound. “Sonata Adversvs” takes the album in a slightly different direction with discordant synth effects and ominous background ambience. Early into the song, a groovy drum line prevails, causing an immediate head bob that resides in unison with the addictive cadence of the track. More narrations are heard throughout as whimsical tones sooth the soul. Classical elements are fused around the middle of the song, as a vibrant arrangement produces an alleviating radiance. “Metvs Et Odio” is an inspiring comfy synth anthem that builds upon layers of haunting synth effects and sonic narrations. Mollifying drum beats begin as synth soundscapes build a relaxing wall around the listener, providing an environment of soliloquy and security. “Linkentanz” continues with the pacifying melodies as this is like a lullaby from ancient times. As the easement of sound continues throughout, a change in atmospherics and synth effects maintain the dreamy experience of this track, from start to finish. The final track on the album is the peaceful endeavor, “Canto Di Speranza”. This is a playful tune with an infectious drum pattern and looping synth leads. Relaxing ambience builds in the background as this daunting little melody is a sure sign of peace and happiness wherever music can be heard throughout the lands.

Odivm Vitare has created a charming and inspiring Dungeon Synth album that is different yet appealing on so many levels. From the arcane narrations and creative synth techniques to the impressively playful drum tracks, this album has a plethora of styles and sounds that contributes to its fantastic arrangement. If you’re seeking a new flavor of Dungeon Synth, look no further than the self-titled album by Odivm Vitare. Please support this excellent project by downloading the album from the link below.

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Links:

https://gulikrecords.bandcamp.com/album/odivm-vitare-glk-064

Count Von Günter Creates A Medieval Eruption With The Multi-Genre Treasure, ‘A Tomb For Rebirth’

Since I started this blog – almost 3 years ago – I’ve experienced (and enjoyed) a vast array of music from various genres and it’s been the most fulfilling experience one could imagine. However, it’s even better to come across an album that’s simply fun to listen to, no matter the genre. One artist that provides such enjoyment is Count Von Günter and on his latest album, ‘A Tomb For Rebirth’, there is much to take in and the savoring experience is well worth the thirty eight minutes of your time. A splendid blend of Dungeon Synth and Black Metal, this album is like a retreat into ancient times while relishing in the glory of metal mayhem.

Right from first note of “Dawn Awaits Greater Violence”, we are reminded of heroic Black Metal intro’s and ancient Medieval battles, as a barrage of synth leads pummel through harmonious chords of melody and menace. About halfway through, volumes of distorted synths and Black Metal shrills instigate the start of violent beginnings and the dawn of something evil. This is as good of an album opener of any album I’ve heard. “Traversing The Ghostly Void” continues the destructive commotion with war-like percussion and valiant synths, layered with musical unity and vibrant tonal colors. The sound of horn effects catapults this track to grand scales with offerings of royalty and bloodshed. “Failed Pantheon” continues the frantic pace of the previous tracks but introduces lyrical hymns via the stylings of Black Metal vokills. With enough reverb to keep the music necro, it’s the fusing of light synth tones that makes this sound unique and addictive to listen to. “All Is For Naught” is more in the vein of traditional Dungeon Synth, as it’s reminiscent of a more peaceful period with a variety of instrumentation and production techniques. “Hymn Ov The Spectre” commences with a funeral dirge-like cadence before shifting into more of a doom-laden canticle that has a mesmerizing tone with airy synths and bombastic drum rhythms. The harsh vocals blend nicely, especially when the more strident aspects of the track come into play. This song yields a huge sound that could easily become an anthem for Dark Dungeon Music. “Visions Ov Valhalla” begins with a sultry synth chop that hammers away at a mesmerizing melody. Soon after the intro, Black Metal styled narrations reveal a near in-audible storyline but aligned with the solid and steady percussive beat, the realization is that this is a track of inevitable war and destiny. The sudden inclusion of horn effects are always welcomed and the end results is beyond amazing. “Dragging Bones” is a short piece that includes droning keys, modulated synth tones and eerie soundscapes that together, present the beginning of a dark demise. Old school Black Metal riffing are somewhat buried beneath the chaos but are loud enough to appreciate the ominous atmosphere that they bring to this track. The final offering is “A Tomb For Rebirth” and it’s the most grandiose oblation yet. Beginning with a soft, clashing noise and a ticking clamor, the title track runs through a gamut of maniacal changes that cycle through several genres of music. Soon after the introduction, Black Metal vocals and doom styled drumming change the pace, keeping this an interesting endeavor. As the verse finishes, the pounding of double bass drums and additional synth layers create a cinematic tone of blissful arrangements and beautiful atmospherics. Although the momentum shifts focus several times, this beautiful composition continues to find its way back to a creative spot before closing out in a short blast of chaotic noise.

Count Von Günter has created a masterpiece of Black Metal-fueled Dungeon Synth and the proportion of each genre is exquisitely represented. There are many occasions – with multi-genre albums – in which one genre is dominant, but that’s not the case here. Because of the exceptional blend of musical endeavors, this is a very fun album to listen to. Each track is different, exciting and certainly memorable. The cassette release sounds even better, as the classic tape hiss adds another layer of overwhelming power to enhance the listening experience. I highly recommend this album, as well as well as ‘Forced To Wander’, the jubilant debut album. Click on the link below to enjoy this magnum opus and please support this amazing artist.

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Links:

https://countvongunter.bandcamp.com/album/a-tomb-for-rebirth

Skuggkonungen Showcases The Unique Infusion Of Dungeon Synth And Retro Synthwave On ‘Det Glömda Landet’

This album has been in my review queue for a long time and I’m so excited to finally be able to share my thoughts on this unique and triumphant effort. Many times when Dungeon Synth fuses with aspects of other genres, the traditional essence of the music takes a back seat to a more modern approach of genre melding. However, that’s not quite the case with Skuggkonungen’s mystical offering, ‘Det Glömda Landet’. Eight esoteric offerings of synthwave influenced Dungeon Synth produce a propitious atmosphere that will haunt the various era’s of influential realms

Album opener, “Äventyrarnas Brunn” dabbles in the territory of Dark Ambient before a quaint Dungeon Synth melody bursts through the bleak foundations and extends a harmonic dimension of lush keyboard melodies. Synthwave effects seamlessly enter the fold and takes this track to levels beyond musical imagination. The buildup of synth leads are undeniably refreshing and this is just the beginning of a hauntingly beautiful album. “Adralei” commences with ominous effects and begrudging background hisses while devilish pads seem to infiltrate at will. Somber Medieval leads are introduced and have a retrospective feel to it. This track boasts a strong refrain of good versus evil as dismal tones are crafted to blend transparently with light-hearted harmonies. “Lärkdal” quickly blasts an eloquent synth lead that is airy and peaceful. Comfy Synth styled intonations create a dream-like state and the layers of abating refrain is charming. Next up is the hypnotic, “Gråskägg”. Elongated synth effects are used to produce an environment of retro gaming influences and nostalgic characterizations. As the leads come in massing a grandiose sound, it slowly begins to fade, preparing you for the next suspenseful song. “Riddare Av Hella” begins with a slightly reverberated synth chop that continually loops in a light cadence. Menacing effects establish an eerie setting and vocalized sounds add a touch of cinematic elegance. “Thursagash Grymkäft” contains percussive elements atop a blissful synth lead that is reminiscent of an early morning dawn amplified by fog and drizzling mist. This is definitely a track to get lost into – if it were only a bit longer to enjoy it’s mesmerizing affect. Next up is the ghostly incantation, “Dödsdrömmarens Sista Vila”. The way that the main keyboard loop interacts with the melodic effects is completely enthralling. Psychedelic styled synthwave sounds establish an alluring dirge that is sure to garner repeated listens. The final track on the album is the grimly arousing title track, “Det Glömda Landet”. This spooky offering seems like a mix of random effects and digitized modulations, but is more like a bleak anthem of terror to the point of no return. It’s almost like an unforeseen evil lurks around every corner but predicting when that will be, will create a serious dose of anxiety.

This is another fantastic album for the Dungeon Synth community, especially for those that like an expanded sound with a no holds barred aspect – with regards to styles and influences from other genres. Skuggkonungen has laid a foundation of synthwave influenced Dungeon Synth and ‘Det Glömda Landet’ is the fascinating results. I’m really impressed with this release and I’m most certain that you will be too. Please click on the link below and support this amazing project.

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Links:

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

Caliginous Empire & Natura Carcerem Synthesize For Dungeon Synth Greatness On ‘Shadows Reflected’

Two of Dungeon Synth’s upcoming artists – Caliginous Empire & Natura Carcerem – have joined forces for the monumental offering, ‘Shadows Reflected’. However, this is no simple collaboration; this is two compelling creators showcasing the best side of their craft and extending a long overdue exposure to up and coming artist as they show solidarity in one of the best musical genres around. Caliginous Empire exhibits a soothing blend of symphony tones and melancholic soundscapes, while Natura Carcerem ventures more into aspects of Dark Ambient and ominous atmospherics. However, on this joint venture, they both step out of their comfort zones and expand on their musical creativity resulting in an ethereal experience that flows with haunting transparency.

“Before I Depart” is the somber album opener that starts with melodic keys and piano chops that slowly builds into a grand intonation. A short narration constructs an ancient storyline before percussive beats and layers of melody complete this soothing musical affair. The excitement really begins on “Hidden Penumbra”. Commencing with the soft crashes of ocean waves on a desolate, ancient shore, dense keys and pads create a fantastical soundscape of cinematic proportions. Soon, the tonal keys descend into an emotionally-charged passage of atmospheric modulations and alluring patterns. Out of nowhere, the track blasts into a melodic Black Metal section, complete with harmonic guitar chords, blast beats and ominous vokills. It then dwindles down to a quiet symphony of swaying keys that close out the track. The next track is “Reflected Shadows” and it showcases the talents of both musicians as they merge their unique sounds to present this stunning effort. A gentle piano ballad starts this epic adventure then an array of sounds and effects slowly builds a wall of discordance that is hypnotizing to say the least. Toward the end, tasty guitar leads mirror the main melody and establish a theatrical dose of affinity and atmospheric creativity. Natura Carcerem presents the next two tracks, the first being “On The Precipice Of Despair”. This is a beautiful flowing song that is held together by rigorous drum beats and celestial keys. Filled with eerie arrangements and haunting soundscapes, there is also an effervescent crypt hop beat that will have your head bobbing for the last portion of the song. The final track is the ghostly, “These Shadows Know My Name”. The cawing of crows and frightening modulated tones produces ghoulish atmosphere of haunted mansions, graveyards and nocturnal creatures that are bound to scare all those in their path. A soft Berlin School sequence adds a nice touch, as it increases the nostalgic vibe. More narrations and Black Metal vokills close out the track as this exceptional album draws to an end.

It’s never too late to recognize a fantastic album. ‘Shadows Reflected’ was released almost a year ago and it – so far – has stood the test of time, as these songs are unique, impressive and memorable. Caliginous Empire and Natura Carcerem have successfully blended their talents for supreme song writing and arrangements on this album and I can only hope that they will team up again in the near future to present us with another endeavor of this magnitude. If you like your Dungeon Synth meshed with other style of music, do not look past ‘Shadows Reflected’ as this is a one stop shop for your extreme Dungeon Synth needs.

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Links:

https://uncomfyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/shadows-reflected

https://caliginousempire.bandcamp.com

https://naturacarcerem.bandcamp.com

Celestial Ephemerides: A Collection Of Dungeon Synth Summary Reviews, Part V

With the ever growing Dungeon Synth community and the endless amounts of review requests that I receive, publishing these Celestial Ephemerides articles is the quickest way for me to keep up, and to also push out content to the community in a timely fashion. For Part V, we find a varied list of exciting Dungeon Synth albums and some that are multi-genre endeavors with just a touch of Dungeon Synth influence. Needless to say, it’s awesome to watch this community grow with everyone’s unique spin on one of the greatest genres around. Keep up the great work, artistry support and most of all, I hope you all enjoy this publishing.

1. Psyyps – L’oracle de I’imaginaire et La Porte du Chemin

Psyyps adopts the Dungeon Synth aesthetic to create a magnetic brand of New Age bliss. Permeated with tribal-like beats, alluring ambience and a host of instrumentation, this experience is one of a kind. It’s as if the dungeon lore of Medieval times escaped to a futuristic setting of unfamiliarity and enlightenment. Prepare to be amazed by these eight tracks of cutting edge explorations.

https://psyyps.bandcamp.com/album/l-oracle-de-l-imaginaire-et-la-porte-du-chemin

2. Baerdcyn – Naegling

No other artist has mastered the art of Medieval tranquility quite like Baerdcyn. Blending aspects of folk ambient with his passionate stringed instrumental chops, ‘Naegling’ is a product of majestic beauty and absolution. Tracks such as “The Quest” and “Dragon’s Scale” dig toward the center of the soul with ardent layers of mythical sounds. Haunting reverberations increase the intensity of these tracks, showcasing a likeness for enthralling peace.

https://baerdcyn.bandcamp.com/album/naegling

3. Search For The Navigator – Flight Of The Firmament

‘Flight Of The Firmament’ is an unparalleled sonic adventure. Combining Dungeon Synth, Ambient Music, Comfy Synth and whimsical soundscapes, this album is like an interstellar odyssey; a grand musical, if you will. Containing six tracks of celestial-themed electronics, the incursion of various oddities is endless as you wander through clusters and nebulas, heading toward an otherworldly dungeon. Don’t let this one slip under the radar; it’s too good to pass up and it needs to be heard immediately.

https://searchforthenavigator.bandcamp.com/album/flight-of-the-firmament

4. Ancestral Axe – Dawn Of The New Age

Like a Medieval battle between Christianity and Paganism, ‘Dawn Of The New Age’ is a sacrificial offering of war-time aggression and dark hymnals as bloodshed spills across the land. The samples, field recordings and soundscapes really breathe a spectacular life into this recording, as the music takes us through the trials and tribulations of battle, territorial reign and the fight for ultimate victory. So, sit back and enjoy this marauding journey of superlative tunes.

https://hammerandflailrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/dawn-of-the-new-age

5. Grîmmöld – Heatherfrost

Grîmmöld takes on the coldness of winter with three tracks of mesmerizing ambience that represents the quiet days of snow covered lands and hibernating conditions. Taking a break from the normal blackened dungeon synth offerings, in favor of a modest take on the lighter side of things, Grîmmöld amasses a celestial escapade of bleak proportions. These tracks are soothing, yet desolate in delivery. ‘Heatherfrost’ is another exemplary offering from one of the most respected artists in the business.

https://grimmold.bandcamp.com/album/heatherfrost

6. Ozeregoth – In The Shadow Of Gloomspire

‘In The Shadow Of Gloomspire’ is a chillingly atmospheric album that is more reminiscent of the peaceful settings of the Renaissance era than the battle-heavy times of the Medieval period. These are tranquil tracks that slowly build and include a sensation background ambience, slightly distorted modulations and a dose of synthwave textures as well. This is a great album to sit back and relax too; and reflect on ancient times and how those experiences must have played out.

https://ozeregroth.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-shadow-of-gloomspire

7. Stuffed Crust – Sacrificial Slice Upon The Blackened Stone

Don’t let the playful album cover and hilarious song titles fool you, this weird adventure is done in great taste and the musicianship is surprisingly good. ‘Sacrificial Slice Upon The Blackened Stone’ is like the Primus of Dungeon Synth – only stranger. On this whimsical ride, you’ll hear metal drumming, screaming vocals, eerie synth chops and super lo-fi guitar harmonies – all in the name of delicious fun. I mean, who doesn’t like pizza and music? The moody tracks are borderline comfy synth, then it’s followed up by maniacal black metal parts that seem out of place but are exquisitely relevant in this instance. Sit back and enjoy (a slice) the journey to Margherita(ville)!

https://stuffedcrust.bandcamp.com/album/sacrificial-slice-upon-the-blackened-stone

8. Dungeon Guerrilla – The Prophecy

Dungeon Guerrilla takes us on a mystical journey through the ages with the fantasy synth album, ‘The Prophecy’. This maritime adventure showcases layers of melodic synths that are intricately woven to create a chunky sound, while sparse percussive parts show an innovative side to these tunes. The production is on point while the reverberation creates a grandiose sensation. This thirty seven minute journey is well worth the time and it’s sure to warrant multiple listens.

https://dungeonguerrilla.bandcamp.com/album/the-prophecy

9. Oulfaam – Χορεύοντας στις σκάλες

Talking about impressive, this album is like listening to a live orchestral concerto mixed with dark jazz noir. The dissonant moments are compelling and the mood often changes from estranged elevator music to haunting synth anthems. I love albums that showcase many sides of a musical genre and Oulfaam succeeds in doing so here. Ten tracks of variety lead toward an epic adventure of the unknown and this is the album that will be your guiding hand. A very enjoyable endeavor!

https://oulfaam.bandcamp.com/album/–3

10. Blood Moss – Blood Moss

Who would have ever thought to combining Dungeon Synth with 60’s-era psychedelic rock? Well, Blood Moss thought of it and have latched on to something creative, and you know what? It works extremely well! The lo-if quality makes this sound so amazing and the guitar work – for what it’s intended for – is extremely addicting and it’s something that I could vibe with for days! This album is not only full of jarring compositions, it also has passion and an overall gratification for music in general. If you’ve not heard this yet, you have no idea what you’re missing. I highly recommend this to everyone that is open-minded for new, fresh ideas.

https://bloodmoss.bandcamp.com/releases

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Sylvanum Portrays An Idealized Vision On The Beguiling Offering, ‘A Forest Portal’

Every great kingdom has its mystical forest full of bewilderment and perplexing paths. Enchanting life forms congregate on the forest floor while Medieval strongholds inhabit the space not so far off in the distance. What a time to be alive to experience such allurement and it’s unfortunate that we can’t endure that first hand. Thankfully, artists such as Sylvanum exceed with a particular mythical charm through their music, granting us the opportunity to partake in such monumental pleasures. On ‘A Forest Portal’ we are presented with a musical endeavor that showcases the attraction of ancient times in the most entertaining way. Eleven tracks of whimsical guidance create a galvanizing space of adventure and tranquility for forty gratifying minutes.

“As The Light Fades” begins with a deep rumble and harrowing soundscapes, as if traversing the darkest corridors of the forest. Serene synths and prominent textures signify a bright end for the path less traveled. Soothing leads and ambient fills create a monumental sound as this track is a cinematic adventure and properly starts this amazing album. “(Through The) Faerie Ring” commences with the sounds of nature and the peace that it represents. Chirping birds, clicks and clacks of various insects and an endless flowing stream makes quite an impact before layers of synth leads and ominous effects come into play. The arrangement slowly glides like the stream it overtakes and thrusts the listener on a courageous adventure through the paths of timber. “Midsummer Night” is my favorite track on the album and the arrangement waivers between whimsical leads and somber synth chops. Although there is a contrast of sounds, they fuse perfectly to produce a unique moment that is sure to garner repeated listens. Next is “The Dance Of The Nymphs” and the warping synth intro is reminiscent of that classic synthwave sound. Renaissance era leads erupt with a sense of accord and prosperity. The layers of activity in this track is quite compelling as they seem to be out of sync, yet blend perfectly. “Shrouded In Leaves” has a dreamy ambience that creates an endless depth of space, while reverberated keys play a symphony of eccentric harmonies. At various times, a flute effect, takes the lead and produces a magnificent tone that takes this track to another level. “Take A Darker Path” begins with a field recording of someone walking down a rugged path while crunching leaves and breaking twigs create a temporary diversion for the traveler. While traveling on, the soundscape fades into a melancholic arrangement with elongated keys and unidentifiable sounds. “The Search For The Sun” is a tranquil offering with a standout strings arrangement and the whirling ambient textures in the background portray a dreamlike state. The title track, “A Forest Portal” is a devious introduction with war-like percussion, blaring synth chords, and subtle hints of alluring melody. The combination of these beguiling textures creates an ambience for woodland appreciation and an inspiration for natural serenity. A brief narrative instills life into this otherwise uncharted territory. “A Glimpse Of Light Through The Trees” is filled with gloomy acoustic passages and ethereal keys that harmonizes in luminous beauty. The synth leads are a throwback to classic synthwave tones and are an imperative part of the mix. “By A Moonlit Lake” continues with the same sentiments of the last track and has a retrospective feel that is haunting and colloquial. The final track on the album is the illuminating, “Morningtide”. Complete with background ambience that produces a trance-like space this song is equally consumed with an array of effects and synth leads. Although short and to the point, it provides an uplifting ending to an amazing album.

Sylvanum is definitely an artist to keep an eye out on and if future sojourns are like ‘A Forest Portal’, then sign me up for the journey. From whimsical to melodic and a plethora of emotional sections, this is an album you won’t soon forget. The stellar production is an added bonus, creating a spectacle of theatric beauty. Although this album has been out for a while, I can’t recommend this enough. Please show your support for this fascinating artist and download ‘A Forest Portal’ 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://sylvanum.bandcamp.com/album/a-forest-portal

Consilium Lupum Affords A Traditional Dungeon Synth Offering With ‘The Return Of The Unholy In the Cloak’

First off, I’d like to apologize for my lack of content lately. It’s always been my intention to publish one or two reviews a week. Unfortunately, “day job” commitments as of late have created a hinderance toward that goal. Nevertheless, I continue to drown my ears with excellent music so when the opportunity presents itself, I’m always ready to discuss. That being said, one album that has been circulating in my playlist lately is ‘The Return Of The Unholy In The Cloak’ by Consilium Lupum. Leaning more toward a traditional Dungeon Synth sound, this album takes me back to amicable Medieval times where music was joyous and the ambiance was constructed around harmonious times.

Album opener, “A Medieval Saga (The Beginning)” erupts after transitioning from a subtle ambient tone. Decadent, rhythmic patterns gallop blithely with a slight distortion while drawing the listener into a Middle Aged world with alluring melodies. Trance-like percussive beats boost the feeling of being secluded in hazy memories of darker, yet peaceful time. “Return Of The Wanderer” commences with the crashes of thunderous sound effects while distorted modulations create a pattern of essential tones. Their are excellent synth works in this tune that flows in a continuous, transparent stream from beginning to end. “The Crying From The Old Man’s Cave” features valiant horn effects as if a mysterious introduction of important figures were abound for an imminent presentation. Layers of horns and synths emit noble sounds of content heritage and vast prosperity for all. “The Magic Journey Across The Mountains” has more of a minimalist approach. With sparse use of soundscapes, this tune relies heavily on lush, alluring synths that produce a gratifying melody and the sense of mystical journeys. “The Sorcerer From The Past” commences with a short drone before introducing another round of horn effects. Wonderfully layered in a coat of distortion, this track crescendos into a rapid pattern of synth bliss before decreasing into a minimal lull. The sounds of rain and thunder begin the ominous “The Song From The Dead Forest” and tiered synths play various harmonies that fuse together in unison. At various times, the soothing rain returns and abruptly concludes but never takes away from the beauty of this gloomy arrangement. “The Seeker” begins with a psychedelic vibe and the looping keys almost produce a hypnotic-like state. Several synth patterns begin and are a bit loud in the mix but this discordant approach works well for this track. It’s as if blurred vision slowly becomes into focus and then becomes increasingly sharp, before returning to the normalcy of a focused state. “Trapped In Time” is a short track that has a slight synthwave sound, as sharp keys focus on elongated chops and a reverberated rhythm plays a peculiar pattern. “The Joy Train Through The Hidden Village” continues with joyous melodies and rhythmic drums beats that are reminiscent of a peaceful town where goods are sold and celebrations are held throughout. The final track on the album is, “A Graveled Time Of Our Lives”. Beginning with a round of celestial sound effects, droning keys and esoteric fills lead to a dismal incantation, bringing this otherwise uplifting album to a grim ending.

For a debut Dungeon Synth album, Consilium Lupum offers an impressive collection of Medieval tracks. From blaring horn effects to distorted synths, this album really creates an atmosphere of peaceful endeavors of feudal, Medieval times. This is an album that warrants multiple listens, especially if in the mood for knights, castles and foreshadowing relics of ancient lands. Please check out this excellent release by clicking on the link below. Most of all, enjoy the daring adventure that ensues.

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://saluterecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-return-of-the-unholy-in-the-cloak

Eyre Transmissions XV: Interview With Up-And-Coming (And Proficient) Dungeon Synth Songsmith, Thyark

An album that has recently caught my attention in an exemplary way is ‘Journey To The Last Kingdom’ by Thyark. Relatively new to the Dungeon Synth community, Thyark has done a magnificent job at crafting a debut album with such high quality music and production values. From the multi-layered synth expression to the endless infusion of other genres, this is a highly entertaining album that is sure to please fans of a wide away of music. I recently had the opportunity to discuss this new musical excursion with Thyark creator, Volkh, and the path that led him to the Dungeon Synth community. Hope you enjoy this interview with the stellar up-and-coming artist, Thyark!

1. Thanks for this interview opportunity! Thyark is new to the Dungeon Synth scene and already has an impressive debut release. How did this project get started?

Thanks to you. This project began in middle of the pandemic during the lockdown, the truth was, I was not very knowledgeable about the style. But after listening to projects like Old Sorcery, Fief, Ancient Boreal Forest, I began to investigate more within the genre and the truth is that I was fascinated. It also suited me well since I had a musical crisis for a few years. I’ve come from the Black Metal scene all my life but I reached a point where I needed to do something different and that was the origin of this THYARK project. The need to do something different and new for me.

2. On the debut, ‘Journey To The Last Kingdom’, you explore a variety of techniques that cross both the Dungeon Synth and Dark Ambient genres. Did you have this particular style in mind or did it come to you in the production phase?

As I was starting something completely new for me, I decided to start from the Dark Ambient base because I already had some experience with that style and then through the influences that I heard I began to create the songs. And the truth is that I am very proud of this first demo.

https://thyark.bandcamp.com/releases

3. Thyark also ventures into the synthwave territory and uses a lot of percussion as well. Was it your intent to incorporate an assortment of styles to create a unique sound?

The truth is that I always try to make my music sound as personal as possible and from what little I knew and heard at the time, I noticed that many projects used folk percussion like war drums but I had not heard anything with ‘metal’ percussion, so to speak. And when I tried to add this kind of drum kit, I really liked the sound.

4. I noticed some vocal narrations on one of the tracks and it fit in very well. Is this something you may consider doing more of down the road?

If the composition requires it, yes. Any good idea that can be included in a composition to create a good atmosphere, then yes.

~ Volkh ~

5. The production has a very retrospective feel to it, which gives it a darker, more theatrical vibe. How was this amazing sound accomplished?

Everything is a matter of creating with passion, heart and feeling for what you do.
In the end it does not matter if you have a professional or basic equipment. If you are a musician but do not have those three tools, little can be done.

6. Besides synths and drums, what other instruments were used to make this album?

Everything is done with the synthesizer except the voice. But in the future, I would like to be able to record classical and folk instrumentation with microphone and do something more special, but that takes time, money, etc.

7. Who are some of your influences for creating this style of music?

Ancient Boreal Forest and Old Sorcery, In addition to music, Tolkien’s works and other sources of medieval history or fantasy reading also influence me a lot.

8. Is Dungeon Synth a genre they you are sticking with for the long haul or do you plan to venture out to other genres?

I would like to always have this project focused on Dungeon Synth, but it doesn’t take away the idea of being able to include some Black Metal influence maybe in some work. But for now, my idea for this project is to make Dungeon Synth / Dark Ambient.

9. Have you thought about collaborating with other artists? If so, who would you be interested in collaborating with?

I have something discussed with Ancient Boreal Forest, and I would like in some future to be able to do a split with Old Wizard or even some other project that interests to do a good split.

10. I’m happy to say that I have a cassette release of ‘Journey To The Last Kingdom’ and the layout and artwork are simply amazing. Was this a DIY project or was this effort professionally released?

This demo was released under “my label” when I had my demo completely finished, I tried to find labels that might interest them but at that time I didn’t know any label and many others had pending work, so I decided to release it myself.

11. Are you planning any other physical formats such as CD or vinyl?

My new album ‘Memories of a Majestic Realm’ will be released on cassette thanks to Moonlit Castle Records (IT) throughout this year. I will also release the CD version under my label. And vinyl, well… maybe one day I hope to be able to do it, but at the moment it is something very expensive.

12. Do you have any aspirations to play this material live?

The truth is that I have never had in mind to do lives when it is only one person, but I have some offers that could be carried out but it takes time to raise the idea and how to do it. I’m also considering being able to make cinematic videos.

13. I want to thank you again for this interview opportunity. Do you have any final thoughts for the fans that may be reading this?

Thanks again for the opportunity as it is very important to me. First of all, I want to give a huge thank you to all the people who supported and support THYARK. I am very grateful for the enormous reception that my project has had in such a short time since it is a fairly young project. Now I am working hard on my new album, I hope you like it.

‘Memories of a Majestic Realm’ is coming soon!!!

Links:

BC: https://thyark.bandcamp.com/releases

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/DS.Thyark.Official

Maronian Athenaeum Transcribes An Epic Adventure Into Sonic Excellence On ‘The Fall Of Svælinørg’

Logically speaking, big things come in small packages. That’s the first thing that comes to mind after listening to Maronian Athenaeum’s fascinating album, ‘The Fall Of Svælinørg’. Two tracks of uncompromising Dungeon Synth with a playing time of nearly thirty two minutes. Going in to this without knowing what to expect, it’s easy to assume that there may be a lot of build up between active moments, as well as a lot of backing ambience to set a particular mood. However, upon the initial listen, I was quite impressed – blown away actually – at the variety of music and how the various parts fuse together seamlessly to express a fascinating Medieval story.

The first track, “The Great Stand Of King Svænim”, proceeds in a dreamy, theatrical way as the opening sequence showcases an inspiring Synth melody that emits a tone of melancholic unease and sadness. The heavy reverb gives it a grande sound while soothing melodies compliment it with graceful harmony. Bits of percussion are slowly induced to form an ebullient cadence around the heart of the track. After a brief moment of field recordings, the track blasts into overdrive with a soundtrack-like refrain that is sure to get the blood pumping. Staying true to traditional Dungeon Synth characteristics, a mournful synth effect creates an atmosphere of anguish and dreariness. As this sixteen minute track continues, other facets of electronic music are interpolated, further expanding upon the normal traditions of a track of this magnitude. From whimsical to bombastic tones, this song provides an extremely magnified listening experience. Thinking that I’ve heard the best of what this album has to offer, the second (and final) track is what really blew me away. “Min-Min’s Reign” is a mesmerizing sixteen minute escapade through an assortment of synth genres that are merged in a magnificent sequence of meticulous song writing. Commencing with the soothing sounds of rain and polarizing sequences, patterns of retrospective synthwave begin to take shape. With a mild tempo and addictive arrangement, it doesn’t take long for the lister to be fully engaged with this masterpiece. Soon after, a complex arrangement of hasty rhythms shows a change in pace and an algorithm of futuristic vibes. I sense a mild Berlin School influence as the keys affix in a looping pattern while the song builds around it. Industrialized effects continue the element of malevolence that are sure to cause moments of anxiety or discomfort. This pattern slowly ascends into an ambient tone, creating a dark space for the remainder of the track. Celestial keys contribute to the bleak, spacious atmosphere with haunting relevance as this daunting song comes to an end.

I am more than impressed with Maronian Athenaeum and the variety of music that is included on ‘The Fall Of Svælinørg’. Using Dungeon Synth elements as the base for these tracks, a multitude of other electronic sounds forge an impressive blend of music that is sure to resonate with fans of a variety of synth genres. These tracks certainly do tell a compelling, mythological story that has no boundaries for self-interpretation. I highly recommend this album to everyone that loves synth music and I can’t wait to hear what this artist has in store for us in the future.

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://themaronianathenaeum.bandcamp.com/album/the-fall-of-sv-lin-rg