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

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

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

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

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Links:

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

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 King Of Gregorian Mantra’s, Metatron Omega, Is Back With Another Superior Performance With ‘ISIH’

Scorpio V, the driving force behind Prometheus Studio, is back with a new album from his flagship project, Metatron Omega. One of the few acts that produces Dark Ambient music that centers around Gregorian Chants, this Warhammer 40k-themed entity magnificently fuses soothing dark choir vocalizations with minimalistic, bleak ambience, resulting in an enthralling musical experience. In what may be his most sophisticated outing yet, ‘ISIH’ is the full experience of moody, ritualistic anthems that provide a grim landscape for ancient monasteries.

Right off the bat, title track “ISIH” secures a somber atmosphere with soothing Gregorian chants and effervescent ambient tones that flow like a transparent wave of breathless energy through high mountain ranges and cold, desolate valleys. The mood turn dark, as the ambience descends into the depths of bleakness with distant chants that are more sporadic than often. However, perfectly reverberated, it emits a trance-like feeling and subdues the listener with boundless bliss. “Megalosthronos” just may be my favorite Metatron Omega track ever. Commencing with a consoling drone, a tribal-like percussive element is soon embedded, tracing back to the likes of Paleowolf – where ancient civilizations meet theatrical ambience. Once the haunting chants are fused in, it creates a level of intensity and spirit that are completely unmatched. I certainly enjoy this direction that Metatron Omega has included in its repertoire of musical genius. “Imperium Novum” bleeds minimalistic ambience and the electronic-induced vocalizations are at times terrifying and more often mind-numbing. There are sci-fi elements in the narrative inclusions, as if an alien invasion has intercepted a communication transmission from an ancient culture. The weaving chants are mesmerizing and will leave the listener wanting more. “Arhontes” begins with an enthralling wind-like nuisance with the sounds of distant howls and screams. As the droning effort intensified, so does the angst of anticipation for where this track is headed. Chants of desperation are heard in sporadic patterns and when the depth of emotion finally fades, we are left with a calming path of destruction lead by deep, guttural chants and ritualistic ambience with a repressed ferocity and celestial intent. “Vyachnost” is another spectacular track that offers a rhythmic, drum track and the solar sounds continuously build throughout. Industrialized soundscapes and peculiar effects reflect a futuristic energy that is humbly met with ancient chants and warm synth patterns. There is a break toward the end where it morphs into a deep space ambient piece before returning to true Metatron Omega fashion. Vocalizations echo the synth modulations and are barely audible. However, it creates a type of discordance that is completely tranquillizing. “Blagoslovenie” is a return to form that can be heard on the likes of ‘Illuminatio’. The Gregorian chants are prevalent throughout and provide an immense ride into dark, enchanted territories. The deep drones are alarming at times and the moments of near silence – in particular – can be frightening. However, about halfway through, drums begin to fill the air with substantial cadence and synthwave elements are also introduced, as this song begins to take shape like the soundtrack for a Medieval battle. The final track on this monstrous album is “L.U.X.”. Commencing with looping chants and reverberated effects, this track isn’t as desolate as those that preceded it. The ringing of the church bells signifies the coming to an end of a ceremonial event, while the rest of the track continues to press forward with heroic expression. As the end nears, an incessant drone continues the pace as the all-to-familiar chants become softer and more distant.

Positioned in my Top 5 favorite Dark Ambient artist list, Metatron Omega continues to produce impressive albums that remain in line with its own ritualistic thematic expression, while supremely adding new elements and surprises that expand the boundaries of listening intent. ‘ISIH’ is no exception, as it’s probably Metatron Omega’s most expressive album to date. Including dark and light ambient elements and fusing percussion is a welcomed experience and I hope more of this type will be released in the future. If you can’t get enough Metatron Omega, make sure to also check out some of the other side projects in this same vein. Monasterium Imperi has everything you know and love about Metatron Omega but is less cinematic, while offering a deeper dive into the Warhammer 40k sound. Then there is Eshaton, which is an extremely raw and abrasive version that is gritty and relentless and at times has a Dungeon Synth vibe. At any rate, it’s easy to get lost in the realm of Metatron Omega and ‘ISIH’ is a magnificent album that truly represents this artist and craft. Click on the link below to download this album and enjoy the journey that it holds.

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Links:

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

https://prometheusstudio.bandcamp.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.

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Links:

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

https://linktr.ee/Arbadax

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.

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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.

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Links:

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

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.

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Links:

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

Landsraad Impresses With Another Dune-Themed Juggernaut In ‘Fate; The Inevitability Thereof’

Last year was a tremendous year for the Dungeon Synth community. We saw a plethora of albums being released by a lot of our seasoned favorites, cassette releases all over the place, and a ton of new artists making their way on the scene with various intonations of the genre and gaining a stronghold of fans that typically remain loyal to the music and fascination that it brings. One of those new artists, Landsraad, was a standout in my book with the mesmerizing album ‘The Golden Path’. Paying homage to the Dune series, that album could have easily been an unreleased soundtrack to the classic movie of the same name. The album was also in my “Top 10” list for Dungeon Synth albums of 2021. Fast forward to August of this year, and we are greeted with the sophomore follow-up album, ‘Fate; The Inevitability Thereof’ and another trip back into the Dune universe. How does this album stack up to the debut? Let’s take a deeper dive into each track to find out.

From the opening progression of “A Secret Meeting//Edrics Precience”, the fantasy-based synth harmonies present a range of otherworldly emotions and melodies. Berlin School styled sequences places the listener directly in the middle of the Dune Universe, in the presence of a sandstorm of influential characters and fascinating plight. This is a beautiful album opener that respects the thematics of classic storytelling and fictional magnificence. “Face Dancer” immediately opens up with a bold modulated synth sound and an array of leads that build off each other, but always seem to be in unison in this heralded composition. “A Body In The Sand” is a light-hearted track that flows like a brisk breeze over vast mounds of endless sand, while the heat radiates off of its bright surface, producing hints of valuable spice. As if moving in slow motion, the droning nature of this track will leave one breathless and wanting more. “The Lion Throne//Walking The Path” brings a musical shift toward darker, somber tones and audacious radiance. Bringing back a classic, synthwave sound that will resonate with fans of 80’s electronica, the rhythmic succession of tone in this track leads to bleak adventures in euphony as imaginative excursions play out in the subconscious. The melodic journey really picks up with “Hayt”. The opening harmony is memorable and would last a lifetime (if I had my way). As one of my favorite songs on this album, it truly transcends categorization and could easily be included in a motion picture soundtrack. The sequential intonations casually ascend into a world of honor and dignity. “Stoneburner” continues on with the same emotive spirit of the previous track and the monumental music it contains creates an imposing force of majestic synth wizardry. This is another treasured track that is sure to gain multiple listens from fans of electronic music in general. Truly a masterclass in exquisite synth compositions. “Scytale (feat. Thanaphos)” returns to the buoyant sounds of the first several tracks, with dreamy passages and warm droning ambience in the background. This is an enlightening foray into more peaceful times and the arrangements are just a bundle of ear candy, full of tonal flavors that can’t be resisted. “Abomination Pt. 2” is a ballad of sorts, with minimal use of Berlin School sequences and deep pounding synth pads that thicken the sounds of this semi-upbeat performance. It’s as if a daunting trip to find a land of paradise, finally played out in the favor of the songs protagonist, proving the journey was worth the battle to get there. “All Things Yet To Be Said” is another noteworthy achievement that includes crisp, Berlin School patterns, wavy celestial drones and resolute synth leads that describe a drama unfolding with only the use of alluring arrangements. “Bijaz//Oracle” is an introspective offering that features an ornate harmony arrangement that is kind of hidden behind a wall of reverberated chaos. However, if you listen closely, you’ll be able to find a soothing culture of tones that are simply amazing. The albums final song, “A Path Broken//Walking Into Dune” is a breathtaking display of conclusive audial proponents that combine the efforts of the previous songs into an awe-inspiring summation. Multiple layers of haunting melody calmly collide with synth leads that extend beyond the reaches of space, yet gather all of the sounds into a cluster of tonal perfection. This track is such a a wonderful outro to this chapter of Landsraad’s Dune Universe and leave plenty of room for more innovative synth compositions to come in the future.

Landsraad is such an amazing project and it’s hard to categorize the true genre of the music contained within the highly impressive (but small) catalog of album. Of course there is a traditional Dungeon Synth influence but Landsraad also incorporates classic synthwave, Berlin School, soaring harmonies, and an amazing theme to produce a signature sound that can’t be denied. ‘Fate; The Inevitability Thereof’ is a thoroughbred recording of the highest caliber and just may end up on my year end Top 10 list. I highly recommend checking this album out as it has so much variety to offer. Also, the songwriting is out of this world and will surely peak the interest of those that love a good science fiction themed musical outing.

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Links:

https://landsraad.bandcamp.com/album/fate-the-inevitability-thereof

Caldon Glover Delivers A Ritualistic Incantation of Celestial Malevolence On ‘Death Mycelium’

Earlier this year, I reviewed an amazing album by Monstruwacan. It’s based on the sorrowful concept of grief and poverty and project mastermind, Caldon Glover excelled at creating a dismal state that listeners can dwell in and become at one with the music and theme. I wouldn’t necessarily call that album a side project, but it’s one that relates with the horrors of mankind and societal shortcomings. As for his main Dark Ambient project, Caldon Glover plunges into the very heart of mayhem and polarizing destruction with the harsh sounds of Indistrialized ambience and deep tonal modulations that produce a sinister atmosphere of gruesome discovery. On his latest album, ‘Death Mycelium’, he presents 5 tracks of violent commotion that weighs much more on the psyche than it does toward physical bloodshed. At almost an hour long, these songs send a pulverizing image of darkness and disturbing images by way of horrific drones and soundscapes. Let’s dive deeper into each of these tracks.

The ill-lighted album opener, “Gateway To The Fiber Network Deadworld”, begins with an isolated drone that sounds as if it’s drowning in frequency abandonment. Simplistic but relevant effects depict a scenery of obscure visuals and a dismal populace. As the mind starts to wander with a slow walk through destructive landscapes and architectural structures, soundscapes begin to build, increasingly becoming the dominate force in this song. Sounds of ghostly shrills begin to terrorize while hollow modulations multiple with a brutal sense of depth. It’s as if the clash between tangible disasters and deep space came to an infinite conclusion. “Sunk Into Thin Spaces” commences with several frightening tones, equaling that of the terrorizing music that plays in unison with a killing scene in a horror movie. Although a bit more minimalistic than the first track, it’s just as effective in creating a void that listeners can describe as they are falling endlessly into an abysmal pit. This song sounds like a nightmarish space disaster that has taken place far out of recollection of other beings. “Endless Worm” continues with the grimness but in a less chaotic way. Minimalist sound shift from hollow oscillations to desolate bitterness that seems perpetual. As this twelve minute song continues, deeper instances of continual drones push the boundaries of insanity. Although there is not much going on with regards to effects and soundscapes, there is something deeply disturbing with a track of this nature. Definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. Next up is “Broadcasting Calls Through Strange Winds”. The celestial launch of this intonation is like an unnatural velocity of force that is set to destroy all in its path. The deep bellows of synth pads create a reverberated sound much akin to our thoughts of what the frigid corners of the universe must sound like. At thirteen and a half minutes long, this is the second longest track on the album and is a tour de force of cosmic vacuums and the doomed pandemonium that is kept hidden within. The last four minutes is what nightmares are made out of, as if an unseeable force is pinning you down against your will and infiltrating your mind with terror and dread. The final – and longest – track on the album is, “Let Yourself Away From This Place.” At fourteen and a half minutes long, there is no denying that the bleak adventure that lay ahead will be lethargic and unbearable. Dreamy drones paint a picture of boundless turmoil and apathetic occurrences. The occasional use of percussion is a welcomed sound as it blends with the texture of the dreary soundscapes and ceaseless moments of tonal dissonance. Interestingly, the final few minutes depict a spot of hope, as warm drones enter the picture, shining a hint of light on the distant horizon. What a spectacular way to approach the final moments of this stunning album.

Caldon Glover has provided us with an array of Dark Ambient albums since 2018 and ‘Death Mycelium’ just may be his most challenging (and rewarding) album to date. There are no over-the-top cinematic tricks or indulgences, just bleak, atmospherics that takes the listener beyond imaginative realms. If you’re a fan of sinister and minimalistic Dark Ambient music, look no further than Caldon Glover. Click on the link below to download this amazing album, and check out the remainder of his discography while you’re there.

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Links:

https://caldonglover.bandcamp.com/album/death-mycelium