Dev-I-Ant’s ‘Progression Of The Wolf’ Is An Intense Descent Into Clouded Realms Of Uncertainty

There is nothing like horror-fueled Dark Ambient music. Of course, the ominous sub-genre is generally inspired by post-apocalyptic settings or components of deep space, but the malevolence created with nightmarish soundscapes takes it to a whole new level. One artist that frequents the use of such sounds is Dev-I-Ant. Using a wide array of ominous textures and modulations, they further a unique signature sound with the use of bleak – sometimes modulated – narrations. This combinations produces a very desolate sound and ‘Progression Of The Wolf’ is a product of said efforts. These seven tracks enhance an austere listening sequence that is as terrifying as it is engaging.

“The Cloven Kiss” makes a grand entrance for the album with a succession of loud blasts as if signifying the beginning of a post-apocalyptic war. A barrage of soundscapes, field recordings and samples produce a terrifying scene of chilling consequences and the start of maniacal narrations soon ensue. “You Are The Devil In Disguise” commences with a sequence of drones that sounds like they are caught in a chaotic loop. Screams and jolting effects can – at first – be heard in the background but a loud thunderous clash definitely get the heart pumping due to its unexpected entrance. Grim narrations once again provide a malevolent storyline as a seemingly endless supply of visceral noises continue to infest without restraint. “The Path I No Longer Follow” is like a motionless dreamscape, where the listener is pinned down by spirited coercion. A wall of white noise slowly crescendos into the mix like a calming splash of ocean waves and delivers an eerie effect with spiraling consequences. Next up is “Where Flesh And Soul Depart”. Beginning with a bone-crushing thunderstorm sound, the tolling of the bell signifies immediate danger to all that can hear it in the surrounding areas. Swaying drones are conjured from the depths like an inbound flock of demons that are ready to instill a season of fear. Loud, pounding bangs compliment the destructive efforts before more harrowing narrations come about. This is also the longest track on the album at just over ten minutes in length and it has its fair share of chaos and dismay. Following that is the second longest track, “Gone For Good”. Reverberated drones set a placid backdrop for a series of bizarre effects and soundscapes, most notably a droid-like machine that is communicating in its robotic language. This can be heard throughout the majority of this nine plus minute track and the more it rattles off it’s series of zeros and ones, the more menacing it begins to sound. “The Winds That Carries The Fog” commences with a sound just as the title suggests. With almost a demonic sound to it, these ferocious modulations are reminiscent of walking through a dark cave, without a light and following the deathly noise just to try and make it out alive. The occasional sudden clank of industrial tones increase the creepiness and prepare the listener for the continued narrations, that sound cloudless and much deeper than earlier injections. The final song on the album is the title track, “Progression Of The Wolf”. Spacious drones commence while frequent howls indicate that the predatory creature is closer than expected. The ensuing soundscapes and field recordings depict a grim scene of people trapped in a cabin, deep in the woods and surrounded by wolves. As they draw closer, the cabin goers realize their demise but try to frighten them away with loud bangs on the door. However the beasts prevail, and the adventures end for the trapped humans.

Dev-I-Ant are like seasoned veterans in the world of Dark Ambient with their signature sound that could be considered more like Terror Drone than Dark Ambient. Nevertheless, ‘Progression Of The Wolf’ is a fascinating album with startling results. The substantial use of narrations combined with an abundance of soundscapes and field recordings provide gruesome surprises around every corner. If you’ve not heard this extremely impressive release, please head to the link below and download this gem and prepared to be abashed by the insane compositions contained within. You have been forewarned!

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://dev-i-ant.bandcamp.com/album/progression-of-the-wolf-2

Marsyas Zskin Produces An Explosive Combination Of Tranquillity And Nostalgia On ‘Flight Of Icarus’

Now this is a release that I’ve been very excited about reviewing for a while now. Combining Dungeon Synth with a theatrical sense of delivery, ‘Flight Of Icarus’ is a special album for electronic music in general. Marsyas Zskin knows no boundaries as musical thresholds are pushed to the limits in this spectacular collection of musical tales that exudes a soundtrack-like quality. From aggressive impulses to comfy intonations, this album uses a diversified range of sounds to portray a story that is only limited to the listeners imagination.

Opening track, “Visions Of Bright Aether”, exudes layers of ominous modulations creating a bleak atmosphere while droning synths provide a foundation of unimaginable depth. Throughout this seven and a half minute track, an array of effects are manipulated to create a commotion that is as accessible as it is enthralling. Pounding drums find a place to embed amongst the keys, adding a tasty rhythmic tone. Toward the end of the track, symphonic keys pay homage to early renditions of progressive synth wave. Skipping over a few tracks, we find “Memories Of Minoan Winters” where haunting atmospherics meet sinister and discordant synth chops. There is a beautiful underlying melody that screams in anxious disarray, but retro synth tones keep everything in synchronized perfection in the most bizarre of ways. Next is the beautiful dirge, “Dreams Of Foreign Skies”. The keyboard work is simply amazing here as the wizardry of the music continues to impress. However, the last portion of this track turns into a dreamy soundscape that fades out like a soothing, endless drone. A few tracks later, we hear the whimsical, “As A Boy, He Stared At The Sun”. Nearly nine and a half minutes of epic sounds and textures that take the listener on an audacious adventure filled with twists and turns. From the drum-laden intro to the subtle breaks of various instrumental solos, this song hauls a major influence for Medieval journeys of good verses evil. A few tracks later we find “Rise Of A Mysterious Dawn”. Although this is one of the shorter tracks on the album, the fantastic details present an early morning dawn, where all the creatures begin their days’ adventure while evil crawls back to the depths of Middle Earth, awaiting the next heinous encounter with the evening eclipse. The fourteenth track, “Carried By Light, Back To The Sea” is a serene Ambient piece with semi distorted pads and modular loops, that bridges the various sounds found in this recording. Skipping over to the eighteenth and final song on the album, “Weeping Apollo”, we find a more daring intro with harsh drum pulses and doomy synth tones. At almost eight minutes in length, this song covers a lot of ground musically and sees several transitions from engaging Dungeon Synth to Ambient sounds and hints of industrialized noise. Additionally, the overall sound sways between eccentric keys and maniacal impulses, ultimately representing a mischievous excursion of days long forgotten.

Marsyas Zskin has created an amazing album that has no boundaries and isn’t afraid to explore territories normally out of reach in the Dungeon Synth genre. Also, this is a mammoth of a release with eighteen tracks totaling about ninety minutes of playing time. Even with an album that long, there are enough wreathes to keep the listener engaged from start to finish. That’s a huge accomplishment, especially for a genre that sees a ton of releases. If you’ve not checked out ‘Flight Of Icarus’, I highly recommend doing so. Please click on the link below and download this mesmerizing release.

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://realmandritual.bandcamp.com/album/flight-of-icarus

Interstellar Space – All Hallows’ Eve Extravaganza

It’s time for everyone’s favorite celebration day, Halloween! Although believed to be rooted in Medieval Christian beliefs, Halloween – Also known as All Hallows’ Eve – is the beginning (or vigil) of Allhallowstide, which is followed by All Hallows’ Day on November 1st and All Souls’ Day on November 2nd. This celebration was once used to honor Saints of the Church, both known and unknown. However, in modern times, Halloween has been heavily influenced by Gaelic folklore and traditions with Pagan roots to hold it together. This has ultimately lead to guising, trick o’ treating, haunted houses, movies that pay homage and more importantly, music that is influenced by the aforementioned festivities. No matter the genre, there are a slew of artists that use this heavily celebrated day to create haunted-infused dirges. For this article, I have conjured ten artists that have summoned ghoulish vibes to create excellent albums that are perfect for this morbid season.

Let the festivities begin…

1. Erythrite Throne – Vampyric Fables

https://serpentsswordrecords.bandcamp.com/album/vampyric-fables

What better way to start Allhallowtide than with a festive dose of Erythrite Throne. Here with an annual creation of dark enchantments, ‘Vampyric Fables’ presents six tracks of ominous dungeon synth that showcases all aspects of the Erythrite Throne sound. From the mournful melodies of “The Cruelty Of Immortality” to the blackened intonation, “A Great Castle Just Beyond The Forest”, these tracks epitomize the Erythrite Throne standard and set a precedent for dark dungeon music. “Somber Incantations From The Blood Soaked Scrolls” is a eerie concoction of haunting synths, scathing sound effects and a cadence that conjures the dead for a sinister manifestation. ‘Vampyric Fables’ is another spectacular release and makes for a perfect listen during All Hallows’ Eve!

2. Sanctum Umbra – Through The Last Known Veil

https://sanctumumbra.bandcamp.com/releases

Robes Of Snow creator shifts focus on new project, Sanctum Umbra, replacing the usual Post Black Metal mayhem with an ultra-focused dark ambient experience laced with retrospective effects and sonic disturbances. The albums title track, “Through The Last Known Veil” is the perfect example of harrowing drones that are fused with nostalgic keyboard chops and the cracks & hisses of tape loops. “Banished Empyrean” commences with infused modulations that find a melodic hum while soft keys are structured malevolently in the background. These five tracks create a stellar ambience that is most fitting for the night of the dead. This Halloween, light a green candles and embrace the power of this stunning release.



3. Lamp & Dagger – This Tape Is Haunted

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

Lamp & Dagger has put together one of the most unique collaboration efforts that I’ve experienced. Tailored specifically for the Halloween season, these artists have assimilated to present a ghoulishly haunting encounter that is sure to frighten the faint of heart. These eight grisly tracks portray scenes of darkness and death with macabre ambience and synth effects that will send chills down your spine. Over an hour of terrorizing, sonic adventures, this recording will make for a perfect soundtrack while handing out treats to the ghouls in disguise – if they dare come close enough to ring the door bell. Production wise, this is an extremely well put together effort with every track seamlessly flowing into the next. There is also a ton of morbid detail in each track to ensure that this spooky album will provide an ultimate dark adventure for all of your lurid needs. Don’t pass up on this masterclass in horror sounds!



4. Pvmkyn Mage – Fvn Sixe Bits

https://highmage.bandcamp.com/album/fvn-size-bits

Pvkmyn Mage brings the Dungeon Noise in this terrifying blast of eerie soundscapes that are meant as an all-out audial assault. At only nineteen minutes of playing time, these five tracks present a barrage of lo-fi modulations that are equally creepy as they are alluring. There are enough bits of charred sound effects to keep one in suspense as these tracks will easily grown on the listener with intense pleasure. There are plenty of frequency fabrications and reverb to set this album sonically apart from others of its kind. In addition, playing this in the dark at increased volumes are sure to give the Trick ‘O Treaters a bout of hesitation before approaching the abyssal door of doom (and candy). Highly recommended if creepy intensity is your thing.

5. Andeddomeiji – Biohazard 2

https://highmage.bandcamp.com/album/biohazard-2

This Biohazard-themed treat is perfect for the Halloween season and offers a different flare than some of the other recordings in this article. Adding a touch of comfy synth as well as 8-bit effects, ‘Biohazard 2’ generates quite a buzz when it comes to the grim interpretations of All Hallows’ Eve. Providing a soothing and structured soundscape across eight tracks, there are subtle hints of malevolence and dark creativity while maintaining an ethereal stance throughout. Several tracks contain the harsh vibes of Dungeon Noise, while others are saturated in serene benevolence. This is a very unique album but at the same time, intriguing enough even for the moderate listener.



6. Born From Pain – Night Of The Living Dead

https://bornfrompainbm.bandcamp.com/album/night-of-the-living-dead-rescore

‘Night Of The Living Dead’ is a reinterpretation of the film score for one of the movies that started it all. Born From Pain provides a solid translation of the zombie-infested film with droning guitars, subtle keys and luminous improvisations, thus yielding an alternate audial perspective. Listening to these tracks individually may not offer the clarity needed for visualizing a common theme, however a complete listen through – while imagining the original film of the same name – will offer a grim aesthetic for this nightmarish excursion. A bold mix of Dungeon Synth, Ambient and various guitar tones, this album portrays a stark foundation for a lo-fi, bleak experience.



7. Marishiten – Scott Creek Communion EP

https://hiakukumizu.bandcamp.com/album/marishiten-scott-creek-communion-ep

‘Scott Creek Communion’ is a minimalistic drone ordeal that falls somewhere between industrialized madness and harsh noise exploitations. Deafening modulations provide a haunting, atmospheric setting that is sinister enough to frighten the souls of those that dare to listen while producing a menacing backdrop for evil incantations. Although only three tracks with a seventeen minute playing time, the angst one will feel while listening is enough to engage the dreadful displeasures of the emotional state of mind. The chilling sound effects fused with the endless reverberations are quite unsettling but is the perfect soundtrack for the season of the dead and haunted spirits – especially if trapped in a haunted building or remote location. Listen at your own risk!



8. Vaeyen – Liminality

https://vaeyen88.bandcamp.com/album/liminality

‘Liminality’ is an obscure little recording that uses a plethora of soundscapes and samples to maximize the depth of dread that is imposed on the psyche. The conglomerate of effects are systematically fused to create a suspenseful state, allowing the listener to harvest whatever self condition is vulnerable. Although there are thirteen individual tracks, this twenty six minute minute outing is meant to be listened to in a continuous state. As your mind drifts off from the opening sounds of elevator music, you will quickly be subjected to a sinister realm of maniacal proportions. The more I listen, the more I can identify with the terrifying sounds that are appropriated from every day life. This is the perfect recording to meet all of your spooky endeavors.

9. Moonrise Of Dead Masses – 10/31/1978

https://deadmasses.bandcamp.com/album/10-31-1978

This album is a chilling homage to one of the greatest horror movie franchises of all-time, Halloween. How more appropriate than to release this tribute than during the season of All Saints’ Eve. This album has it all, spine-tingling keyboard chops, retro soundscapes, drum pad beats from the 70’s & 80’s, as well as haunting atmospherics that will thrust the listener back to the greatest time period of horror cinema. The layers of keyboard madness create a culture of sonic malevolence that is completely addictive to listen to and frightening enough to to make you want to sleep with a nightlight on. This is another excellent album to get you in the mood for Allhallowtide and should be played at loud volumes to cause apprehension in the kiddies that want to solicit for a tasty treat!



10. Wrought Records Presents – Reliquary Of Terror Vol. 2

https://wroughtrecords.bandcamp.com/album/reliquary-of-terror-vol-2

Leave it up to Wrought Records to come through with the goods – especially for the Halloween season. ‘Reliquary Of Terror Vol. 2’ is a superb compilation of spooky intonations, compliments of some of the most distinguished artist in the Dungeon Synth genre. Featuring over an hours worth of frightening endeavors, this anthology of awe makes for a perfect companion while celebrating the dark festivities. Featuring menacing soundscapes, seasonal field recordings, and a deluge of synths and effects, each artist brings their own special “It Factor” to these recordings, showing their unique individuality, while jamming in unity in the spirit of long forgotten Saints! Finally, that album cover is nothing short of amazing and sets a bleak but festive mood for the audial invasion that will soon occur.


Dolum Vel Tractare!!!

Special Thanks To Droned Artworks!!

Huge shoutout to Droned Artworks for being so kind to let me use some of their artwork for this article. Waclaw Traier does an amazing job at creating some of the most obscure and unique paintings around. Even the artwork for my site was commissioned by him and it sets the perfect tone for what I’m trying to convey in my publishing’s. His artwork has also been commissioned by numerous bands and artists across multiple genres to create some of the most unmistakable album covers ever. Please find his amazing artwork at the site below:

http://www.droned.eu

If you’re into ominous, single player card games, look no further than Warclaw Games. Still an up-and-coming game developer, there are already several fascinating games available for digital release. Check out the website for more details:

https://www.warclawgames.com

Metempsychosis Physical Release:

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/metempsychosis:-abyss-of-horrors


The Opinionated Optimist Podcast Halloween Reviews!!

Episode 49 The Movie Malignant Is Quite Benign

https://pod.fo/e/e8293

Episode 50 – Halloween Horror Nights 30: The Good, The Bad, The Plexiglass

https://pod.fo/e/eb416

Episode 51 – Howl-O-Scream Orlando

https://pod.fo/e/edfd0


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

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

Until next Halloween…

Industrial-Strength Modulations Construct Quite A Commotion on ‘Heterodox’ by Josh Sager

When it comes to Dark Ambient music, I’m always searching for a certain level of obscurity. After all, it’s supposed to be the bleakest form of ambient music so I’m looking to be drawn into a cold world of chaos and emptiness with a degree of emotional grit. There are many artists that surpass my expectations, leaving me with one simple question – How does this genre continue to fascinate me on such a high level? One such artists that I’ve recently been drawn to is Josh Sager. On his latest album, ‘Heterodox’, Josh pulls no punches when it comes to desolation tones and simultaneously excels at embedding poignant melodies that elicit moments of seclusion and bliss. These seven tracks provide a perfect storm of sentimental soundscapes, rhythmic drones and the ability to capture the listeners soul, albeit momentarily, and establish a length of remembrance for every single note that is played.

The albums lead off track, “The Plague Doctors” begins with the subtle sounds of distant turmoil. However, as the modulations grow louder, an eerie chaos can be detected and it draws the listener in like a trance-like frequency. Synthwave harmonies and looping keys lead creates a twisted sensation while a massive build up of sound effects and drones amass a sonic wall of discord. “A Dread Of Something Abnormal” immediately commences with a heavily distorted drone that is reminiscent of an industrial wasteland commotion. Sophisticated effects weave in and out of the elongated note, turning the empty space into and angst-filled void. Drum pads and muffled guitar tones blast their way in, producing a varied space that makes this soundtrack worthy material. “Lurkers” is definitely where the creep factor comes into play, pushing this album to extreme new heights. A thumping bass sound leads a slow cadence while a symphony of noise begins to construct around it. The creepiness slowly turns into a melancholic sensation, rendering an audial passage of despair. This is one of the most haunting ambient tracks that I’ve heard in a while and is seriously worthy of repeated listens. “Monsters Make Monsters” starts with a reverberated piano tone that has a grandiose sound and succeeds at clearing a particular headspace for a dreamy adventure. While the listener continues to be mesmerized by these simply played notes, an establishment of field recordings and synth effects slowly crescendo into a retrospective outlook. I can imagine listening to this track while driving down a long, narrow road during the break of dawn. There is a particular crispness in this sound that offers a serene clarity and the results are amazing. “Ghost Of Mortis” is the most alluring tracks on the album as the delicate melody that is played throughout is full of decadent vibrations and somber emotions. Even though this song is over six minutes long, it ends sooner than expected due to the layers of melody capturing the heart of the listener at multiple intervals. “Fugitive Glances Of Strange Landscapes” is a droning adventure that exhibits various levels of industrial conduct by the waning effects used for the effortless use of distorted modulations. It’s like being trapped in a post-apocalyptic city filled with complex buildings structures that are corroded beyond any livable means. The final track on the album is “Death Is Just The End”. This is another slow builder, but when everything comes into full focus, it’s a force of controlled chaos and magnificent refrain. This is another nostalgic effort that stands out and sounds even more menacing at loud volumes. This is one track that I wish wouldn’t end; it’s that incredible and addictive.

Josh Sager is a really impressive Dark Ambient artist. The way he incorporates melody and makes reference to the retro synthwave era of 80’s compositions is spectacular. This is an album that can easily be played through in one sitting without skipping any tracks and I’m quite sure it will stand the test of time. Do yourself a favor and check it out by listening (or downloading) 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://joshsager.bandcamp.com/album/heterodox

Mahr G’Didj Composes Dungeon Synth With Unfathomable Twists And Turns On ‘Crane & Crescent Pt. 3: Fate’s Bottomless Well, E’er Churn Her Waters’

Since last year, Mahr G’Didj has been on a roll with the ‘Crane & Crescent’ series of recordings. Divergence seems to be the driving factor that makes these albums stand out amongst the genres’ elite. That particularly holds true on the third outing, ‘Crane & Crescent Pt. 3: Fates Bottomless Well, E’er Churn Her Waters’. From comfy synth and carnival-like anthems to progressive key chops, traditional dungeon synth sounds and obscure black metal intonations, this album branches out like no other. There is a lot to talk about on this effervescent gem, so let’s discuss these contrasting (yet homogeneous) tracks.

The albums lead off track, “Elegy Reprise”, is a cozy little piece that would make anyone feel right at home, snuggled up in front of a warm winter fire. However, the intimate setting doesn’t last long as ”Infiltration, Ruined Arkell” takes this album in a completely different direction. The coziness is replaced with a symphony of keys, synth effects and looming drum pads that hammer away at a fast pace. There is a sense of hurried aggression to this piece as it suddenly comes to a halt and immediately leads into “Three Altars (Kminthi, Lilliah, Piellen Gi)”. An odd sequence begins the track and then a diabolical melody provides another twist in this album of a menagerie of sounds. This track almost sounds like a looping house soundtrack that you would hear while playing winless games at a carnival. However there are enough bizarre sequences to keep the experience fun and refreshing. “Russo’s Ambition” commences with a clean – almost jazz-like – approach with mild percussion keeping a solid cadence in the background. The composition is less whimsical than on previous tracks and contains progressive elements that makes it one of the most engaging efforts on the album. The next song, “Bombs Over Argin” starts with a flashy keyboard loop that is soon backed by a haunting synth effect and bombastic drum pads. The drums are more enlightening than on previous tracks and are hopefully a good indication of broader elements to come. “Embraced By Shadow, Kissed By Venom (Lutecia’s Theme)” is my favorite track on the album and it’s also the point where the dynamics shift yet again. This time, massive guitars (with tremolo picking) and blast beats become the primary focus. There is a synthwave style bridge in the middle of the track that is equally compelling but the song finishes the same way it started – with seismic guitars and rushing drum sequences. “Grado’s Rest (Fate’s Bottomless Well)” is another fantastic track of variables. There are several layers of key effects, progressive drum beats and guitar strums that fuse together in majestic harmony. “The Defiled (Miranda’s Theme)” takes us back to the whimsical side but with a sense of apprehension, as climactic elements are on full display. The drum track also stands out in several spots and are programmed in perfect fashion. Toward the middle of the song, doomed guitar riffs add a touch of heaviness and nostalgic vision. “Elicia Ascendant” begins with barely audible narrations and then melds into a delightful comfy synth arrangement. This is a light-hearted tracks with melancholic undertones and serene layers of synth bliss. The final track on the album is simply titled “Epilogue”. Beginning with a fantasy synth style, it soon breaks into a Disney-esque composition that could be used as a jingle for one of the theme park’s attractions. Such a tranquil and pliable way to end this remarkable album.

Mahr G’Didj has made quite an impression on me with his unique way of composing unconventional songs while remaining true to the Dungeon Synth genre. From Comfy Synth to Carnival-themed songs and Black Metal blasts, this album is totally entertaining from start to finish and will ultimately please fans that love a variety of nuances on a single album. Be sure to download this album – as well as the previous albums in the ‘Crane & Crescent’ series – 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://oedsvyrtstower.bandcamp.com/album/crane-crescent-pt-3-fates-bottomless-well-eer-churn-her-waters

Grande Loge Evokes Tribal Beats And Ritualistic Atmospherics On Compelling ‘Mantras’ Release

Once again, I find myself arriving late to the party on a fantastic album that was released toward the end of 2020. With so much music being released in the genres that I’ve created this blog for, it sometimes feels impossible to stay dialed in to all of the magnificent works of art that find their way into this world. However, as I’ve always said, it’s better late than ever, especially if discovering something that may have a lasting impact. Grande Loge definitely fits that bill with their awe-inspiring, ritualistic ambient debut, ‘Mantras’. Featuring seven tracks of ceremonial dirges, these songs exemplify ancient tribal hymns with traditional instruments and a solid production.

From the start, “Epopteia” takes the lister back in time, to a medieval Scandinavian period where music and art were inspired by the land, ancients Gods and culture. A broad mix of conventional instruments and hymnal chants, this track sets a particular mood for mythological inspiration and ritualistic dominance. As the track continues, the pace increases and the compositional movements become more austere. “Mithra Invictus” commences with bold vocal incantations, followed by Middle Eastern-style melodies. A variety of percussive elements create a galloping style arrangement and the vocal performance become increasingly powerful. An impressive break toward the middle of the track brings more layers of stringed instruments and soon after, it picks back up to an enchanting performance of strident harmony and ancient throat singing. “Hekaten” continues with the powerful vocal performances in a chant-like manner, complete with serene musical accents, with the occasional bell ring. As the song ages, the vocals become more majestic and continue to stand out. This track is reminiscent of a group of Norse warriors participating in a ritualistic ceremony before forging on to battle. “Avekko” has a compelling and unique vocal performance, with layers of vocal chats & whispers, while drones of throat singing occupies the background elements. Harsh shrills of warrior-like cries peak at random intervals, while a beautiful violin lead stands out between all of the vocal endeavors. “Aecroto” begins with a simple percussive beat and then menacing overtone vocals begin to engage – chanting a traditional narration. A background drone increases with anxious intent while a wide range of voice melodies continue to shine. “Tenya Pon” is a fun little track that will have the listener tapping their feet in unison with the drum beats, while singing along with the simple vocal chants that are present throughout. It’s easy to tell that this is a celebratory track due to the upbeat percussive performance and the sing-along style vocals. The final track on the album is the ceremonial “Hierophantes”. Various traditional instruments synchronize to compose a minimalistic but glorifying final performance. Representing the darkness of nature and melancholy, this song is soundtrack worthy and succeeds in catapulting the listener back to a dark time where an ancient civilization lived off of the land and endured the hardships of Arctic-like elements and suffrage through battle. This is such an exalting way to end this amazing album.

‘Mantras’ is an exception album and such a bold statement for a debut. Grande Loge sustains a high caliber performance throughout this stunningly beautiful magnum opus and every track stands out in the most impressive of ways. Combining elements of traditional instruments, multiple singing styles and haunting background ambience, Grand Loge creates a challenging platform for ritualistic inspired music. Fans of Wardruna and Phurpa should dive into this album immediately and everyone else should take the time to check out this extremely special performance. Click on the link below to download this grandiose musical experience.

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

Links:

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

‘Music For Mental Health’ Brings Much Needed Awareness For World Mental Health Day

Today, October 10th, is the observation of World Mental Health Day. First celebrated in 1994, this International Day has grown into a global event that expands beyond 150 countries. On this day, supporters celebrate the education, knowledge and advancement against social stigma. What makes this day even more special is when artist across multiple genres of obscure music come together in a collaborative effort and release an album dedicated to this cause. ‘Music For Mental Health’ is that album and Hreám Recordings did a fascinating job curating this collection of fantastic tunes, especially since they have a deeper meaning for many of the artists that contributed. The outcome is over three hours of raw, honest, emotion-filled songs that excel at raising awareness for this special day. In addition, all proceeds from this album will go to Mind UK (link below). Please show your support for this cause and head over to the bandcamp link below and download this amazing album.

From the curator of this project:

The artists involved in this project are all more or less of the No Audience Underground:
8 Track Dogma, A Beautiful Idea, Audio Obscura, Bolivian Fireships, boycalledcrow, D^mselfly, Distant Animals, DJ盲目, Dogs Versus Shadows, Drew Mulholland, EXPOSE YOUR EYES, fencepost, Henrik Meierkord, Lednik Frontier, Malady of Knots, Quiet Clapping, Rauppwar, relay station, Sound Effects Of Death And Horror, The Creeping Man, The New Emphatic, The Owl, The Wyndham Research Institute, there are no birds here, Vanessa Pettendorfer, V’Gernull, Wonderful Beasts and Xqui.

The compilation covers genres as: experimental, drone, ambient, soundscape, electronic and improv. There are 27 tracks all in all and over 3 hours of music waiting for the listener. Most of the tracks are specially written for this project, with a few handpicked. Many pieces reflect over the creators own struggles with mental health issues and there are even some that chosen to leave a written message to read while listening to their creation. We have all worked very hard for this and are very proud of the result. It will be a true joy to be able to share this one with the world.


All proceeds will go to Mind UK:

https://www.mind.org.uk/

Hreám Recordings:

https://hream.bandcamp.com

Controlled Discord Meets Hostile Variance On Fen Wraith’s ‘Forgotten Lore One/Two’ EP’s

The positive aspect of my ceaseless search for obscure music is there is plenty of it out there and not enough of it gets discovered at the rate that it should. One of my intentions with this blog is to help propel those artists/albums into a realm of clarity amongst the ambiguous. One such act that fits this description is Fen Wraith – an attentive new artist that creates a nucleus of sludgy metal tunes with the help of Dungeon Synth aesthetics and a love for loud, propulsive distortion. In March of this year, this solitary act released two EP’s of majestic music that should meet the needs of those with a love of tonal variety. ‘Forgotten Lore One: Black Waves Crashing’ and ‘Forgotten Lore Two: The Haunted Mire’ are two snippets of exciting songs that range from doom-laden dirges to acoustic haunts that build with anticipation.

Forgotten Lore One: Black Waves Crashing

https://fenwraith.bandcamp.com/album/forgotten-lore-one-black-waves-crashing

‘Forgotten Lore: Black Waves Crashing’ presents ten minutes of murky doom riffs with heavily distorted bass and a rugged mix of clean and harsh guitar riffs that trudge onward for the duration of this recording. “A Cursed Quest, A Miserable Existence” begins with the sound of clashing swords, as a Medieval battle seems to be well underway. After a short narrative sample, a barrage of thunderous bass tones promotes an assaulting sound while a slow drum beat provides a roomy cadence. Guitars strum faintly in the background but add a deep character to the track. “Black Waves Crashing On The Shore Of 1000 Hollowed Graves” continues on with the same groove but this time with a bit more melody. The fusion of clean guitar riffs and harsh bass tones work really well in this track and the end result is a short but effective trance-like dirge that ends quicker than it should. The final track on the EP is, “The Final Thoughts And Breaths, Of A Dying Man” and it features icy cold vokills, compounded by droning guitar riffs. Toward the middle of the track, the harsh riffs subside into a beautiful acoustic passage that brings us to the end of the album.


Forgotten Lore Two: The Haunted Mire

https://fenwraith.bandcamp.com/album/forgotten-lore-two-the-haunted-mire

‘Forgotten Lore Two: The Haunted Mire’, contains two tracks of hypnotic sounds that are slightly less aggressive than the tracks on the first EP, and are a little more epic with regards to the compositional side. Lead off track, “O’Keeper, O’Defiler” commences with a steady drum beat that is backed up with layers of looping guitar riffs that allow the listener to to drift off into an imaginative world of angst and ancient scenery. The last few minutes of the track contains a haunting narrative piece that combines with a clean guitar strums to produce a calming effect. Suddenly the track blasts off into a loud climactic ending that is reminiscent of early Blood Of The Black Owl releases. The second (and final) track is the ominous “Haunted And Hunted”. Chock full of soundscapes and samples, it’s as if battle-ready warriors are sharpening their weapons in preparation for a grueling bloodshed. Massive guitar drones add a sinister character to the track, as a plethora of additional instrumentation slowly build into a highly anticipated musical capstone. A muffled drum beat maintains a durable pace and all at once, the noise come to a screeching halt, minus an acoustic passage and random industrial-like effects.

If these two EP’s are a consistent introduction for albums to come, then we are safe with delivering accolades to the bright young path of Fen Wraith. Although these are brief outings, the production of unique and inspiring music has been achieved. For the sake of getting lost in the music, I wish these tracks were longer but I kindly accept them for what they are, which is an entertaining mix of noise, metal and Dungeon Synth undertones. Please support Fen Wraith and these albums by clicking on the link below.

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Links:

https://fenwraith.bandcamp.com

Withering Of Light Unearths A Collection Of Obscure Fragments On ‘Reliquary’

There is a particularly dark scene in the movie, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in which Luke Skywalker is undergoing his Jedi Knight training. They come upon a dark path of sorts and Luke asks Yoda, “What’s In there”, in which Yoda replies, “Only what you take with you.” That is such a haunting sentence, especially when experiencing the unknown. It also serves as a metaphor for Withering Of Lights latest album, ‘Reliquary’. It’s almost hard to describe in words what that actually means, but fans of Dark Ambient music can easily relate to this analogy, as this genre of music excels at providing a platform for emotional and spiritual expansion. As for ‘Reliquary’, the six songs contained within contribute to a sense of isolation and dread, in which unforetold tales are inevitable and open for an array of interpretations.

Harrowing album opener, “Apocryyphal”, administers a jolt of cold atmospherics and creepy soundscapes that drag the listen down a bleak pit of doom. The drones cascade with minimalistic angst and lurking synth effects crescendo at random intervals, providing an unfathomable experience. “Fane” continues this dark excursion by weighing the listener down with a barrage of consoling drones and sequences of terrifying sounds. As the ear-piercing tones isolate the listener from a peaceful reality, low-end reverberations zero in on the minds gloomy whereabouts. Toward the end of the track, a hint of calming keys expand this emotional journey into new territory. The next track, “Hive”, is like a chain reaction of evil intent, as sinister soundscapes continue to build at will. Superbly arranged synth leads adds a depth of character as this develops into one of the most malevolent concepts on the album. Industrial effects give this an overall apocalyptic vibe as this nightmare increases with each passing second. The albums title track, “Reliquary”, lives up to its ominous name as I can imagine hearing this upon discovering an ancient ark in a long forgotten cave. As curiosity presses you to open the ark for a vivid discovery of the relics contained within, a sense of relentless evil darkens the skies and morphs all tranquil thoughts into an inauspicious will of self-destruction. “Spectral Resonance” is like an austere sense of awakening as this minimalistic piece represents a void of surroundings and a slow-motion effort to investigate a way out of this purgatory. This track also provides a cold, desolate dais for emotional captivity, spewing filthy soundscapes, manipulated by eerie reverberations and manifestations. The final track on the album is “White Chrism”. A great – but excruciating – blend of nominal drones and loosely embedded soundscapes, this track serves as the horrifying exit from a nightmarish adventure and the scarred return to a gloomy reality. Even as the track comes to a close, these dreary modulations will remain as a everlasting cicatrix, replaying over and over again with no end avail.

Withering Of Light does a compelling job at turning minimalistic drones into a work of decaying art. ‘Reliquary’ is an album of evil intent and disquieting accord. Not only are these tracks downright terrifying but for listeners in the wrong state of mind, could cause traumatic affects. The metaphor that I presented in the beginning of this review still holds true for this recording. There is so much space ingrained in this music that the emotions you bring to this listening experience is a customary component to its audial outcome. This is an excellent Dark Ambient album that deserves to be heard by the masses. Please show your support for Withering Of Light by downloading this album from the link below, as well as checking out the back catalog of superb albums.

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Links:

https://witheringoflight.bandcamp.com

Get Ready For A Psychedelic Trip Through Whimsical Dungeons On Temple Of The Fractured Light’s ‘The Groovopolis’

Talk about intriguing, Temple Of Fractured Light’s latest album, ‘The Groovopolis’ is a mesmerizing blend of genres, sounds, emotions, and fanatical experiences all wrapped up in one. This twenty eight minute long exploit is a deep dive into the psyche with psychedelic and tranquility overtones that are reinforced with bold but minimalistic compositions set to take the listener into a brave new world.

This kaleidoscopic journey begins with the audacious “Discard Your Earthly Body To Enter The Kingdom Of Light”. Commencing with an organ-like drone, we are soon greeting with tolling of the bells and an abrupt, distorted keyboard chop. Synth leads are introduced as a synchronous melody slowly comes together. As an introductory piece, this track sets a jubilant tone for the overall theme of the album. “Welcome To The Groovopolis” is a short track that continues the momentum and vibrantly adds a steady percussive beat, as if marching into unknown territories is inevitable. Discordant keys expand the boundaries, creating an uneasy atmosphere for those that dare to partake in the festivities. “Shamans Of The Great Prism Forest” is one of the most melodic achievements on the album, as multiple keyboard effects fuse together to establish a memorable audial encounter. The droning organ-like keys in the background really hold all of these sounds together, allowing for harmonized perfection. Battle-rhythm beats play an effective role as well, building an intricate song full of elaborate detail. “Fractal manner Of The Deep Forest” is a psychedelic dirge that assembles on simplicity and calming effects. The tones are soothing and otherworldly, and succeed at achieving a dreamy environment for an alternate state of mind. “Princess Of The Hallucinogenic Mushroom Dunes” brings out the whimsical effects and is one of the most upbeat tracks on the album. Combining steady percussive elements and layers of eccentric synths & keys, this song forges on a buoyant path while maintaining an incongruous arrangement. “Gargoyles Flying Free” is the shortest track amongst these gems, but bridges the gap between ethereal intonations and cinematic clarity. This brief experience is moody and provides a refreshing outlook on the estranged sound manipulations of the previous tracks. “Past The Vision Fields” is another amusing offering that is light and sincere. The piercing synth leads exhibits the most melodically structured stanza’s on the whole album and combined with the rhythmic synths and sporadic percussion section, this is definitely a standout track. The final track is the outlandish “Coronation At The Rainbow Temple”. This is surely the strangest endeavor but fits in perfectly with the rest of the album. The consistent use of barraging synth effects works well with this composition as it’s more of a dreamy piece with a somber appeal. As this album comes to a close, so does the psychedelic vibe, as this track brings us back to reality, more refreshed than ever.

Throughout its short history, Temple Of Fractured Light has made a valiant effort to include a nifty blend of synth groove, psychedelic flavor and unconventional themes to create an essence that stands out amongst its peers. ‘The Groovopolis’ is a stellar achievement that will stand the test of time and garner multiple listens in order to embrace its awesomeness. Even though this album came out at the first of the year, it’s never too late to embrace the culture of all things groovy and psychedelic. Please show your support by downloading this one-of -a-kind album!

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Links:

https://templeofthefracturedlight.bandcamp.com/album/the-groovopolis