When I’m in the mood for gritty, uncompromising intonations with sinister, lo-fi production I often turn to dark dungeon music. Although I have a handful of “go-to” favorites that reside in this category, it’s nice to hear newer, up-and-coming artists that diverge their attention to this more abrasive style of Dungeon Synth. An artist that has certainly captivated my attention as of late is Sunken Basilica. With an intransigent debut album that reeks of caustic melodies and pungent soundscapes throughout, I find myself returning to this album more often than none. Residing on a fine line of raw Dungeon Synth with Black Metal undertones, this thirty one minute magnum opus is as entertaining as it is desirable.
Right from the opening note of the first track, “Interuniversal Osmosis”, we are blasted with nostalgic soundscapes that are reminiscent of classic science fiction soundtrack anthems. The low quality production adds an ominous value, as this creepy, celestial tune bolsters gritty, dungeon-esque qualities. Hints of inaudible Black Metal vocals enhance the ambiguity of this track. “Bestial Ciborium” commences with a modulated synth sound that is firmly relatable to Dark Dungeon Music. However, 80’s style synthwave chops create an ethereal place of vast voids and suggestive winter sceneries. The music is icy cold, as the melodies embody a discordant pattern, producing a haunting canticle. “Profound Bow” is a short piece that immediately goes off the rails with a variety of random tones and stints of ringing bells. Without a doubts, you’ll endure the sensation of anxiety and a belligerent psyche as the harrowing sections loop in vein. However, the synth leads toward the end are hypnotizing and don’t seem to last long enough. Such a superb track to have on repeat, it’s bound to provide much gratification. “Variegated Spheres Of The Throne World” starts with a heavily modulated drone that fluctuates between distant notes, producing just enough melody to anticipate what may follow. However, dismal keys exhausts a deeper drone, reeking havoc on the senses before oscillating to lighter notes once again. As the frequencies continue to shift, Black Metal vocals begin to pierce through like a desperate cry for help. Another amazing tune that deserves multiple listens. “Ascesis” is another track that commences with frantic notes mixed with flexible synth leads. As if being sucked through a massive black hole, an assortment of distant lights pass by at warp speed displaying a melting effect, enduring a hypnotic sense without the ability to move or react. This is certainly a compelling song that fits in well with the rest of these recordings. “Triglyphic Entablature That Rests Upon The Human Soul” is one of the most accessible tracks on the album, well, at first. Initially sounding like a disharmonic orchestra, Black Metal vocals begin to add to the already grim tone. However, a short stint of comforting melodies make their way into the mix before bowing down to a more disruptive harmony. The final track, “Urstaat”, distributes a ritualistic commotion, before a swarm of chaotic notes commence. There is a sensational drone at the outset of this track, but it soon disperses, giving way to an agitation of ghoulish orchestrations. After several minutes, this album ends just as it began, chaotic with angst-filled compositions that are controlled in a fierce and nebulous way.
Sunken Basilica produces my favorite type of Dungeon Synth – raw and chaotic yet nostalgic and alluring. This self-titled album is surely making a bold statement, especially for a debut. Each song is arranged in a dynamic way to tell a story as they build into a tumultuous arrangements and flow seamlessly into the remaining tracks. I highly recommend this album for fans of crude Dungeon Synth that elicit a sense of discomfort. Please click on the link below to download this album and to support this amazing artist.
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