Noctilucant Transcends Winter Adventures In Darkness With ‘Amongst The Snow And The Shadows’

The Noctilucant Bandcamp page is one of my favorite artist pages to peruse every-so-often due to the variety of music that’s offered. From the natural & organic compositions of House Of The Maker, the industrialized noise arrangements of Sonic Oscillations, various collaborations with other Dark Ambient artists, and the ominous ambience of flagship behemoth, Noctilucant, there is too much not to love and dive into at any given time. Back in April, Noctilucant released the winter bound album, ‘Amongst The Snow And The Shadows’ and this icy cold endeavor is quite the adventure in not only Dark Ambient music, but also the perils of seasonal imagination.

“The Flashlight Was Heavy In My Hand” proceeds with nightmare-like intentions, as dismal whispers and sound effects paint a vivid picture of a dark and perilous world. Gloomy drones and synth tones attune to the dynamics of this gruesome track as the malevolent ordeal continues for nearly eleven minutes. “Amongst The Snow And The Shadows” is full of creepy soundscapes and field recordings, but the frozen landscape begins to take shape with this track as the path towards desolation continues. Haunting narrations and the crackling of a moonlit fire are predominate, although a searing drone pulls its weight by creating a nice wintry tone. “The Boundless Ashen Horizon Awaits” is a thirteen and a half minimalistic drone, with bizarre synth tones and more harrowing narrations. The perfectly placed field recording makes the listener feel as if they are traversing a snow covered terrain in the darkest of nights with unknown forces of evil causing havoc on a seemingly endless journey. “Of Black Wings And Winter Nights” features the smooth but eerie sounds of masterful piano chops and grim soundscapes in the background. The addition of natural field recordings ensures an organic aura throughout. Every once in a while, ghastly whispers can be heard, adding a particular bleakness to this awesome track. “Counting The Hours” has a space ambient feel, even though the cracking sound of burning embers secures this song within the winter elements. The synth melody is supremely arranged and adds another dimension to this amazing album. “A Sight Containing Only Death” begins with a glowing drone and an interesting percussion beat that is soon followed by an obscure synth melody. As the percussion fades, layers of soothing drones come about and bring forth ghostly soundscapes that are downright horrifying. Again, haunting narrations provide an esoteric storyline that fits in perfectly. The final track on the album, “Some Kind Of Solace”, commences with deep modulations and reverberating drones that include distorted soundscapes and peaceful piano chops. The song winds down to a grinding drone that continues for a minute or so before finally fading out.

Noctilucant is quickly becoming one of my “go-to” artists for impulsive dark ambient music. ‘Amongst The Snow And The Shadows’ pushes the boundaries of the genre and impressively applies soundscapes, field recordings and effects in a way that that generates a lot of interesting track details. In turn, there is a lot of replayability with Noctilucant recordings and this album is one of the best so far. I highly recommend checking out this album from the link below, as well as the rest of the Noctilucant catalog. While you’re on the Bandcamp page, give a listen to the many other wonderful projects as well, as they are top notch listens.

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Links:

https://noctilucant.bandcamp.com/album/amongst-the-snow-and-the-shadows

Fusing Dungeon Synth And Gladiatorial Pulses, Haunted Realm’s ‘Songs From The Deep Halls’ Delivers Ominous Anthems For The Masses

Over the past few years, I’ve become thoroughly impressed with the resilience of the Dungeon Synth genre and the community that it’s cultivated. From the magnitude of artists and constant releases to the incorporation of other genres and soundscapes to facilitate a sub-culture all of its own. I’m most intrigued when an artist delivers a wide variety of music, yet stays true to the boundaries of the genre itself. One of those artists is Haunted Realm. With varying musical ventures from release to release, it’s always a surprise to see what’s in store the moment you press play. For ‘Songs From The Deep Halls’, we get a daring Dungeon Synth adventure full of tribal-like rhythms and momentous arrangements, but there is also influences from other synth sub-genres as well, making this a spectacular thirty five minute journey through a fanatical, medieval kingdom.

“Masters Of Mountains” commenced with a slow but steady tribal beat that sounds like the prelude to a death march. After a few bars, a beautiful synth arrangement is introduced, emitting a somber-like dirge to remember. Layers of synth effects and flute notes increase the intensity of this track as it builds up to a glorious finale. The final minute is all worth it, as a smooth and droning synth lead takes over and provides a spectacular harmony to close out the track. “Sons Of Iron And War” begins with several layers of percussive beats and rhythms and it will have you nodding your head or tapping your foot before the first synth note is even played. Deep synth tones sway in and out of the mix as other instrumental effects are engaged to create an ominous result. “Subterranean Throne” starts with a deep tonal modulation that is soon met with slowly played percussive sounds. Another slow building track, malevolent and droning keys are injected to conclude a grim consequence, but they are used sparingly. Synthwave effects are used as well, providing another dimension of sound for this superlative output . “Dominions Of Stone” starts with a moderately paced percussive sound and restrained dungeon synth melodies slowly begin to increase. There are an abundance of sound effects used in this track and they are placed in just the right spots to sound tasteful and very pleasing to the ear. “March Of The Dwarven Legions” is another satisfying track of the highest order with its low-end drum beats, droning ambience, and very dark appeal. The massive horn sounds make this a grandiose affair with a soundtrack-like quality, that would fit perfectly in any Fantasy Adventure film. The final track on the album, is “Eternal Quest”. Most of this track is a bleak, space ambient experience, loaded with cosmic effects that will blast you off into the outermost reaches of the universe. However, it completely changes in the last few minutes and catapults into a darkwave anthem with an illustrious keyboard arrangement and pulsating drum beat. The melody in this part is so beautiful and is worth listening to over and over again. I couldn’t think of a better track to end this amazing album.

Haunted Realm crushed it with this release as this is some of the finest Dungeon Synth I’ve heard in a while and although it doesn’t have an over-the-top fantasy synth sound, the minimalistic efforts really shine through as if this could be a full-on motion picture soundtrack. The steady but agonizing percussive elements are top level and the final track alone makes the whole album seem that much better. If you’ve not heard ‘Songs From The Deep Halls’ yet, I cannot recommend this enough. Please check it out (and download it) from the link below.

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Links:

https://thehauntedrealm.bandcamp.com/album/songs-from-the-deep-halls

Ugasanie’s Sixth Album For Cryo Chamber, ‘Freedom And Loneliness’, Exposes A Bleak And Native Reality

One of my favorite Cryo Chamber acts, Ugasanie, continues to epitomize the Polar Ambient sound with his sixth mesmerizing release for the label called, ‘Freedom And Lonliness’. Known for his chilling and bleak wintery ambient sounds of minimalistic intent, Ugasanie has mastered the icy cold elements once again, but this time around includes archaic & ritualistic overtones to produce his most ambitious effort yet. With hints of ceremonial soundscapes and tribal recording to give this Polar Ambient masterpiece a great native tribe influence, the listener will find themselves plunged into a world of ancient heritage and ominous adventure.

“Exemption” slowly fades in with a soothing drone and after a minute, tribalistic soundscapes become present as if setting up for a grueling ceremonial experience. The monotonous howl of the wind presents an eerie presence as well. “Cold Coast” is a frigid track with the subtleties of a murky stream ever so present in this desolate sounding affair. Distant thunderstorms bring in a dark presence but it doesn’t prevent the ritual adventures from commencing. “Dead Wasteland” begins with a lifeless drone with the occasional harrowing soundscape that slowly crescendos to a louder volume. This is the type of Polar Ambient track that we’ve come to love from Ugasanie. “Ritual” is the track where more of the scenic action begins. Chanting and rhythmic percussion bring this song to new heights as the spirit of ancient warriors take over to proclaim their land. With the deep, hollow drones in the background, there is something very malevolent sounding on this one and I can’t listen to it enough. Even when the war cries and native instruments can’t be heard, the dark ambient modulations are certain to send a chill down your spine. “Freedom And Loneliness” continues with the epic drones and sinister soundscapes. Industrialized synth effects create a monstrous sound as they add additional layers of commotion that is a warm welcome on this album. “Long North Night” presents another superlative drones that builds upon industrial sounds and muffled samples. Grim atmospheric tones construct a vision of emptiness yet an aspiration for humanity in the bitter frozen north. “Northern Lights” begins with a field recording of a native trenching through the snow. As they get closer to their destination, ancient drums can be heard pounding a ceremonial dirge. Somber drones intensify as the harsh conditions of the north prevail. “To The Polar Star” is one of my favorite tracks on the album as it displays some of the coldest drones yet. Distant, celestial soundscapes add a space element to this track but the coldness of the Polar Ambient theme is still in full effect. The final track on the album is the melancholic piano ballad, “Sorrow”. Although this is something a little different from the typical Ugasanie album, it’s definitely a welcomed surprise as it gives us a brush of melody with a slight hint of wintery wind soundscapes.

There is no denying that Ugasanie is the king of Polar Ambient. However, on “Freedom And Loneliness”, we get a glimpse into a whole new world, as ritualistic and native elements are introduced, as well as industrial soundscapes. These essential features bridge the gap between minimalistic Polar Ambient music and sequestering dark ambience. Not only is Ugasanie one of my favorite Dark Ambient artists, “Freedom And Loneliness” just may be my new favorite album by him. Please show your support for Ugasanie and Cryo Chamber by downloading this monumental album from the link below.

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Links:

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/freedom-and-loneliness

Slime Golem Presents ‘The Short But Touching Tale Of Slime Golem’ Through Mystifying Sounds That Traverse Dungeon Synth, Retro Synthwave & Crypt Hop

Slime Golem have firmly solidified their place in the Dungeon Synth arena with the quirky but horrifying new release entitled, ‘The Short But Touching Tale Of Slime Golem’. Combining unconventional effects, ambient textures, traditional dungeon synth vibes and and a horror-themed story, Slime Golem checks all the necessary blocks to make their debut effort a fulfilling and entertaining endeavor. Let’s take a closer look into these unique, nightmarish anthems and reveal what makes this album so special.

Twisted album opener, “Swamp Crawling (A Golem Out Of Clay Emerges From The Banks Of The Ulkah River)” blends whimsical sound effects and melodic keyboards to deliver a spaghetti western-like theme song, but with a slight dungeon synth overtone. “You Have Summoned The Slime Golem! (Master In Awe Of His Creation)” is a sly little piece that features silky synth tones followed by drum & bass rhythms that give this track a grimacing sound. There are plenty of retro synth moments on display here to keep this short track dynamic and interesting. “The Bestowing Of Emet (…Such Is Your Task)”, is another retro sounding keyboard affair filled with layers of rolling synth modulations that increase as the song continues along. As the effects become more disturbing, it’s almost as if it’s part of a soundtrack for an 80’s horror movie. “Forest Walk (Observing Life Itself For The First Time)” is a somber track that is filled with depressing keyboard chops and fascinating sound effects that are almost contradictory, but seem to fit together rather well. “Hands Of Mud And Blood (A Horrid Act Committed)” is a groovy little piece that combines a maniacal synth lead with eccentric effects that are straight out of a dark comedy horror show. However, the merger of the two sounds provides a solid dungeon synth track of epic proportions, with a tad bit of drum & bass included. “The Golem Wept (A Unique Experience Of Sadness And Self-Awareness)” is an atmospheric track with layers of soothing synths played in a somber arrangement. The lead keys have an awesome retro appeal, which makes this one of my favorite tracks on the album. “I Am Appalled By The Human-Like Form! (Golem Turns Into Its Maker)” is a dark track that isn’t as layered as previous tracks but that doesn’t make it any less diabolical. The inclusion of drum & bass really puts this one over the top and all of the instruments synchronize perfectly to form a mind-melding dirge. “What Piece Of Work Is Man To Need A Lesser Being For Slave? (Golem Escapes)” is another bleak experience field with gloomy keyboard melodies and haunting ambience. The layers increase in the middle of the song and then slowly fade toward the end, but keep their majestic appeal throughout. “Prima Materia (Return To The Green And Slimy Vastitude)” has a slight sinister appeal to it, but it’s not full-on ominous, as the bizarre synth affects add a bit of dark satire, even though the keyboard leads are thick and epic. The final track on this dark and quirky album is “Unbinding (The Creature Knows Peace)”. The main synth synth lead is melodic and dreamy, while the background provides a retro darkwave sound, sending this album to another dimension when it comes to mood and genre-blending. The introspective ambience in the background flows with haunting dynamics as it augments all of the harmony provided by the other instrumentation. This not only create an effective outro for this unique little horror story, but also solidifies this amazing artist as a great songwriter.

I am thoroughly impressed by this debut outing from Slime Golem. Not only is the music amazing and genre defying, but the story that it represents is magical and can be easily identified within these wonderful song arrangements. I’m really looking forward to the see what the future holds for this artist and the incredible stories that will possibly be told through the magic of the music are sure to be extraordinary. If you’ve not heard ‘The Short But Touching Tale Of Slime Golem’, look no further than the link below and give this masterful album a listen. I can’t recommend this one enough so please download it now.

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Links:

https://wyrmlodge.bandcamp.com/album/the-short-but-touching-tale-of-slime-golem

Sombre Arcane Release Enthralling New Video For “Ancestral Seat Of The Barovian Scourge”

The dungeon keeper duo from Massachusetts, otherwise known as Sombre Arcane, have recently premiered a breathtaking video of their ritualistic performance of “Ancestral Seat Of The Barovian Scourge”, originally released on the Wrought Records compilation, ‘The Reliquary Of Terror’. The ceremonial ambiance and medieval appeal is awe-inspiring and the musical creativity is dark, moody, and downright genius. Check out the video below and also download the Wrought Records compilation (link below) as well.

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

Link:

https://sombrearcane.bandcamp.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrrQxo5jsCMFXaJ4Xott5WA

Fusing Lo-Fi Melodies With Binding Drones, Ataşehir Unleashes The Stunning ‘AVM’

I’ve often wondered if it’s possible for a dark ambient album to provide a sense of euphoria. While the genre is typically the subject matter of dismal, apocalyptic setting or doomed, deep space missions, lighter sentiment can certainly be ascertained, albeit through equally grim music. Such is the case for the latest release by Ataşehir called, ‘AVM’ – a soundtrack (of sorts) that describes a single days worth of events in a shopping mall. It’s a fairly unique theme, with quirky song titles, that stretches the boundaries of dark ambience into a more jubilant state. Let’s examine these peculiar tracks more closely.

“Your Message Woke Me Up In The Middle Of The Night And I Couldn’t Get Back To Sleep” commences with a somber energy like no other. Although at first it seems like you’re drifting through space in a motionless void, cold nebulas and other space phenomena begin to flash by you in a silent instant. Narration samples are barely audible, but make their presence felt as the tide changes to a darker tone through fierce drones. The last minute and a half introduces beautifully toned guitars that play a ceremonial chord before fading out. “A Slight Feeling Of Euphoria As We Entered The Place Where Everything Is Shiny And New” has a nostalgic feel too it, as the dreamy keyboards play a 80’s synthwave groove and multiple layers of luminous synths provide a lush atmosphere. “The Had The Right Size But The Wrong Color And This Triggered Something In Me” is an introspective piece with retro synth tones and more spots of barely audible narrations. There is a slight echo throughout this whole track that gives it a slightly cold and grim feel. “Leaving The Cinema To An Empty Food Court, We Believed The World Was Ours Or At Least Could Be” has a soft, cinematic texture that emits volumes of emotions. From the slight reverberation that are taking place in the background, to the keyboard leads that are as melodic as they are harmonious, this track builds up slowly and has a long fade out as well – stretching out whatever emotive state is present here. “This Is My Ice Cream And Yes You Can Have Some” is a minimalistic piece that places layers of beautiful drones at the helm, and then builds wonderful melodies around them. This track also has a nostalgic vibe that will take your memory back to yesteryear, as the quintessential arrangements play in looping pattern until they slowly fade out. “A Cold Breeze Blew Through The Smoking Area And I Shivered For A Second” is a bit of a serene offering with a space-like synth presence as well as an obscure looping sound that is peculiar to say the least. “The Wait For The Elevator Seemed Like An Eternity, Our Lives Encapsulated In That Moment” begins with a smooth keyboard arrangement that is backed by layers of harrowing drones and obscure soundscapes. Alluring keyboard compositions are the standout on this one and it’s probably my favorite track on the album. Cryptic voices, haunting guitar riffs and mesmerizing loops account for some of the additional things that make this a standout offering. “Outside Shake Shack” may seem like randomly played notes at first, but after listening to the melodic contribution that the instrumentation has to offer, this is such an elegant track that just isn’t long enough. “While Lost In The Otopark We Felt A Sudden Sense Of Our Own Mortality And It Was Beautiful” starts right away with warm drone sounds while faint instrumentation can be heard in the background. As that looping sound slowly crescendos into a more audible arrangement, additional drones are added to provide a thick layer of sound and uncompromising atmosphere. “Theme From AVM” is a minimalistic drone showcase as congenial sounds modulate warm tones throughout this simplistic but necessary track. The final track on the album is “Epilogue”. Although this is another minimalistic offering, drones are traded in for looping keyboard arrangements that are slightly discordant, but at the same time played in a pattern that is memorable yet slightly disturbing.

Ataşehir has found a common ground between dark ambient and euphoric music and ‘AVM’ provides the perfect platform for those results. Combining keyboards, synths, guitars and soundscapes to take the listener on an everyday nostalgic journey, ‘AVM’ is one of those albums that can be listened to over and over again. Each time I’ve played this, I’ve come across small nuances and subtleties that weren’t previously noticed and that says a lot about the effort that was put into this release. I highly recommend checking out this album so please support this artist by downloading ‘AVM’ from the link below.

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Links:

https://sumatranblack.bandcamp.com/album/avm

Interstellar Space – Special Halloween Review #4: Natura Carcerem – ‘C|E|L|L’

Finding the delicate balance between ghoulish dark ambience and twisted dungeon synth, Natura Carcerem produces a spectacular album full of twists and turns that will completely enthrall the listener from start to finish. From dazzling soundscapes and massive orchestrations, this is a fabrication of energetic synth music that should not be bound to a single classification. ‘C|E|L|L’ contains nearly thirty six minutes of majestic music spanning five tracks and at the end will have you playing this on auto-repeat, just to see if there are any intricate details that were missed.

“A Tragic Path To Take” launches down a dark, forbidden trail with haunting environmental field recordings and brisk footsteps leading toward a destination of misfortune. Droning keyboards and light melodies ring through on “A History Of Hallucinations”, as this amusing track takes shape like an effervescent glow. Suddenly, keys begin to play out of tune while the background drones seem to become more desolate. Industrial-like shrills forcefully take over and provide a new, darker path for this near ten and a half minute journey. Bludgeoning screams of pain integrate with the bleak instrumentation to represent pure mental suffering. After a brief interlude filled with wind and rain field recordings, slightly distorted keyboards create a malevolent orchestration, which provides the perfect backdrop for a few minutes of Dungeon Synth arrangements. “A Deathmarch Through The Virid Halls” is a majestic Medieval dirge filled with layers of somber melody provided by various keyboard effects that are on a grand scale. Wonderfully produced, this song not only showcases a huge sound, but also a great mix whereas all of the instrumentation can be heard equally without losing any luster. The albums title track, “C|E|L|L” could easily be a theme song for a horror movie (or ones’ nightmares). The dissonant, monotone-like keyboard chop is simple, yet effective in producing a frightful emotion. The mid-song narrations are a great addition as well, as it adds to the fantasy that is being told through these songs. The black metal vocals complete the cycle of tragedy by increasing the penitence being produced by the constant melody. The final track, “A Necessary Act Of Autocannibalism (feat. Lord Grim)”, is another ten plus minute odyssey that represents acts of the heinous. Heavy winds and discordant drones begin this track as peculiar sounds are added in randomness. As that fades away, clean keyboard melodies mixed with a small dose of retro-synth pervade with effective measures. Things take a turn toward the darkness with a brutal overtake of blackened metal, complete with blast beats and terrifying vocal screams and shrills. This bombastic influence continues on for a few minutes and then dissolves into a eerie keyboard pattern that closes out this masterpiece of an album.

I’m really impressed with this album and Natura Carcerem does a great job a including a lot of details that cross multiple genres. This keeps it very interesting and makes these epic song (lengths) seem a lot shorter than what they really are. If you’re like me and are a fan of Dungeon Synth, Dark Ambient and other more extreme music genres that they help influence, then check out ‘C|E|L|L’ and embed yourself in the dark, twisted world conceived by Natura Carcerem. The album can be downloaded from the link below.

Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. While your at it, please check out my friends podcast called “The Opinionated Optimist” at the other link below, where he reviews anything and everything. He will be releasing a set of special Halloween Podcasts as well. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!

Links:

https://naturacarcerem.bandcamp.com/album/c-e-l-l

The Opinionated Optimist:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-opinionated-optimist-podcast/id1485260250?i=1000494658460

Interstellar Space – Special Halloween Review #3: Lurk – ‘From The Depths Of Y’ha-nthlei’

After releasing a few EP’s, a Demo, and participating on both Crypt Hop Compilation releases, Dungeon Synth vanguard, Lurk, has finally issued its dynamic, Lovcraftian album entitled, ‘From The Depths Of Y’ha-nthlei’. Upon initial listen, it took me only about a minute or two to realize that this album is extraordinary to the point that it belongs on my Dungeon Synth Album Of The Year list. Let’s dig in to this distinguished offering.

“From The Depths Of Y’th-nthlei” initiates like the opening theme song to a Hollywood movie with it massive sound and bombastic orchestrations. Hints of Middle-Eastern tones add a multi-cultural influence, while haunting narrations pave a dark path for this nostalgic Lovecraftian story. “Tenebris Et Spiritus” starts with a bold keyboard melody, played in a rhythmic pattern. Layers of effects build on to this colossal sound and it’s makes for a perfect transition into a sick Crypt Hop beat toward the last minute of the track. It’s dark and groovy and you’ll want to throw up your sword in an offensive stance and bop your head at the same time. “A Mountain Walked” begins with eerie soundscapes and ghostly narrations, continuing the storyline of the album. Wonderfully produced percussion play a tribal-like, rhythmic pattern while supernatural keyboard effects provide a ritualistic ambience. As this is settling in, tribal chanting from a group of warriors begin their mantra. “Vast Plains Of Madness” commences with a retro sound of hissing tapes and various soundscapes before a piano arrangement eerily plays a melody on top of the continuous battle-like effects. “700 Steps To The Gates Of Deeper Slumber” has a haunting ambient track in the background while slow footsteps can be heard. Soundscapes and field recordings are embedded in spots as another Crypt Hop beat is slipped in perfectly to keep everything in sync. Another Middle-Eastern orchestra effect is fused in with the main melody and it absolutely works perfectly. As the song fades out, the footsteps can still be heard walking off in the distance. “Moon Wine In The Phosphorescent Wood” begins with sounds from the wilderness and a pounding drone that slowly fades into the mix. A warm percussion part is added, as well as additional layers of effects. This is all brought together eventually with a louder mix and is absolutely beautiful – and almost has a chill out vibe too it, as it is very mesmerizing to listen to. I almost wish this track was ten or twelve minutes long! “Ascending The Steps To Unknown Kadath” has a very nice symphonic feel to it and toward the middle of the track contains some very nice retro-wave keyboard work. Everything in this song harmonizes beautifully and the addition of the Crypt Hop beat in the last minute is very unforgettable. The final song on the album is “Behold The Great Onyx Temple”. It begins with the sound of a distant thunderstorm and a deep drone and after a some additional field recordings, a thudding bass drum infiltrates the mix, along with harrowing keyboard effects. All of these tones slowly begin to muffle and fade out as this spectacular album comes to a close.

The first full-length album by Lurk was well worth the wait. After enjoying the amazing music thats been released on a few EP’s and compilation albums, the compositions on ‘From The Depths Of Y’ha-nthlei’ have amazed me beyond expectation and this album may also end up on my Dungeon Synth album of the year list as well. From the story, cover artwork, and the incredible music, this album blends everything perfectly to deliver an amazing release. Please show your support for Lurk by downloading this album at the link below.

Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. While your at it, please check out my friends podcast called “The Opinionated Optimist” at the other link below, where he reviews anything and everything. He will be releasing a set of special Halloween Podcasts as well. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!

Links:

https://lurkmusick.bandcamp.com

The Opinionated Optimist:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-opinionated-optimist-podcast/id1485260250?i=1000491868998

Interstellar Space – Special Halloween Review #2: Scott Lawlor – ‘The Veil Between The Worlds’

Scott Lawlor is one of the most diligent artists in the Ambient community as his Bandcamp page seems to have a new release every week or two. Not to mention, the quality of his work is unparalleled for the consistency that is always on display as well as the epic album lengths to keep the listener engaged on all the magnificent journeys he takes them on. It just amazes me how he seems to effortlessly put out top-quality drone and ambient music when you least expect it. ‘The Veil Between The Worlds’ is another masterclass in minimalistic drone and space ambience that engages the listener for nearly two and a half hours.

“Passing Through The Veil” is the perfect album opener for this extremely lengthy drone album, as the buildup lurks along at a snails pace. The anticipation assembles in drudging layers just as the spacey drones do. As the deep drone moves slowly in the background, other sinister synths stretch out elongated modulations in random patterns as if there is a particular evil at every turn. This near 15 minutes drone certainly calibrates the senses for the massive output that will immediately follow. “In This Forever Unfolding Moment Now” catapults the listener into the far corners of the universe where not even the closest star provides an ounce of light. This bleak, eighteen plus minute long drone, will have the listener wondering in the vast, cold vacuum of space where they are alone and without contact from any living being. The frequency and pitch increase and grow louder, shedding light and hope while the continuous hum becomes warm and effervescent. However, toward the end, darkness prevails and the tone changes back to a minimalistic and mystic occurrence. “Shadow Aspects Of The Veil” starts with a warming drone sensation that flows seamlessly into other timbres that are also mild and accepting. Then suddenly, the sound drops off to a desolate cry from an empty apocalyptic wasteland. Slowly, a tepid buzz emerges, like the sun through a thick layer of smog and fog – the brightness is upon you but you are submerged in a gloomy atmosphere that is almost suffocating. This seventeen minute long journey comes to a merciless end as the last few minutes are filled with horrifying, deep-end whirrs that could waken someone for a nightmare. “Mystical Field Of Limitless Possibility” is the first of two tracks on the album that surpasses the twenty minute mark. The piercing drones continue, as if you’re on a doomed mission in deep space and the only enemy is time itself. As the purr shift from a dark to light focus, it allows for many moments of recollection. “The Exploration Of Inaccessible Realms” continues the ill-fated mission with a more minimalistic approach than on previous tracks. The drones here make me feel as if solitude isn’t an option and there is a particular coldness about these twelve minutes that make them even more haunting. At just under seven and a half minutes, “As A Distinct Energy Form” is the shortest track on the album but that does not take away any of its relevance at all. The bending of the prolonged notes are distinct on this song, making it one of the stand-outs on the album. “An Infinite Field Of Interconnected Vibration” starts expanded, singular notes and after a while, multiple notes are fused together to create a piercing, grande effect that would work extremely well in a Sci-Fi movie scene. The final few minutes are almost like calming white noise and almost mesmerizing to listen to. This sound leads right into “The Mirroring”, although it fades out rather quickly at the beginning, while a monstrous, industrialized drone slowly ascends at an agonizing pace. As the build up reaches its apex, screeching vibrations cry out in pain at blistering volumes and fade with a calming effect. This leads right into the second longest track on the album, “Veiling Process”. At over twenty minutes long, this is sure to satisfy all of your drone wants and needs as it maintains this expanded note for the entire song while only deviating from its singularity with a few chords and soundscapes. This is probably one of my favorite songs on the album and is meticulously crafted as a drone should be. The final track on the album is, “Beyond The Veil”. Expanding the dissonant hum from the previous track, it adds layer of horrific sounds and effects to give this album a thirteen plus minute long nightmarish ending. None of the sounds are rushed, as the are sequenced and fade out at their own speed. Another genius track for an album full of magnificent drones!

Scott Lawlor is a Jack-of-all-trades ambient musician that can do no wrong (in my book). He can release an extremely dark ambient one day and a few days later, release a beautiful piano album. Not to mention over the past few years, he’s done some awesome collaboration work with artists such as The Flesh, Full Of Black Sand, Wings Of An Angel, DeepDark & Rebekkah Hilgraves (just to name a few). That being said, he has quite the resume for releasing spectacular albums at any given time and ‘The Veil Between The Worlds’ is no different. As a matter of fact, this is probably one of my favorite albums by him at the moment. Please support this hard working musician and download this epically amazing album at the link below.

Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. While your at it, please check out my friends podcast called “The Opinionated Optimist” at the other link below, where he reviews anything and everything. He will be releasing a set of special Halloween Podcasts as well. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!

Links:

https://scottlawlor.bandcamp.com/album/the-veil-between-the-worlds

The Opinionated Optimist:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-opinionated-optimist-podcast/id1485260250?i=1000494787519

Interstellar Space – Special Halloween Review #1: Erythrite Throne – ‘Witch Tales’

If you’ve been listening to Dungeon Synth longer than five seconds, then you should be familiar with one of the most consistently active artist in the genre, Erythrite Throne. Delivering a unique brand of vampyric Dungeon Synth that is not only unmatched, but irrefutably the work of one of the most talented synth musicians in the business. Here with another dose of Hallows Eve inspired tunes called ‘Witch Tales’, Erythrite Throne continues to stay at the pinnacle of the genre with another persistent release.

“Blood Of The Black Goat” is a beautiful album opener, with somber synth melodies, radiant background tones that help stabilize the sincerity of the track, and retro-synth leads that are as luminous as they are gloomy. “Consumed By Eternal Night” continues the magical synth arrangements that we’ve come to love from Erythrite Throne, and every layer wondrously fuses together to produce an amazing moment. “Essence Of The Pale Moon” commences with a single, opaque keyboard intro and then tiers of ambience begin to build around it and eventually take over as the main melody. “Carved Upon Holy Skin” begins with distant, high-pitched keyboard modulations and from there, the song slowly builds into a masterpiece, adding layers of keyboards with various effects, fusing them all together in a ghoulish arrangement. At about the halfway mark, a cleaver drum beat is introduced to take this track to all new evil heights. “Bathing In The Blood Of Innocence” creeps in like a mythical fairy tale and even includes a whimsical keyboard chop that is fascinating and memorable. In perfect Erythrite Throne fashion, layers of keyboards build, creating a dynamic wall-of-sound, and then it fades out as if it were just a prelude to something greater to come. The final track on the album is the epic, “Into The Ritualistic Chambers Of Night”. This song epitomizes the vampyric Dungeon Synth sound and include haunting keyboard melodies, massive drum beats and malevolent, blackened vocals. What a perfect track to represent this season and to also close out this amazing album.

It’s no secret that Erythrite Throne is one of my favorite Dungeon Synth artist and I’ll admit that I am probably a little biased, but it’s hard not to be, especially when these albums are absolute gems and are consistently being released when you least expect it. ‘Witch Tales’ is no exception, as it contains all of the elements that make Erythrite Throne the artist that we’ve all come to love. Although this is a shorter, twenty minute long release, the material is still amazing and will be on my playlist rotation for quite sometime. Please continue the support for Erythrite Throne and download this amazing album at the link below.

Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. While your at it, please check out my friends podcast called “The Opinionated Optimist” at the other link below, where he reviews anything and everything. He will be releasing a set of special Halloween Podcasts as well. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!

Links:

https://erythritethrone.bandcamp.com/album/witch-tales

The Opinionated Optimist:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-opinionated-optimist-podcast/id1485260250?i=1000494541339