Oestergaards Reveals A Maniacal Take On The End Of A Depressive State Of Mind With ‘Moloken’ EP

Sometimes the battles in our mind are much more difficult to overcome than physical battles. In reality, the emotional scars left behind from the devastating effects of depression and severe anxiety can last a lifetime, whereas most physical scars are only temporary and will fade away over time. Not only do emotional scars have a limitless timeframe, the way everyone deals with their own trauma is a work within itself. Unfortunately, many people unsuccessfully combatant their anguish, but others find solitude in various platforms as a coping mechanism. Oestergaards has found solace with the release of his latest EP, ‘Moloken’, a deep and dark ambient adventures that shows a fortunate escape from the struggles of depression.

On the opening track “Moloken”, industrial-tinged drones pierce through like an endless nightmare. The cavernous tones set forth are equivalent to being strapped to a bed – against your will – in a darkened asylum, where the staff are there to do more harm than good. Barely audible voices can be heard about halfway through, adding a dreadful vibe to this track. “Dihovle (The Whining Of Ordinary People)” has a discordant effect as if it could be an intro to a black metal song. However, that soon changes into a soft drone with light whispers and crystal clear pad sounds as if you’ve been left all alone and are free to leave the toxic environment of the asylum. “Agansam” contains various deep drones and gruesome sounding textures that will leave you with a discomforting feeling as it seems to suddenly end just as it’s getting good. “Assint (In The Name Of Nothing)” is a rather eerie piece as it begins with some distant, heavy breathing followed by a howling wind drone that grows louder and louder while various noises are happening in the background. The final track, “Stavsberget (No Horizon Left)” signals the end of the misery – whether good or bad. Grandiose drones and field recordings dominate throughout and the distorted speech track that can be heard in a few spots is creepy enough to start another anxiety attack. The song ends as if a needle has been stuck at the end of a record that has been playing seamlessly for hours.

Oestergaards has created a very therapeutic recording with ‘Moloken’, but I only wish that the playing time was double in length. This is top quality dark ambient and fans of Neraterræ and Monocube will love this. Although I will definitely be checking out the back catalog from this artist, I can’t wait to see what the future hold as well. Please show your support for this amazing artist and download this album from the link below.

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Links:

https://oestergaards.bandcamp.com/album/moloken-ep

Grandma’s Cottage Presents Another Blissful Tale Of Serenity And Peace On The “Cookie” Side Of ‘Grandma’s Cottage’

Who says that Dungeon Synth can not offer comfort and warmth amongst the barbaric narratives that seem to overwhelm the subject matter of most releases? Sure there are those that write about mythical places full of tranquility but it’s rare that we get a set of releases that provide a sense of reward after all of the havoc has cleared the air. In steps Grandma’s Cottage, a new take on Dungeon Synth that is as advantageous as it is soothing. With two self-titled releases in the wind – The Cottage EP and The Cookie EP – I will be reviewing the wondrous sights (and smells) of The Cookie EP, simply known as ‘Grandma’s Cottage’.

Fresh out of the oven, the first track, “Snickerdoodle” is as warm as the sweet fragrance of the wintry pastry that is represents. With light keyboards and a nice melodic bell sounding arrangement, this track rolls out the welcome mat and makes you feel right at home. “Ginger Snaps” has a more dungeon synth sounding introduction although it is very light-hearted and uplifting as if grandma herself has forced you rest comfortably in a recliner so that she can cater to you herself. “Thumbprint” has a nice fantasy synth vibe but when the canorous keyboards commit, its as comforting as sitting around a warm fireplace after a nice feast, reminiscing old times. “Jelly Jewels” continues in the same vein as the previous tracks but features soft, flute-like sounds, adding a pleasant dynamic to this cozy scenery. The final track, “Russian Tea Balls” begins with a melodic key intro with the whistling sounds of a water kettle, then dives into an amiable fantasy synth tune that is full of spirit and harmony. Interestingly, if you download this album (from the link below), you’ll receive a recipe for Russian Tea Balls as a bonus.

Grandma’s Cottage is a unique and interesting concept that works rather well in the Dungeon Synth genre. Although the subject matter may be a bit uncommon for the community, the musical aesthetics are easily relatable and will leave a lasting impression. Additionally, while my review focuses on The Cookie EP, another spectacular review site dedicated to Dungeon Synth reviews – The Sword That Sang – is releasing a review on the other self-titled release, The Cottage EP. So, please check that one out here: https://theswordthatsang.blogspot.com/2020/01/grandmas-cottage-grandmas-cottage.html?m=1. These albums are fantastic, so please visit the link below and download them right away!

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Links:

https://grandmascottage.bandcamp.com/album/grandmas-cottage-2

The Grim Sounds Of Nature & Inner-City Solitude Thrive On Robert Eggplant’s Debut Album, ‘Amalgamation’

Have you ever had that feeling where things aren’t right; where the every day normal seems out of place for no reason and without explanation? It’s like that day when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and nothing seems to go your way, as if you’re momentarily living in an alternate universe with no control over being your true self. That’s the feeling I instantly received when listening to ‘Amalgamation’ by Robert Eggplant. It’s easily, one of the eeriest and discordant ambient albums I’ve ever heard, yet at the same time, it’s so intriguing that I find myself listening to it over and over again. Filled with a multitude of field recordings and magnetic tape loops, ‘Amalgamation’ is like taking a slow motion walk down a busy inner-city street, where all of the activities surrounding you are moving about at a funeral’s pace. The good news is, this album is very captivating and will keep you thoroughly entertained throughout its ten solid tracks.

Right from the start, “Cement Stain” hits you in the face as if you’ve just woken up from a knockout punch or a drunken daze. The curious droning sounds mixed with the bizarre samples and nature-like field recordings are enough to mangle the senses and leave you in an an unorthodox state of confusion. Curiously, you’ll eagerly listen on as there are a plethora of things going on in this track to keep it interesting and entertaining. “Tomb Of Froth” is a reserved drone track with spots of mysterious tape loops that featured slowed down and mangled vocal tracks. Although barely audible, this adds a grim detail to this rather short and peculiar song. “Conversations” begins with a peaceful field recording, highlighting the chirping of birds and splashing water, as if someone is nonchalantly walking down the street after a violent storm. In slowly fades what appears to be the aftermath of looping beats of a Tibetan singing bowl, as multiple layered hisses play on for the majority of the track. “Cave Inhabitant” is another creepy track that lineaments multiple instruments and provide a resounding drone as more tape loops and field recordings augment the free space throughout. “Travelers Of Mold” starts with the sound of vehicles traversing a bridge along an interstate and soon after, amicable keys resonate music that can relate to having blissful emotions. A lower toned drone soon takes over as the background traffic can now be heard traveling over a road during a rainstorm. “Decay Of Decorations” has a very 80’s-ish synth wave sound and various outlandish noises can be heard throughout, giving this track a very edgy feeling. “Bomber In The Woods” has a calming demeanor, with the crackling of a forest fire added in to the mix. The migrating drones take an agitative turn as if there is no resolve from the dangers that lay ahead. “Hall Of Moss” begins with the happiness of chirping birds and a quiet sounding tape loop in the background. As more field recordings are added, the lose drone sounds begin to take shape and at times seem scarce, adding to the mystique nature of the song. “Feast Of YOG” is a compelling track that features a few spots of guitar strums, but is mostly full of engrossed field recordings and low-toned drones. The final track on the album, “Everything Under The Sun Will Parish” has a very smooth and placid drone with minimal field recordings, I guess to signify the end of all things except for nature itself.

‘Amalgamation’ is a very entertaining album and one like I’ve never heard before – especially in the dark ambient genre. Robert Eggplant has fostered a pretty unique sound and I cannot wait to hear more from this artist in the future. This has become my new go-to album for when I need to hear something that’s just a little bit different from everything else. I highly recommend this album so please show your support by downloading it at the link below.

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Links:

https://roberteggplant.bandcamp.com/releases

Drifting Symphonic Dirges And Soaring Vocals Surmount To Potent Effort By Tir On ‘Urd, Skuld & Verdandi’

Like a grim calmness after a harsh battle, the amble winds flowing over a searing mountain top, altering the bleakness of sudden silence can be neurotic in a very intense way. The battlefields intense aftermath is serene, albeit amongst the stench of blood and death. Will war continue to rage on or did the cost of victory for one side reveal an endless truce? Although we’ll probably never know the outcome of this imaginative tale, we can thank Tir for setting up an impressive display of medieval-era scenes on the triumphant new album, ‘Urd, Skuld & Verdandi’. Layered with harmonious anthems with impressive vocals and piano work, Tir, takes us on a valiant journey where our awareness for ascendency will be tested.

“Intro” is more than an introduction to the album, it’s a wonderfully layered dungeon synth tune that is soothing and gives us a comforting place to forge our own journey as we listen ahead. “Ancient Spirits” begins with a brisk cello & bass sound, giving a dynamic charge before leading in to the next part of the song. A soft, steady drum beat and plucking strings provide a landscape of preparedness for an upcoming deadly campaign. As the volume intensifies, choir-like vocals are added, giving this track a raging sound. “Song Of The Rain” is a captivating piano ballad with howling winds in the background. This is the first track with lead vocals and they add an outstanding texture to the song and the album as a whole – something not usually heard on a dungeon synth/medieval synth recording. “Tyr”, again features the sounds of a distant choir, as they croon a melodious chant while droning keyboards provide a fluid platform for them to come together in harmony. About halfway through the track, it takes a dark turn to a more evil and viscous sound, as if a mysterious dark cloud suddenly forms over the ancient city, changing day to night and altering the plans for those going into battle. “Giant’s Tragedy” has a more uplifting sound, as symphonic keys find the balance between triumph and tragedy. There is a nice piano & orchestration break in the song before it picks back up and finishes just as it started. “Invisible Part Of Mountains” represents calamity with its saddened keys and well-written melodies. This is one of the standout tracks on the album as it showcases a beautiful cinematic composition with haunting spoken words. “Burzum” is a short interlude that has some comforting field recordings and formidable keyboard arrangements with a droning tone in the background. “I Can See The Stars Behind” starts with the pulsating of a tribal drum and horn-like sounds instigate the forward march command as a battalion of warriors prepare to defend their kingdom. “Memories In The Shadow” is another fearsome piano-led song with more lead vocals. This song has a lovely fantasy synth vibe and the arrangement is full of warmth. “Wagnerious” is another short track that features several wondrous piano parts and although it starts with a fantasy synth foreboding, it ends with a very nice symphonic arrangement. The final track, “Rhön” opens with the howling wind of an empty valley and layered piano tones offer their melodies to combatant the sudden silence. Soon, an acoustic guitar riff ensues, adding even more depth to this enormous album.

Tir has successfully created a magical endeavor to follow-up the magnificent 2016 debut recording of ‘Mountains’. Although musically just as focused as it’s predecessor, ‘Urd, Skuld & Verdandi’ is more impressive with its dynamic arrangements, brilliant vocals, and the use of multiple instrument settings, without over using any of them. There is just enough detail in each song to tell an amazing story, allowing the listeners to latch on to what’s going on, and proceed with the adventure at hand. Please show your support for this amazing Turkish artist and download this grandiose album from the link below!

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Links:

https://tirofficial.bandcamp.com/album/urd-skuld-verdandi

Beyond The Ghost Invoke The Dark Essence Of Cinematic Elegance With ‘You Disappeared’

Dark Ambient has become one of the most adaptable forms of music around. Although normally known for its minimalistic droning and resourceful use of soundscapes and field recordings, I’ve seen a major shift toward a more cinematic approach to recording. Beyond The Ghost is one of the artists that uses this approach and their Cryo Chamber debut, ‘You Disappeared’ is chock-full of atmospheric & vivid details that could easily find its way on a movie soundtrack. Whereas a lot of dark ambient recordings carry a single theme (or concept) throughout the album, ‘You Disappeared’ has the unique distinction of each track standing on their own and representing a different idea. Each song careens through synchronized sounds led by sonic piano tones, live instruments and chilling ambience that transcends the ordinary bleakness of dark ambience.

“The Day You Lost Your Smile” grimly seeps in as if it’s on a mission to calmly – but abruptly – invade your ear space and fill your headphones with sonic resonance. Like an opening scene of a movie, this track sets out to make an impact statement and it succeeds in getting the mindset in the right direction. “Frozen In Time” radiates with its deep rumbling sounds and orchestrations as if it’s representing a depressing scene of agonizing loss. This track sounds as if it could have been a part of the Full Metal Jacket soundtrack, played in a scene where a horrific battle left many deaths. The albums title track, “You Disappeared” starts with a light drone, complimented with soothing soundscapes, and it slowly builds and shifts tones as if it’s trying to reach a climactic ending but never does. As the listener is left in a state of anxious approach, the song fades out. One of my favorite tracks on the album, “False Idols” starts with a creepy drone that glides from side to side. A soft piano arrangement is introduced and creates a totally bleak atmosphere as if a wintery town is suddenly overtaken by a vast fog and the streets become abandoned as everyone escapes for the warmth and comfort of a close by shelter. “A Bed Of Ashes” is a deep droning track that casually crescendos into an orchestrated score filled with melody and contentment. The deep grumbling of “Smoke And Mirrors” is like a scene from a horror movie. As various soundscapes add additional textures, the feeling of dread and discomfort take over. The addition of alluring live instrumentation creates a limitless boundary of where the imagination continues to flow. “Remembering The World As It Use To Be” is another superb cinematic track that has a ballad quality to it. With a soft Pink Floyd-like piano refrain and light vocal chanting, this is another outstanding musical realm for this album. “Quicksand” is another standout track as it slowly builds from a haunting drone to a captivating canorous anthem. The albums final song, “A Faint Light On The Surface” sounds as if a space ship is in deep space and traveling through a vacuum at speeds so fast, it seems as if they are moving in slow motion. Diverse samples and field recordings flood the song to give it new life and the live instruments stand out as the creative aspects. Although there is a certain beauty to this final track, it is also a rather disturbing piece, fitting in perfectly with the rest of the album.

Not to sound cliche, but Beyond The Ghost just may be part of the new breed of Dark Ambient. Providing much more than deep, epic drones and harsh textures, the songs on ‘You Disappeared’ are full of realistic visuals that span beyond the scope of the imagination. This album is a remarkable addition to the Cryo Chamber family and is a much needed addition to the dark ambient community. Show your support for this first-rate album and download it at the link below.

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Links:

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/you-disappeared

Not Dungeon Synth Nor Dark Ambient But…Five Albums From 2019 That (for me) Transcended Greatness!!

Although The Dungeon In Deep Space is dedicated to the fantastic Dungeon Synth & Dark Ambient genre’s, I am a huge fan of music in general and have been a lifelong admirer of just about everything ranging from extreme metal, fusion jazz to singer/songwriter material. This year has been an amazing year for music and I thought that I would share a few of my favorite albums that are not related to the DS/DA communities. I hope you enjoy these incredible albums and if you’ve never heard them before, give them a listen.

1. None – Damp Chill Of Life (Black Metal)

https://hypnoticdirgerecords.bandcamp.com/album/damp-chill-of-life

The mysterious one-man depressive black metal project known as None has an impressive resumé of consistently great releases and ‘Damp Chill Of Life’ is no exception! Atmospheric, somber, and versatile, None shows no mercy with a full emotional expression while delivering some of the best depressive black metal of the year!

2. Chelsea Wolfe – Birth Of Violence (Alternative)

https://chelseawolfe.bandcamp.com/album/birth-of-violence

Coming off of the release of her heaviest album to date, ‘Hiss Spun’, Chelsea Wolfe takes us on a more melancholic adventure with the semi-acoustic, ‘Birth Of Violence’. The songwriting is amazing and Chelsea’s voice is the best it’s ever been. Just when I think I’m a fan of her heavier material, ‘Birth Of Violence’ is here to change my mind.

3. Car Bomb – Mordial (Discordant Metal)

https://carbomb.bandcamp.com/album/mordial

Move over Meshuggah, there is a new king of discordant riffs and jacked-up time signatures! Even though Car Bomb has been around a while, they become more impressive with each release. Mordial is – simply put – a monster! This album has everything I love about heavy music and if I lose my hearing soon, it will probably be because of this album.

4. Peter Bjärgö – Structures And Downfall (Atmospheric Singer/Songwriter)

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/structures-and-downfall

‘Structures And Downfall’ is one of my favorite releases on the Cyclic Law label this year. The former mastermind behind ARCANA blazes through eight tracks of atmospheric, guitar-based tunes that have an exceptional wall-of-sound level of production. Above all, every song is supremely written, catchy and memorable.

5. Waste Of Space Orchestra – Syntheosis (Psychedelic Extreme Metal)

https://wasteofspaceorchestra.bandcamp.com

When I first heard that Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising were collaborating on an album, I had no idea what to expect but I was sure that it was going to be something amazing. Amazing it is, ‘Syntheosis’ is a proggy, psychedelic metal masterpiece that showcases the strengths of both bands. Heavy, mellow, strange, doomy and psychotic are just a few adjectives that describe this extreme work of art!

The Luminosity Of The Summer Synth Sounds On Amethyst Dagger’s Latest Release, ‘Beyond The Gates’ Are Beautifully Incomparable

All is not necessarily dark and grim in the world of dungeon synth. Although many dungeon synth albums are comparable to medieval times, the bloodshed of battles, and mythological creatures of the forest, there are some artists that put a lighter, distinctive spin on the genre. Amethyst Dagger is one of those artists and on their latest offering, ‘Beyond The Gates’, they present a mostly uplifting sound through melodic song structures and peaceful, droning keyboards. Each of the nine tracks are serene & pacifying and chronicle the times of an ancient world discovering its place amongst imposing kingdoms.

“The Tome Of Ancient Wisdom” begins with the peculiar sounds of someone entering a room and turning the pages of a timeworn scribe. As the reader catches up on the knowledge of past, elegant synths play gentle, fluid tones, keeping the peace surrounding this room that maintains hoary insight of the past. “Visions Of The Prophet” exhibits gentle and cheerful synth arrangements that continue to build and layer throughout the track. The charming ambient sounds are constant throughout, except for the abrupt distorted synth at the end that signals a particular danger in the air. “Downpour Over Silver Chapel” starts with a discordant keyboard sound and a soft but affective thunderstorm soundscape and then alters into a clear & dreamy keyboard arrangement that loops over and over again with alluring, synthetic droning keys in the background. “Hall Of Souls” is the first track on the album that sounds more like a traditional dungeon synth piece with its introspective tone and key pattern. The albums title track, “Beyond The Gates” is next and it has a very appealing cinematic sound and the arrangement speaks volumes of positivity and light vibes. One of my favorite tracks on the album, “A Long Rest” starts with the cracking of a small fire and a light-hearted keyboard riff, as if explorers of a mythical village are winding down for the night by a camp fire, deep in the woods, recollecting days events and planning for tomorrow’s journey. “Farewell, Companion” is an ambient based piece thats calm and dreamy and well represents nature’s harmonious morning, during a peaceful dawn. “When The Last Sword Falls” follows the same demeanor as the previous song and produces alleviating, droning keys as if everything is happening in slow motion, and without a care in the world. The final track on the album, “The Legends Live On”, is another one of my favorite tracks as it contains a wonderful mix of smooth ambient tones and the contentious keyboard arrangements of traditional dungeon synth. Additionally, the inclusion of a drum track in the last quarter of the song is a fitting end to the album as it summarizes the prosperous lives of those that forge on, despite the tragedies, trials and tribulations they are put through.

Amethyst Dagger have conceived a delightful recording that is much more that just a dungeon synth album. There is a certain cinematic quality throughout this amazingly produced effort, so there is no denying that fans of multiple genres of music will have a fondness for what it holds. ‘Beyond The Gates’ is one of those albums that can be listened to at anytime and for just about any situation and can remain enjoyable. Show your support for this admirable Brazilian artist and download ‘Beyond The Gates’ at the link below.

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Links:

https://amethystdagger.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-the-gates