Dark Ambient & Dungeon Synth Recordings To Enthrall You During The Global Pandemic Continuation

Back in March, I published a playlist of Dark Ambient & Dungeon Synth recordings to help tide you over during the shelter-in-place order. Well – here we are – almost two months later and not much has changed, with the exception of a lot of great music being released. So, whether or not you’re still stuck at home, or have the ability to venture out, please enjoy this personal playlist of Dark Ambient and Dungeon Synth recordings that have been keeping me entertained lately! This is all great stuff so please support these artist and download an album or two!

Dark Ambient Playlist:

https://melanohelios.bandcamp.com/album/the-psychonaut
https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/eternal-drift
https://blackweald.bandcamp.com/album/leonov-2
https://noctilucant.bandcamp.com/album/the-autumnal-end-2
https://roberteggplant.bandcamp.com/album/earth-sinking-into-water

Dungeon Synth Playlist:

https://varkana.bandcamp.com/album/cosmic-terror
https://lordorots.bandcamp.com/album/latzineko-erresumaren-itzulera
https://namelessking.bandcamp.com/album/downfall-of-drangleic
https://wyrmlodge.bandcamp.com/album/the-short-but-touching-tale-of-slime-golem
https://serpentsswordrecords.bandcamp.com/album/perpetual-cruelty

Live Instrumentation And Middle Ages-Themed Atrocities Are The Focal Point of ‘Lux Tenebras’ By Akerius

The Medieval period is one of the most commonly referenced eras in human history. From the Early period of the massive Byzantine Empire and Viking invasions, to the Late period horrors such as religious conflict, war and the Black Death, the Middle Ages contains a massive amount of history, romanticism, and influential subject matter that is perfect for the Dungeon Synth genre. One artist that transcends greatness when dealing with these themes is Akerius, and on the heavy medieval influenced ‘Lux Tenebras’, superior songwriting and frequent use of live instruments catapults this album to a realm all of its own. Although containing only five tracks with about twenty minutes of playing time, these tunes are exquisitely crafted and provide a solid domain for transiting the listener from a modern setting to a dimly lit castle forged high on a mountainside during times of extreme peril.

The felicitous album opener, “Ouverture 1209”, slowly crescendos from an initial deep growl sound effect into a theatrical canticle. The feeling of anticipation and anxiety grows as turmoil sets a grim scene. Beautiful acoustic guitar passages are occasionally accompanied by harsher guitar tones and tribal drum beats. Atmospheric keyboard parts give off a barbaric tone that blends perfectly with the rest of the arrangement. The keyboards in “Tuez-les Tous!” have a 90’s style gothic sound to them that have a dreamy, echo-like effect. As the percussion elements are introduced, the synth notes – with their galloping like quality – are reminiscent of a time when crusades are fought to a bloody death. About halfway through, an alluring acoustic passage plays a peaceful setup to the final valiant march of the crusaders. More distorted guitar tones are added to show power and strength during this trying time. “Mon Âme Sombre” begins with a water-like field recording and a serene narration before drifting into a synth heavy Medieval-style tune that contains robust melodies with grim atmospheric tones. “Melioramentum” has a touch of 70’s prog influence, especially with the acoustic guitar riff and accompanying keyboard sounds. Ancient sounding percussion beats give this track an added archaic influence that ensures its relevance amongst the rest of the songs. The final track on the album, “Lux Tenebras” suns up the overall feel and theme of the album with its long, brooding keyboard notes that are arranged in a melodic way with sparse percussion usage and bell sounds throughout that signify the ending of a specific period or conflict.

Akerius creates a magnificent Medieval period influenced recording that contains some of the most epic songwriting I’ve heard in this genre. With the addition of live instrumentation and percussive elements, ‘Lux Tenebras’ packs a powerful punch that will appease not only fans of Dungeon Synth, but also 90’s symphonic Black Metal and even Goth. This is one artist that I’m really looking forward to hearing more from. I definitely recommend checking out Akerius, so please show your support by downloading ‘Lux Tenebras’ from the link below.

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Links:

https://akerj.bandcamp.com/album/lux-tenebras

Eternalkeys Forge Classical Piano And Neo-Medieval Inspired Songs On The Precise Release, ‘Eternal Rose’

Classical piano compositions are among the most fascinating sounds around. In modern music, beautiful piano arrangements can fit in with just about any genre there is, giving it that clean sense of melody and diversity. One genre where it really stands out though, is medieval synth music, as it provides a particular grace and elegance to a typically dark and gothic sound. One artist that has taken on this musical venture with renewed passion is Eternalkeys, and with his latest EP ‘Eternal Rose’, the cacophonous sounds display a noble balance between classic piano tones and brooding synth music.

The first song, “Eternal Rose”, begins with a somber yet polished piano arrangement that is complimented by sorrowful string effects and an elusive atmosphere. This track makes me imagine a scene back in the Medieval period, where a couple is tragically separated by death, and the survivor is having a hard time coping with heartbreak and loneliness. This song perfectly captures that essence and provides a sense of despair when dealing with tragedy of this nature. The second (and final) track on this EP is “Dragon’s Gate”. This piece has more dark and lamenting elements that are in line with Medieval synth music. Electric piano tones and heavy synth sounds mesh together to create an accent that alludes to a dungeon-esque vibe during nebulous times. This track takes my imagination in a totally different direction, as I envision a domineering kingdom successfully winning battles and standing strong and victorious throughout the land.

Although the music on ‘Eternal Rose’ is a few years old, it has stood the test of time and easily has the stability of maintaining a presence in modern synth music. The two tracks presented on this EP are versatile in that they sound completely different, yet still they represent the same time period for which the imagination holds the story. I hope this is just the beginning for more music of this nature, as Eternalkeys is a very talented artist that needs to provide us with more Medieval listening pleasure. The ‘Eternal Rose’ EP can be streamed from the link below.

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Links:

https://archive.org/details/Eternalkeys_EternalroseHCR2016

Gladden Fields Deliver The Sounds Of Forlorn With ‘Menace Of Despair’

I’m sure that if you’re reading this review – and being a fan of Dungeon Synth – you must be familiar with the Battle Of The Gladden Fields in the third age of the Lord Of The Rings universe. This was a very prominent battle, as Isildur and his escorts were ambushed by a group of Orcs and the Ring of Power was subsequently lost in the river Anduin. Gladden Fields is also the name of a UK-based Dungeon Synth artists that paints a harrowing picture of this great battle with his eerily composed music. The five tracks offered up on his latest effort, ‘Menace Of Despair’ uncannily resembles what the scene must have been like just minutes before that viscous attack by the Orcs, as the calm and soothing arrangements are topped with apprehensive orchestrations and somber melodies. Like the silent attack of the Orcs, these tunes are a mere decoy of an evil presence lurking behind the unknown.

Right from the opening looming soundscapes, the lead off the track, “Menace Of Despair” sets the stage for enemies lurking in vast terrain, as the tranquilizing synths crescendo ever so slightly while crossing into enemy territory is eminent. The slight use of percussion adds a frightening aspect as well. “Winter Sun” has a melancholic tone played throughout, with spots of despondent yet harmonic keys to add the slightest twist of darkness to the mix. “Through Poisoned Waters” has a deep, manic sound and shows restraint in its delivery. As the superbly timed percussive elements play in the background, I imagine an aphotic scene, just before the chaos occurs. The orchestrations in this track are simple, yet written amazingly well. “Helcaraxë” has a very old school, organic dungeon synth feel to it. The key arrangements are layered well and continue to build as the song progresses to the end. The albums final track, “Wall Of Night” begins with a very impending, dark ambient vibe and adds malevolent soundscapes throughout as this is the finale leading to up to the attack of the Orcs. This track represents full-on chaotic darkness with no chance of turning back.

Gladden Field is an extremely impressive Dungeon Synth artist that meticulously tells a story with his music. Although named after one of the great battles in one of the best and most famous stories ever written, Gladden Fields does the name justice by creating a soundtrack-like atmosphere with ‘Menace Of Despair’. If this album doesn’t put you in the mood for a great middle earth adventure, then I don’t know what will. Please support this fascinating artist and downing ‘Menace Of Despair’ from the link below.

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Links:

https://gladdenfields.bandcamp.com/album/menace-of-despair