Welcome to The Nebula Breviary! For starters, I’m not sure if this will be a continuous column or just a one-off publishing. In either case, I wanted to create something where I could spotlight an artist that is involved in a variety of projects, with a steady amount of releases. I couldn’t think of a better entity than Ithildin Tape Production. The home of Dungeon Synth maestro Elminster, Ithildin Tape Production is the mainstay of many other activities that performs in the Dungeon Synth realm and beyond. Enjoy these summary reviews of some of the many projects from Ithildin Tape Production!
1. The Owl Knight – Chamber Of The Starplotter
One thing I love about this release, is that it covers a lot of ground although being very compositionally minimalistic. This assortment of flavors included winter synth, raw Dungeon Synth and nominal chip tune without the cheerful undertones. The constant tape hiss gives off a nostalgic vibe and the flow from track-to-track is well thought out. You’ll definitely be reminiscing through retrospective Medieval content and this truly sounds like something that could be played in a deep, dingy dungeon. This one is worth checking out and adding it to your collection is a must.
2. Elminster – Caern Mist
Elminster, the flagship project of Ithildin Tape Production, sends a mesmerizing reminder as to why this is one of the best, traditional Dungeon Synth projects out right now. ‘Caern Mist’ is an exceptional release that features a range of dynamic orchestrations and light-hearted patterns that are enough to sooth the soul. These lengthy tunes drift in slow motion as if waiting for the seasons to change or the lapse in light as day fades to nocturnal bliss. Beautifully produced and elegantly composed, this album is a true testament of the mature path traveled for Elminster.
3. Muzgash – Hymn Of Hithlum
This is one of those recordings that you can turn on and then get lost in its vast atmospherics. A soothing ambience starts this twenty one minute long track and then it faintly reforms into a juggernaut of ritualistic beats and hypnotic loops that will keep you sedated for the duration on the track. Hints of Dungeon Synth effects are scattered throughout in a tasteful manner, as to not take away from the complete submersion of this audial spectacle. I would love to hear more from this project, especially if this is the material we have to look forward to.
4. Mahomet Renatus – Ire Of The Crescent Reborn
‘Ire Of the Crescent Reborn’ is an interesting blend of lo-fi Black Metal and sparse Dungeon Synth undertones. Minimalistic in approach, these three tracks complete a 20 minute cycle of trance-inducing wall of noise that is more of a controlled chaos that an all out blitzkrieg. The drums shift between blast beats and industrial thumps that maintains a deafening cadence. Overall a good release but the faster parts definitely stand out and create a whirlwind of noise that’s addictive and refreshing.
5. In Dusk’s Embrace – Earth End’s Pantheon
Atmospheric, primitive and seductive are a few words that come to mind while spinning ‘Earth End’s Panthron’. This thirty four minute opus is a single-track, tour de force of atmospheric black metal that is a melting pot of twisted & sinister riffs, ambient textures and grainy vocals that redirects the listener to early incantations of icy cold Black Metal. Other than a quaint acoustic intro and outro, this track procures a relentless pace and delivers top quality low fidelity music. I highly recommend this recording for those that love that old school necro sound.
6. Moss Keep – The Curtain Of Time
‘The Curtain Of Time’ exhibits two long-players of primordial Dungeon Synth with the essence of Medieval yearnings. Complete with hisses, cracks & pops of ancient recordings, the music leans on the side of melancholic compositions with somber soundscapes and a passion for mellow, emotive terrain. With both tracks extending beyond the thirteen minute mark, these depressive dirges are best heard on a dark, dreary day where emptiness is of the essence. This is a very entertaining release and amongst my favorites by Moss Keep.
7. Howling Mire – Answering The Hidden Summons
‘Answering The Hidden Summons’ is like an album of distraught ellegies, assembled for those mournful souls lost in ancient battles. The keyboard work throughout this album is amazing and truly showcases a sophisticated effort from the Ithildin Tape Production camp. Complete with background hisses to supplement the overall dismal ambience, these four tracks are over before you know it, even though totaling almost thirty minutes worth of music. Save this one for a rainy day and it will fit right in.
8. Dyvyná – Within The Walls Of The Promised Kingdom
From the music to the art work, this has the Renaissance era written all over it. Crisp synth leads and dreamy effects solidifies a haunting atmosphere of bright, effervescent colors. There is a slight reverb on the instrumentation as well, emitting a powerfully thick sound that aligns perfectly with the production efforts. This Dyvyná project is definitely one to look out for and an extensive catalog of music is already building up.
9. Whispers Of Umbar – Hail The Voidlord
Whispers Of Umbar is one of my favorite projects from Ithildin Tape Production. There is just something about that primitive sound that blurs the line between Dungeon Synth and Dark Ambient that brings joy to these ears. ‘Hail The Voidlord’ is a near twenty seven minute experience that is crafted in noise and brutal harmonics that produces visions of bleak landscapes and unfathomable bloodshed. By the time this insane track is over, you’ll need a nap and a chalice of spirits before your next listening experience.
10. Üvegszakadás – In The Ashes Of The Fallen Empire
‘In The Ashes Of The Fallen Empire’ is a mammoth of an album, especially in regards to previous releases in the Ithildin Tape Production catalog. Almost an hour and forty minutes of granular Dungeon Synth that feels like a massive compression chamber of ghastly intonations that are sequentially summoning Medieval spirits for an upcoming apparitional raid. Haunting melodies compounded by wobbly effects and battle-ready cadences, this is an imposing outing that is sure to become a fan favorite.
11. Sorrow Of The Moon – Hávamál
‘Hávamál’ is one of six Sorrow Of The Moon demo’s released this year (thus far), each containing a single track ranging from twelve to twenty minutes of playing time. This project is a firm mashup of Elminster and Üvegszakadás, with its own production value that is gothic influenced and completely introspective. What I do love is the upbeat nature of this demo and how complete it sounds, with regards to the traditional Dungeon Synth sound. This is one that I can easily play over and over again without getting tired of it.
12. Maeglin – Screams Of A Frozen Heart
Unlike the other Black Metal releases on Ithildin Tape Production, Maeglin infuses more distorted guitar chords and focuses on melody and song structure, instead of trance-like atmospherics. The results – at least for ‘Screams Of A Frozen Heart’ – is that it’s more focused, catchy and quite enjoyable. There are definitely some Dungeon Synth undertones, specifically in the intro and various spots throughout the release. However, they are used more of as a background discord than being the focal point of the music. This is another admirable release from ITP!
Since 2020, Temple Of The Fractured Light has gone above and beyond with their brand of psychedelic-infused Dungeon Synth music. Combining soothing anthems with whimsical instrumentation and vivid expression across five amazing albums, there is a sense of joyous wonder when experiencing these amazing recordings, especially since they get better and better with each new release. Last years ‘The Groovopolis’ A was met with high praise and amazement and it would be hard to imagine future recordings outshining this pentacle release. However, that has happened as ‘PSYOP Theory’ is an astounding effort into multicolored territories of consoling synth greatness. Six tracks and nearly thirty seven minutes of mind-bending synth compositions, this album contains a multitude of twists and turns and supremely weaves them into massive sounding arrangements so that audial transparency remains intact.
Tantalizing lead-off track “Circle Or Square::Black Or Grey” begins with a 70’s style synth effect, playing a catchy, melodic chop that is soon joined in unison with orchestral instrument sounds. With a very mellow vibe, this ghoulishly mixed track is a spectacular way to start off the album and sets a melancholic mood. Next, is the uptempo “Roswellian Waltzes”. A droning synth slowly crescendos just before a crashing symbol cascades into a histrionic percussive beat. Lush synth effects and mesmerizing echoing sounds maintain the psychedelic appeal while traditional Dungeon Synth melodies exude a tempting resonance. “Sacred Geometry And The Eye Of The Pyramid” is a hypnotic blend of clean synth arrangements and grandiose leads that are reminiscent of classic – and even gothic – intonations from 70’s and 80’s cinema. This is a very impressive track and one that I seem to return to the most often. Following this is a song of similar caliber, “That Which You Should Not Know”. Starting with a few single-note keys that are equally gloomy and ariose, this track maintains a serene prowess from start to finish. Even with additional synth leads that are slightly louder in the mix, this savory piece is a delicate treasure. “The Persuant Theories Of MK Ultra” is a proverbial nod to the illegal experimentation program designed by the CIA. However musically, whimsical keys and spacey synth effects are arranged in a slow looping pattern and become more mesmerizing with each passing. Sudden symbol crashes and sparse percussion add to the mystique of this track as it continues to build into a psychedelic frenzy all the while maintaining a beguiling Dungeon Synth essence. The final endeavor on the album is the alluring title track, “PSYOP Theory”. Beginning with beautifully modulated synths and charming leads, this inspiring track provides a haunting platform for a barrage of strange sounds and peculiar drum beats. I can imagine a group of travelers back in ancient times, escaping the grips of an invisible force while running through and endless, multi-colored forest. Eccentric and atypical, this is an intriguing piece and solid way to close out this magical album.
Another crowning achievement for Temple Of The Fractured Light, ‘PSYOP Theory’ is an exquisite addition to the Dungeon Synth community. From whimsical to battle-ready anthems, these tracks set a prescience for quality Dungeon Synth music while adding a stunning psychedelic aesthetic. In a category all of its own, ‘PSYOP Theory’ is an addictive listen and capable of cleansing the audial pallet for a new, fresh sound. Please click on the link below to support this exceptional artist and enjoy this amazing 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!!
With the ever growing Dungeon Synth community and the endless amounts of review requests that I receive, publishing these Celestial Ephemerides articles is the quickest way for me to keep up, and to also push out content to the community in a timely fashion. For Part V, we find a varied list of exciting Dungeon Synth albums and some that are multi-genre endeavors with just a touch of Dungeon Synth influence. Needless to say, it’s awesome to watch this community grow with everyone’s unique spin on one of the greatest genres around. Keep up the great work, artistry support and most of all, I hope you all enjoy this publishing.
1. Psyyps – L’oracle de I’imaginaire et La Porte du Chemin
Psyyps adopts the Dungeon Synth aesthetic to create a magnetic brand of New Age bliss. Permeated with tribal-like beats, alluring ambience and a host of instrumentation, this experience is one of a kind. It’s as if the dungeon lore of Medieval times escaped to a futuristic setting of unfamiliarity and enlightenment. Prepare to be amazed by these eight tracks of cutting edge explorations.
2. Baerdcyn – Naegling
No other artist has mastered the art of Medieval tranquility quite like Baerdcyn. Blending aspects of folk ambient with his passionate stringed instrumental chops, ‘Naegling’ is a product of majestic beauty and absolution. Tracks such as “The Quest” and “Dragon’s Scale” dig toward the center of the soul with ardent layers of mythical sounds. Haunting reverberations increase the intensity of these tracks, showcasing a likeness for enthralling peace.
3. Search For The Navigator – Flight Of The Firmament
‘Flight Of The Firmament’ is an unparalleled sonic adventure. Combining Dungeon Synth, Ambient Music, Comfy Synth and whimsical soundscapes, this album is like an interstellar odyssey; a grand musical, if you will. Containing six tracks of celestial-themed electronics, the incursion of various oddities is endless as you wander through clusters and nebulas, heading toward an otherworldly dungeon. Don’t let this one slip under the radar; it’s too good to pass up and it needs to be heard immediately.
4. Ancestral Axe – Dawn Of The New Age
Like a Medieval battle between Christianity and Paganism, ‘Dawn Of The New Age’ is a sacrificial offering of war-time aggression and dark hymnals as bloodshed spills across the land. The samples, field recordings and soundscapes really breathe a spectacular life into this recording, as the music takes us through the trials and tribulations of battle, territorial reign and the fight for ultimate victory. So, sit back and enjoy this marauding journey of superlative tunes.
5. Grîmmöld – Heatherfrost
Grîmmöld takes on the coldness of winter with three tracks of mesmerizing ambience that represents the quiet days of snow covered lands and hibernating conditions. Taking a break from the normal blackened dungeon synth offerings, in favor of a modest take on the lighter side of things, Grîmmöld amasses a celestial escapade of bleak proportions. These tracks are soothing, yet desolate in delivery. ‘Heatherfrost’ is another exemplary offering from one of the most respected artists in the business.
6. Ozeregoth – In The Shadow Of Gloomspire
‘In The Shadow Of Gloomspire’ is a chillingly atmospheric album that is more reminiscent of the peaceful settings of the Renaissance era than the battle-heavy times of the Medieval period. These are tranquil tracks that slowly build and include a sensation background ambience, slightly distorted modulations and a dose of synthwave textures as well. This is a great album to sit back and relax too; and reflect on ancient times and how those experiences must have played out.
7. Stuffed Crust – Sacrificial Slice Upon The Blackened Stone
Don’t let the playful album cover and hilarious song titles fool you, this weird adventure is done in great taste and the musicianship is surprisingly good. ‘Sacrificial Slice Upon The Blackened Stone’ is like the Primus of Dungeon Synth – only stranger. On this whimsical ride, you’ll hear metal drumming, screaming vocals, eerie synth chops and super lo-fi guitar harmonies – all in the name of delicious fun. I mean, who doesn’t like pizza and music? The moody tracks are borderline comfy synth, then it’s followed up by maniacal black metal parts that seem out of place but are exquisitely relevant in this instance. Sit back and enjoy (a slice) the journey to Margherita(ville)!
8. Dungeon Guerrilla – The Prophecy
Dungeon Guerrilla takes us on a mystical journey through the ages with the fantasy synth album, ‘The Prophecy’. This maritime adventure showcases layers of melodic synths that are intricately woven to create a chunky sound, while sparse percussive parts show an innovative side to these tunes. The production is on point while the reverberation creates a grandiose sensation. This thirty seven minute journey is well worth the time and it’s sure to warrant multiple listens.
9. Oulfaam – Χορεύοντας στις σκάλες
Talking about impressive, this album is like listening to a live orchestral concerto mixed with dark jazz noir. The dissonant moments are compelling and the mood often changes from estranged elevator music to haunting synth anthems. I love albums that showcase many sides of a musical genre and Oulfaam succeeds in doing so here. Ten tracks of variety lead toward an epic adventure of the unknown and this is the album that will be your guiding hand. A very enjoyable endeavor!
10. Blood Moss – Blood Moss
Who would have ever thought to combining Dungeon Synth with 60’s-era psychedelic rock? Well, Blood Moss thought of it and have latched on to something creative, and you know what? It works extremely well! The lo-if quality makes this sound so amazing and the guitar work – for what it’s intended for – is extremely addicting and it’s something that I could vibe with for days! This album is not only full of jarring compositions, it also has passion and an overall gratification for music in general. If you’ve not heard this yet, you have no idea what you’re missing. I highly recommend this to everyone that is open-minded for new, fresh ideas.
The main article image is a unique creation from the WOMBO Dream APP.
The great thing about the Dungeon Synth community is that it’s growing at a staggering rate and it seems like multiple albums by an array of artists are getting released on a daily basis. The downside of that is picking just 10 releases to be featured on my Top 10 Dungeon Synth / Synth albums list of 2021. If I had the time to create and talk about my Top 50 releases, I’d certainly do so. However, since it would take me too long to get that done, you’re stuck with a list of my Top 10 favorites of this year. Please enjoy and show your support for these artists if you don’t already do so.
10. Lamp & Dagger (Various Artists) – This Tape Is Haunted
Although this may be considered by some “a seasonal album”, it’s much more than that. It’s like a soundtrack of dread and horror that provides a terrifying backdrop to your ghoulish nightmares. Lamp & Dagger assimilated an all-star cast of Dungeon Synth artists to step beyond their traditional undertakings for creating a spectacle of anguish and fear. The results are breathtakingly evil and definitely deserves more than a seasonal listen. I’ve not stopped listening to this since it’s release and it’s more than worthy of kicking off my Top 10 Dungeon Synth/Synth albums of 2021 list.
9. Baerdcyn – We Are But Somber Beings
Baerdcyn is a multi-talented artists that finds his stride with a myriad of acoustic instruments and organic tones. Just off the beaten path of traditional Dungeon Synth, ‘We Are But Somber Beings’ is a masterclass in instrumental compositions with raw emotions as the driving force. These mournful tracks contain some of the most serene arrangements that I’ve heard in a while and it’s been one of my go-to albums when I relinquish myself to a period of relaxation and relief from day-to-day endeavors. Tune in to this peaceful, Medieval offering and enjoy its blissful mystery.
8. Elminster – Mountain Specters
Elminster is one of my favorite Dungeon Synth artists that has turn it up a notch or two this year with releasing multiple stellar albums and expanding his arsenal amongst multiple project titles. Although just about everything has been amazing, it’s the ‘Mountain Specters’ album that has consumed the most plays from the ever-growing Elminster catalog. The tunes are very dreamy with an alluring charm that depicts a brief time of light during a rather dark period. If someone were to ask me a good starting point for discovering Elminster, I’d look no further than ‘Mountain Specters’.
7. Vandalorum – Maewyn
‘Maewyn’ came out earlier in the year but I still listen to it quite often. The conceptual album based on the legend of Saint Patrick maximizes the sound spectrum with massive layers of synth effects, odd noises and percussive patterns & drum fills that are out of this world. With a fusion of upbeat and gloomy arrangements, this is not only an interesting album to listen to, it’s also one of my favorites of 2021 and it rightfully deserves the space on this list.
Jenn Taiga has hit another home run with ‘Lunar Nocturnes & Esoteric Incantations’. Auspiciously fusing Berlin School, retro synthwave and the underlying elements of Dungeon Synth, Jenn Taiga has created a type of energy that is impressive, addictive to listen to, and at times leaves an anxious feeling of the unknowing with regards to song structure and limitless capability. For me, it’s hard to top 2020’s ‘Plight’, but ‘Lunar Nocturnes & Esoteric Incantations’ expands the horizons of the aforementioned with its awe-inspiring resilience and is just as impressive.
5. Uilos – I: Dark Night Of The Soul
Out of all the albums in my Top 10 list, this is the only one that caught me by surprise. This is a pensive recording that exposes a meditative value with each and every listen. The production effort is a predominant factor that maximizes the tranquility of this recording and it’s the wall of sound vibe that makes this such a grand offering. The music ranges from Medieval styled anthems to modern synth harmonies and everything just fits…perfectly! Uilos is an artist that I’ll be following really closely from now on.
4. Wampyric Solitude – The Splendor Of Loneliness
Wampyric Solitude is the only artist (at least for me), that has an album in both of my Top 10 year end lists (one here and another in my Dark Ambient list). In what I consider to be his defining moment in Dungeon Synth, we are graced with ‘The Splendor Of Loneliness’. This album emits almost ninety minutes worth of abrasive Dungeon Synth that is dark, ominous and portrays the hardship of Medieval confrontations. Every track is a near masterpiece but there are several that stand out. “Enthroned Amongst The Eldritch Shadows” and “A Putrid Stench From The Grave Of Hope” are without a doubt some of the best tracks I’ve heard this year. If caustic Dungeon Synth is your thing, then don’t go another minute without checking out this gem.
3. Landsraad – The Golden Path
Dungeon Synth constructed around the Dune Universe? Yes, absolutely and not only is the concept enthralling but the music is some of the best that was produced all year. Although comfortably seeded in the Dungeon Synth genre, it’s the synthwave aesthetics that propel this album to great heights. Providing a futuristic atmosphere with retrospective effects, this is a true audial translation of the Dune story. This spectacle is sure to stand the test of time and will remain one of my favorites for many years to come.
2. Erythrite Throne – Eternal Frost Of The Dark Ages
Whether you’re new to the Dungeon Synth genre or not, Erythrite Throne is most likely one of those artists that will get referred to the most as the “go to” for consistent musical releases. After all, in this modest community of artists and fans, Erythrite Throne would be considered a household name. That being said, there are several amazing facets to his music including Vampyric Blackened Synth and Symphonic intonations. Although every bit is amazing, it’s the symphonic side that I tend to gravitate to the most. ‘Eternal Frost Of The Dark Ages’ is one of those albums and – in my opinion – may be the best album in the discography. Made up of four epic long players, these cinematic anthems deliver a gloomy but melodic style that is supremely written and produced. Every song stands out in this masterclass effort and this has been one of my most played albums of the year.
1. Leander – Sorrow Dwellings
There is something extremely special about Leander’s sophomore effort, ‘Sorrow Dwellings’. Not only is the music absolutely incredible, but as a whole, it just feels personal, as if it were exclusively written for me and/or my emotional state. This album was released in January and here in December, it has remained my favorite Synth album of the year. At times it has a traditional Dungeon Synth vibe, other times it has a 70’s prog rock feel to it and above all, these compositions were exquisitely written and are some of the best tunes I’ve ever heard – of any genre. Although only consisting of five tracks, they all stand out in their own way during this thirty seven minute journey. I can’t wait to hear what the future holds for this exciting artist.
Hello deep dungeon dwellers, I’m back with my last dose of Celestial Ephemerides for the year that covers the Dungeon Synth genre. These albums are simply amazing and I wish I could devote more time doing long form reviews but As a single-human operation, I seem to run out of time quite often. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy this collection of summary reviews and please support the artists and this community!
1. Elven Sorrow – A Rise And Fall To Be Forgotten
Elven Sorrow brings us a mighty dose of Dungeon Synth in the form of a single, forty plus minute tracks. From impulsive elements of dark dungeons to retro synthwave tones, this track plays through a range of electronic goodness that succeeds in captivating the listeners attention, specially with the epic song length at play. With a dim production and minimalist dynamics, ‘A Rise And Fall To Be Forgotten’ is up close and personal rather than being grandiose in design. Impressive debut album from this artist.
2. A Compendium Of Curiosities – The Resting Place Of Dreams
‘The Resting Place Of Dreams’ is a sulky combination of synth wizardry and Renaissance-era atmospherics. These five tracks are a beautiful reminder at just how in depth the Dungeon Synth genre is, as it has a sound all of its own, yet plays right into the traditional Dungeon Synth aesthetics. Another mesmerizing album by A Compendium Of Curiosities and one that instills hope of continued growth in this loyal community of artists and fans.
3. Borja – Antediluvian
Although a slight departure from Dungeon Synth in the traditional sense, ‘Antediluvian’ is a fresh take on theatric synth music. Soothing in nature, these tunes are memorable and will leave a lasting impression of the dreamy content that it portrays. Tracks such as “Where Dreams Fade To Ashes” and “Under The Eyes Of The Serpent” pack quite a punch with darkened arrangements and minimalistic vibes. This is an exquisite release with high entertainment value and impressive compositions that is sure to please all fans of electronic music.
4. Lóndrangar – Lóndrangar
Lóndrangar creates menacing Dungeon Synth for the warrior soul. These three expanded tracks produce nearly thirty three minutes of gritty synth tones with compounding melody throughout and a lasting impression for battle-like consequences. Mild orchestrations and gloomy production intensify the music while the epic arrangements set forth a dark path of Medieval influence. Find a cozy place and light a candle to enjoy this massively impressive effort.
5. Calignosia – Páramos
With a grim assembly, Calignosia emits a musical pallet full of joyous rhythms, acoustic passages and a wondrous sense of melody that is sure to whisk the listener back to ancient times. With a slight reverberated sound and minimalistic approach to recording, the echoes of a Medieval past can be heard throughout this amazing recording. Each track presents a solitary stance that easily come together on an impactful audial journey. Highly recommended for those that welcome modern, world musical influences in their Dungeon Synth recordings.
6. Goryō – Kaidan
Ancient Japanese instrumentation and traditional arrangements from the Samurai era prevail on this intense album of archaic tranquility. Deep drones and intensified soundscapes provide the landscape for these alluring compositions of a sinister output. I can imagined traveling in an unforgivable, wintry mountain terrain and being stalked by silent warriors of the night. This is one of the most unique recordings I’ve heard this year and it’s garnered plenty of playing time in my secluded domain. Highly recommended for fans of the orient and Japanese nostalgia.
7. Diego S. – Border Lands
Diego S. really knows how to set the mood with his brand of atmospheric Dungeon Synth. Beautifully produced, each track has a a crystal clear sense of direction and every instrument sounds exquisitely charming in the overall mix. Tracks such as “Beyond The Mist” and “Remnants Of A Hero” prove their worth with gloomy arrangements and mystifying synth effects that electrify with ethereal consistency. Defiantly an album worth checking out and an artist worth following to keep up with his musical endeavors.
8. Uilos – I: Dark Knight Of The Soul
Uilos presents ‘I: Dark Knight Of The Soul’ and it’s like listening to Dungeon Synth from the future and quite possibly an Album Of The Year contender. Songs like “Hermits Hideaway” has a touch of retro synthwave while “Strength Of Ten” and “The Last Stop” manipulates soothing guitar tones for a mystical adventure. This album has something for everyone and the journey – from start to finish – is absolutely amazing.
9. Shrouded Gate – Ravenlore
‘Ravenlore’ does the stronghold proud by stirring up an aggressive dose of Cinematic Dungeon Synth. The use of multiple synth layers are prominent throughout and the stellar songwriting broadens the scope of its fabled delivery. The dreamy production effort also enables this to cross multiple sub-genres such as comfy synth, forest synth and grandiose, dark Dungeon Synth. Standout tracks include “The Gentle Blossoms” and “Through The Dream Sky” – which has a mesmerizing percussion section. Don’t pass on this excellent album that has so much to offer to the listening ear.
10. Inexistence – A Journey Through Ancient Times
Inexistence are the masters of variety as the tracks on ‘A Journey Through Ancient Times’ maneuver between sadistic synth intonations, chip tune endeavors and menacing symphonic black metal intro-style synth offerings. You never know what you’re going to be listening to from track to track but rest assure, these intonations are well constructed and hold their own either in a single track listening session or as a full album venture. From bombastic to minimalistic, expect the unexpected and enjoy the deep dive into this magnificent recording.
Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!
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!
Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!
Here with my third round of Dungeon Synth summary reviews that I call Celestial Ephemerides. As the Dungeon Synth genre becomes more expanded with an increased sense of popularity, there are many artists that continue to broaden their sound beyond the sphere of traditional Dungeon Synth. Such is the case for the amazing artists in this posting, as many of them create a fascinating world with their music that incorporates many elements of surprise. Please check these artists out and support them as much as possible and I hope you enjoy these releases as much as I do.
1. Meadow Grove – That Which Lies Beyond
‘That Which Lies Beyond’ is probably my favorite output but Meadow Grove as it’s firm mix of ambient textures and minimal use of synth leads create a mournful Dungeon Synth experience. These four epic tracks present a somber, musical experience that is part whimsical, part melancholic but completely alluring that is surely to reach a broad spectrum of listeners. When this thirty three minute long excursion is over, you’ll want to start it again, further embracing the enlightened bliss that it exudes.
2. Kalameet – The Everlasting Prairie Winters
Kalameet exemplifies the Medieval Dungeon Synth experience with bleak atmospherics and haunting synth arrangements. The gloomy production effort also increases the authenticity of the era that this recording represents. in addition to the captivating synth compositions, elements of percussion and whimsical key leads thwarts the listener back to a darkened time where castles and enchanted forests reigned supreme. I particularly love the ambient lead-ins for each track as they prepare the listener for a middle-aged journey that is compelling as it is real.
3. Gate Master – Gate Master
Although the self-titled Gate Master album is not the latest release in his catalog, it’s definitely one worth mention especially if you’ve not heard it yet. ‘Gate Master’ is everything that I love about some of my favorite genres of music. It contains a methodical Dungeon Synth cadence that draws the listener in as well as some bleak atmospherics that will satisfy fans of Dark Ambient music as well. On top of that, it encompasses some very cold and powerful Black Metal that was some of my favorite from last year. The track “Inverse Transcendent Hypostasis” is worth the price of the album by itself. Don’t pass on this artist and the amazing discography of albums that are available.
4. Caliginous Empire – Gloom Lands
‘Gloom Lands’ is a captivating listening experience that runs the gamut of soundscapes and genre-bending within a twenty two minute span. Starting with a cinematic intro and leading into an fascinating journey of fantasy synth induced tracks, ‘Gloom Lands’ proves its epic prowess by virtue of musical compositions instead of the length of the album itself. One minute it is inviting with eccentric tones and the next the listener is presented with a brood of darkened atmospherics. An excellent debut from an up-and-coming Dungeon Synth artist!
5. Lamerak – Lamerak
At just sixteen minutes in length, ‘Lamerak’ is a charming fantasy synth adventure that catapults the listener into the heart of Medieval elements where a serene setting provides a peaceful existence for the entire kingdom. Although mostly a light and enchanting experiment, there are aspects of obscurity that enhances the listening experience. Synthwave effects create a haunting atmosphere for these tracks, making it a standout release in the Dungeon Synth community.
6. Lamia Vox – Alles Ist Ufer. Ewig Ruft Das Meer
‘Alles Ist Ufer. Ewig Ruft Das Meer’ is a soundtrack worthy album of cinematic proportions. Beautifully produced and classically arranged, these tracks fuse elements of Dark Ambient and Medieval Dungeon Synth with crystal clear clarity and a precise mix of elegant synth leads and dreamy narrations. Also featuring percussion, piano and stringed instrument arrangements, this album is an absorbing listen and is guaranteed to get multiples spins from listeners of this variety.
7. Apoxupon – Nameless And Formless
‘Nameless And Formless’ is a bold and refreshing take on Dungeon Synth music. With dark atmospherics, layers of amusing keyboard arrangements and elements of experimental, avant-garde, Apoxupon has conjured quite an adventure with their fifth album of inspiring synth music. Never one to maintain the status quo, Apoxupon expands upon the realm of darkness and fantasy synth to create a signature sound that is unmistakable. This is one of my favorite Dungeon Synth albums of the year so far.
8. Frailord – Injecting Divine Essence Of The Empyrean Kingdom
Frailord, one of the many projects behind Serpent Swords Records mastermind Davey Sasahara, finds a more regimented sound with a stark mix of Medieval Dungeon Synth and Black Metal, put together in a lo-fi production setting. One thing that stands out is the bombastic percussion, as it creates a hasty style of synth music that hypnotizes from the very first note. Sure you can hear the influences of Serpent Sword projects, but the intonations released on this album stand on their own as a unique project and identity. Another amazing effort by Davey!
9. Dahliad – The Feast Of Fools
‘The Feast Of Fools’ is a masterclass of synth compositions that extends beyond the Dungeon Synth realm. The theatrical presentation of this album as a whole is on point, while the inclusion of dark ambience and trance-like drones adds a bleak setting to the ominous output of each track. As if you’re trapped in a nightmare, certain tracks will play on the listeners emotions, ensuring an essence of coldness. However, other tracks contain an overwhelming sense of beauty, creating a wonderful balance as this album takes us down a different path in the realm of Dungeon Synth.
10. Genus Inkasso – Odd Little Gestures
This album is a little older but definitely with the mention in this article. Although not your typical Dungeon Synth album, it’s more like an experimental noise recording with harsh modulations that resonate in the same fashion as Dungeon Synth does. Using frequency manipulation as it’s stronghold for tonal adventure, this single track provides twenty six minutes of angst-laden soundscapes and reverberations that is sure to generate some feedback (no pun intended).
Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!
If there is ever a musical venture that represents the desolation of solitude while remaining steadfast to the culture of true Medieval Dungeon Synth music, Pale Castle would fit the bill perfectly. Creating a sound that mirrors emptiness and isolation, Pale Castle excels at composing bleak arrangements that casts the listener back to an ancient time of fierce commonwealth rivalries, mystical imagery and mythical adventures, while presenting a soothing atmosphere to get lost in. I recently had the pleasure of communicating with the mastermind behind Pale Castle to gain more in-site to this amazing project and what adventures are to come.
1. First of all, welcome to the Dungeon and thank you for this interview opportunity. The name ‘Pale Castle’ is so intriguing to me because there could be so many meanings for its being. How did you come up with the name and what does it mean to you?
You are very welcome. This is first time I have spoken to the outside world and I thank you for the opportunity. The timing was providence as I have now finished a journey from a dark place of inspiration.
The name is a place, the place is where I once dwelt. The castle was not always pale but now it fades. Some say it’s no longer there….I have not seen it in ages.
The Pale Castle is where memories once grew but now fade away. Another musician I admire once said that he could “build a castle with memories just to have somewhere to go”. That is how the listener could interpret ‘Pale Castle’…as a fortress of memories.
2. The music of Pale Castle is – at times – very bleak and dismal, presenting a true Medieval perception. Was that the vision for this project?
Thank you, for that is what I sought to convey.
The vision is that of solitude and adventure.
A personal journey that I would like to share with my listeners. It’s my path in life to seek mystery and find a higher purpose though music and the realms it brings me to.
My photography on the Pale Castle Instagram heightens and documents this passage.
Simply put though, the vision is a tale as old as time itself. Loss, gain, death and rebirth. The songs are fragments and imprints of my torment and occasionally my joy. That is my vision, a projection of my emotions both jovial and melancholic.
3. I really enjoy the minimalistic aspect of the compositions, especially on the S/T album. What’s your typical routine for creating and tracking a typical Pale Castle song?
Sometimes I wander the hills and valleys and there I find inspiration in the wind and the night’s sky. There, when I’m Fortunate enough, I am hit with a burst of creative energy and begin to whistle or hum a few chords and melodies. I take that energy and store it in my mind. Then, when I return to my quarters I center myself and begin to preserve it. The process varies depending on the ambiance or sound I ultimately desire to achieve. I use a few different instrument and I enjoy sketching out a kind of story with a single motif and then expanding from that as my mood commands the direction of the track. A lot of the sorcery happens in the mixing and mastering phase of an album.
I prefer minimal arrangements as it allows for the listener to focus on the emotion of the piece. Powerful chords and melodies and can be repeated with benefit, similarly as a steady fire can warm one’s bones.
4. My favorite track from the S/T is “Wall Of Blood Crosses”. How did you amass such an ethereal sound for that track and what was the inspiration behind it?
Plenty of analog reverb and tape delay was used to get that tone. It was layered several times as well. The inspiration came from the story that the album tells. As you can see, the album has a linear narrative that is told through the song titles. “Wall Of Blood Crosses” is the part in the story when I am wandering the castle and reflecting on my history and admiring the silver crosses filled with my family’s blood going back centuries. Imagine a huge hallway lined with such talismans all sealed with lead to keep them protected.
That is the wall of blood crosses. Thousands of talismans filled with blood in a room that is most likely no more. “What happened to the crosses?” one might ask.
I no longer care anymore.
5. It’s impressive how your songs can transition from ominous to harmonious on a whim. Is there a particular concept in mind for these types of arrangements?
The concept is that those are reflections of life and how things change quickly, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Especially when traveling. Dungeon Synth to me was always about the idea of traveling and adventure even if only in one’s mind.
And even in the mind the mood of one’s thoughts can change without warning. This can be an emotional spark in music when done with feeling. I like to catch my listeners off guard and so that maybe they are slightly startled and taken back if for only a split second. That is not unlike when an animal or a force of nature enters your path while wunderlusting on an otherwise clear road.
6. Moving on to ‘Sorrowful Memories’, it still contains the dreary aspects of the S/T, but this time around there seems to be more cinematic elements. Was it a conscious decision to branch out with a grander sound the second time around?
The initial offering captured in the self titled release is all about the castle and the stories within it’s boundaries. ‘Sorrowful Mysteries’ is the adventurous spirit the was freed once I was able to separate my soul from my body. On the first tape I created a cold and confined sound to illustrate the oubliette like atmosphere, in ‘Sorrowful Mysteries’ I wanted to convey the feeling of traveling and discovery. So yes, it was a very conscious decision to create a more cinematic sound. The listener should feel outdoors and upon a means travel.
7. Your songs carry a lot of background ambience that is not only soothing, but an important part of your sound. Have you ever considered doing a Dark Ambient project as well?
I have done several Dark Ambient projects over the years. My very first recordings in the late 1990s could be considered Dark Ambient.
I was only a teenager when I started recording music, nonetheless I believe that Dark Ambient was my first inspiration for recording my own compositions. There are artifacts of these recordings and others that were produced throughout the 2000s and as recently as last year. I will not name them here but there are ways to find these projects.
That was another life. Still, fragments remain.
8. “The Gathering Of Spirits” is one of my favorite tracks from ‘Sorrowful Memories’ as it seems to have that gothic, romanticism influence. What were some of your influences during the recording of this album and this track in particular.
When my father died in 2011 it was in our family home and many souls gathered there, myself included to witness his death. Convergences such as these are a sort of phenomenon that occur with little or no flow of information, as if to say that the spirits inform those who need to know. The spirits also gather with each other for the preparation to carry one’s essence to the land of deeper shade.
A family friend one night once witnessed an eerie green ball of energy hover over my family’s land, he and I both believe this to have been my father’s power manifested as it was right before he fell ill. After my father’s body grew cold and rigid other visitors arrived.
They brought flowers to adorn his corpse and helped wrap him in sheepskin pelts.
Some told us that they knew not of his demise and were only guided to the estate by an urge. Others came wholeheartedly to pay their final respects. He was the sorcerer and the final track is about his death as well. As far as musical inspiration for that track I’d say that perhaps it was inspired by my memories of that fateful night.
9. Speaking of influences, let’s talk about your Dungeon Synth beginnings if we can. When did you first start listening to the genre and who were some of your favorite artists?
My first encounter with Dungeon Synth is difficult to pinpoint as I have been listening to unusual music for quite awhile and definitely heard “dungeon” like music on the odd college radio stations at night in the 1990s.
With that said though I would say that my first introduction to traditional Dungeon Synth was though listening to Black Metal interludes from bands such as Dimmu Borgir, Burzum, Noktunal Mortum, Summoning and also more avant-garde dark synth, especially Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble of Shadows. That project definitely had a very significant impact on my musical path. I would actually recommend that your readers listen to ‘Songs From The Inverted Womb’.
I would also like to take this opportunity to share an experience I had upon listening to my favorite Dungeon Synth album for the first time which is ‘Fjelltronen‘ by Wongraven. As I recall I was laying in a pitch dark room and within the first few measures of the opening track I began to feel weightless and I drifted into a simi -conscious state of being. Throughout the rest of the album I experienced what could only be described as an “out of body experience”
After that I began to see Dungeon Synth as something very special. That was 2004. By 2005 I had began recording Dungeon Synth experimentations. Pale Castle is my first complete Dungeon Synth endeavor.
There is a “je ne sais quoi“ about the genre that definitely matches my personality.
Not in a dark and brooding gothic fantasy way, more akin though to my fascination with the past and of realms unfound or forgotten.
Loss, isolation, suffering, love and remembrance…those are the aspects of life that stoke the fires of the castle.
10. When did you realize that you wanted to record a Dungeon Synth album and at that time were you involved with any other non-synth based music projects?
I have been recording synthesized music since the 1990s and have been involved with a handful of black metal, ambient, experimental groups and solo projects over the last two decades, although as of 2010 I have been producing and recording only synth based ambient and Dungeon Synth.
The idea for Pale Castle came to me in late 2019 as I began to see the future of “dark music” and it’s esthetics. The romanticism of old-school black metal, the re-discovery of what brought me solace and to be in a mental place where I felt I could give it a valiant effort.
That is when the transformation occurred.
I found the castle in the dark recesses of my mind. It’s with me now forever.
And with that said, I will choose to remain quiet about those earlier recordings as I see them as part of an old life. Not that I am ashamed or not proud of my past but rather to exemplify my commitment to the future and to Pale Castle.
11. Earlier this year you released the ‘Remember Together, Remember Forever’ cassette, which features both Pale Castle recordings. How is the cassette release doing so far and what do you think about the recent surge in cassette sales as a form of music release?
At time of this interview it is almost gone far as it’s availability on my Bandcamp merch page.
So that is good, most importantly because that means it is being heard and shared with others and hopefully will bring some to tears, whether they be tears of joy or sadness, so long as they are not tears like those of a crocodile.
That is the goal of my music, to get a genuine emotional response, especially stimuli connected to memories and personal turmoils.
Yes, the appreciation of the cassette tape as a collectible form of musical preservation is something that makes me smile. When the compact tape cassette was introduced in 1963 it was not yet a major competition to the vinyl LP, by the late 1970s though it was becoming a standard for music collections across the world. It remained very popular until the early 1990s when CDs, although introduced in 1982 we’re finally more affordable and the players portable enough to start the inevitable death of the cassette tape from a popular consumer prospective. That is what is endearing about cassette culture, that people choose to support artists who make tapes and collect their releases despite it being cumbersome and less convenient. I think the resurgence is also due in part by the current generation hearing about the old times of tape trading and the satisfaction of making something by hand. That is the thing about cassettes, they require just the right amount of patience to make at home but are not too expensive such as the case with vinyl and when compared to CDs, tapes are much more resilient. I have seen an uptick in compact discs as well though,albeit in other genres such as noise and ambient. To finish the subject, I will say that I think the resurgence of tape is an art in and of itself and that alone is a testament to the importance of the cassette’s existence.
12. What else is in store for Pale Castle for the remainder of 2021?
Currently I am recording new tracks for a 60 minute album titled “When Everyone Else Dies, We Won’t” Hopefully I will find the time to also design and make a few clothing items.
Not only t-shirts, I’d like to offer some one of a kind garments and special items for my supporters. That is the beautiful part of this new golden age of independent artists, no longer do musicians and artists need the approval and favors of the gatekeepers to share their creative passions.
I plan to share many of my creations in 2021.
13. Have you ever thought about performing in a live setting or is Pale Castle strictly a studio project?
The idea of preforming Pale Castle live is something that intrigues me, it would most certainly have to be the appropriate location and setting though. An old church, a stone cellar or an actual dungeon. Short of a venue along those lines I don’t see it happening. If I were possessed to somehow play a bar or club I would probably loose my temper at the crowd and go from “dungeon synth” to “prison synth”
No, If I were to perform it would have to be around a respectful audience in a somber atmosphere.
14. I really appreciate your time for this interview. Do you have any final thoughts or words for those that will be reading this?
Thank you for the invitation and for providing me an audience so that I could share my thoughts regarding not only my music but that of the genre itself and with that I would like to say that Dungeon Synth is not a novelty genre to me and that it’s existence is very much rooted in history though various periods in human history. Growing up I often heard sounds that are not “synth” but most definitely of the “dungeon” I would like to say that Dungeon Synth and Dark Ambient as musical genres are two of the most important aspects of my artistic pursuit in life and that anyone considering releasing their recordings should definitely go forth and be proud of your creations. To all artists, take personal time to be alone with your thoughts preferably in the outdoors or more importantly where you as an individual feels the most tranquil. It is within that tranquility that you will find your most genuine ideas. I could ramble for an eon but I shall save that for hopefully a later time with you as I would be interested in a video interview in the future. In closing I would like to say thanks to you again and all hailz be to TYRANNUS! thank you for your music and inspiration! You are noticed and appreciated.
– Bless all those who keep the candles burning and the fires lit. I feel your pain and I hear your voices in the night.
Vandalorum is an artist that needs no introduction, especially if you’ve followed the Dungeon Synth genre for the past couple of years. Quickly establishing himself as one of the premier acts in the community, Vandalorum has persistently released a number of exceptional albums, garnering a huge following amongst musicians and fans alike. Vandalorum is also no stranger to The Dungeon In Deep Space either, as I reviewed the 2019 album, ‘Flagellum Dei’. That album erupted with enormous Medieval anthems and made me an instant supporter. Although I didn’t get the chance to review the massive follow-up release, ‘Mesopotamian Death Cult’, it was also a work of art that surpassed its predecessor. That leads us to the latest release called ‘Maewyn’, the gallant story of the life of St. Patrick; from the trials and tribulations of his actions with bringing Christianity to Ireland to his lasting impression on history and story telling throughout the ages.
Jubilant album opener, “A Saint Lays Claim To The Souls Of The Irish” is light and vibrant and immediately presents colorful layers of energetic electronic music that transcends Dungeon Synth. The warm drum patterns and vigorous synth leads catapult this track down a genre-less path and exposes it to boundless sources of musical universal acclaim. From the very first note of “Rise Of The Fomorians”, I realized that this album was going to be special and once again eclipse its predecessors. After a short keyboard intro, a drum beat fuses with expansive synths and showcases a groove that is completely mesmerizing. Traditional Dungeon Synth keyboard effects have a few spots that are commendable and gives it a bit of flare and variety, but the real winner is the choir-like vocals and the bombastic drum fills. I can’t get enough of this track and it may be my favorite one on the album. Next up is the short, symphonic piece,“Moraltach”. Although at just under a minute and a half long, it plays an important role by continuing this voiceless story and shows just how powerful good music really is. “Children Of Lir” continues the passion set forth in the previous tracks and offers even more melody as layers of synth effects meld together to form a memorable composition. However, once the drum beats are engaged, this Crypt Hop track soars to chilling new heights. Retro synthwave vibes with a touch of reverb keeps it old-school while maintaining a modern appeal. “Enslaved By Celtic Raiders” takes us back to a more traditional Dungeon Synth style, but powerful percussive parts and soaring guitar leads makes this one of the most ambitious compositions yet. The synth break in the middle – complimented with natural sounding field recordings – is beyond extraordinary and it completely exudes tons of emotions. “Exodus Of The Tuatha De Danann” commences with an immaculate piano lead that builds up to a serene duet with a soaring synth. As other instruments are betrothed, you can sense a maniacal presence taking over as this early-dawn, synthwave track soars beyond the stratosphere. “Cu Chullain” is another musically diverse piece, as it begins with a peaceful and somber intonation. As various instruments assemble to form a harmonious arrangement, the track ascends to new heights as black metal vocals are introduced at the same time the drum beats come in to play. “The Nymph Of The Forest Of Neri” is an elegant cantata that has some of the best melodic moments on the album and the brisk drum beats are a welcomed treat. “The Cave Where He Saw Hell” takes us back to a more traditional Dungeon Synth sound, specifically in the layered synth effects. However, this one would easily classify as a Crypt Hop track as well, especially when the smooth beats start up at various times. There is a velvety shine throughout this emotional song and it serves as a spiritual uplifting guide, as this magnificent album comes to a close. The final track on the album is the near ten minute long, “A Prayer In The Fields, and God Answered”. Not rushing a single thing, it begins with a simplistic synth drone, with layered leads filling in with some lush details that sound very emotional. This structure remains throughout the track, although the synth effects change style a few times to maintain a curious introspective. This song is so mellow & beautiful and provides the perfect ending to this amazing album that has provided so much variety.
This is one of those albums that can be listened to from start to finish without ever skipping over any tracks. I can’t think of a single song on ‘Maewyn’ that I would skip during a play through. Since it contains so much diversity on every track, I wouldn’t want to miss any of the intricate details contained within because at any given time, any of these tracks could easily become my favorite song on the album. The vast improvements in musicianship and songwriting over the past three albums or so is just unreal and Vandalorum should be proud of such an amazing accomplishment. Please show your support for one of the genre’s best and download ‘Maewyn’ 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!!
Just the name – Disgusting Cathedral – is charred with contrast and residual meaning that is beyond the scope of initial thought. First, the word disgust means repulsive to the aesthetic taste of ones morals. However, in this day and age of antonymic speaking, disgust could also mean the awesomeness of something. A cathedral is basically a religious sanctuary. So, when we put the two words together, we have an abhorrent room of worship. That being said, it’s only fitting that Disgusting Cathedral (the artist) finds solace in composing angst-filled arrangements in the Dungeon Noise sub-genre of Dungeon Synth. ‘Adventurers Despised And Rejected’ is a forty four minute gritty adventure deep in the halls of a noise-filled castle where dark dungeons and dimly lit corridors pave the way for sick (antonymic-ally speaking) compositions.
The ten tracks presented on this blasphemous affair constitute a dark and grueling concept of restrained reverberations and malevolent soundscapes that tell an abrasive story of true Medieval happenings of a hideous nature. Album opener, “A Crystalline Cavern On The First Level Of The Barrow Of Arcane Secrets” send cosmic signals right away, as every note, every soundscape is riddled with distortion or reverb (or both), and it sends an immediate maniacal impression of the dark past. A few tracks later, the dose of frequency distortion is increased as “A Gatehouse In A Nearby Dwarven Town” tips the noise scale. However, there is a wondrous underlying composition of notes, with a fascinating conglomerate of melodic keys being played. Soon, mass distortion takes over as a full-on static noise pierces the ear canal via deafening audio waves. The random chirps and squeaks that are heard throughout add a uniqueness as well. Forging onward, the fifth track, “Lord And Lady Stone Gnome Are To Expire” is an eight plus minute slow build that finds Disgusting Cathedral dabbling with elongated drones and looping soundscapes. As the volume crescendos, clarity turns into musical deformity while the thick modulations continue to build. On the eighth track, “Per Bend Sinister Or An Azure, A Badger Statant Countercharger”, we find a nice keyboard melody that soon blends with random, industrialized noises that seem to suddenly take on a life of their own. As these obscure tones begin to take over the focus of the track, additional distorted elements come into focus and aimlessly create a wall of sound that becomes more abhorrent as the song comes to a close. Skipping over to the final track on the album – which is also considered a Bonus track – “The Kindness Of Fossilized Plants Pt. II: Part One (Cursed Version)”, we are still presented with the abrasive formula of the previous arrangements. However, there is more of a cinematic song structure going on here that is extremely dismal and haunting and almost depressing. The sinister effects and baneful soundscapes create a dark scene of ill intention but with less modularity as on previous tracks. This is the perfect song to end this inauspicious album.
Disgusting Cathedral summons a new type of darkness – in the form of harsh noises and frequency modulations – to enhance the Dungeon Synth listening experience. If your seeking soft atmospherics and lush keys with harmonic undertones, you’ve come to the wrong castle, as ‘Adventurers Despised And Rejected’ is the polar opposite. Strong, brash sounds with a hateful intent are the primary focus on this outstanding album of unique compositions. I highly recommend this for anyone that is open to an alternate reality in the Dungeon Synth realm. This music is not for the faint at heart though, as it’s an all out audial assault with evil intent. However, if harsh noise and industrialized synth music is your style, then this will be a very rewarding 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!!