Interstellar Space – All Hallows’ Eve Extravaganza 2022

For some reason, trees seem to be synonymous with all things spooky and evil. Whether it’s a darkened forest in a horror movie, or the ruffling of leaves in an evening breeze that has us looking over our shoulders for something creepy, trees create a space of frightening imagination with limitless potential for purpose. For Halloween, trees portray a gruesome shadow in the night that causes goosebumps and chills when not expected. Remember the tree in the original Poltergeist film? They also create a blockade for hiding behind so that you can jump out and scare your friends while trick or treating. Whatever the case may be, trees serve more of a purpose than the ecology for their existence. Like trees, music provides the same escape by enticing an imaginative spark for which you can escape from reality. That’s exactly the case for these twelve chilling albums. They are the soundtrack for the season and so much more. Please enjoy these summary reviews and show your support for these artists by downloading their killer albums. Happy Halloween!! 🎃


1. Lamp & Dagger – This Tape Is Haunted Too!

Lamp & Dagger is back with their second spooktacular collaboration, featuring a handful of ominous artists that aim to frighten your very existence. From Sombre Arcane’s psychedelic massacre to a modicum of Dark Ambient soundscapes from The Night Keep that feature morbid field recordings and samples. FVRFVR offers a chip tune spectacle that is part crypt hop and part nostalgic cinema. Whispering Mirror offers a droning canticle full of gruesome modulations, while Halm conjures up some disgusting field recordings to create a gruesome scene of terror. The final track by Spectral Manse proposes a climactic ending with eerie narrations, malevolent haunts and lots of dark melody that penetrates deep in the psyche, proving that the sequel is just as damning as the original offer. I’ll never get enough of these compilations so I’m already looking forward to Halloween 2023.

https://lampanddagger.bandcamp.com/album/this-tape-is-haunted-too

2. Guild Of Lore – Night Of Halloween

Dungeon synth stalwart, Guild Of Lore, steps beyond the realm of Winterstead, leaving behind the Medieval intonations to embrace a world of 80’s-influenced synthwave with elements of cinematic horror. The results are a fascinating blend of B-horror movie anthems full of ghoulish field recordings, theatrical samples and rhythmic patterns that scream the elements of classic horror film soundtracks. “Lurking In The Shadows” is a prime example of ample beats, darkwave undertones, and retrospective synths, while “The Festivities” is done in the style of a skit, with spooky narrations, haunting screams and bleak atmospherics. This is an album that’s not just enjoyable during All Hallows’ Eve, but can provide eerie entertainment throughout the year, and for many years to come.

https://guildoflore.bandcamp.com/album/night-of-halloween

FABLEHAVEN: “None who enter will leave unchanged. Trespassers will be turned to stone.” – Brandon Mull

3. Erythrite Throne – A Shade Of Melancholy In The Shadow Of Death

If your not listening to Erythrite Throne on All Hallows’ Eve, then you’re either very much afraid or have already been bitten by a post-apocalyptic zombie. In the case of the latter, perhaps ‘A Shade Of Melancholy In The Shadows Of Death’ has become the perpetual soundscape for your existence. Expertly fusing classical synth tones and the occasional blasts of tasty percussion, this is another magnum opus from the master of Dungeon Synth music. Just as the title suggests, this album is a bit more lugubrious than other Erythrite Throne albums, but that’s what makes this project so special. Especially on Halloween, this is some classically creepy music to enjoy on this malevolent night.

https://serpentsswordrecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-shade-of-melancholy-in-the-shadow-of-death

4. Aleksis Tristan Shaw – Crooked Teeth

The ever so cleaver Aleksis Tristan Shaw once again keeps us on our toes with a musical endeavor that defies genre categorization but is presented just in time for Halloween. These three tracks showcase beautiful, yet twisted piano melodies with a dreamy, atmospheric production. Just as the album cover suggests, I can only imagine a blurry figure sitting behind the ivories and playing these dirges to conjure up the spirits of ancient past, allowing them to provide frights once again. Although each track is different, they each have a thematic element that maintains a dark but elegant mood. A full album of these ghastly sounds would be awesome as well.

https://aleksistristanshaw.bandcamp.com/album/crooked-teeth

“No one who loves the woods stays on the path.” – Millie Florence

5. Wodenwyrd – The Teutoburg Massacre

Wodenwyrd presents a rather unique recording as a short narrative is read over obscure backing tracks that fusses Dungeon Synth, Dark Ambient and synthwave. Read over a series of Acts (seven in all), the story summarizes the first battle between German forces and the Roman Empire around 9 AD. As compelling as the story is, the music fits perfectly and produces a brooding gray background for a malevolent narrative. There are three stand alone tracks that serve as an intro, intermission and outro and they explore more nostalgic territories such as 80’s cinema and dreamy effects. In all, this is a fantastic album and I wouldn’t mind having a series of recordings in this style.

https://wodenwyrd.bandcamp.com/album/the-teutoburg-massacre

6. Born From Pain – Begotten (1989)

Just in time for Halloween, Born From Pain delivers another compelling motion picture re-score. This time, 1989’s horror/fantasy film, ‘Begotten’, becomes the object of creativity as the quest for Dark Ambient obscurity reigns supreme. Over seventy two minutes of ethereal order becomes the pallet for rediscovering this film in a more sinister light. The film itself, is supremely bleak and a boldly obscure statement for cinema at the time of its release. If your a fan of cult filmmaker, Maya Deren, then you’ll have a good understanding of this film. As for the music, Born From Pain masterfully captures that essence with gloomy soundscapes and haunting effects that will lead to nightmarish outcomes in itself. Another fascinating adventure that I can’t recommend enough.

https://bornfrompainbm.bandcamp.com/album/begotten-rescore

“When you go into a forest, anything can happen” – David Farr

7. Scott Lawlor – The Livestream Series, Volume V

Scott Lawlor, the king of spatial Drone music and a jack-of-all-trades Ambient musician that never stops working and has enough released material to create the soundtrack to your very existence for years on end. On Halloween of last year, he produced a five hour livestream special that will be digitally released on Halloween this year. Spanning eleven tracks, this colossal of an album, flows like a never ending experiment through celestial voids and dark passages, as enigmatic effects combine with baneful textures to create the realm you’ve always dared to travel through. Each track presents a malefic journey through dark regions of the subconscious, bringing a terrorized reality to the forefront of the mind. Good luck getting through all five hours of this but enjoy the breathtaking adventure along the way.

8. Orcchasm – OrcChasm!

Orcchasm is truly unique experience, as we encounter a variety of musical intonations during this thirty one minute endeavor. From creepy ambience and whimsical synths to bazaar arrangements and nonstop frills, this is a musical adventure that is equally enjoyable and fulfilling. From grandiose, Medieval incantations to light, flute fills, you never know what direction the music is headed. However, hold on to your witches hat and broomsticks because this is a venture that won’t want to miss. Each track flows seamlessly into the next, showcasing a story of dark dungeons and numerous escapades. “Groping For Wild Hogs In The Dark Paphian Abyss” is my favorite track and it truly represents the musical prowess of this album as a whole. Don’t pass up on this warm journey into the wildly unknown.

https://orcchasm.bandcamp.com/album/orcchasm

“The forest was not dark, because darkness has nothing to do with the forest – the forest is made of life, of light – but the trees moved with wind and subtle creatures.” – Lauren Geoff

9. Pumpkin Witch – The Return Of The Pumpkin Witch

It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from Halloween favorite, Pumpkin Witch. However, after finally rising from the Orange tomb of seasonal vegetation, they’ve returned with their most enigmatic spectacle to date, ‘The Return Of The Pumpkin Witch’. Eleven spooky anthems that provide an audial bludgeoning for almost forty four minutes, these progressive haunts are just what the doctor (or vampire or serial killer) has ordered to infiltrate your Halloween playlists. From distorted, doom-laden guitar tones and retrospective drum beats to hair raising electro sequences and synthwave tactics, this is the album that checks all the blocks for horrifying entertainment. Tape hisses and reverberated production efforts create a sinister ambiance that drives the mail in the coffin (no pun intended) for this masterful recording.

https://pumpkinwitch.bandcamp.com/album/the-return-of-the-pumpkin-witch

10. Ammothea – My God Is The Moon

Ammothea, the ambient-infused post metal project by Glacial Anatomy, is truly a riveting encounter that satisfies the pallet of those that enjoy the multi-genre experience. Soft, careening vocals, doom metal riffing and dreamy production yields a hypnotic effect, so that you can sit back, close your eyes and indulge in your own trip. These five tracks disperse almost sixty four minutes of playing time but, it’s over before you know it due to being completely lost in the mix of these alluring intonations. “Depth” and “My God Is The Moon” are standout tracks that incorporate a more upbeat approach without diverting away from the haunting gray that the entire album discharges. This is an extremely impressive release and I’m already looking forward to more from this artist.

https://syrupmooserecords.bandcamp.com/album/my-god-is-the-moon


11. Whöreplay – Whöreplay

A good dark wave tune goes hand in hand with the Halloween season, given its close ties to Gothic romanticism, vampires and grim landscapes. It also has provided bleak, atmospheric backdrops for scenes in classic horror films such as ‘Silence Of The Lambs’. This two track spectacle from newcomer, Whöreplay, fits right in with all of the aforementioned. Although only five minutes long, the artists wastes no time setting the listener on a collision course with haunting electronics, reverberated vocals, and a dreamy production. These tracks slice through like a jagged dagger, leaving a spot of coagulated blood for the creatures of the night to feast on.

https://whoreplay.bandcamp.com/track/misery

12. Unsheathed Glory/Ozeregroth – Nights Shadow Darkening

There is no better time to come together for delivering a darkened dungeon synth experience than Halloween. Unsheathed Glory and Ozeregroth combine their talents of Medieval summonings to render a five track split album, culminating in twenty four minutes of effortless canticles set to the gloomiest night of the year. Not only does each artist produce two tracks of their own, but they collaborate on the daunting self title track. Although each artist delivers contrasting tones, they mesh together very well and and flow transparently with ominous accord. This is one of my favorite Dungeon Synth collaborations of the year and I hope these artist get together again in the future, to produce more music like this.

https://unsheathedglory.bandcamp.com/album/nights-shadow-darkening

Additional forest photos courtesy of Carlton Whittle Photography. Please follow him on IG:

https://instagram.com/a_window_with_a_view?utm_medium=copy_link

The main article image is a unique creation from the WOMBO Dream APP.

Until next Halloween…

The Nebula Breviary – A Voyage Through The Black Hole With Kalamine Records

Kalamine Records has been delivering stunning releases on its Bandcamp page since 2019. The online label from Bordeaux, France specializes in Dark Ambient, Noise, Experimental music as well as a vast array of obscure genres that migrate well off the beaten path. Producing top quality material on a regular basis, it’s difficult for me to schedule these albums for a normal review as I simply don’t have the time. However, with the introduction of this column last month and the multitude of spectacular albums that Kalamine Records have put out as of late, the timing was right for me to pick ten of these albums for summary reviews. I hope you enjoy this article and please check out Kalamine Records at the links below.

1. Mono Hideout – True Lord

‘True Lord’ is a thirty three minute session of adversarial ambience that depicts a dystopian atmosphere of chaos and evil. Although these tracks are shorter than the typical Dark Ambient intonation, the urgency of soundscape buildup and dismal drones fuel a fire of angst-laden heresy that are compelling as much as they are effective at providing huge, atmospheric settings. From celestial & spirited pieces like “Harpocrates” to sinister and minimalistic drones of “The Snake Himself”, Mono Hideout has fabricated a world of dark malevolence.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/true-lord

2. Helecho Experimentar – OU.. OU.. Sintaxis

Helecho Experimentar combines ominous sound effects, samples and controlled noise on the brilliant release, ‘OU… OU… Sintaxis’. Commencing with a thirty six minute opus that forges a tumultuous passage through layers of obscure musical stanzas, this album presents a relentless impression of restrained noises and hasty modulations. Truly a unique recording, this will soon become an addictive listen as the effort to notice additional peculiarities throughout, are inevitable.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/ou-ou-sintaxis

3. Mora-Tau – The Five Sutra

Mora-Tau has quickly become one of my favorite Dark Ambient composers and his ever-growing catalog of consistently great recordings is something to be proud of. ‘The Five Sutra’ is another paradigm of esoteric compositions that slowly portrays a story of tragedy through elongated drones, repetitive synth manipulations and a deep venture into angst-filled arrangements. This collection of retrospective anthems provide almost two hours of listening pleasure, allowing the listener enough time to mediate in its thought-provoking sound.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-five-sutra

4. Eijra Woon – Leïla

‘Leïla’ is a compelling offering of Dark Ambient, drone, noise, glitch and a touch of EDM, all wrapped up in a audial adventure that is both seductive and thought provoking. Haunting samples and various spots of vocalizations complete this mesmerizing collection of sonic objects that will leave the listener in a relaxed state at times, as well as emitting bouts of angst during other times. These twelve tracks ebb and flow into various emotive states and the harrowing soundtrack that ensues, is sonically unparalleled. Upon completion of this sixty five minute opus, the listener may become paralyzed with emotional shock and drenched in sweat from sheer survival of the audial jolt that took place.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/le-la

5. HEL – Innocently Wicked

HEL incorporates a plethora of vocal manipulations to establish a baseline of obscure ambient for showcasing a provocative blend of harmonizing textures and meaningful poetry. This anomalous recording also includes a variety of field recordings and effects to round out this massively peculiar effort. Taking a cappella to extreme realms, HEL emits an uncompromising take on enigmatic, yet experimental music. Highly recommended for those that are brave enough to indulge in uncompromising reaches into evanescent realms.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/innocently-wicked

6. Christian Fiesel – Barren Land

‘Barren Land’ sounds like a dismal exploration into mystical territories during the cultivation of 70’s or 80’s progressive-influenced synthwave. Vast wastelands are brought to light with soothing orchestrations and mesmerizing drones, as tranquil modulations produce a landscape of effervescent bliss and slow-moving sequences. This one hour long track is a lot to consume, but is equally rewarding and ominous sections fuse together in a single instance, as if wandering various rooms in a mansion, searching for clues to a portentous and puzzling storyline. One thing that remains constant throughout is the vibrant drones that seem peaceful and resonant.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/barren-land

7. Philippe Simon – Amarante

‘Amarante’ is a colossal offering of minimalistic Dark Ambience that stretches beyond the imagination and pushes the boundaries of atmospheric synth music. At almost eighty minutes in length, these seven tracks produce a transient environment of electronic music that combine Berlin School, drone, space ambient and quirky effects with resilient results. As these long players unwind, a deluge of celestial textures tell a haunting story of abandonment and foreboding solitary confinement. These songs are equally soothing and enthralling to say the least and once you begin this epic journey, it’s hard to stop. Enjoy this sonic masterpiece and the reward is well worth the endurance.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/amarante

8. Wasatch Front – I Walked Up Stairs

‘I Walked Up Stairs’ showcases a fascinating blend of Dark Ambient, industrialized soundscapes and contained noise. This is not one to relax to or have on as background music. Wasatch Front demands your full attention to the oblivion contained within these five tracks to fathom a true understanding of the audial depth that they collectively offer. Each track takes a grueling approach to the intricacies of obscurity as the listener ascends a staircase into the unknown. As the music breeches the subconscious, a perilous adventure awaits. However, be forewarned; what goes up, must come down.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-walked-up-stairs

9. Hostile Surgery – Into A Cold Light

‘Into A Cold Night’ contains six protracted anthems that extend to almost eighty minutes of playing time. These masterful drones mirror a creativity of malevolent proportions as they represent a barrage of hostile actions that can only be portrayed in nightmares. From deafening modulations to wavering sound effects, there is a certain demise that becomes paramount when indulging in its menacing grasp. Although each of these tracks produce a unique listening experience, the results for all of them is the same- dark, brooding ambience with rugged atmospherics that will leave the listener is a gloomier state than before listening to this massive recording.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/into-a-cold-light

10. Glamourie – Imaginal Stage

‘Imaginal Stage’ may just be one of my favorite recordings from Kalamine Records. It combines dark and light ambient with a touch of acoustic folk music and even some forest synth and there is so much variation on this album, it’s hard to grasp within a few listens. However, upon multiple listens, you’ll begin to experience a decaying, yet soothing journey into assorted realms of audial reassurance. On the downloadable version of this album, each track is combined with a beautiful, mystical painting that truly represents the soundscape that affectionately makes its way through the speakers (or headphones). This is such a delightful album and I highly recommend this for those that need a peaceful, meditative source to accompany them in their life excursions.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/imaginal-stage

Website: https://KalamineRecords.com

The Nebula Breviary – A Voyage Through The Black Hole With Ithildin Tape Production

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.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/chamber-of-the-starplotter

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.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/caern-mist

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.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/hymns-of-hithlum

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.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/ire-of-the-crescent-reborn

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.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/earth-ends-pantheon

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.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/the-curtain-of-time

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.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/answering-the-hidden-summons

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.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/within-the-walls-of-the-promised-kingdom

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.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/hail-the-voidlord

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.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-ashes-of-a-fallen-empire

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.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/h-vam-l

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!

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/screams-of-a-frozen-heart

Cassettes Can Be Purchased Here:

https://ithildintapeproduction.bigcartel.com

Celestial Ephemerides: A Collection Of Dark Ambient Summary Reviews, Part VI

From the distant reaches of the macrocosm, I bring you another planetary offering of Dark Ambient summary reviews. This batch of Celestial Ephemerides offers a copious selection of mystical performances that surges deep in the spheres of dimly lit voids. From noise and ritualistic to supernatural soundscapes and haunting field recordings, this is the most impressive gathering of Dark Ambient albums I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing in a while. Hope you enjoy!

1. Pillars Of Golden Misery – ‘Riders Of Misfortune’

‘Riders Of Misfortune’ is a majestic blend of discordant algorithms and resounding clamor in this abrasive but enjoyable offering. Served on a tumultuous platter of indignant ambience, this recording is not for the faint of heart or those with sensitive hearing. Piercing effects and elongated droning produce a disquieting pulse of audial horror that is as punishing as it is enthralling. Highly recommended for fans of harsh noise, glitch and transfixing avant-garde.

https://culturevomit.bandcamp.com/album/riders-of-misfortune-cult-vom-002

2. VSSP – ‘Modular Performances’

‘Modular Performances’ is such a fitting title for this massive collection of ambient tunes from VSSP. Innovative, tranquil, dreamy and calming are other adjectives that also accurately describe this seventy three minute offering that traverses the drone, space ambient and dark ambient genres. One thing that is predominant on this recording is the real sense of melody in each track. The emotional feeling is almost heartbreaking and sorrowful but extremely compelling to listen to. Highly recommended for background music on a cold, rainy day or while relaxing with the intent to cleanse the mind of negative thoughts.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/modular-performances

3. Sana Obruent – ‘Aftoktonia’

To these ears, this is one of the most complete Drone Ambient recordings I’ve heard in a long time. Aside from a few other artists, Sana Obruent is quickly becoming my go-to artist for epic drone excursions due to the prominent foray into meditative resonance. Minimalistic & simple, yet effective and powerful, ‘Aftoktonia’ is over one hundred minutes of reflective musings that brings together powerful drones and circadian effects that is as relaxing as it is strident. This is one of my favorite Ambient albums of 2022 and probably will remain that way for many years to follow.

https://sanaobruent.bandcamp.com/album/aftoktonia

4. Underwater Sleep Orchestra – ‘The Night And Other Sunken Dreams’

Underwater Sleep Orchestra, the new, brooding collaboration between Cities Last Broadcast and God Body Disconnect is a seventy eight minute magnum opus of polarizing dark ambient music. From hypnotizing drones to warm soundscapes, this is a project that I cannot wait to hear more from. These songs are lethargic and melodic and are a bit different from the typical dark ambient setting. You can definitely hear the input of each artist as they bring their signature sound to this musical alliance. Can’t recommend this one enough, especially if you’re looking for something to listen to while drifting off to never never land.

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/the-night-and-other-sunken-dreams

5. Leila Abdul-Rauf – ‘Phantasiai’

It’s not often we get a fascinating album with trumpet and glockenspiel performances, but here we are. ‘Phantasiai’ is a spellbinding album of bleak expression with chilling vocals and dreamy production. Cyclic Law continues to recruit the finest artist that are ready to deliver the best of their craft. Thankfully we have Leila Abdul-Rauf to continue the flow and this album fits in with a long list of stellar releases.

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/phantasiai

6. O Saala Sakraal – ‘Heven’

The concept of improvisation by O Saala Sakraal is a must listen and ‘Heven’ is one of those albums that will draw the listener in based on the sheer amazement of the unknown. Although only 21 minutes long, this collection of spontaneous incantations is both ritualistic and engaging. Soothing vocal parts with sinister narrations coalesce with haunting atmospherics to provide a post-apocalyptic feel without sounding dilapidated. I can’t wait to hear more from this artist and thanks again to Cyclic Law for continuing to release amazing albums like this.

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/heven

7. Muhd – ‘Dilogia’

‘Dilogia’ is another prime example of hypnotic ambience that builds in layers to achieve a fusion of synthwave and dark ambient excellence. Warm, harmonizing drones go through an assembly of thickening tones and modulated soundscapes to produce emotion canticles that represent an exceptional blend of retro and futuristic synth virtue. Also from the Cyclic Law label, it’s no wonder why this album made it into the lineup as it sounds fresh, inviting and completely divergent.

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/dilogia

8. Yuko Nakai – ‘Me, And The Waters’

There is nothing more soothing than the blissful sounds of crystal bowls, harmonizing with natural soundscapes. Yuko Nakai excels in this area with a splendid three-track EP, ‘Me, And The Waters’. Fusing the sound of crashing ocean waves with extended hums of crystal bowls, beautifully arranged songs of scenic allure expel a magnitude of harrowing sequences that lure the listener in with unimaginable power. My only wish is that this album was about an hour long in order to fully appreciate its hypnotizing effect. Highly recommended for a deep, meditative experience.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/me-and-the-waters

9. Gdanian – ‘Submersion’

Gdanian is a new edition to the Cryo Chamber label lineup and upon initial listen, I can confirm that it’s the perfect label to release an album as alluring as this one. An oceanic-themed outing, ‘Submersion’ pulls no punches with including aquatic soundscapes and sub-surface atmospherics. Beautifully produced, each track immerses the listener into a vast world of unexplored adventure. With the feeling of unimaginable depth, there is no choice but to sit back and soak in (no pun intended) the bleak soundscapes and minimalistic drones. An amazing recording that should not be overlooked.

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/submersion

10. Lētum – ‘The Face Of Life And Death’

Lētum presents a cinematic nightmare of an album with ‘Tue Face Of Live And Death’. A conglomerate of disturbing samples and soundscapes backed by malevolent drones and pads. Horrifying vocal sequences are enough to to disrupt your sleeping pattern and send you down a vortex of enraged evil and madness. Coupled with theatric production values, this is a highly professional offering from one of Dark Ambient’s independent achievers. Recommended for Dark Ambient fans that don’t mind being on edge during a whole albums worth of menacing intonations.

https://letum.bandcamp.com/album/the-face-of-life-and-death

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Celestial Ephemerides: A Collection Of Dungeon Synth Summary Reviews, Part VI

Hope all is well and please enjoy this latest round of Dungeon Synth summary reviews. I know that many of these absolutely deserve a full review. However, being a one-man shop, periodically doing these Celestial Ephemerides articles is the best way for me to keep up with the high review demand. These ten albums are all very intriguing and different in their own right, but are still firmly planted in the mysterious genre that we all know and love.

1. Countryside Views – ‘Mountain Country Memories’

This comfy synth projects takes us to far away hills and farmland settings in this tranquil synth outing. Featuring field recordings of the peaceful endeavors of country living, this album will make almost anyone feel right at home in the serene setting of all things nature. Elongated droning keyboards and crisp, enjoyable synths complete this reposeful recording and provides the feeling of refreshment and undisturbed emotions. ‘Mountain Country Memories’ is perfect for creating a placid start to your day or just having a moment of calmness.

https://countrysideviews.bandcamp.com/album/mountain-country-memories

2. Ferrydor Archive – ‘Tale Of The Foolish Dreamer’

Another multi faceted outing that moves Dungeon Synth music beyond the blurred lines of tradition and incorporates a slew of other styles and techniques. From ambience, whimsical interludes to modulations composed of chip tune technique, ‘Tale Of The Foolish Dreamer’ is an impressive album that could very well be a soundtrack for a fantasy-based story. Sometimes cheerful and sometimes somber, it is unequivocally a meticulous synth recording that has superlative elements of classical compositions.

https://ferrydorarchive.bandcamp.com/album/tale-of-the-foolish-dreamer

3. Arcanist – ‘Poseidonis’

The purveyor of multi-genre greatness, Archanist, surpass all expectations on the darkly fantastic offering, ‘Poseidonis’. From lush, textured synths to Berlin school sequences, this album runs the gamut of soulful and emotional sounds that exclude melody and magnified feelings. Each track produces a unique vibe while maintaining a constant, bleak posture. A wonderful, modern take on Dungeon Synth aesthetics while brilliantly weaving in retro synthwave, this album is an instant classic and is sure to be a fan favorite for all.

https://yuggothrecords.bandcamp.com/album/poseidonis

4. Landstrykar – ‘A Walk Amidst The Cairns’

Over an hours worth of well crafted, beautifully orchestrated music, ‘A Walk Amidst The Cairns’ is an epic release that transcends any genre. Even though it’s rooted in Dungeon Synth, these soothing tracks emit an energy of classical instrumentation and exuberant scenes of endless landscapes and peaceful times. This is the perfect album to have for filling the void of background ambience, or slipping away into a meditative bliss. This is top quality synth music and is highly recommended.

https://landstrykar.bandcamp.com/album/a-walk-amidst-the-cairns

5. Lunar Cult – ‘Death Cannot Contain You’

‘Death Cannot Contain You’ is a hefty collection of quirky canticles with ominous undertones and endless exploration of synth madness. Watch what’s lurking around every corner, as these tunes provide the soundtrack for lurking evil and heinous ambition. Nearly forty five minutes of non-stop keyboard and percussive repose, these tracks offer an impressive melding of various instruments sounds and effects to bring forth a sense of gritty contentment. Don’t pass on this album as if offers an audial satisfaction like no other.

https://lunarcult.bandcamp.com/album/death-cannot-contain-you

6. The Sage Of Seers – ‘Watching From Within’

The Sage Of Seers hit the jackpot with this release as it’s one of the most momentous collection of tracks I’ve heard in a while. Heavy use of reverb give it a huge wall-of-sound feel and the instrumentation is performed in a flawless, mesmerizing way. Songs such as “As I Slept Upon The Ancient Barrow” and “The Path Leads To The Light” pay homage to quaint, Medieval settings, while “Under The Frozen Lake” contains Dark Ambient passages and idiosyncratic effects. Very impressive release that covers an array of genres without sounding fatigued or over played.

https://thesageofseers.bandcamp.com/album/watching-from-within

7. Thalmar – ‘Pried From Winter’s Frost Laden Grip’

Strident, lo-fi project from the Ithildin Tape Production camp, Thalmar epitomizes the despotic side of Dungeon Synth with epic, grinding tracks of looping discord. Creating an uneasy approach to layering with a consternation of bleak arrangements, ‘Pried From Winter’s Frost Laden Grip’ is a disturbing audial ride through chaos and the horrors of Medieval battles. Edgy production that borders on tense distortion and restive modulated impulses, this is the ultimate album for your dark inquisitions.

https://ithildintapeproduction.bandcamp.com/album/pried-from-winters-frost-laden-grip

8. Fantoma Sânge – ‘The Siren Of Black Lake’

Fantoma Sânge takes the listener on a colossal adventure that is part whimsical and part theatrical. From big sounds to quirky arrangements, this is a twenty four minute excursion that you don’t want to miss. Jubilant drums and massive synth tones pave a path toward eccentric oblivion while the lo-fi production maintains a tradition of Medieval spirit. Don’t pass up this dainty little offering and enjoy all the turns and twists along the way.

https://fantomasange.bandcamp.com/album/the-siren-of-black-lake

9. Chamber Of Sorrows – ‘Guardian Of The Realm’

Produced with a sense of isolation, this gritty offering presents a cloudless perspective of ancient times. Full of sorrow and melancholy, these tunes range from light-hearted dirges to jarring compositions that truly reflect life back in ancient times. With an array of synth effects and tonal changes, ‘Guardian Of The Realm’ is a complete listening experience and will surly meet all of your Dungeon Synth needs and desires.

https://chamberofsorrows.bandcamp.com/album/guardian-of-the-realm

10. Disemballerina – ‘Fawn’

Unofficially rooted in the aesthetics of Dungeon Synth, Disemballerina charges forth on ‘Fawn’, their latest EP of Medieval fueled orchestrations and discordant instrumentation. Nearly fifteen minutes of classical interpretations that dive into various genres of avant-garde liking. Subtle, smooth, and at times unconventional, this enticing release is worth multiple listens as well as a gander into their back catalog of impressive albums.

https://disemballerinapdx.bandcamp.com/album/fawn

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Celestial Ephemerides: A Collection Of Dark Ambient Summary Reviews, Part V

It’s almost mind numbing to see how great the Dark Ambient genre has not only grown, but expanded in sound. It seems as if harsh noise and industrial ambience is coming more into existence and coupling with the bleak intonations of Dark Ambient soundscapes and drones. The albums in this list represent change, growth and also homage to the influences of modern day Dark Ambient music. I hope you enjoy these summary reviews as much as I did putting them together.

1. The Owl – Beyond The Vastness Of Infinity

The Owl specialized in noise terror and monstrous modulations that are presented in a controlled chaos offering. ‘Beyond The Vastness Of Infinity’ is an improvised endeavor that plays on the decline of normalcy and the abruptness of ataxia. Rigid guitar tones set against the strident sounds of industrialized soundscapes and eerie narrations set a precedence of tonal despondency. As mesmerizing as it is turbulent, this albums is just another gem in the vast The Owl discography.

https://theowl.bandcamp.com/album/55-beyond-the-vastness-of-infinity

2. Aleksis Tristan Shaw – Loud Nothing

Multi-talented, multi-genre artist Aleksis Tristan Shaw, once again dabbles in the world of Dark Ambient music with the twisted oblation, ‘Loud Nothing’. Combining the forces of demented horror sounds, spacious soundscapes and drifting drones, this is a compelling story of electronic proportions. Elongated drones provide a hypnotic state while supernatural subtleties and sequences keep the listener from completely going under with hints of smoldering tension. At times, spacey, and other times downright grim, this recording is a full offering of Dark Ambient amusement and is fascinating to say the least.

https://aleksistristanshaw.bandcamp.com/album/loud-nothing

3. Crepuscular Entity – Zwolf Bagatellen

‘Zwolf Bagatellen’ is an exercise in harsh frequency delivery and the chaotic amplification of audial discord. Consisting of twelve tracks of white noise, with belligerent modulations, this is a test of determination and surviving the true grit of noise ambience. Filled with abrupt soundscapes and extreme reverberation, this album is a massive overdose of music that is meant to overtake the sense and infiltrate the mind. Listen at your own risk but prepare to be amazed at the indulgence of extreme electronic music.

https://crepuscularentity.bandcamp.com/album/zwolf-bagatellen

4. Drone Islands – Volume I / II / III

‘Drone Islands – Volume I /II / III’ is a massive collection of ambient magnificence, containing beautiful audial offerings from an array of artists. This album combines the work of all Drone Island releases to include, ‘Land Rising’, ‘The Lost Maps’ and ‘Stellar’. Some of the biggest names in the Dark Ambient community lend their services to this recording such as Ashtoreth, Kammarheit, BlackWeald, Taphephobia, Alphaxone and Infinexhuma. These types of collective albums are a real treat, as you get a cluster of unique musical achievements in a single album. This is an exemplary collection that must be heard.

https://eighthtowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/drone-islands-volume-i-ii-iii

5. Long The Night – Illusion

‘Illusion’ is an assemblage of beguiling drones with cinematic-like production. Although starting out with a light ambient vibe, the mood swiftly changes on track two, “Untold Mind” and a belligerent tone is thrusted into this space ambient endeavor. These songs sequentially crescendo into a mammoth-like sound and slowly fade out into oblivion before shifting to the next moment of surprising moments. There are moments that are influenced by the Warhammer 40k sound, while the majority of the album is like a dark space excursion. This is an excellent album that fits right in with some of the top names in the genre.

https://kalpamantra.bandcamp.com/album/illusion

6. Pavor Nocturnus – Bosch

Pavor Nocturnus specializes in flowing light drones that are delivered in an obscure pallet of ominous soundscapes, torturous industrial sounds and peaceful samples and field recordings. All fused together, this is an eerily harmonious endeavor that will be pleasing to fans of multiple Dark Ambient sub-genres. ‘Bosch’ is eclectic blend of soulful modulations that don’t have a particular flow (from track to track), but works very well in the overarching concept of the album. This is an amazing recording that I cannot recommend enough.

https://musicpavornocturnus.bandcamp.com/album/bosch

7. Sij & Textere Oris – Reflections At The Sea

Sij & Textere Oris is one of the most fascinating Dark Ambient collaborations on the Cryo Chamber label roster. Although only having released two albums on the giant label, they are both top quality endeavors that are unique in their own way. On latest effort, ‘Reflections At The Sea’, soothing drones are met with enchanting vocal melodies and theatrical reverberations that produces a theatrical-like sound. From piano chops to random sound effects, this album is put together magnificently and will warrant multiple listens. This is definitely one not to miss.

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/reflections-at-the-sea

8. Melanohelios – The Durance Machine

In my opinion, Melanohelios doesn’t put out music often enough. There is something very addictive with Melanohelios albums and I can’t quite put my finger on it. However, I can say that what you’ll get with each album is an exclusive listening experience – one just as good as the next. On ‘The Durance Machine’, there are two tracks of mind-melding drone work that lasts the better part of thirty six minutes. While listening, you’ll find yourself drifting between peaceful experiences and terrifying moments that flow together with extreme transparency. This is another alluring album from such a reclusive entity.

https://melanohelios.bandcamp.com/album/the-durance-machine

9. Marco Pianges – Somewhere

Dark tones and blistering keys set the backdrop for this escapade of quality electronic tracks. With a plethora of samples and soundscapes, this short album is a cacophony of aggressive moment and angst-filled resilience. The genius aspect of this album is the malevolence hidden in the peaceful details – like a field of beautiful flowers in the dead of winter. Even with just twenty minutes of playing time, this five track album is a beast to contend with and will surely please all fans of Dark Ambient music.

https://ukhanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/somewhere

10. Northumbria – Isolering

If you’re a fan of Dark Ambient music, you should at least be aware of the haunting entity known as Northumbria. With a list of unrivaled albums on the Cryo Chamber label, the stringed duo often ventures out independently and continues to produce quality ambience. On 2021’s ‘Isolering’, we’re presented with four ominous tracks containing nearly seventy five minutes worth of mesmerizing intonations. These extended efforts take the listener down a blackened path and instill a relentless blend of lethargic tones and reverberated modulations that are simply paralyzing. In my opinion, this is one of their best efforts and the mood that it sets is quite compelling.

https://northumbria.bandcamp.com/album/isolering

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Celestial Ephemerides: A Collection Of Dungeon Synth Summary Reviews, Part V

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.

https://psyyps.bandcamp.com/album/l-oracle-de-l-imaginaire-et-la-porte-du-chemin

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.

https://baerdcyn.bandcamp.com/album/naegling

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.

https://searchforthenavigator.bandcamp.com/album/flight-of-the-firmament

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.

https://hammerandflailrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/dawn-of-the-new-age

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.

https://grimmold.bandcamp.com/album/heatherfrost

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.

https://ozeregroth.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-shadow-of-gloomspire

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)!

https://stuffedcrust.bandcamp.com/album/sacrificial-slice-upon-the-blackened-stone

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.

https://dungeonguerrilla.bandcamp.com/album/the-prophecy

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!

https://oulfaam.bandcamp.com/album/–3

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.

https://bloodmoss.bandcamp.com/releases

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Celestial Ephemerides: A Collection Of Dark Ambient Summary Reviews, Part IV

I present to you my final round of Celestial Ephemerides for the year 2021 and I hope you enjoy the following Dark Ambient recordings as much as I have. I certainly wish that I had the time to give these albums a long form review but with the amount of request that I get on a daily basis and the actual time I have to spend on doing them, there just isn’t enough time in the day, week, month or year. At any rate, I hope these summary reviews will do and again…enjoy!

1. Beyond The Ghost – The Desolation Age

One of my favorite Dark Ambient artists, Beyond The Ghost is back with not only his greatest achievement yet, but a sensational recording that incorporates a magnitude of synth styles. With the deep drones in tact, he manages to include elements of synthwave, retro synth and a ton of melody to make this one of the most triumphant releases of the year. Emotional highs run rampant on tracks such as “Exodus”, “Pale Conquerers” and the piano-heavy “Slow Motion Downfall”. The Cryo Chamber label hits another home run with with valiant effort and I’m glad to see Beyond The Ghost release another effort that supersedes all expectations.

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/the-desolation-age

2. Max Corbacho – Nocturnes III

What an honor it is to be alive during the existence of Max Corbacho. He is a world renowned ambient artist that has no problem producing either light or dark ambient and anything in between. On Nocturnes III, he darkens the mood on his brand of bleak, yet powerful ambience. Tracks such as “Altar Of Stillness” and “Lunation Sequence” produce a celestial boundary of deep space vibes and ominous sound effects. It’s easy to get lost in these long tracks as the mesmerizing drones continue to captivate from start to finish. Another brilliant album by the Ambient Master himself.

https://maxcorbacho.bandcamp.com/album/nocturnes-iii

3. Kalte – Morphology

Kalte puts the “minimal” in minimalistic with the starkly austere ‘Morphology’. Four tracks of space-like drones with the occasional soundscape that sounds like looping, industrialized textures that are sure to creep you out. “Stochastic Resonance” and “Coleoptera” are my favorite tracks on this short, thirty four minute EP. However, as a whole, this album contains epic creations that are sure to please fans of both Dark Ambient and Industrial Droning. Looking forward to hearing more from this promising artist.

https://kalte.bandcamp.com/album/morphology

4. Uburgrund – Dionelos

Uburgrund doesn’t hold back with their maniacal version of noise ambience. Harsh, looping effects and industrial-like distractions creates a whirlwind of discontent and uneasiness. However, there is a mesmerizing sensation when listening to this album as a whole that goes unmatched. Standout tracks include “Colonia De Sarcopti Din Palma (Swarm Of Another Life)” and “Trusa Iua Hinton (Rubik In Wonderland)” with endless fusillade of extreme modulations and frequency manipulations that will send the sensory glands into maximum overload. Also, at times the music seems audibly unbalanced but I think that’s another tactic that is completely relegated in this insane group of recordings. Highly recommended but listen at your own risk!

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/dionelos-2

5. Cities Last Broadcast – The Umbra Report

Cities Last Broadcast always brings a warm, vibrant tone with his brand of Dark Ambience. Including loops, tape hisses and various oddities that embrace a particular twilight, you can always expect a nostalgic walk down a darkened noir path. The Umbra Report is no different, as it entwines the same smoky sentiment found on the ‘Black Stage Of Night’ and ‘Black Corner Den’ releases with Atrium Carceri. Tracks such as “Unvocal”, “Disembodied” and “Antumbra” carry the minimalistic torch while creating a spacious, articulate texture that embraces more warmth than darkness. Simply put – another brilliant album by Cities Last Broadcast!

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/the-umbra-report

6. Dr0ne – Nimb

Listening to Dr0ne’s ‘Nimb’ is like a complete exercise in futility. If you can make it through this one hour nightmarish drone-fest, then you can get through just about anything. With just two tracks – each almost thirty minutes long, this is like a bleak excursion like no other. These tracks slowly rip away your soul until there is nothing left but a skeleton of audial dissonance. At times, a deep plunge into darkened chambers occurs, taking the listener to cold outlets of deafening voids, while at other times, perpetual static remains consistently mesmerizing. This one is definitely worth checking out, especially if blasphemous droning is your thing.

https://dr0ne-sb.bandcamp.com/album/nimb

7. Daughter Of Dawn – Crushed Into Dust By The Weight Of The World

Fans of Peter Bjärgö should not pass up on this tasty offering of blissful, folk ambient by Daughter Of Dawn. These compositions are excitedly serene, but it’s the overall melody that will heighten your emotional state and draw you in for a near thirty minute ride down a soothing atmospheric aurora. Album opener, “Juniper Boughs Collide Upon My Shores” is quick to set a euphoric mood with reverberated acoustic guitar chops and dreamy vocals. “The Liminal Space In Which I Reside” has shades of shoegaze and dream pop genres that are feverishly fused with masterful songwriting and constructive vocal harmonies. This is a fantastic album that must be heard to be believed. Don’t pass on this magical offering.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/crushed-into-dust-by-the-weight-of-the-world

8. Alphaxone & Proto U – Back To Beyond

Alphaxone & ProtonU create a spacious, sonic atmosphere like no other. On their second collaboration effort, ‘Back to Beyond’, they produce a colossal space ambient recording that takes the listener to the far reaches of space and set them in a drifting motion that transcends the relevance of time and speed. As if floating through a galaxy of stars, a gathering of soundscapes and effects paint a galactic portrait of uncharted territories. With a mix of light and dark drones, standout tracks such as “Dreams Of Solace” and “Delusions Of Omniscience” present a space odyssey like no other. It’s always a magical occurrence when these two artists join forces and I hope this wont be the last recording of its kind.

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/back-to-beyond

9. Bonzaii – Death In The Cities

Bonzaii is a unique artist for the Dark Ambient genre and they successfully combine two of my favorite things on the ‘Death In The Cities’ EP, and that is emotional Melodie’s and distorted synth effects. Although both of these sound qualities are at distant ends of the musical spectrum, together they provide a monumental output that can be both soothing and terrifying. Tracks such as “Liturgy” and “Eyes In The Water” stand out with their breathtaking atmospherics and masterful arrangements. The looping synths are at times retrospective and borderline on Berlin School sequences without actually maintaining a stronghold on that style. All in all, this is top quality ambient music and recommended for those that know no boundaries when it comes to genre styles.

https://decayingspheres.bandcamp.com/track/death-in-the-cities

10. European Drought – By Ways Of Winter Past

“By Ways Of Winter Past” is a single, twenty eight minute long track of austere winter synth that catapults the listener right into the eye of a winter storm with no end in sight. This immensely minimal track is so chilling, that it can be downright alarming at times due to the notion of unknowingness around every corner. Synth effects remain absolute throughout this recording, representing the cold adventures that are experienced along the way. As the track continues, there is a sense of overwhelming chaos that takes over and deafening tones signal the downfall toward an icy oblivion. Nothing about this track will sent the mind at ease, but it will set a chilling mood for mindful atonement.

https://europeandrought.bandcamp.com/album/by-ways-of-winter-past

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Celestial Ephemerides: A Collection Of Dungeon Synth Summary Reviews, Part IV

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.

https://elvensorrow.bandcamp.com/album/a-rise-and-fall-to-be-forgotten

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.

https://acompendiumofcuriosities.bandcamp.com/album/the-resting-place-of-dreams

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.

https://borja375.bandcamp.com/album/antediluvian

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.

https://londrangar.bandcamp.com/album/l-ndrangar

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.

https://calignosia.bandcamp.com/album/p-ramos

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.

https://goryokai.bandcamp.com/album/kaidan

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.

https://diegosofficial.bandcamp.com/album/border-lands

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.

https://socalledhell.bandcamp.com/album/i-dark-night-of-the-soul

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.

https://shroudedgate.bandcamp.com/album/ravenlore

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.

https://inexistence1.bandcamp.com/album/a-journey-through-ancient-times

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Celestial Ephemerides: A Collection Of Dungeon Synth Summary Reviews, Part III

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.

https://meadowgrove.bandcamp.com/album/that-which-lies-beyond

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.

https://kalameet1.bandcamp.com/album/the-everlasting-prairie-winters

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.

https://gatemaster.bandcamp.com/album/gate-master

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!

https://caliginousempire.bandcamp.com/album/gloom-lands

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.

https://lamerak.bandcamp.com/album/lamerak

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.

https://lamiavox.bandcamp.com/album/alles-ist-ufer-ewig-ruft-das-meer

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.

https://apoxupon.bandcamp.com/album/nameless-and-formless

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!

https://serpentsswordrecords.bandcamp.com/album/injecting-divine-essence-of-the-empyrean-kingdom

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.

https://retconindustries.bandcamp.com

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).

https://tonestrukt.bandcamp.com/album/odd-little-gestures

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