Akashic Envoy Records Assembles An Immense Compilation For A Charitable Cause Called, ‘Apostils Against Hegemony, Vol. I: Transitive Properties’

I love compilation albums for several reasons. For one, they are usually extremely long and provide near endless amounts of entertainments. Secondly, it gives us listeners an opportunity to check out artists that we’ve never heard of before. Especially in this incessant sea of Bandcamp artists, it’s nearly impossible to catch every amazing artist that’s out there. Akashic Envoy Records recently summoned LBGTQAI+ artist from multiple genres to lend their amazing talents not only for this behemoth of a compilation, but also for a great cause. Akashic Envoy Records has decided to donate 100% of the sales of ‘Apostils Against Hegemony, Vol. I: Transitive Properties’ to The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of suicide amongst LBGTQAI+ youths. The fantastic music on this compilation range from dark pop, synth wave, death metal, black metal, dungeon synth & dark ambient. For my reviews, I typically provide a breakdown of each song on an album. However, due to the sheer size of this compilation, I’ve decided to pick ten of my favorite tracks and talk a little about those. That’s not to say the rest of this album isn’t worthy, because that’s not the case. This is one of the most interesting and entertaining compilations I’ve heard in a really long time. However, If I were to write about each track, it would take you an hour to get through this review. That being said, let’s get started!

“Dew Tipped Grass Along The River Banks” by Bowels Of Eternity is a theatrical adventure with massive dungeon synth undertones. Dark ambient like drones and atmospherics, complimented by eerie soundscapes and textures puts this track in a class all of its own. “Ghost” by Forbihavet is an unforgettable post-metal affair that will insert the listener into a fantastic, dark world where somber melodies slowly build like overflowing volcanic lava. The ethereal acoustic ambience floats endlessly like objects in the vast universe. However, as the instruments become louder, the mood becomes more dense. The elongated buildup leads to an emotional and climactic ending that is heavy and energetic. “Her Stillborn Body” by Putrescine is a brutal, death metal affair with old-school 90’s style production. The high-pitched screechy vocals take turns decimating the ear drums with low end gutteral growls. The music is ferocious without being over the top and the amazing guitar solo is a welcoming sound – especially since a lot of bands turn a blind eye on solos anymore. “Ancestral Magick” by Mutable Body is a really cool synth track that builds slowly, layer by layer, until a full on melodic assault takes the listener into a dark world of fantasy and fiction. There are plenty of otherworldly effects and smooth droning to boast a huge sound, but the real treat here is the keyboard arrangement that remains constant throughout most of the track. I could listen to this stuff all day long and never get tired of it. “Evocation I” by Guan Yin, is an eerie track full of samples, soundscapes and gruesome vocal effects that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I sense a ritualistic theme to this track and as it proceeds, the listener is subjected to cultural beauties and horrors that may not be fathomable by some. Listening to this track is a very rewarding experience, as it’s so different, yet fits right in. “The Void, Transmuted” by Blood And Dust is one of my favorite tracks on this compilation as it mixes the aggression of synth wave and the deep droning sounds of dark ambient music. It slowly builds out of a simple drone, layered soundscapes and simple narrations, then mutates into a multi-layered synth wave track as if the climactic ending of an 80’s horror movie is coming to an end. “His Words Are A Void” by Vulgarite is a blackened doom metal track with a great main riff that is layered to have a slight echo sound. Although the vocals are typical of a harsh black metal style, the music has a bit of a post-metal influence, so all of this combined makes for a stunning track that will embed the listener into a trance-like state. “Six Of Swords” by Jenn Taiga is a progressive synth masterpiece. This track is a mix of something you would hear from the Stranger Things soundtrack, 70’s style fusion progressive rock, as well as the instrumentation from the Swedish band Anekdoten. Jenn Taiga is something special, as it takes an extraordinary ear for music to write a track like this, with such passion and restraint. “The Worm/The Wretch” by Age Decay is one of the most unique tracks that I’ve ever heard. It has a good mix of singer/songwriter, metal, clean & harsh vocals and masterful songwriting. If I had to sum up Age Decay in a few words, I would say it’s a metal version of The Swans – which is a huge compliment. This eleven and a half minute track flows between soft acoustic parts and bombastic metal parts, with all around great vocals. Finally, “Wealth Beyond Measure” by Mausoleum Wanderer is a dungeon synth track that tells a voiceless narrative in the most legendary way. Pulling no punches, Mausoleum Wanderer brings his “A” games in a cinematic score-like anthem that soars high above many tracks of this nature. Beautifully produced and with a clear and crisp sound, this track is a very mature step for Mausoleum Wanderer and I’m looking forward to many more tracks like this from him.

Aside from the ten tracks that I just wrote about, this is an overall extremely impressive album and Akashic Envoy Records couldn’t have done a better job assembling a group of top-notch artists with great talent in a wide-array of genres. It’s not often that you get to hear a compilation of this nature that contains all of your favorite genres of music. At just over three hours of playing time, there is plenty of music to explore on here and I’m sure there are some artists on here waiting for you to discover their awesome music. Since this all for a good cause – supporting The Trevor Project – I highly recommend you clicking on the link and supporting this magnificent compilation album!

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Links:

https://akashicenvoy.bandcamp.com/album/apostils-against-hegemony-vol-i-transitive-properties

‘Cosmic Terror’, Varkâna’s Lovecraftian Themed Third Album Is A Mind-Blowing Dungeon Synth Magnum Opus!

H.P. Lovecraft – the legendary author that wrote some of the most transcendent stories in the genres of weird fiction, cosmic horror, horror fiction, and science fiction – has inspired generations of entertainers and artists with his Cthulhu mythos (among others), that has allowed his name to live on for quite the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, Lovecraft’s legacy wasn’t cemented until after his death, as his writing craft and vision was virtually unknown and unchallenged and he died in hardship, unable to support himself by his penmanship along. That being said, his writing was well ahead of its time and influenced movies, music, games, fictional characters as well as occultism. Of the Lovecrafian musical output there has been throughout the years, one of the most impressive recordings is the latest album by Varkâna called ‘Cosmic Terror’. An hour long Lovecraft-themed masterpiece, ‘Cosmic Terror’ builds upon the grimness of dungeon synth and appends ritualistic undertones and synth wave elements to produce what may very well be one of the greatest albums of the year.

“From Beyond” wastes no time as the opening sounds are a conglomerate of haunting synth notes straight from the grave. As the eerie melodies prowl the audio waves, incandescent synths radiate a sense of dire oppression. Soon, blazing synth wave tones fill the atmosphere that radiate with pure madness. At around the three and a half minute mark, trance-like droning keyboard sway like the waves of a Dead Sea under a full moon. One final solo synth arrangement plays on to end this stellar track. Next up is “Space Lord”, my absolute favorite song on the album and possibly one of the best despondent sounding synth tracks ever written. Dismal keys play saddened notes while spacious synth leads create a dynamic atmosphere that is more gray than black. Multiple percussion sounds and retro synths begin to crowd the airwaves as the abundance of textures come together to form the perfect mix of dark tones and harmony. A little over halfway through the song, the music fades into a warm ambient composition that drones slowly with the same melody as the beginning of the track. “The Dream-Quest” has the sound of a dark anthem being played in a dimly lit room that is used for seances to conjure unruly spirits. Tribal-like drums set a deathly pace while the long winded keys continue their heinous ways. Toward the end, more traditional drums are introduced, as well as synth wave patterns that add a bit of light to the grimness. “Nyarlathotep” is my second favorite track on the album as it combines memorable synth melodies with extended keyboard notes that establish a baseline for this epic composition. This nine minute requiem is packed with moments of sheer bliss, specifically the final two minutes as the beautifully toned keyboard arrangement plays so well against the rhythm and drums. “Devourer Of Stars” continues the powerful combination of synth rhythms and leads with alluring drums and retro synth wave sounds. “Devourer Of Dreams” is another nine minute anthem that is full of somber annotations and dreamy textures, especially when the percussion kicks in. The standout part in the track starts at around the four minute mark, when an elegant piano arrangement is introduced and layered with the soothing, yet slightly sinister synth melody. “Ex Oblivione” is another elongated track that features baritone-sounding keys and abstract synth effects. Again, simple but elegant drums provide the perfect balance of synth and avant-garde music. The final track on the album is the title track, “Cosmic Terror”. After a short, stark intro, introspective melodies take over and lead right into a progressive drum beat. The part that ensues has a 70’s progressive/fusion sound to it and it fits in perfectly with the rest of the album.

Varkâna is turning out to be one of the most consistent artists in the dungeon synth genre. Last year, the very impressive ‘Ahrimanic Chambers’, made my list for Top 10 dungeon synth albums of 2019. As of this writing, there is a strong possibility that ‘Cosmic Terror’ will be my top pick for dungeon synth album of 2020. The songwriting is spectacular, the arrangements are unbelievable, and each and every track is extremely memorable and soon you’ll find yourself addicted and playing them over and over again. To have music of this high level paying tribute to the great H.P. Lovecraft, I would say that he would be extremely honored. I can not recommend ‘Cosmic Terror’ enough, so please show your support for this exhilarating artist and download this as soon as possible!

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Links:

https://varkana.bandcamp.com/album/cosmic-terror

Boschivo Form Anomalous Compositions On The Outlandishly Diverse ‘Bardo Dell’Autodistruzione’ Offering

Now it’s time for something a little different. And when I say different, I mean a cacophony of obscure musical genres ranging from Dark Ambient, experimental, noise, dark folk, and any twisted ritualistic audio terror that you may not think of, to form an integrated euphonious choir of melody. Welcome to the distinct world of Boschivo, where anything goes and there are no borders for harmonic tastes. On ‘Bardo Dell’Autodistruzione’, elemental bizarreness is pushed to the limits as magnetic drones are accompanied by acoustic guitar, clean & harsh vocals, various synths & pads, and an array of styles to keep things interesting from song to song. Although this may be a challenging listen for some, it’s without a doubt, a rewarding experience for most others. Let’s dive right in.

“Pozzoscuro” starts with a single droning sound and some ceremonial overtones before a grim acoustic guitar riff takes over. Priest-like chanting accompanied by some eerie background noises blend well with the music. Soon the chanting is replaced by distant sounding vocals, but just for a few bars. The track ends with multiple guitar effects playing altering notes. “La Dania Perversa Delle Falene” is all over the place as it begins with cathedral-style organs and strange vocal effects before giving way to a deep guitar and bass riff that is played over a narration. Soon, that is followed by some harsh vocals while the guitar tone becomes more distorted. About halfway through the track, sampled effects and whispers mesmerize the listener before a frightening organ sound once again infiltrates the airwaves. Like a disharmonic orchestra, this part of the track is like listening to the dead come back to life. “Il Rituale Delle Mosche” features dissonant guitar riffing and haunting narrations, as well as industrial ambient noises. Additionally, soothing guitar riffs and clean vocals come from out of nowhere, almost seemingly out of place but fitting right in at the same time. “Essenza Di Te” continues with the clean vocals, but the guitar riffs are played on on an instrument that seems out of tune. Interestingly, it sounds rather awesome – especially for this album, and I wouldn’t expect to hear anything less. This track also features a great bass line as well – that is played in tune. “Distorta Luna Sterile” is a dark folk track with some excellent droning going on in the background, as well as some creepy sound effects. “Venere D’avorio” has a dark pop vibe to it, albeit with a very discordant sound effect in the foreground. The vocals are very clear on this track but there are echo effects in use to give it a grim feeling. “Quando La Morte Verra’” is a beautiful, dark acoustic passage with whispering narrations and deep droning in the background. Although this is a short and simple piece, it’s one of my favorites on the album. The final track on this underrated masterpiece is the title track, “Bardo Dell’Autodistruzione”. At almost eighteen minutes in length, it’s the longest track in the album and definitely shows what Boschivo is all about. Starting with background drones, ringing bells and simple percussions, other samples and effects are thrown in along the way, including deep, death metal like growls. As these heinous growls continue, church organs begin to play, adding another element of surprise to the album. Eventually, multiple loud bells begin to ring at different tone levels for a divergent sound mix.

Boschivo is an interesting artist that knows no boundaries. Combining all sorts of obscurities to produce a compelling musical experience, this album demands your full attention – and multiple listens – to really appreciate the value of the art for which it provides. ‘Bardo Dell’Autodistruzione’ is an addictive album that doesn’t reside in a particular genre, however it belongs everywhere. If you have an open mind for challenging, but rewarding music, look no further than Boschivo. The album is available for FREE DOWNLOAD from the link below, so check it out.

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Links:

https://totenschwan.bandcamp.com/album/tsr-112-bardo-dellautodistruzione

Eyre Transmissions V: Interview With Dungeon Synth Mainstay, Erythrite Throne

If you’re a fan of Dungeon Synth, then you are well aware of the many talented artists that contribute a steady amount of music for our listening pleasure. One artist that I consider a linchpin of the community is none other than Erythrite Throne. Releasing some of the most consistent blackened Dungeon Synth there is, Erythrite Throne continues to challenge the listener in diving into a medieval world of dark imagery, vampires, and lust for malevolence. With a distinctive sound and style that is unmatched by any other artist, Erythrite Throne is constantly progressing and improving with each release. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Erythrite Throne main man, Davey Sasahara, to talk about his Dungeon Synth endeavors, Serpents Sword Records and anything in between.

1. First of all, thanks for taking the time to respond to this interview. I have to ask, where do you find the time to write the massive amounts of music that you do? 

It’s pretty much the only thing I do with my free time haha. It’s something that I enjoy doing a lot so I write music as often as I can, I also have pretty bad ADHD, so this is something that helps me sit down and work on my concentration.

2. How many projects have you released music under?

Right now, I have 16 active projects, but I have a lot of projects I’ve stopped working on completely and there’s not much of a trace of them on the web. All together I’ve released music under maybe 30 or projects of varying musical styles.

3. When you are writing new music, do you go into it with a specific project in mind or do you improvise and let the music guide your path? 

I usually improvise everything and just feel it but there a few times that I sit down with the intention of making music for a specific project.

4. Take us back to before you started releasing Dungeon Synth. We’re you involved with music from other genres? 

I was! I was in a hardcore band as well as doing a few projects by myself. I was making some gothic electronic stuff, some vapourware, some trap. I like to experiment with music a lot. 

5. What influenced you to start writing Dungeon Synth? 

I’ve actually been making this type of music since around 2014, I just had no idea it was called Dungeon Synth, so I was just calling it gothic music haha. Actually, the first Voslaarum album Forgotten Vale is a compilation of stuff I made around 2014-2016, some of it is actually still on YouTube under a different name. 

6. I know this year you were slated to play live at the Northeast Dungeon Siege and due to the COVID-19 outbreak it was modified as an online festival (via Twitch). How was it preparing to play live online? 

It was good, it was my first time streaming so it took me a bit to figure it out, but I had a lot of help from my friends in the community and I think it turned out great. All those people put a lot into making NEDS happen and I appreciate them so much, it was a great time and I was honoured to play! 

7. I highly anticipated seeing your set and thoroughly enjoyed it. Did that inspire you to want to play more live gigs in the future? 

100%! I would like to play many more live shows in the future. 

8. It seems like Erythrite Throne is the “mothership” of all your projects. Is that the case? 

It absolutely is. I played around with a lot of other projects and musical styles before I landed here, it has a very special place in my heart.

9. Some of your earlier Erythrite Throne works contains a good bit of Black Metal (Instrumentation & vocals) whereas the more current material is mostly synth based. Was there a plan to make Erythrite Throne a more metal based project at some point? 

Erythrite Throne was always made to infuse Dungeon Synth and Black Metal, I never want to choose between the two because I love them both so much. Which direction I take an album really just depends on how I’m feeling in that moment.

10. One of my favorite projects of yours is Abholos. Although I can hear traces of Erythrite Throne in Abholos, the sound is more ethereal, and the texture is of a primitive nature. What influenced you to start this project? 

The first Abholos demo was actually supposed to be an Erythrite Throne album based on the work of Lovecraft, but it just felt different from Erythrite Throne, so I created Abholos which still has my kind of sound, but I try to make it it’s own entity.

11. Do you have more Abholos albums planned for this year? 

I absolutely do!

12. Another newer project that I absolutely love is Moss Golem. Initially “mislabeled” a Comfy Synth album, it’s actually like a synth-based black metal project. Did you create this project to defy the sub-genre stereotypes that seem to exist these days? 

I did. It was pretty much a fuck you to what you think something is or has to be called. MOSS GOLEM is a really important project to me..

13. One of your less talked about projects is Vokaron – which I think is an amazing project that leans toward the Crypt Hop genre. How did this project come about and do you plan to continue it? 

I actually made this album for my partner when he was recovering from surgery. He likes to sing so I made him this album to sing with well he was at home getting better with nothing else really to do. I do plan to drop at least one more Vokaron album!

14. Other than the projects that I’ve mentioned, what are some of the other ones that are near and dear to you, and why? 

I can’t really choose one honestly. All of them are important to me in one way or another and I try to put a lot into each one.

15. Tell us a little about Serpents Sword Records? 

I created Serpent’s Sword so I could have one spot for all my projects and tapes under one banner. I figured it was better than having 20 different Bandcamp pages.

16. Other than physical cassette releases, are there any plans to expand the merchandise (t-shirts, patches, stickers, hats, etc.) store for Serpents Swords Records? 

Absolutely. I’ve already had patches done for Erythrite Throne, but I’d love to get shirts and stickers done for that and a few of the other projects on Serpent’s Sword.

17. Have you toyed with the idea of releasing other artists material on Serpents Sword Records?

I have and I actually will be releasing some other artists music in the near future starting with a very special release for a good friend of mine! More info will come soon for that.

18. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions, as well all of your contributions to the Dungeon Synth community. Do you have any final thought you’d like to share with anyone reading this? 

I appreciate you taking the time to interview me and listen to my music; it really means a lot to me! I want to thank all the amazing friends I’ve made in the Dungeon Synth community and all the people who listen to and support my music, it really means more to me than I can describe. I’m excited to continue working on music for you all!

Links:

https://serpentsswordrecords.bandcamp.com

https://erythritethrone.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/serpentssword/

Borg Produces Quirky, Yet Highly Addictive Medieval Anthems On Clever Sophomore Effort, ‘Woodland’

Dark medieval times were known for unruly kings, countless battles filled with harrowing bloodshed, serious structure amongst the township and an all around malevolent aura that plagued kingdoms and villages alike. Within the Dungeon Synth genre, we are constantly reminded of these scenarios with fascinating music that brings forth imaginative tales of what may have been during those desolate times. Fortunately, there were also festive times where constant partying and bantering seemed to be the norm throughout the commoners. Enter the bewildering music of Borg. Instead of austere synth tones that exemplify the aforementioned, Borg creates an unconventional and bizarre twist on the genre that is more like a menagerie of maniacal misfits with a trunk full of random instruments. Surprisingly, this is some of the most addictive music I’ve heard in quite some time. Not only does it showcase a buoyant side of Dungeon Synth, but the musical showmanship and songwriting abilities of Borg are simply captivating. ‘Woodland’, the sophomore effort from this quirky creator, brings forth sixteen new tracks of unorthodox Dungeon Synth that will have the listener hooked from the very first note.

“Toward Woodland” is the perfect track to get the festivities going, as a single obscure sounding instrument plays a harmony and then is slowly joined in by additional instruments until a jolly rhythm section fills the air with free spirit and gracious tones. “Pt. 1 – A Trusty Companion” is a galloping guitar sectional that is backed by some bizarre instrumentation. “Pt. 2 – Lullaby For Lonely Mountains” is a slow, dirge-like track that could have been taken from a 60’s spaghetti western film. The acoustic guitar passages sound amazing and the fact that there is a short brass instrumental interlude, is very impressive. Just the amount of the various instruments used on this track is enough to make this one of the stand out pieces amongst the sixteen fascinating tunes. “Pt. 3 – The Scorched Land” is a short ballad-like anthem that sounds like a recorder and a guitar providing individual solo ideas in a synchronized ensemble. “Woodland Theme 1” brings back a little of the quirkiness that Borg is known for, as the main harmony is played over child-like instruments, but sounds extremely fun in the process. “Woodland Theme 2” is more of a recorder led tune with some slight percussion but without a doubt it fits right in with the rest of this uniqueness. “Foliage Fade” is another ballad-esque type affair, almost like something you would hear if walking through a field of flowers while mythical creatures gallivant about vicariously. “The Last Summer” is an acoustic guitar heavy tune and various eccentric instruments can be heard while classical-style strumming and picking complete this song. “The Garden Of Fruit Trees & A Bad Omens” is a jubilant synth track that changes into a darker tone and features various instruments toward the end. “Empty Halls – Greeted By Sorrow” is a wondrous violin based track that contains a great Medieval dance melody and ancient style percussion. “Empty Halls – Funeral” is a short, droning dirge played over a well produced (and layered) wind instrument recording. “Empty Halls – A New King” once again introduces the unconventional instrumentation, simple note playing and play-along style rhythms. However, these are the types of songs that really stand out as being true and authentic to that medieval style. “The Joy Of Water” begins as if it could be a western tune and features the sounds of what could be an accordion. Very laid back and jubilant, this represents the best of peaceful times. “A Proposal In Moonlight” again features the high-pitched sounds of a recorder, with various other instruments – including a xylophone – playing synchronous sounds of a tranquil nature, as if an adventure deep in the woods yields a prosperous reward. “Wedding Dance I” is a minute long canticle that’s pays celebratory tribute to one of the most joyous occasion their is, and “Wedding Dance II” continues that celebration – but probably after a couple of pints of ale. In the end, everyone is happy, celebrating the happiest of occasions and without a worry in the world.

There simply isn’t any other artist in the Dungeon Synth community like Borg. Although this idiosyncratic style of music may not be for everyone, it sure it appealing to these ears. Additionally, I can totally admire the musicianship, effort and thought process that must that gone into creating a precarious project of this nature. However, this music is needed in Dungeon Synth and from what I’ve seen so far, it’s been welcomed with wide-open arms. If you are one of the few that has never had the opportunity to checkout this unbelievable artist, then do so at your earliest convenience. I can not recommend this enough, so click on the link below and check out ‘Woodland’.

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Links:

https://borg.bandcamp.com/album/woodland

Cult Of Terrorism Unify Soothing Ambient Textures And Hypnotic Industrial Samples On ‘Megváltozhatatlanság’

When calmness and chaos collide, it can be an intriguing affair. As two distant-end spectral forces merge at the point of emotional confusion, the outcome is often unexpected – like the age old battle of good versus evil. In music, the aftermath of this emotional merger is a little more advantageous as our mental state is already at a heightened state of awareness with an illusory fixation. ‘Megváltozhatatlanság’ by Cult Of Terrorism portrays that same disconcerting situation with its unique brand of Dark Ambient. At its base, ‘Megváltozhatatlanság’ uses minimal drones and textures to devise a sense of tranquility, while on the other hand, Industrial soundscapes are injected to agitate the mind with frenzied audio terror. However, the combination of the two will escort the listener to a fascinating gray world where nothingness provides a soothing sense of anxious turmoil.

Sensational album opener, “Mitochondria, O Sindrome Di Le Tour (feat. 52-Hearts Whale)” instantly catapults the brainwaves into a hurried state as Industrial frequencies flow from side to side, creating the epicenter for a daring new world. However, ground zero quickly recovers as the menacing sounds give way to enticing drones, field recordings and melodic keys. Occasionally, harsh sounds can be heard in the background, reminding the listener that all is not safe when beauty and bleak collide. The next track is “υπναγωγικών [UNO STUDIO]” and it features synth pads that create a melodic atmosphere. Haunting keys play at intervals in the background while various effects add layers of warmth and stability. The muffled piano notes in “Qualcosa E’ Perduto” are soothing yet disturbing. Barely audible wind effects add a touch of mysticism to this otherwise cold and minimalistic track. “I’ll Sequestro Emozionale Prima Dell ‘Ultimo Gesto” kicks things back into high gear again, as a droning and discordant synth tone plays unadjusted for several minutes before layers of rigid effects and soundscapes take this song to a whole new dimension. By the time the track comes to a close, screeching synths are at the forefront, but somehow remain quite melodic. “La Fortezza Di Spine (feat. Valerio Orlandini)” keeps the Industrial momentum going with its dark, spongy drones. The addition of malevolent narrations and evil sounding textures makes this one of the standout tracks on the album. “Notturno [Il Tuo Cuore E’ Sacro] (feat. Testing Vault)” is another disturbing track that dabbles into Indistrial sampling and perfectly placed random sounds. The maniacal keys in the background maintain a monotone pattern, providing just enough normalcy to offset the controlled chaos that is happening in the foreground. The final track on the album, “Megváltozhatatlanság (feat. Meanwhile In Texas)” is a slow building track that centers around spacey drones and desolate soundscapes. At around the four and a half minute mark, the sound shift to a higher frequency with trance-like qualities. Soon thereafter, this song dissolves into oblivion, going out peacefully – just the opposite of how this album started.

Although Cult Of Terrorism has a frightening name, the music says otherwise. Even with spots of Industrial-tinged madness, this album – for the most part – is a a peaceful yet dark affair. ‘Megváltozhatatlanság’ is a very mesmerizing album, and with a great song foundation and seamless transitions between tracks, is also extremely enjoyable. It can be streamed in its entirety at the link below, so head on over to the site and check out this great work.

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Links:

https://totenschwan.bandcamp.com/album/tsr-111-megv-ltozhatatlans-g

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

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

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

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

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Links:

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