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 Posted:   Feb 10, 2022 - 5:42 AM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

I'm vaguely familiar with the term 'dungeon synth', but I don't believe I've ever explored it properly. I do like darkwave, which is an offshoot of synthwave (with Carpenter Brut as perhaps its biggest proponent), but I have a feeling dungeon synth is more hardcore metal, or something else altogether. I'll set aside some time soon and listen to the clips posted here.

Welcome, Thor! Given what I've seen you interested in over the years, you may find dungeon synth intriguing. It's completely unlike darkwave and highly unlike synthwave, with the closest artists to the latter being those influenced by Berlin school electronics like Arthruos or perhaps the dungeon synth / dark ambient Den Sorte Dod. Those are perhaps the ones I recommend you start with, who are synth-heavy but with very little percussion. Overall, you could think of dungeon synth as "medieval ambient" music, that's probably the closest identifier to mainstream of which I can think; it's completely different from hardcore metal even though that's one of its origin points.

For what it's worth, I'm becoming a synthwave fan myself, specifically, the offshoot spacewave. I started off listening to Carpenter Brut and Perturbator for a time, but then found Dynatron, and since then I've begun digging into other spacewave-style artists like EarMake or other "cyberwave" artists like Turboslash, for example.

Please let us know what you think when and if you decide to give DS a try!

 
 Posted:   Feb 11, 2022 - 7:29 AM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

CD news! Future postings like these will be the same - except in extreme circumstances (such as Bespin Moons and up until recently, Hole Dweller), I will only be posting items that are available on CD.

RECENT RELEASES ---
Evigvald - Einkehr (Dungeon Space)
* http://www.kristallblutrecords.com/shop/sites/ger/catalog.php?cat=4&startat=0&artnbr=2521&reload=2&lang=en
Gelure - Into the Chesfern Wood (Northern Silence)
* https://gelure-northernsilence.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-chesfern-wood
Gelure - The Candlelight Tomes (Northern Silence)
* https://gelure-northernsilence.bandcamp.com/album/the-candlelight-tomes
Morketsvind - Book of Tales (Garavluth)
* https://wolfspell.pl/en_US/p/MORKETSVIND-Book-of-Tales-DigiCD/5414
Old Sorcery - Sorrowcrown (Essential Purification)
* https://oldsorcery.bandcamp.com/album/sorrowcrown
Sattyg - Legends Part II (War)
* https://sattyg.bandcamp.com/album/legends-part-ii?from=hp
Urvind - Die Reise nach Evigvald (Dungeon Space)
* http://www.kristallblutrecords.com/shop/sites/ger/catalog.php?cat=4&startat=0&artnbr=2583&reload=0&lang=e&art_sort=1#det2583

UPCOMING RELEASES ---
Feb 15th: Coniferous Myst - Lost Mountain Pathways (Out of Season)

FUTURE ---
Foglord - Celestial (Out of Season)
Weress - Au-Dela des Leiux Legendaires (Ancient King)

 
 Posted:   Feb 11, 2022 - 9:00 AM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

OLD TOWER - Old King of Witches

Old Tower has always ridden the fence between dungeon synth and dark ambient, and this, his newest album, is firmly in the latter camp. That shouldn't discourage from checking out his discography, however; last year's "Tales of the Mad Moon" compilation is an excellent release of more atmospheric synth-based material, still slightly off course compared to pure dungeon synth. "Old King of Witches" is similar in its predilection for atmospheric synth, but exudes more of a nocturnal, almost aquatic feeling. Though definitely dark ambient, I'd place "Old King of Witches" a notch above Old Tower's more DS-related material; those who enjoy the highly atmospheric albums on Cryo Chamber would certainly dig this album. Great!

https://oldtower.bandcamp.com/album/the-old-king-of-witches

 
 Posted:   Feb 14, 2022 - 6:13 PM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

MEDHELAN - Fall of the Horned Serpent

Why, oh WHY, did I have to discover Medhelan on my own? Why is no one talking about the absolutely beautiful and wondrous music of this Italian artist? Granted, the dungeon synth community is incredibly small, even on the internet, but there are numerous artists I’d read about so many times when first digging into this genre: Mortiis, Fief, Thangorodrim, Summoning, etc. But Medhelan? Nothing. I don’t even remember how I came to know the name. And as I’ve implied before, my first exposure to Medhelan was through an expanded reissue of their debut album, Nocturnal Wanderings. It was intriguing, more dark ambient than I had expected. Then a short time ago, I discovered The Minstrel’s Fireplace Tales. I won’t recant my ravings about that again here. But this one, Fall of the Horned Serpent, Medhelan’s most recent release from 2016? Just utterly mindblowing! Sole musician Matteo Brusa has an astounding mastery of all the different facets of dungeon synth and instrumentation involved; the way he gently casts and layers sounds and marries them with the ebb and flow of musical narration is nothing short of amazing. Lush and yearning strings weave a tale across the windswept plains. Calm yet forceful militaristic drumming and horns beckon the arrival of the king and his subjects to the realm. Ethereal choral chanting and colorfully plucked acoustic guitar conjure ancestral spirits to the cathedral. Memories of distant worlds and forgotten legends bleed from the melodies created here. Comparing this album musically to other modern, traditional dungeon synth like Murgrind, Elffor, and Hillsfar can only be done as a point of reference, for Medhelan blows them all away. This is the engaging wonderment of the Fellowship of the Ring. This is the scope and grandeur of Skyrim. This is the music to accompany a journey across the Seven Kingdoms. If there is one album to choose from all I’ve posted here, THIS is the one to consume. Wow. Just wow.

https://medhelan.bandcamp.com/album/fall-of-the-horned-serpent



 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2022 - 11:50 AM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

URVIND - Die Reise nach Evigvald

Calm, tranquil, and beautiful winter synth, constructed moreso by shifting synth tones than twinkling keyboard notes. I wish albums like this were longer; this one clocks in at just over 38 minutes, indeed just a little long in the tooth for most dungeon synth, haha. For comparable artists, I'd put this along the lines of Aindulmedir a bit more than Waeltaja, more on the quiet and reserved side. The promo suggests it's for fans of Secret Stairways and Depressive Silence. I could see that too, especially the former. I loved this album, and it's only the debut from this artist!

http://www.kristallblutrecords.com/shop/sites/ger/catalog.php?cat=4&startat=0&artnbr=2583&reload=0&lang=e&art_sort=1#det2583



 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2022 - 11:53 AM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

CD News!

Idylls of the Last King released "Where the Gods Whisper Your Name Amongst Themselves" last year on cassette. Offerings of Flame Productions just released a remastered version of the album on CD:
https://offeringsofflameproductions.bandcamp.com/album/where-the-gods-whisper-your-name-amongst-themselves?from=hp&action=buy

Druadan Forest just released their new album "Portals," and interestingly, it's space ambient! Druadan Forest's previous albums are either atmospheric black metal, pure dungeon synth, or a mix of both, so it's extremely interesting to hear this change in style. And I happen to *love* space ambient music. smile Order from Werewolf Productions in Finland, or obtain it here:
https://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/item.asp?PID=99648

A split CD between Druadan Forest and Old Sorcery can also be ordered from the same US site. This album is a fantastic example of diverse dungeon synth sound by two of its long-running contributors:
https://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/druadan-forest-old-sorcery-split-cd.asp

 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2022 - 7:03 AM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

Thanks for these updates, losher22!

I recently listened to both discs in the Knights of Nvrul set and enjoyed them very much. Off-kilter, almost fever-dreamlike compositions, yet quirky and playful at the same time. 4/5 stars!

https://knightsofnvrul.bandcamp.com/


Last night I gave Pazuzu's And all was Silent... another spin, and it's growing on me. I didn't care much for it the first time I heard it; the vocals really threw me off, but since I knew they were coming this time, I was able to appreciate them more in context. It's definitely one of the more experimental and theatrical of the DS founding forefather albums I've heard thus far.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgC-Bv_oXMM

I've got several DS albums in my new arrivals pile, and several more on the way. I also just received in the mail yesterday the hardcover reissue of volume 1 of Michael Moorcock's Eric of Melnibone saga (which I've never read but have heard a lot about), so I'm looking forward to pairing some choice DS albums with that to provide an atmospheric sonic backdrop to the proceedings. (Note: most of the ratings on the amazon product page are for a different printing, not the one being sold): https://www.amazon.com/Elric-Melnibon%C3%A9-Saga-Part/dp/1534445684/ref=pd_lpo_1?pd_rd_i=1534445684&psc=1

Keep 'em coming, amigo!

 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2022 - 10:49 AM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

Hi Josh!

Glad you liked Knights of Nvrul, I jumped at that double disc set when I saw it too! Funny you say "fever-dreamlike," that's *exactly* the words I used to describe it upon first listen with my cousin, who's also a dungeon synth fan! Great (or sick) minds!

Thank you very much for sharing Pazuzu. Before clicking on the YouTube link I was thinking of experimental black metal band Oranssi Pazuzu, and was thinking, "DS founding forefather?" But now I see it was an artist/group from 1994! Adding this to my listen list, as it sounds extremely unique!

And yeah, more on the to-listen and arriving soon piles myself. Can't wait to share about them and hope you do the same! I love that you're mentioning other media on this thread, namely books, because yeah, were I still an avid reader of fantasy, I'd be spinning DS albums for sure while doing it. But the subject matter of DS and a swirling vortex of nostalgia lately have me thinking about returning to the fantasy book fore. So please, keep 'em coming!

'Til next time buddy!

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2022 - 7:55 AM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

Currently sitting by the fireplace while the snow is falling outside, listening to the Romantyth disc from Grime Stone Records' 4-CDr dungeon synth compilation. A most serene and ethereal experience. Just perfect.

Romantyth samples: https://grimestone.bandcamp.com/album/romantyth-secrets-from-a-different-time

Buy: https://grimestone.bandcamp.com/merch/grime-stone-records-dungeon-synth-compilation-4xcd-r

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2022 - 9:16 AM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

DEVONIAN DAWN - Panthalassa

https://lostarmor.bandcamp.com/album/panthalassa

Intriguing aquatic dungeon synth from the extremely prolific Myst (the man behind numerous acts such as Coniferous Myst, Serpent's Isle, and Longsword). The half-hour-long album is split down the middle into two tracks, the first more of a brooding and cavernous synth with scant field noise, the second an undulating, waving ambient pitch that's quite hypnotic. It feels as though the former is an introspection on underwater environments, whereas the latter is an expansive look at a massive body of water from above the surface. This is one of those albums that rides the fence between dungeon synth and ambient music. Here's hoping that Devonian Dawn devotes time to other diverse aquatic-sounding synth, because there's a lot of promise in this concept.

One further note for purveyors of CDs: Myst often makes extremely small CDr runs (10-15 copies max) of albums from his various project monikers, and luckily I was able to snag a copy of "Panthalassa" in time; the CDrs all tend to sell out in a matter of minutes. One of my recent faves, Keys to Oneiria's "Worlds Between," was obtained in the same manner. Follow Wizard-Discs on Bandcamp for notifications of new releases, and act fast! (https://wizardiscs.bandcamp.com/)

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2022 - 9:27 AM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

Currently sitting by the fireplace while the snow is falling outside, listening to the Romantyth disc from Grime Stone Records' 4-CDr dungeon synth compilation. A most serene and ethereal experience. Just perfect.

Romantyth samples: https://grimestone.bandcamp.com/album/romantyth-secrets-from-a-different-time

Buy: https://grimestone.bandcamp.com/merch/grime-stone-records-dungeon-synth-compilation-4xcd-r


That's awesome, Josh! I think the Romantyth disc from that compilation was my favorite too. Just beautiful stuff! Fern Treader was probably my second fave. Hey, if you haven't checked it out, I can't recommend enough Grime Stone's CDr of Colossus's self-titled debut. One of my all-time favorite DS releases across the board, I'm surprised it hasn't gotten more hype anywhere (that I can see)!

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2022 - 12:50 PM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

Yes, I bought Colossus at the same time as the 4-CD comp, and it's awesome. Love love love the cover art, too.

And thanks for the heads up about Wizard-Discs. Following!

 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2022 - 12:28 PM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

NORTFALKE - Seefonktjuenderee

I've had my eye on Nortfalke ever since I heard snippets of their 2019 album Atmosfeer, which regrettably has only since been released digitally and on vinyl. Seefonktjuenderee is, up until very recently, Nortfalke's only CD release. And what a work it is! Nortfalke's brand of dungeon synth lies between the otherworldly and dreamlike, like a more enduring, drawn-out, full-bodied Secret Stairways, only sounding slightly oppressive due to the reverb and echo of bass drums. What drives the album, however, are airy motes, undulating melodies, and intentionally retro- and synth-heavy traditional instrumentation that form a richly layered and textured collection of sounds. I love the fact that this album is 46 minutes long, spread across three tracks; it really gives all the drifting and hypnotic pieces room to breathe and very much allow one to get lost. Seefonktjuenderee is a relaxing, melancholic, and wondrous journey from start to finish. Not to be missed.

https://dunkelheitprod.bandcamp.com/album/seefonktj-enderee

 
 Posted:   Feb 25, 2022 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

CD News!

RECENT RELEASES ---

Khull - Call to Arms (Naturmacht)
https://naturmachtproductions.bandcamp.com/album/call-to-arms

Nortfalke - Moonjeie (Heidens Hart)
https://heidenshart.bandcamp.com/album/moonjeie

UPCOMING RELEASES ---
Inexistence - In the Mysterious Forest (Self-Released)
https://inexistence1.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-mysterious-forest

FUTURE ---
Foglord - Celestial (Out of Season)
Nocturnal Effigy - Moonlit Branches + Nights Sorrow (Out of Season)
Weress - Au-Dela des Leiux Legendaires (Ancient King)

 
 Posted:   Feb 25, 2022 - 8:24 PM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

Any idea if the Inexistence - In the Mysterious Forest CD will be released as a standalone (without the t-shirt)?

 
 Posted:   Feb 25, 2022 - 10:38 PM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

Any idea if the Inexistence - In the Mysterious Forest CD will be released as a standalone (without the t-shirt)?

Yessir, it will, according to a message from Inexistence last week. A small run of self-released copies at the beginning of March. Plus, according to his Facebook, the album will be purely dungeon synth, not the DS/darkwave/electronic style from the previous ones. A couple excellent tracks can already be found on YouTube!

 
 Posted:   Feb 26, 2022 - 8:31 AM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

Any idea if the Inexistence - In the Mysterious Forest CD will be released as a standalone (without the t-shirt)?

Yessir, it will, according to a message from Inexistence last week. A small run of self-released copies at the beginning of March. Plus, according to his Facebook, the album will be purely dungeon synth, not the DS/darkwave/electronic style from the previous ones. A couple excellent tracks can already be found on YouTube!



Thanks! I'll keep an eye out.

Btw, I just discovered and ordered this little gem. Limited edition of 25, with only two copies remaining!

Mythes et Complaintes de Lusnengiha by Menestroll
https://menestroll.bandcamp.com/releases

 
 Posted:   Feb 26, 2022 - 10:26 AM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

Thanks! I'll keep an eye out.

Btw, I just discovered and ordered this little gem. Limited edition of 25, with only two copies remaining!

Mythes et Complaintes de Lusnengiha by Menestroll
https://menestroll.bandcamp.com/releases


Thank you for suggesting Menestroll! Missed that one it looks like, and I love that sound, DS with some retro / video game sounds, but not too much. Ordered; can’t wait to get it! Thanks again!

Another random one I discovered very recently: Celestial Kingdom. Sounds like drifting DS / winter synth, the kind of stuff I *love*. Check it out if you’re interested!

https://izydirecords.bandcamp.com/album/visions-of-eternal-winter

Oh, and I l’ll drop a post here when the Inexistence CD is announced. I’d expect only a matter of days.

 
 Posted:   Feb 27, 2022 - 7:59 AM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

Cool! Glad you were able to snag a copy, and thanks for the Celestial Kingdom recommendation. A bit too airy and drifting for my taste, but of course I appreciate it nevertheless.

P.S. Where the Wild Things Are is one of my all-time favorite picture books. wink

 
 Posted:   Feb 27, 2022 - 6:30 PM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

Picked up another batch of CDs from Out of Season last week, including this one, which I'm spinning right now. I like the overall sense of fantasy and adventure it evokes but tend to prefer my DS more overtly electronic and synthy as opposed to artists using synths to emulate orchestral sounds, like this album often does (I feel the same about synths in film scores, actually). Still, lots of fun for what it is, a sonic journey of medieval proportions!



https://www.outofseasonlabel.com/products/morketsvind-the-journey-cd?_pos=2&_sid=bfb60f463&_ss=r

 
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