DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXII

Into Darkness I have been changing the structure of this digest through its 22 iterations. At first I wouldn’t review any artist I already discussed and then I tried my Castle / Cottage / Crypt divisions. Now it is more of a spectrum from the very well known to the most experimental. I find this structure the most sensible as it allows me to highlight the releases people are discussing as well as showcasing the weird outcroppings of the genre. I would like to thank my editor and owner of…

Read More

Heavy Metal 2017 (March)

Well here we are in the deep of March and by the looks of it we are not slowing down with any new material being released. Something that I noticed that is different than searching for black metal or dungeon synth each month is the need to diversify tags. While the other two could be found with one tag, all of this new material came through the various tags of “speed metal,” “NWOTHM,” “NWOBHM,” “traditional,” “doom,” and he all confusing “heavy.” I believe it is this diversity or even nebulous…

Read More

DS Compilation I: Keepers of the Shadow Realm

For the record, this compilation was conceived as an idea across two communities. The larger Facebook dungeon synth group and its smaller cohort, the dungeon synth forum. On the same day, two separate people had the idea to collect and publish a free compilation based around newer music for either posterity, exposure, or contribution into the vast growing renaissance of newer dungeon synth.

Read More

Dark Powers: The Magic and Benevolence of Synth Bard

Thick cold fog swirls around in this darkened courtyard. Sporadic flashes of lightning lance the angry clouds overhead. Thunder pounds the courtyard. A light drizzle begins to fall. Ahead, torch flames flutter in the wind on each side of the keep’s open main doors. Warm light spills from those open doors into the courtyard. Doors in the gate towers on each side of the tunnel entrance are shut against the rain. A howling wind rushes through the courtyard. The dark towers of the keep loom above in the mists. Flickering…

Read More

BLACK SAILS [S4E1-3]

Oh shit. What the fuck happened last season on Black Sails. Oh that’s right, fucking everything. If you were not aware of my long and strange relationship with Starz original programming Black Sails, you can read a dozen articles or me going through conflicting emotions regarding pirate themed political drama. In the shadow of larger shows like Game of Thrones, Black Sails offers the off brand variety for fantasy drama that is filled with violence, sex, deception, intrigue from an ensemble cast that weave multiple storylines like a goddamn maypole….

Read More

DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXI

I can remember a time when I reviewed 5 or 6 new dungeon synth releases. We are now up to 18. This is because of many things. One is I legitimately want to listen to everything that comes out each month and that will yield a larger crop of releases I want to discuss. Add to this my desire to explore the furthermost reaches of the style with more experimental works and one has a big bushel of dungeon synth. Lastly, I feel the market and releases are growing. Included…

Read More

WIEGEDOOD – De Doden Hebben Het Goed II (2017)

Sometimes bands work their way up to known recognition and other times they come out of left field. Sometimes it is a mix of both. Wiegedood is not new as 2017 is seeing their second album release after a marginally well received debut. The interesting thing about this year is the continuation of themes and names as Wiegedood has decided to do a second installment of their debut with De Doden Hebben Het Goed II. The gloom patrol rounds the bend for a second night out.

Read More

WITHERFALL – Nocturnes and Requiems (2017)

Since starting the HEAVY METAL 2017 article, I have been keeping an eye out for new speed, traditional, and gruff power metal. Witherfall is not within that realm despite being an unsigned power/progressive/heavy act from Los Angeles. I know it feels weird to delineate between the two but soon you will see the difference. Witherfall has had no sort of introduction before their full length and comes with zero announcements or hype. Despite some of these odds to find a home or fanbase, Nocturnes and Requiems is a fantastic record…

Read More

Heavy Metal 2017 (February)

Heavy Metal - February

This is the second sailing of Heavy Metal 2017. My intention was to keep up with all of the new heavy, speed, power, and partial doom that is experiencing not a revival but renewed interest. Had this genre of music not lie on the far side of known, I believe it would be more popular, in fact gaining a legion of new followers who do not understand some of the more extreme waltzes of heavy metal. Clean, direct, and packed with optimism much of this music would find its way…

Read More

DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XX

Dungeon Synth XX

Things to do in 2017 [ONE] Listen to every release marked as dungeon synth on Bandcamp. [TWO] Interview more new artists and more popular ones before their new albums. [THREE] Continue to work on updating the REDDIT PRIMER and use it when anyone asks for music related to dungeon synth or any sort of music. [FOUR] Transpose the invented worlds of Dungeon Synth creators into a campaign setting for role playing games as well as create a light system for people to play tabletop games. [FIVE] Interview Moaning Shadows /…

Read More

SUBSTRATUM – Substratum (2017)

I am sort of upset that I am writing a review on Substratum’s full length as I think they would be great for my new Heavy Metal 2017 column. Fine, I will write a long form review on this… but there better be good heavy metal for February. Now with that out of the way, please welcome the glorious dawn with some energy that arcs like lightning.

Read More

The Flight of Sleipnir – Skadi (2017)

Doom folk. Stoner folk. Stoner Doom. Whatever words are used to describe The Flight of Sleipnir it really does not capture the blended variety for this Colorado band as they ride the line between post black, psych, doom, and atmospheric sludge which is, unsurprisingly, is not easy to classify. What is easy to grasp is the band’s unwavering loyalty to Norse mythology as the songs, albums and existence for this band is dedicated to making old stories feel like acid trips in the woods.

Read More

Heavy Metal 2017 (January)

This is the first installment of a 12 month series investigating new heavy / traditional / power / speed / doom which seems to be experiencing a new found popularity. We are not in a new wave of anything rather just in a time when more people are paying attention to this style of music. Also each section will feature a different painting from the mater fantasy weaver Frank Frazetta. January’s image is Dawn Attack painted in 1991 which was used on the Science Fiction compilation L Ron Hubbard Presents:…

Read More

Lonely Lands Forgotten: The Ancient Realm of Oldenhelm

“Oldenhelm is from California and before the release of the Relics and Reverence EP due out sometime, the artist known as Shadowcloak has released a three song demo which is really centered around the longest song “Spells of Aeonian Starlight” which the other two sort of being a beginning and end to this haze crawling masterpiece. Oldenhelm knows where to sit at the big dungeon synth tqable. With a sound that is classic and a Bandcamp background which is from the 3.5 edition of D&D, Long Lost Relics Of Power…

Read More