Dungeon Synth Compilation V: Manuscript of a Different Age

On Tradition I have made mention before, in various articles, how these dungeon synth compilations gravitate towards a split between traditional and experimental. There has been a lot of discussion on the nature of experimentation and where fans and artists draw the line between acceptable and not. Perhaps this discussion on experimentation is apart of most underground scenes. I have always been a proponent of experimentation and the exploration of a style. This does not mean all experimentation is fantastic or even productive just as much as not all traditional…

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Dungeon Synth Compilation IV: Artifacts From The Shadow Realm

I find continuing a project to be as important, if not more than the initial idea. The first round of compilations was created to highlight the current sound of dungeon synth as it stood in 2017. In the spring of 2017, we created three volumes of a compilation which ranged from the traditional to the experimental. While two of those volumes were easily divided up between the two sounds, the compilation from the dungeon synth forum had been and will always be mixed in its sound. This made creating the…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXV

Dungeon Synth Digest XXV

Many years ago, rumor has it, two noted personages in the area, Rogahn the Fearless (a fighter of renown) and Zelligar the Unknown (a magic-user of mystery and power) pooled their resources and expertise to construct a home and stronghold for the two of them to use as a base of operations. The location of this hidden complex was chosen with care, since both men disliked visitors and intruders. Far from the nearest settlement, away from traveled routes, and high upon a craggy hill, the new construction took shape. Carved…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXIV

The Eventual Death of Dungeon Synth I have been following dungeon synth for around two years cataloging its history and charting its progression as a microgenre in an age where microgenres have ephemeral existences. I have always professed a love for this style and its community of creators, recorders, and fans. Dungeon synth has existed for decades in various identities from strange black metal/dark ambient offshoot to an independent electronic genre with sometimes new connections unrelated to its past. Dungeon synth has existed before the age of the internet and…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXIII

The final confrontation with the giant, King Snurre, and the entry of mighty adventurers into the caverns under his stronghold (DUNGEON MODULE Gl-2-3, AGAINST THE GIANTS) discovered that Dark Elves, the Drow, had instigated the giant alliance and its warfare upon mankind and its allied races. Numbers of these evil elves fell before the onslaught of the party of adventurers, but many of the important Drow fled away to the northwest – the escape route a seemingly natural passage a full 30’ wide extending endlessly under the earth. Investigation of…

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Dungeon Synth Compilation III: Ethereal Dungeon Tales

Dungeon Synth Compilation III

Ethereal Dungeon Tales is the last of the compilations created from the material culled from an open call for dungeon synth. With the close of this compilation a total of 3 hours and 20 minutes of new and recent dungeon synth has been committed to memory. I am grateful for the admins at the dungeon synth Facebook group to allow me to arrange and organize all of this material. Not only has it allowed this series to showcase new artists but has also given me a reason to appreciate all…

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Dungeon Synth Compilation II: Wand & Shadow

“Wand and Shadow” was my original suggestion as the name for this entire project. I thought it sounded neat as well as capturing the magical and dark aspects of dungeon synth. When proposed in an online polls, it was the second most popular name with “Keepers of the Shadow Realm” rivaling it and “Ethereal Dungeon Tales” being close. Instead of strong arming my favorite name as the project title as I would have loved to do, the community suggestions were used as volume names with Dungeon Synth Compilation being taken…

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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…

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Dungeon Synth 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.

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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…

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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…

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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 /…

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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…

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This Year in Dungeon Synth (2016)

2016 was not my first year with dungeon synth, although it was my first full year investing the genre. 2015 was really about me coming to terms with this new sound and figuring out why this gag about bedroom fantasy music never ceased to be interesting or engaging. What started perhaps as one of my quirky obsessions fully turned into a full fledged endorsement of one of the greater still obscured microgenres in recent memory. 2016 was perhaps the first year in which I carefully studied most everything which came…

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