Rhapsody in Review: Prelude (1994-1995)

There really isn’t any reason why I should be doing this but here I am. The Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody was one of my “first” metal bands. Rhapsody, along with Manowar was my introduction the world of heavy metal which, at the time, lay somewhere between fascination and irony. To be fair, it was mostly irony. Rhapsody’s music was also one of my first introductions into the world of fantasy narration as their records were an ever growing tome of narration depicting the endless fight between good and…

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Top 10 EPs of 2018

Sorting through my Bandcamp collection in preparation for my best of year list, I found it impossible to narrow down to a measly ten releases – and unfair to pit three song EPs against fully-fledged albums. So, to start things off, here are my ten favorite EPs of 2018: 10. Outer Head – Outer Head (Demo) Thick slabs of beefy doom drenched in a heady psych broth and served in a grimy stoner bowl, this killer demo oozes potential. A full-length from these UK trippers should be something to look…

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GARGOYLIUM – Chroniques de la Citadelle

Gargoylium

The title for this review comes from the last of the Gargoylium releases but in reality is about everything released in 2018. Dungeon synth comes as a trickle or flood and the release cycle for artists can be at the whim of its creator. In the absence of any record label schedule or tradition when it comes to album releases, dungeon synth has been known for its prolific to the point of saturated release schedule. This only becomes a problem when the quality is low as when an artist makes…

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RHAPSODY OF FIRE – “The Legend Goes On”

Does it? Does it really? I feel it is time I sit down with Rhapsody of Fire and really figure what is going on in the world. Rhapsody of Fire was one of my first “metal” bands and coincidentally one of the first anchors I had to the greater realm of fantasy based music. The band’s grand designs on crafting a narrative through albums captured my imagination and became sort of ironic gag that I loved to talk about but also listen to without any hint of emotional distance. This…

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Watchtower VII

This months image comes from an artist called jjcanvas whoese painting I found on Youtube just in timelapse form. Though digital painting is not new, this is one of the first timelapse photoshop paintings IO have seen and is interesting to watch as it seems all one needs to a good digital pad for drawing and knowledge of Photoshop. Talent is somewhere in there as well. Other than that please enjoy the new sounds of heavy, speed, and power metal from 2018 and maybe one from 2017.

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The Obsolescent Arborist – Tree, Timber and Forest

The Obsolescent Arborist

One of my favorite aspects about dungeon synth was the sense of quiet escapism the genre offered. One can page through my previous 36 volumes of Dungeon Synth Digest to find my interest gravitating towards sounds that were isolated and self entertaining. This genre is really at its best when it is sketching by itself in a cornerand I feel I gravitate towards introverted sounds. I have been finding myself recently interested in checking in with some of the more popular dungeon synth releases. This I feel will help the…

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OLD TOWER – The Rise Of The Spectral Horizons

“Old Tower is perhaps dungeon synth’s biggest contemporary success story. From playing along aside of Mortiis to landing a record on Profound Lore, Old Tower has gone from moody old school dungeon synth to moody old school dungeon synth now with a bigger audience.” The above was a blurb for Old Tower’s 2018 and Profound Lore (?) debut Stellary Wisdom. It was probably also one of my last written for the 33rd entry into the Dungeon Synth Digest. This entry, for some, was an odd blip in an otherwise routine…

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Life After Brawl and the Birth of Rogue Formats

Ravnica Island

I have written a lot about Magic the Gathering and spent a big part of summer focusing on the format known as Brawl. Previous articles followed this new format from rocky beginnings to more rocky endings with the actual state of the format still unknown to the community. If one wants to read the history of Brawl one can page through my previous articles or just read the summary on MTG Goldfish. What is important is that Brawl came and went much with exctiment and jokes made at its expense….

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Dungeons and Dragons – Art and Arcana: A Visual History

”If you thought that was cool, wait till you try the real thing.” A friend told me something to that effect in the schoolyard one day in 1984. My eleven-year-old mind was still reeling with excitement from having spent most of my weekend engrossed in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, a book unlike any I had ever read before. The Fighting Fantasy gamebook by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone had totally swept me up and pulled me in to a magical domain of excitement and peril akin to the wondrous…

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MOONSHIELD – The Warband

Moonshield - The Warband

Harken, brave adventurer, and let me regale you with an epic yarn of war and wizardry, of fire and fell deeds – a tale from days of old, veiled in the mists of legend! Well, not really, this is a music review. But looking at the cover art to the debut album by Moonshield you’d be right to expect a fair level of sword and sorcery shenanigans, and the Atlanta axe-wielders dutifully deliver on that promise. The Warband is a concept album recounting the battles of legendary war-chief Hengest who…

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CHAUCERIAN MYTH – The Faerie Queene

This is the first article I haven’t written after a brief hiatus from the dungeon synth. I never said I was done with the sound rather just taking a break. Suffice to say, I became exhausted trying to keep up with the sound and felt overwhelmed after doing the dungeon synth compilation with the endless stream of new music. This combined with me leaving Facebook left me disconnected with the larger scene. While I am sure there are great releases coming out, I was content with only listening tt a…

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Quiet Dreams: The Work of Arnold Böcklin

This article continues my exploration into the use of the supernatural and fantastic within the world of art. From the trivial to the classical, fantasy within art has been employed in various fashions and through numerous means. We have looked at the work of the symbolists as a delver into fantastical imagery. The life of Arnold Böcklin is not something of great note as this Swiss artist came through life most like other artists of the same period, studying at an academy and under different tutors, and with time to…

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