Weirding Ways

Out of the Dungeon I believe it is time to say farewell. Since the close of the Dungeon Synth Compilation project, I have found myself unable to harbor the same zeal for discovering new projects associated with this scene with the same frequency as before. This is no one’s fault but rather a migration of interest to other things. Over the past handful of Dungeon Synth Digests, I have found more interest in the fringe and odd sounds found on Bandcamp. These genres can range from experimental, new age, neoclassical,…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXXVI

Dungeon Synth Digest XXXVI

Yes, I know. That picture is amazing. The above image is from the Basic Dungeons and Dragons module CM5: Mystery of the Snow Pearls. The numbering comes from the Companion set of Basic D&D as Companion was intended as an expansion for characters level 15-25. The acronym BECMI lays out the level progression and supplements for characters with Basic Rules supporting character levels 1 through 3, Expert Rules supporting character levels 4 through 1, Companion Rules supporting levels 15 through 25, Master Rules supporting levels 26 through 36, and Immortal…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXXV

BASIC DS. Life on the Frontier I have been trying to come up with a name for this type of dungeon synth. Over the past couple of months and year I have seen a style of DS that leans towards the raw, lo-fi unrefined, and potentially crude. This primitive style is usually adorned with very simplistic album covers even looking like poorly drawn monsters out of RPG bestiaries. In fact the aesthetic for many of these records are geared towards old D&D dungeon crawls where the theme of fantasy RPGs…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXXIV

Dungeon Synth Digest XXXIV

For weeks, you’ve been looking for adventure in this forsaken wilderness, with nothing much to show for it. It’s autumn now, with winter fast-approaching, and you’ll be in real trouble if you don’t earn some treasure soon. As you’re finishing breakfast at a cheap inn, a traveler walks into the common room. In a loud voice he says, “Peace be upon you all! I, Hakeem the merchant, seek Hargath Stonehand and his worthy friends! As I passed through Sylvanhome forest on the way here, I stopped at The Manor, a…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXXIII

Dungeon Synth Digest XXXIII

You have arrived at the town of Stallanford, on the Duke’s Road. The town is bustling and busy, with many visitors and merchants’ wagons seeking hostels and stables for horses. This is no ordinary day, for tomorrow is the first day of the King’s Festival! Karameikos has no king, but this long-held festival honors a great hero of the distant past, King Halav. Long before Karameikos was a nation, King Halav of the Traldar folk fought with his warriors against evil Beast-Men. In a great battle, Halav and the king…

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SUMMONING – With Doom We Come (2018)

With Doom We Come

The news of With Doom We Come, the 8th record from Austrian black metal band Summoning, was met with an undeniable and overwhelming amount of excitement not just from the perspective of a group of fans but from followers of an entire genre. Dungeon synth’s relationship with Summoning may seem a bit complex being the band has a tandem relationship with the sound but with the announcement of the band’s first in five years caused an uproar in small bedrooms. This is perhaps why the new Summoning record is so…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXXII

Dungeons Synth Digest XXXII

The beautiful elven forest sleeps peacefully about you. Leafy green trees with trunks of silver and white march in blissful grandeur as far as you can see. The trail you walk winds toward the high mountains nearby to the north. The forest’s carpet of ferns and deep green bushes is punctuated by the bright reds, blues, and yellows of the abundant woodland flowers. Ahead, you see sunlight flash off metal lying in the path. Armor-elven armor-and whoever wears it is not moving. The elf on the trail died not long…

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Dungeon Synth Compilation XII: Disciples of the Shadow Realm

Disciples of the Shadow Realm

Ambition This is the 12th and final dungeon synth compilation to be released in 2017. This is also the final compilation volume to be released for the foreseeable future at least in this current iteration. In the early past of 2017, a few people on the Facebook group had an idea to release a compilation of work by community members. At around the same time, the members of the DS forum had the same idea. Instead of having rival compilations, both entities consolidated submissions and released it under the same…

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Dungeon Synth Compilation XI: Lorekeepers

Lorekeepers

Lorekeepers represents the final “second” volume of the Dungeon Synth Compilation round. Traditionally, these compilations were split as a functional need as well as an aesthetic. the first volume of each season became the traditional compilation with sounds from the light and orchestral to the the edges of the dungeon. the second volume became a place for the weird, the odd, and the unkept. these songs ranged on the periphery of the style with dark ambient, noise, experimental, and antisocial sounds of ideas being pushed. I have always enjoyed the…

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Dungeon Synth Compilation X: Codex of Lost Voices

There is little reason to continue this series past a certain point. My intention with the DSC was to showcase the sound of dungeon synth in 2017. With the year coming to a close, I think it is time for the series to end at 12. This would be a volume for each of the months or three for every season. There is a charm in series and an attraction to order. While I am sure 2018 will bring new dungeon synth artists and records, ending this series before it…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXXI

Dungeon Synth Digest XXXI

So it was my intention to fill this space with some flavor text pulled from the source of the artwork on the header of this article. the artwork comes from the 1986 module called “Night’s Dark Terror” written by Jim Bambra, Graeme Morris and Phil Gallagher. the module was the 10th adventure in the Basic series and was intended for people to transition into the Expert series of Dungeons and Dragons. Both the Basic, Expert and further sets comprise what is known as B/X, BECMI, and just old school D&D…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXX

Dungeons Synth Digest XXX

This entry will be my 30th entry into the Dungeon Synth Digest, or if you would like more flavor, the 30th volume stored away in some arcane library hidden away from the troubles of mortal men. Since writing this series monthly, I have encountered and immersed myself to many albums and became aquatinted with many different artists. The push to search through new releases each month allowed me to see the growth of a scene played in real time just on a smaller scale. Around the same time as the…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXIX

Dungeons Synth XXIX

Perched along the banks of the mighty River Shrill, this isolated frontier settlement is the last stop on the caravan routes. The mile-wide river is all that separates the Fort from the shadowy bulk known only as “The Hill,” a land of nameless terrors and ancient legend. The fog-shrouded crests and densely wooded slopes of The Hill rise 400 feet, looming ominously over the tiny settlement. On clear days, The Hill’s rocky cliffs can be seen jutting from its bulky mass, but the view is usually obscured by gouts of…

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