VINTERSORG – Till Fjälls, Del II (2017)

Till Fjalls, Del II

Till Fjälls (1998) was an important release for not only Sweden’s Vintersorg but also the field of folk / viking / progressive / whatever metal which would eventually blossom over the next couple of years. To this day the sounds and melodies on Till Fjälls exemplify music that is not only interesting but also immersive. Perhaps this is why, almost 20 years later, the band has decided to revisit the snow blasted landscape of their debut record with a conceptual followup.

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WINTERSUN – The Forest Seasons (2017)

Wintersun The Forest Seasons

Wintersun has had a long and tortured history. This is not to say they have not had their share of fame and praise, rather, the polarity that this Finnish melodic death band casts is long and extreme. Since the band’s well regarded self titled debut, the band has both been hyped by its fans and frustrated by its own series of production delays. Time I, originally scheduled for many years earlier, did both serve as a celebration for fans and also the platform for the eternal wait for its proposed…

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Longing for Memories: Frostveil and the New World of Dungeon Synth

Though I have been in the habit of celebrating new dungeon synth releases, there was a certain type of energy which surrounded the debut of Australian based act Frostveil. What was even more intriguing was the fact that Antediluvian Majesty was an honest to goodness dungeon synth release from a black metal outfit and the rest of Frotsveil’s work resides in harsher worlds. Black metal and dungeon ysnth have had a long and complicated relationship and even though Frostveil is certainly not the first contemporary black metal act to release…

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Heavy Metal 2017 (July)

Heavy Metal July

As always with this series, I enjoy highlighting art, mainly from Frank Frazetta, but also celebrating other popular works that could possibly align with the sound of traditional heavy metal. Case in point, pulp fiction. If we are going to be more specific than the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Though this writer has many works collected in his career, the name Boroughs is enshrined to two characters, John Carter and Tarzan. The later is where our picture comes from and not from Tarzan but his progeny Korak. The painting…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXVI

The Lull A few months back people were discussing and even fretting about the influx of new artists into the dungeon synth scene. This is natural as what was a steady growth quickly grew exponentially with a few high profile articles and promotional spots. This lead to discomfort for some and excitement for others. I believe I have been quoted many times discussing the new arrivals of artists and how wonderful it was for the genre. Since doing this monthly feature for a few years, the new arrivals on the…

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Castelvania (2017)

Castlevania

It is difficult to see why an animated series for Castlevania could be anything less than a hit. The idea bridges both the nostalgia engine for rebooted touchstones as well as the search for new television series in already established fandoms. While the idea of a video game franchise being rebooted for television sounds like a recipe for hype but ultimate deflation, the Netflix Original Series manages to live up to expectations with a team of competent and passionate personnel working in the confines of an already established story arc…

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Popular Metal Radar (July)

I think I am always going to be destined to write roundups or at least be drawn to them. Processing music is a daunting task and for as many things which come out every week it is difficult to keep up with them or peak people’s interest in everything. Already this site has a dungeon synth and a traditional/speed metal roundup which is delivered to a small niche and loyal audience. What is funny about spending so much time in niche pockets is often not hearing larger releases. I tried…

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Heavy Metal 2017 (June)

It is now June which mans the series of Heavy Metal 2017 has been running for half of a year. In that time we have seen some wonderful things and fought marvelous battles. More importantly I have had the opportunity to search for Frank Frazetta paintings which has allowed me to seek out the source material. This month’s image comes from the 1977 collection of Conan stores called The People of the Black Circle which was painted by…wait for it….Ken Kelly. Yes the artist know for his Manowar covers, unsurprisingly…

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EMYN MUIL – Elenion Ancalima (2017)

Well it is May and I have yet to review this which is sort of strange. Emyn Muil is not a name which is far from the lips as this Italian project has been distributed and discussed on dungeon synth forums and been sold through proper DS labels. The somewhat surprising matter is that Emyn Muil is black metal and has DS in a minor role. The somewhat unsurprising fact is that Emyn Muil bends the knee in fealty to Summoning along with his bannermen of Caladan Brood, Elffor and…

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Dungeon Synth Compilation VI: Altar of an Abandoned Sun

On Experimentation I do not know if it is fair to call everything on this compilation experimental;. I think it important to mention that much like its predecessor Ethereal Dungeon Tales, the “experimental” volume does not necessarily mean the artist is experimental nor the work is experimental. The selections on Altar of an Abandoned Sun are certainly pushing towards a certain direction, even away from the traditions of the previous compilation Manuscript of a Different Age. This still does not mean they represent one cohesive statement rather the artists and…

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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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