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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ALESTORM – No Grave But The Sea

I feel what I am about to say relates and maybe the same as the band Gloryhammer, which is unsurprisingly related to Alestorm. Alestorm, for those not in the know, is a folk metal metal that sings about pirates and adventure almost exclusively. The band is particularly popular with folk metal fans, people who expect a sense of theatrics to be apart of metal, and also those who believe metal is too serious and love a good laugh. It is because of this that the bands popularity is at odds…

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A Life Dreaming: The Fantasies of Richard Dadd

I enjoy fantasy – a lot. Part of my dedications into the idea of fantasy have focused on delving into all aspects of its history. From games to literature to folklore, the term “fantasy” becomes more nebulous when stretched into history becomes even more intangible across centuries when compared to what we know today. Fantastic subject matter before the 20th century has this ethereal quality when placed alongside fantasy art of the last quarter century and becomes the source of great fascination when trying to dissect. A style today that…

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WHITE WARD – Futility Report (2017)

Oh man, people really like sax. White Ward is sort of a new band from the Netherlands who is making quite a name for themselves based on the combination of saxophone within the template of post black. I really wish there was more to say about that but honestly the use of the unorthodox instrument is causing tremors of excitement in people leading to phrases like “black jazz” even though the actual jazz elements are few and far between. Regardless we have masterfully produced record which is supported by Debemur…

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DRAGONFORCE – Reaching Into Infinity (2017)

Dragonforce - Reaching Into Infinity

There is little to be said about Dragonforce in 2017. I actually wrote about the band’s last album with as much cynicism as apology for a band that reached a level of popularity that was unexpected and ultimately damning. As the band prepares to release their seventh record nearing the 15th year of being an entity, this British outfit continues to do what they have been known for — making really fast power clean metal in an age where that may not be the coolest or even most nerdy thing…

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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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Heavy Metal 2017 (May)

I feel both relieved and strange about the fact that the majority of this list comes from one source. NWOTHM Full Albums has been a primary source to the influx of new traditional and speed metal throughout the year. I have been culling the 2017 albums, EPs, and demos which has been constantly updating the world with rad music. Perhaps in the future we will have multiple sources for this type of music but for now it seems to be relegated to a few killer outlets. Before that however, some…

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AYREON – The Source (2017)

Ayreon is not a name with universal appeal. Despite a cult like fan base and general recognition in prominent European cities, Ayreon has been celebrated and praised by progressive metal fans much to the bafflement of everyone else. If you were not familar, Ayreon is a Dutch project centered around creator and ringleader Arjen Anthony Lucassen and about a billion guests on each record. 2013’s The Theory of Everyone saw 9 guest vocalists and 11 guest musicians from high profile progressive and power metal luminaries. Ayreon records are usually involved…

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