As you traverse this newly discovered, cobweb infested, dark and dank place you hear music. But not just any music, synth music. Beautiful melodies fill your ears and embrace your heart. Your soul is at peace down in this filthy dungeon, whether your surroundings are to your pleasing or not.
It has been a good while since I last discussed the mighty music known as Dungeon Synth with the good people here at the Toilet. I realized recently what a disservice this was and after a quick walk of shame, I present to you these offerings of such a fine genre.
I did my best to include many different styles, so as to whet anyone’s appetite that was in need of whetting, from classic Dungeon Synth and Dark Ambient to Horror Synth and Medieval Song. I hope everyone here can find at least one release that they enjoy. Don’t forget to show your support and buy the artist’s music, they range from NYP to a mere 5 bucks on Bandcamp.
Chaucerian Myth – The Canterbury Tales
Chaucerian Myth has no need for brevity and flaunts it in full on their debut release. The Canterbury Tales is a three-hour long escapade and will be, perhaps, the most overwhelming album included today. That is not to say it is not worth it. During the course of this album, you will be taken on adventures straight from Chaucer’s highly regarded Medieval stories and given an exquisite soundtrack. The musician’s love for Chaucer’s tales is very evident and songs are written to fully capture each separate character and tale. It is more than well-worth the listen as the music takes on many different shapes and forms throughout, creating a well rounded piece.
Utred – Forest
Forest marks Utred’s second release. This Russian based Dungeon Synth artist made a splash back in April with their first offering, Citadel, and in the span of a few months have shown a serious progression. The first 5 songs average around the 2-minute mark and explore a few different themes and moods, utilizing some instrument tones not regularly found in the genre. The real star of the show, however, is the album’s eponymous final track. “Forest” is simply stunning with its ability to paint pictures and take the listener on a journey. You will find yourself amidst thick trees, clearings, dark underbellies of the forest floor and high above the canopies limit.
Elves & Dwarves – Eidetic Dreams of Sentient Trees
Eidetic Dreams of Sentient Trees explores the tale of a small traveling group through an unknown land. With each track, we get a new moment from their adventure, described within the “lyrics” of the album that you can find on the album’s bandcamp page. Elves & Dwarves do a wonderful job of capturing their audience by the use of storytelling to create a highly cohesive piece of music. The subtle tones and simple melodies make for a perfect “daydreaming” album.
Cimitir – Bonechiller
As you may be able to tell by this totally rad album art, Cimitir offers a dark and spooky take on the Synth genre. Perhaps not “dungeon” per se, but still deserving of attention. Fans of horror movie soundtracks need look no further, as this is perfect for you and just in time for your annual Halloween haunted house bash. Cranking up the volume on these eerie melodies will frighten everyone in a 6-mile radius and the interspersed horror movie samples shall spook them out of their skin.
Oldenhelm – Long Lost Relics of Power
Long Lost Relics of Power is a 3 song demo from Oldenhelm and acts as a teaser far an upcoming full release. If Power is a sign of what’s to come, then we are in for a masterful album of Dungeon Synth music. Oldenhelm brings a very somber and introspective presence to the genre and while listening to this demo, I can’t help but feel a longing for a mysterious absence. I know I am missing something, yet what I do not know. The emotion brought forth is stunningly
Verminaard – Wardens of a Light Starved Realm
Verminaard is a new name to the Dungeon Synth scene, but their debut EP Wardens of a Light Starved Realm shows very mature and mindful songwriting. Released back in May, these Dragonlance influenced songs seize listeners by the imagination and immerse them into the majestic realms of both heroes and darkness. Wardens, as a whole, rests deep in the lo-fi sounds of Dungeon Synth, but it does not act as a hindrance. In fact, I would say it helps with the album’s authenticity.
Sequestered Keep – Magic Amidst Dying Leaves
Magic Amidst Dying Leaves marks the seventh release of 2016 in Sequestered Keep‘s discography and fourteenth overall. Though this may be a daunting number and have you questioning the quality of that quantity, I am here to nullify all doubt in your mind. Dying Leaves is an absolute magical listen to experience. These five tracks explore themes of Autumn and fall, a time of recollection and change. Blissful synths will play melodies through your head and set your mind at ease, culminating in a very relaxing occurrence of music.
Elador – A Wanderer’s Tale
Elador has been a part of the Dungeon Synth family for a few years now and has been contributing greatly to the genre. The Wanderer’s Tale is one of the artist’s most exquisite performances to date. Throughout the album, Elador shows a mastery of timing and presence, knowing when to change melodies and how to do so with fluidity. Sound clips of wind, birdsong and battles are utilized within songs to further immerse the listener into the tales of this wanderer.
Werewolfsblut – Dungeon Dirges
Pulling from the Dark Ambient backgrounds of Dungeon Synth, Dungeon Dirges lives up to its name, and then some. What we have here is roughly 55 minutes of haunting, visceral and downright creepy soundscapes. With song titles like “Morbid Transmutation” “Blood Incantations” and the 22-minute long “Crypts of Plague and Necromancy” Werewolfsblut waste no chance to get their message across. They are here to make music of nightmares, no matter the cost. Do not expect any fun and triumphant melodies here, you have been warned.
Fief – I
Fief is a very interesting Dungeon Synth project, in the fact that there is practically no dungeon. When I listen to I, I cannot help but picture myself walking through a Medieval village on a warm spring day, the breeze flowing through my hair and sounds from minstrels and bards filling my head. This album showcases a beautiful harpsichord tone that really helps to sell the lighthearted and fun atmosphere. Go to the tavern, order a fine jug of mead for yourself and friends, sit back and enjoy the weather.
photo via me