Down into the Dungeon with Boss the Ross Part 2

You are presented with a choice. Three doors lay before you, each with a distinct look. The first: a well-mannered door of deep red with a hefty lock. The second: a great carved oak door with golden inlays. The third: a dingy door falling off its hinges with a musky odor emanating through the cracks. In your infinite wisdom, you decide for the musky, broken door and follow the stairs down. Down, down and down you go deep into what you find to be a dungeon.

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

 

  • Lacertilian

    Oldenhelm is great, reminiscent of early SKeep and Elgra’s second album.
    Checking Elador now, and then I’ll queue WerewolfsButt, cheers Boss!

  • Óðinn

    Thanks, Señor.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      You’re most welcome Óđinn!

  • Jack Rabbit

    Great article. I’m occupied with Vermin Womb now, but I’ll make sure to check this stuff out later

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Thanks! let me know what you think

      • Jack Rabbit

        Really enjoyed a lot of this stuff even though it’s not what I’m usually into. Particularly Elves and Dwarves, Fief,and Utred.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Right on!! So you like the lighter, more medieval song type DS?

          • Jack Rabbit

            Yeah, its the perfect music for when I’m procrastinating from doing work and just want my mind to wander for a bit

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Excellent man, let the music take you places

  • Every week I tell myself I need to add Fief as background music on the podcast.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      You should definitely do that

    • Do it, for Pelé, for Boss and for me.

    • Stockhausen

      Last weekend I took a really great nap on a charter bus with Fief on loop for three hours. Truly.

      • I hope your dreams were… Elfic?

        • Stockhausen

          They were certainly sequestered.

  • Abradolf Lincler

    im pretty familiar with most of these from following the DS FB page but a great writeup BTR

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Thanks Blackbeard!

  • Ayyyy, I was waiting for this one so much, mellon!

    So far, you have scored a lot of GREAT fantasy inspired projects. Oldenhelm, Verminaard, Sequestered Keep and Fief are my total favorites of this year. And, right now, I will check Elves & Dwarves and Elador just for you.

    That Utred release is another cool project, not completely perfect, but the first half of the EP is terrific!

    HAILS, BROTHER OF MAGIC!

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      HAIL! Elador is really excellent, very enjoyable. You will like it

      • Did you managed to get the physical release of E&D? It looks so freaking awesome!

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          I did! I’ll send you a picture later

          • PLEASE! I want to see that lemba bread casette, jajaja!

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Jajaja!

          • For those who don’t know. This is the hand-made package of the physical version of the Elves & Dwarves debut:

            https://f4.bcbits.com/img/0008521994_10.jpg

          • That’s nerdy as shit but also p awesome.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            And a personalized note within it

          • This entire dungeon synth scene have a lot of tiny details. The projects are doing a lot of neat hand-crafting to give a more distinctive feel to each of their albums. I really dig the passion behind this.

      • Ayy, Elador sounds very cinematic. I dig, too.

  • Nipples ‘n’ Such

    Great article Boss. Werewolfsblut (I keep wanting to read it as Werewolfsbutt…) sounds pretty interesting. I dig the creepier vibe.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Thanks man!

      That’s definitely the darkest release here. More ambient than DS.

      • Nipples ‘n’ Such

        I find Dungeon Synth mixed with Dark Ambient slightly more interesting and engaging to my tastes insofar as I’ve delved into the DS genre.
        Would be interested to know of any DS that would sound good on a playlist with Burzum’s Ansuzgardaraiwô…
        https://youtu.be/XdV4Ascftio

  • Wow, the mysterious hooded figure behind Sequestered Keep sure has been busy this year.

    • Is this Pillars of Eternity concept art?

      • I don’t know, jajajaja. I just random search for this kind of pics 😛

        • I bet you would, NERD.
          me too sometimes

  • Werewolfsfblut sounds intense and obscure, the reverbing growling vocals sets the mood. This can be handy to channel some dark conjurations, for sure!

    http://www.walldevil.com/wallpapers/a50/magic-skill-candle-book.jpg

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
    • Óðinn
      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Fuck, that chick is hot.

        • Óðinn

          You think so? I guess she’s handsome for an older lady. 😉

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Cunt.

        • Óðinn

          Haha! Sorry, KSoFM.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Gross.

    • Nipples ‘n’ Such

      I support this.

  • AeonsOvChaos

    The Boss knows how to maintain peace, that Werewolfsfblut is good, good column but somebody is pissed off, very pissed off: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ce16f765174634a98c577e4f215242227feeee35f651400ca1e4058181c1c2cc.gif

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      I try my best.

      Jajaja!

  • Stockhausen

    There’s a lot of great junk here. However, I would posit that this third door is more of a thin metal, with small ventilation slits and some sort of locking device. It shuts behind all those who enter with a mighty CLANG.

    • GO NORTH

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        ROLL FOR INITIATIVE

        • Abradolf Lincler

          YOU ATTEMPT TO WALK DOWN THE MOLDY TWISTING STAIRS BUT YOUR HALBERD IS TOO WIDE FOR THE NARROW CORRIDOR, -3 MOVEMENT UNTIL END OF 2 TURNS. YOU ALSO FAIL TO SNEAK. STUPID DORF.

  • Óðinn
  • GL

    Sequestered Keep Front man Spotted Nowhere Near An Actually Keep
    https://f4.bcbits.com/img/0007716275_10.jpg

  • Óðinn

    I’m enjoying the Sequestered Keep. It’s grim and depressing in a good way.

  • Old Man Doom

    Good shit, Boss! Never explored dungeon synth, but I’m gonna check it out now

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Awesome! I’m glad you like it. If you have any questions, hit me up. Karhu and Link are also very knowledgeable, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind questions either

  • Waynecro

    Excellent (and thorough) work, Boss! These jams remind me that I need to hang more broadswords on the wall in the den.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Always hang more broadswords

      • Waynecro

        Katanas in the bedroom, broadswords in the den.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Dirks in the bathroom

          • Waynecro

            Well played, Boss. Well played.

  • NDG

    Crypt Vapor?
    src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ICI07OEcBjM”

    • Spear

      That album cover looks like something I’d put into my Atari 2600. Digging this.

  • tigeraid

    Hmm. I’m big into old-school PC and Jap RPGs, but dungeon-synth has never really caught my fancy. Maybe I should try these a bit harder? What should I DO while listening to these tracks to enhance the mood? Winter’s bite is coming to the ranch, and soon I WILL be sequestered in my underground dungeon with nothing but coffee, my PC, and SNES emulators to console me.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Haha! There is a definite game soundtrack influence on DS. If You have any questions, feel free to ask

  • aris7

    stop writing comments in bandcamp asshole

    • fite me

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Would you please explain your disdain for my bandcamp comments?