Aranea Telam

Album Title: 
Turrim Concidit
Release Date: 
Sunday, January 15, 2023
Review Type: 

Kajdum’s Tower is a very young label, formed at the end of 2021, which focuses on Dungeon Synth styled Music. It was formed by Gábor Tóth, especially known from his activities within the harsher and more explorative Metal scene. He’s the guy behind outfits like Nagaarum, In Vacuo, GuilThee or Értéktelen (amongst others), as well as the owner of NGC Prod. This label did release two hands full of recordings in the meantime, all of them, as said, performing Dungeon Synth or material closely related to, or influenced by, DS. Gábor himself too has an act going on this sub-label by NGC Prod, i.e. Aranea Telam.

The project’s moniker is Latin for ‘spider’s web’. As Sszark (a name he took from an old game he used to play), Gábor wrote and recorded the conceptual album Turrim Concidit, meaning ‘the tower collapsed’. It is a story about a quest during medieval times, searching for answers by exploring a haunted castle ruin. It is a first part, based on the lyrics (which are only few), I think, for it has sort of an open end. Will they ever search for Master Avius in the Town of the Kings?...

Anyway, Sszark wrote and performed almost everything himself, only helped out by two guest ‘poets’, two friends who contributed as guest narrator. Turrim Concidit has a length of about forty-three minutes, divided into thirteen titles. It gets released on Kajdum’s Tower (the story involved right here refers to that tower and that ancient alchemist / shaman; which sort of finds its origins on the Fattyú-album Torony) via digital sources, as well as on tape. The latter is limited (evidently) and comes with oppressive artwork (no colours involved), yet without the texts.

FYI: there is an extremely limited tape-edition too, with wooden boxes, but I can imagine this did sell out already.

This material brings a traditional approach of Dungeon Synth in the first place, yet with several own-styled characteristics. The main parts are based on Ambiental melodies, created through keyboard-tapestry, and balancing in between ‘pure and minimal’ at the one hand, and ‘fruitful up to decadent’ at the other – and everything in between. It gives the whole that necessary variety, which is a surplus within this scene.

Melodious and prominent leads, both adventurous and mysterious, are joined by atmospheric, distantly orchestrated melodies at the background, like heroic symphonies or dreamlike soundtrack-oriented portrayals. A couple of times, it brings an exotic attitude to mind, scalding, even torrid, which interact well with rather integer, modest chapters. Piano-lead excerpts and the use of martial percussions, used only when needed (which is good, for it does not create an overdose on observation), typify certain sections, going well with the varying moods on Turrim Concidit. Heroic parts with a bombastic stamp and calmer excerpts of (inner) rest go smoothly, and naturally, hand in hand. Epicism and tranquillity; it’s all part of this tale…

Things that are distinctive from the ‘average’ scene are the use of different samples and voices. These samples define the medieval character from this album’s story in the first place: neighing horses and hooves, for example, sort of create a visual idea of the album’s concept. Squeaking doors, footsteps, crows; it’s all part of the adventure. The use of voices too is quite apart, characterising this act / album. It deals with conversations in between the protagonists within the story, the Corporal, the Captain and the Messenger, being part of the division that takes part of the quest within that castle and its important turret / tower. These narratives are not like ‘story-telling’ vocalisations, but refer directly to 'talking'in between these important role-players.

It's satisfying to notice that there is a vast amount of variety, and at the same time a very firm and requisite cohesion. Together with the immaculate sound-quality (the samples nor the drums do ever, never, overrule the ‘essence’ of the main melodies), the result attracts and seduces.