I have to admit that, when it comes to Dungeon Synth Music, I can be extremely aroused, or immensely irritated. Some projects delve deep into mystery and magic spheres, while others just try to create a superficial would-be world of fake phantasies. Dungeon Synth, as it was once created for, needs depth, content and significance. At least, that’s my opinion, but those semi-happy 8-bit oriented projects that are conquering this scene lately do insult the essence of dark-spirited Aural Art.
Luckily, there are several newer projects that are still holding the flag of mystic and meaningful Dungeon Synth. I discovered quite some new (and older) projects lately, bands that I did not know, and one of these that is worth being mentioned (and worth my time, haha) is Vandalorum, an entity by Luke Jasem from San Diego, California. Last year, Vandalorum came up with the very varying yet amazing full-length debut Partium Exitium (digitally self-released), dealing with the Roman Empire, its decline, and its majestic inheritance, and just a couple of weeks ago, a new digital composition was released via the project’s Bandcamp page.
It is not a happy thought, yet you know: the truth lingers behind the black curtain, always. Feeling comfortable already? This newest creation (4:48) goes (convincingly) further where last year’s Partium Exitium ended. It is a very varying track with a lot to dissect. It starts as an ultimately doomed Dungeon Synth piece, with an oppressing sphere, i.e. dark-droning synth lines, tribal percussion (programming) and mysterious back-ground sounds. Soon everything evolves, becoming less obscure and oppressed, and when the acoustic guitars join, a touch of melancholy enters. As said, there is quite some variety, which means that the opening sequence comes back once more, then again the chapter with acoustic guitar play and tribal-ritual drumming. And still it progresses, mingling elements from Dark Ambient, Drone and Dungeon Synth in a mostly organic matter.
This review deals with just one single track, so I will not go any deeper into the subject right now. But if this composition is like an omen for a new full recording coming up, then I do look forward. Channelling the sounds of the Dark Ages…