Burzygóry – Burzygóry [Finland, Dungeon Synth] (2020)

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Naturmacht Productions | 5-28-20

Bookmarked for greatness. I am going to precede this review with the fact I dislike the cover for Burzygóry as well as the name. I do not know what it is amaboutt both of them but they are repellent and I do not think I would have listened to this had I not been intrigued by the label. With all of that out of the way, I am glad i did listen. Burzygóry is thew work of Zannibal who is one third of the folk/black act Marrasmieli. In true fashion of dungeon synth, Zannibal sets out to create familiar and alien landscapes with the mastery of someone who has been doing this for years. Burzygóry is not only refined but it is effective at its settlement in the colony of dungeon synth.

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Winterstorm. – Demo II MMXX [Ecuador, Black] (2020)

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Self Released | 5-28-20

Even though the Bandcamp page for this demo lists this as “raw black” and even “lo-fi black” I am going to lean towards this being less noisy that maybe what people are expecting. Yes, there is a dissonant production with the instrumentation flung up against the shredded vocals. For as primitive as the recording however, Winterstorm (with the punctuation?) presents a clear presentation of icy second wave black metal that even has room for some woozy vocal effects. This is great as should be stored at a chilled temperature.

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Ethereal Kingdom – Oath of Battle [Sweden, Dungeon Synth] (2020)

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Self Released | 5-26-20

I am currently writing a dungeon synth digest with all of my current favorites. Since I keep reviewing a new one each day, I keep finding wonderful releases this delaying the article. Ethereal Kingdom will have to be the one that starts my next digest. This is wonderful. This is sweet. This is a record that is just as foundational as other classics in the genres for its production and scope into fantastic landscapes. Situated on the lighter and orchestral side of the genre, Ethereal Kingdom, however, carries and air of grief and sadness through its cheerful melodies. As if gazing upon a lonely cliff, Oath of Battle is filled with the sounds of closure and contemplation which resounds thorough the centuries.

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KRAAPIDES NAHKA – MANIFESTATION I [Canada, Raw Black / Punk / Dark Ambient] (2020)

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Self Released | 5-26-20

From the cold lands of neverwhere, comes a cassette filled with icy black punk / dark ambient. Black / punk has always been a favorite of mine though the tone and style has always been scathing and alive. KRAAPIDES NAHKA takes the same idea of black / punk and buries it in a winter forest for a few decades before returning with a shovel. Through cracked ground and howling winds, Manifestation I is a haunted cassette of tortured memories and frozen emotions that hang motionless upon evergreens. This cassette just came out and it is currently limited to 2 per customer. I have no idea how popular this will be but I am in awe of its scope and effectiveness at being unreachable.

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Fen Walker – Sojourns in the Realm of the Undermoon [US, Dungeon Synth] (2020)

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Self Released | 5-20-20

Fen Walker was an artist that I missed during my sabbatical from dungeon synth. 2019’s The Totem Wilds Call Thy Name was an intense journey into the lands that lay beyond dungeon synth which was more like a psychedelic walkabout than a record. The sharp synths and progressive nature of Fen Walker’s music fits the motif of shamanistic visions and strange spirit quests. Sojourns in the Realm of the Undermoon continues this theme with another record poised with pulp adventure befitting of a faded paperback cover. This release concludes a loose trilogy of records that I may not have been around for the beginning but am sure glad was here for the end.

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Black Candle Wax – Crematorium [US, Raw Black] (2020)

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Self Released | 5-27-20

Here is a release that is actively trying to get you not to listen to it. I love the cult aesthetic on some of these releases. From having a tape only exclusive, to only releasing a title-less sample, to even pricing your sample at the mythical 666$, Black Candle Wax takes no qualms in saying you probably do not need this in your life. It is funny I am more intrigued to a release like this. For all of the fanfare that precedes this demo, Crematorium rips through the air like an angry ghost with 3 minutes of violent nightmares.

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Upyr – Journals Of Twilight’s Wanderer [Serbia, Dungeon Synth] (2020)

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Self Released | 5-20-20

This is delightful. When searching around for dungeon synth, different styles emerge which can sometimes be grouped together. Before the alignment chart, I used to group all courtly styles of dungeon synth together under the heading of THE CASTLE for their penchant for stately styles of synth. Upyr would most certainly fit into the court of THE CASTLE for its polite and measured approach to lo-fi ornamentation. Journals of Twilight’s Wander as flowery in its music as it is in its album title with tendrils of melodies climbing up glass walls all under the veil of starlight.

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Karst – Genesis of Nervous Decay [US, Death/Doom/Grind] (2020)

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Self Released | 6-1-20

“A portion of the profits from this EP will be donated to Mental Health America of Los Angeles in an effort to aid those suffering from anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, and all struggles of mental health.” The small piece of text which accompanies this release is wholesome and shines a soft light on an otherwise obliterating release. If one has spent time with heavy metal, they will know the thoughts and escapist idealizations of the music is separate from the lifestyles of the musicians. This isnt to say the two do not cross over nor are musicians immune from the troubles of reality. This is why I find it interesting when musicians reach out beyond their own thematic veil and even though this is a small, and crushing, death/doom band from the US, little gestures like this make the whole of this release deeper than initially thought.

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Tusen Vindar Kallar – Norrvindarna kallar | [Sweden, Dungeon Synth] (2020)

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Self Released | 5-20-20

I believe I found this searching for black metal Bandcamp releases. What a nice surprise. Tusen Vindar Kallar (no idea what it means) is a Swedish composer who throws their sound back to the cold mornings of the 1990’s with a release which bows to the icy altars of bands like Depressive Silence and Lamentation. With a cover that could be from the same era, Norrvindarna kallar | travels down frostbitten paths tying the binds of both dungeon synth and dark ambient.

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Enucleacion – Adelanto Demo 2020 [Chile, Death] (2020)

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Self Released | 5-20-23

This is absolutely 100% rotten. If the eye gouging yellow bordered Bandcamp gore profile picture is not enough to indicate this is the realm of dripping violence, then I do not know what will keep you safe. Since this band is not on Metal Archives yet, we are just sort of shooting from the hip and the tag of black/death could mean many things including slam/death or just a gross combination of everything vile in the metal world. Enucleacion seems to be less concerned with distinction than they do pushing chainsaws into the face of listeners. Gross.

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