Death Kvlt Productions | 7-2-20
I love Death Kvlt and I love they gather bands that fit a certain aesthetic. I cant help but chuckle at the fact that Ages of Blood is pre ordering their demo on vinyl and the fact it is already sold out. Everyone must be aware that this is going to be a stellar debut from an artist that I had not heard about before today. Pagan Medieval Aristocracy fits a mood and that mood is a fog-ridden clearing in the woods with the spire of an abandoned castle in the back. In these two songs with two book-ending instrumentals, there is a sense of assurance that this music is going to find an audience and a home in peoples hearts. I say this because I feel it has found a home in my heart and for all its weird eccentricities with melody, I can see this being discussed throughout the year and hopefully beyond.
Self Released | 6-24-20
“Projecting a psychedelic medieval dungeon exploration in music: monsters, beasts and foes are around the corner. Powerful and mysterious forces decide the fate of Gaia and the world. Time is convoluted.”
If the title did not tip you off, this is going to be non traditional dungeon synth. I will give everyone a chance to clear out if they came for proper and serious sounding dungeon synth. With that out of the way, what an absolute dream this release is and with a sound I never thought I would be into until hearing it for the first time here. DungeonWave or VaporDungeon is the creation of two artists with the goal of making music that fuses the fantasy of dungeon synth with the hypnogogic irony of vaporwave. The result is something that is insatiably tied to the aesthetics of vaporwave with its title conventions but is, at its spirit bound to the the realm of escapism.
TEMPLE OF MORBID SOUND/ХРАМ БОЛЬНОГО ЗВУКА | 8-8-20
One of the reasons I am so hesitant about Russian based releases is there sometimes cryptic existence which is buried in their insular social media. Add to this the already cryptic nature of occult based black death and you have a hilarious investigation trying to figure out even the band name. I THINK the band’s name is Toss and this is the second 2020 from ХРАМ БОЛЬНОГО ЗВУКА (Temple of Morbid Sound) with the first being from НЕЖИВОЙ. Toss, as of this moment, isnt anywhere on social media I can find so the two songs are going to have to speak for the band. With that said and aside from all of this nonsense piecing information together, Toss’ debut(?) is a hellish ride through the gates of damnation with stopping points at torment and oblivion. Somewhere between obscurity and clarity rests this release and it gets more interesting by the moment.
Self Released | 6-30-20
You know the story. Obscure bedroom artist. Stellar quiet minimal sound. Handmade and handnumbered edition of 20 copies which have all sold out. By now I should brace myself not to be upset when this happens rather relish in the fact that those 20 people are apart of a collective that has supported a DS artist that not only has embraced the cold sounds of traditional dungeon synth but also sent it further into the freezing wasteland. Quiet and contemplative, Echoes is a monolith on the horizon on the grayest of days.
Self Released | 8-21-20
I would like to think of this site as a place that we all find new music that is scattered among Bandcamp. VERIKYYNELEET is not new and their debut on I, Voidhanger Records is not the typical self release on 10 cassettes that is normally seen on this site. It is okay since VERIKYYNELEET has spent a considerable amount of time in the shadows of the 00’s making raw depressive black metal demos. 2019 saw the first release in more than 10 years with Melacholic and Ilman Kuolemaa is the proper debut for the artist. For as long as this record took to be made, it feels like there is a lifetime’s work build into the very structure of the music. Harsh and abrasive, Ilman Kuolemaa breathes catharsis as a depressive black metal offering that feels like it needed to be made rather than wanted.
Self Released | 6-28-20
I can remember the releases from Ranseur in the mid 00’s right around when dungeon noise was causing rifts among the DS scene. Ranseur was not noise rather a primitive approach to an already bare style. I still have my tape of Obsidian Throne which I got through the primitive tape label Path of Silence which made everything more exciting. I do not know how to frame this release as I do not think Elves, The Primordial is for everyone even those who are into dungeon synth. what I feel about Elves, The Primordial is that if you are already subscribed to the idea of experimentation that it might be the perfect place to start for an artist that is the living embodiment of the hermit character and this newest release is a basket of strange mushrooms they picked from the forest. Whimsical and melodious these wandering sketches are approachable and showcase the artists love for the music without the hurdles of raw lo fidelity. Elves, The Primordial makes me remember Ransuer and appreciate hearing this type of music once again.
Redefining Darkness | 7-31-20
Full support for a new (old) sound of death metal/ As much as I appreciate and laud the grime ridden sound of basement death metal, something different is always appreciated. From the lands of Florida comes an unabashed Swedeath Dismember era style death and for all of its worship succeeds in a demo that is gross, rude, and incredibly fun to listen to. 100% devoted to the Boss HM2 sound, Leech may not be breaking new ground but this familiar trail is something that works more often times than it realistically should.
Realm of Sleep Records | 6-21-20
This review is going to encompass all of the Realm of Sleep catalog even though I am focusing on just one release. I might not like every releases from this label (which is really just one artist) but I support the idea of using a tape label as a hub for creativity. Realm of Sleep is a creation of J. Browne who uses various avatars to create music from the woozy melodies from Of Oak and Ash to the raw noise of Hermit Of The Black Wood. Even though most of the tapes are already sold out, the limited quantity of these releases fits the aesthetic of an intimate spellcaster doing cantrips in the woods. Midsummer is Browne’s dedication to the solstice and the pagan overtones are as narcotic and dreamy as the music itself.
Self Released | 6-22-20
This is rotten. Well, I guess that is the point. Phthisis is named after the deity of rot and decay and has even put that deception as the demo title. Along with a cover that exudes rot and a sound that sounds slimey, this act is ready to be disciples of doom smoked death metal riffs that is as dark and dank as the basement in which all of this stuff is created. I love this sound and despite the band not really breaking any new ground, Embodiment of Decay is a fantastic demo from a competent set of individuals who may or may not be skeletons playing in a band.
Self Released | 6-23-20
I would like toi note that I am baffled by these releases since there are a lot of forces that are at odds with each other. I truly believe that some of the magic with The Shakespearean Frog is its surreal ambiance of idiosyncratic charm. From the obsession with soap, to the melodious sounds of comfy synth, to the tendency to go into a jaunty rhythm, The Shakespearean Frog is less a dungeon synth artist and more a Idyllic Victorian Countryside Synth artist but that later makes little sense. What does make sense is the third release from this melodic prankster is even more fascinating when taken into account their whole existence in this world.