Lord Lovidicus is one of the best known examples of dungeon synth today. Hailing from the icy potato fields of Idaho (I used to live in Montana I can make that joke), Lord Lovidicus is also the best example of the orchestral feel in dungeon synth. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of dungeon synth music created today: lo-fi and orchestral. If pressed I would have to say I’m actually a bigger fan of the lo fi stuff but many of my favorites, Lord Lovidicus included, are much more on the orchestral end. Back in October of 2016 Lord Lovidicus released the second album in a series called “Book of Lore Vol II – A Vespera, Ad Lumen” which roughly translates to Evening Light in Latin.
Seeing as I know Latin, in the roughest of senses, I wanted to try and look at this album through a “Latin Lens.” What is that? Well that’s a good question, one that I tried to answer in the course of the album. Knowing a lot of Roman history, though not nearly as much I’d like, I found it easy to sort of place this music in a historical setting. That setting was the underground temples of the Cult of Mithras, an ancient cult that some have suggested was the biggest competition to Christianity in the early days of that cult.
The music of Lord Lovidicus, while orchestral and beautiful, has an air of mystery, suspense, and drama. If I were put the music to a narrative, something I often do of course, I would say that A Vespera, Ad Lumen was the story of the initiation of a young man into the mystery cult and his discovery of the hidden histories and rituals of the cult, including the sacrificing of the sacred bull. The “temples” of Mithras were often underground, and this is reflected beautifully in Lord Lovidicus’ amazing use of atmosphere, something you almost never get with lo fi dungeon synth. The music is rich and full, the notes and melodies are vibrant and expressive. I can see why Lord Lovidicus is considered one of the best representations of dungeon synth today. It’s not too Tolkien inspired, something that is both loved and hated within the community, rather it seems to be inspired by history and I can see nothing wrong with that.
Lord Lovidicus has an impressive back catalogue as well, not as massive as say Sequestered Keep but the quality of Lord Lovidicus’ work far outweighs the quantity. If you aren’t already a fan of Lord Lovidicus, I would suggest A Vespera, Ad Lumen and work your way backwards. You will not regret it.
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