Lo fi dungeon synth is really my favorite kind. It has a dark, dank atmosphere that orchestral dungeon synth can’t touch. Lo fi dungeon synth has a cathedral feel, a simple yet beautiful sound that makes the listener create their own mental images rather than paint them for the listener. Lo fi relies, I think, on the creativity of the listener. The music helps, the music creates the atmosphere, it gives the listener the paints to use but the listener crafts the images. “Age of the Faceless Demon” has to be one of my favorite dungeon synth albums I have ever heard, or very nearly. Ekthelion is a master craftsman with barely more than a keyboard and his voice.
Age of the Faceless Demon, more than a lot of lo fi dungeon synth, is a cinematic album. The melodies and sound blend to paint an amazing yet dark picture. There is a beauty to the album despite the darkness that surrounds it. Age of the Faceless Demon is not a happy album, there is no nobility to it. Not every story within dungeon synth can be about heroics and high fantasy. Age of the Faceless Demon is a darker story where the narrator gives the listener a sense of dread and hopelessness. Despite the great weight of hopelessness on the heart though, the narrator pushes on, what he’s trying to do, what he’s trying to attain, is really up to the listener, we are given the paints and hues from Ekthelion and we are able to play out what we want. However, the journey is all for naught. No matter how we try to overcome somethings, we can’t. Fantasy has given us the unrealistic expectation that evil can always overcome. Ekthelion reminds us here that it can’t.
Ekthelion’s music is slow and plodding, each note resonates in a vast cavernous echo. The vocals, sparse as they were, resonate even more, moving like ripples on the minds of the listener. Each note helps the listener create a vivid picture, a vivid but bleak picture given the album’s story. This is an album that is best heard at night perhaps with a storm brewing or even in the midst of a storm. It’s beautiful, it’s dark and wondrous. Despite the gloom of the album, it pulls at the heartstrings. Age of the Faceless Demon ought to be a staple in any collection of dungeon synth. This evocative album with grip the listener and it will never let go.
Listen and support!