What do you call dungeon synth that’s beautiful? Dungeons are dank, dark, and nasty, and the music that corresponds to it can be just as dark and grim and harsh. But just as beams of light can penetrate the darkest of dungeons, so too can a wild, beautiful sound invade the dark, brooding tones of dungeon synth. I am, of course, speaking of The Wandering Caretaker and their 2017 album “Nebulous Forestia.”
Nebulous Forestia almost doesn’t quality as dungeon synth because there are more instruments than just the synthesizer. There are drums and guitars as well, filling out the sounds of the album. The music of the album is so much richer than just dungeon synth, with the addition of guitars and drums the music is able to reach a higher, and lower, emotional range. The Dungeon Synth Archives, damn is that a great resource, even calls it forest ambient and space ambient. Those two genres would seem to contradict each other but when you listen to the music, the setting seems to be both places at once. It’s not a space forest, because that would be ridiculous and stupid, but both in space and in the forest. That made me think, of course, of the duel meanings in each note, melody, and theme. Each of these are extremely applicable to the listener, whatever they decide, whatever they can imagine and see, is what that album is. Certainly, the name of the album would support this. Nebulous Forestia. It implies both the beauty of space, and of earth. It’s all on the listener to decide where the music takes them.
For me, the music takes me to the forests, the trees. The music, soft and acoustic, reminds me of the echoes of the forest rather than the vacuous sounds of space. The tranquilly of the music is founded on the synth, the bedrock, if you will, and the guitars and drums enhance the music. Now with the addition of those instruments the music almost transcends dungeon synth into ambient music and neofolk. And indeed, if the guitars and the drums were any stronger then the music couldn’t be called dungeon synth, I’d actually like to call it forest synth but I don’t know if that will ever become a thing, who knows though. The music is lighter and freer, it doesn’t feel burdened with the darkness and search for glory that dungeon synth contains (not to its detriment). Forest synth has an air of aloofness, a listlessness. Forest synth doesn’t really have an end goal in mind, it meanders aimlessly.
Nebulous Forestia is a good example of forest synth, it’s beautiful and the music is lyrical. The Wandering Caretaker knows how to blend the synth with the guitars and the drums without one overpowering the other. They form a unique union that cannot be missed.
Listen and support!