Poland has given the music world a lot. From Behemoth to Graveland to Decapitated to Vader, Poland can now begin adding dungeon synth in the form of Svarograd and their 2017 album “Mroczna Komnata” which roughly translated means dark chamber. The name of the album is apt to say the least, I haven’t heard dungeon synth this epic in a while, so much so that I don’t know if I can just call it dungeon synth. It has an orchestral feel, but more than that it has a symphonic feel, as if an entire symphony got together to create this album, and that’s something I, as a huge fan of classical music, can easily appreciate.
While the Polish language may be foreign to me (unfortunately) I am equipped with a translator and a good sense of the universal language of music. As I said before this music is epic, not only in sound and volume but in scope. The production of the album is solid, iron clad yet as soft a silk to the ears. The music is dark and foreboding yet it is not a sinister horror soundtrack. The darkness of the album highlights the darkness of the landscape in which the album takes place but does not, I think, hint towards something evil or sinister. The album cover does look evil and maybe the album is covering that evil parts of this world (the more I research this project the more I want to call this world Svarograd) rather than saying the darkness of the world is evil. Though now I think I’m getting too into the weeds and not paying enough attention to the music.
The album’s story I think is heroic. There is a light within the album that is striving against the darkness, a force of good is availing itself to fight the evil that is poisoning the world. There are two major themes woven into the music itself: the forces of good, light, and life and the response of darkness, evil, and death. Each theme is strong on its own when you listen to an individual song but when you place them together in the scope of the album the story itself becomes clearer. The themes play against each other, move and countermove, plot versus attack, cause and effect. It’s as if someone composed this music watching a fencing match.
As I said before, the music is symphonic rather than orchestral. What that means, at least in my admittedly limited perspective, is that the music of the symphony is larger, both in range of instruments and in pitch and tone. There was such a range in the music of Mroczna Komnata, it touched on every emotion in the spectrum. The sound was rich and full, the atmosphere was thick and heady, like a good beer. The tensions in the melodies as the two themes squared off was palpable.
Mroczna Komnata is just a small photograph of a new fantasy world, one explored by music and the imagination blending of the artist and the listener. Just as Erang has been doing for years and years, Svarograd is reimagining the way we access the fantasy realm. The good news is that Svarograd has just begun their work and they show no signs of slowing down. Each album thus far has been phenomenal, there has been a progression and an improvement in technique and musical skill with each album. Each album goes deeper into this new world and I can’t wait to explore it.
Listen and support the music!