One track albums. We love them, right? With a length much greater than a regular song, we can explore more themes and melodies and riffs and how they relate to each other and the story behind the song. One track albums can be tricky though, they only have once chance to impress the listener and draw them in, if they don’t then ten plus minutes will be wasted. I know several bands that have been able to pull it off, Verminaard is the first that comes to mind, as well as a new (at least new to me) project called Morannon and the album/track the King without Kingdom.
We can expect one of two things when it comes to the musical composition of a one-track album. One, that the song has lots of melodies that revolve around a central, repeating, theme, or two that the song itself is episodic and has several different movements throughout that play on a single theme. With Morannon, it’s little bit of both. We have a central, medieval-esque theme but we have several minor themes and motifs that surround it and build it up without overtly addressing it. The themes jump around as well, ranging from melancholic to sinister to adventurous. The sound never strays too far from its minimalistic, lo-fi roots though. The melodies are simple, utilizing just a few different instrument sounds to effectively create the themes. I love the orchestral and epic sounds that dungeon synth has been creating lately, don’t get me wrong, but I love the simple, stripped down dungeon synth that Morannon gives us. The sound is clear but still rough around the edges. It falls perfectly in the middle.
The King without Kingdom was time well spent. The sound lasts fourteen minutes but those are fast minutes. The music is engaging, allowing the listener to kind of drift on the surface of the sound. Morannon does a good job keeping the minimalist dungeon synth sound honest. I highly recommend the release.
For Fans Of: Garadrak, Faery Ring, Isegrimm
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