Castle Creeps: A Dungeon Synth Primer

by birtanpublished on July 2, 2020


for the past few months I've been

getting a lot of comments here about

dungeon sense now that's probably

because dungeon sense rules and you are

all wise good people with excellent

taste moody weirdness and YouTube



we have fans camp to thank for the

emerging popularity or relative

popularity as compared to a few years

ago of Dungeon sense and I've been

thinking a lot about these tweets from

your friend and mine Anthony Fantana aka

the noodle droid about how band camp has

turned the unglamorous job of hosting

mp3's into a boutique record store

experience it's thanks to them you can

learn about what's happening in Polish

electro or the emerging sounds of canvas

indigenous north and it's also where you

can go for pages upon pages upon pages

of pure unbridled moody medieval slow

ambient dark ass dungeons

so dungeon sense might feel like a band

camp born blimp and for sure a lot of

this music did not exist until a few

years ago but it's real roots lie

somewhere between the fall of the first

wave of Norwegian black metal and the

rise of dark Andean and Seminole record

label cold meat industry




I took 1987 Swedish indie label coal

green industry have been releasing very

avant avant-garde music helping to

define emerging genres like power

electronics death industrial and most

relevant to uni today dark ambient

through releases by artists like a gas

Arkana and mortis a founding member of

black metal legends Emperor


what is this is so-called era one solo

work would bridge the gap between the

emerging sounds of dark ambient and his

only black metal background as a result

recordings like 1993 song of the

long-forgotten ghost would come to

define the sound of what we now know his

dungeon see


dungeon sense is a byproduct of – of

black metals pet obsessions expanded and

brought to the fore first the moody

instrumental intros and interludes that

traditionally just bridge both of

absolute sonic chaos and then you have

the Dungeons & Dragons worship and the

Tolkien mythology woven into Burzum

lyrics and band names like Gorgoroth

steeped in fantasy and history the sound

of dungeon synth utilizes lo-fi

synthesizers and ambient textures to

recall a fanciful time in a fanciful

past and even though it's mostly jank

hurdy gurdy vibes it's important to

understand the originators of this genre

mostly came from shredding spots even if

this is where they ended up


Walraven is the sin side of satire a

founding member of Satyricon sounded

much more like this when they debuted in

the 90s


but with 1995 scaled ramen wrong Raven

became a defining pillar of a new genre

along with mortis and unfortunately





the first of the prison albums that

barred Vic earnest would record from

jail while serving time for murder and

arson with access only to a tape

recorder and a synthesizer the death of

Balder is a heavyweight early dungeon

since release this despite or Who am I

kidding just as often because of bard

being infamous for burning down churches

murdering fellow black metal musicians

and espousing endless racist

gobbledygook now not twisted

Christianity is a Jewish religion

Christianity was originally Jewish sect

baptism is all about a symbolic ritual

murder of the non-jewish of the Gentile

that they murder the Gentile child and

then they call the Jewish name this is

supposed to replace the pagan soul as a

quick aside I only recently realized

that Varga is now making quick bait a

listicle type youtube videos about how

race mixing is very bad so-called

anti-immigration parties all over Europe

are very much against them use of hijab

and niqab and so forth for most Muslims

why let's find out no but for real so

what are the top five reasons for why

Europe is flooded with a non-european

immigrants let's find out

back on track here dungeon scent was

born in the early 90s its epically

ambient scope and castled up black metal

visual aesthetic defined by these

sprawling conceptual initial releases

this was music designed to read Robert

Jordan or play a tabletop RPG



what really altered the dungeon sent

landscape was computers while a lot of

his honors initial appeal lay in the

rickety Lofa aesthetic of mortis demos

and burrs and prison recordings easy

access to a range of synth sounds and

home recording equipment led new artists

to try their hand at making a

fantastical dark ambient experiment

while the genre did decline through the

90s and early aughts the eventual rise

of mp3 blogs and band camp have led an

entire new generation to discover and

get inspired by these fundamental

recordings breathing new life into the



today dungeon sent lives well beyond

Norway's borders Eastern Europe has

become a perhaps unsurprising hotbed of

spooky synth activity with Russian

artists like scarred C and carrying the

torch and drakart ah so have become a

mysterious cult obsession in their

native Singapore


while dungeon scent is no doubt

extremely serious music for very serious

people metal and synthesizers have been

enjoying something of an exciting

creative infatuation over the years

since wave artists with a recognizable

Hesher edge like perturbator have found

a home on traditional metal labels like

blood music where they have been able to

release this brilliant piece of

videogame worship


but dungeon synth doesn't joke it's not

traditionally nostalgic backwards

looking no doubt but to a time that

never existed when none of us were ever

alive it leaves room for the listener to

imagine their own alternate worlds and

history setting the table for a unique

and personal interpretation of each and

every gloomy sustained note


what do you think is dungeon since as

you discover it today on Bandcamp the

same as when it was being made by

imprisoned Norwegians do you have a

favorite unrelated Bandcamp discovery

please share it and let me know in the

comments and be sure to subscribe for

new episodes this exists more often than

you or I might thought yes we'll do each

other so got it

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