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Elador - A Wanderer's Tale (2016) - Review

Band: Elador
Album title: A Wanderer's Tale
Release date: 13 October 2016
Label: Self-released

Tracklist:
01. Song Of Rain And Moss
02. Ash And Glory
03. A Wanderer's Tale
04. Raise Your Blade!
05. Her Freezing Beauty...
06. Passageway Between Sea Of Ghosts
07. The Stronghold Chained By Spell Of Coldmoon
08. The Tower Of Noctrunal Shadows
09. Witches Peak
10. Into The Theoroth's Tomb

The dungeon synth artist Elador has made quite the splash in 2016. Starting out the year as a barely known artist he has quickly solidified his name on the list of noteworthy musicians in this ever expanding genre, a little known off-shoot of black metal and dark ambient. Elador already had several projects under his belt from the previous year of 2015, most notably his split with Foglord on Wulfrune Worxxx entitled Fimbulwinter.

As a fan of Foglord, Fimbulwinter was my first encounter with Elador. I am always the sucker for bleak frozen ambient soundscapes, so Fimbulwinter really made a good first impression on me. Elador went further with this cold sound on Winter's Tale, again released through Wulfrune Worxxx. Elador kept his momentum into 2016 with the release of A Crown Of Ice And Stone, another split only this time with Medhelan. Medhelan has also seen his standing rise this year with the release of Fall Of The Horned Serpent on Deivlforst Records.

Elador leaves the static frozen soundscapes behind with A Wanderer's Tale, replacing them with a far more active album, which has a story to tell. A Wanderer's Tale is truly an aural cinematic experience. Tracks like "Song Of Rain And Moss" set the atmosphere for the album, in a cold yet not frozen region. The album begins with a massive thunderstorm, we hear the rain pelt the dirt as some well placed synths and classical guitar enter the mix. By the time we reach "Raise Your Blade!" the album is thoroughly under way. "Raise Your Blade!" is surely the most cinematic track on A Wanderer's Tale, with the sounds of a raging battle between knights, swords clanging, horses neighing, taking the forefront of the track. Each track takes us further down the protagonist's path before finally reaching "Into The Theoroth's Tomb". The atmosphere is steeped in suspense here as the protagonist makes his final conquest of the journey. As the album comes to a close we hear a cold wind gusting as the world comes to a rest in silence.

Elador has constructed a much more active and vivid picture of his vision on A Wanderer's Tale. He now gives the listener a story to follow along with the soundscape which is steeped in dungeon synth tropes. Lo-fi is certainly a staple of the genre, going hand in hand with the multitude of dungeon synth releases coming out on cassette. This is no different on A Wanderer's Tale. Elador gives us a stripped down sound, with most of the music coming from a small selection of instruments, mainly synth and classical guitar. Where some artists are content with leaving it at this, Elador takes his sounds one step further than the majority of the flock by adding in a healthy portion of field recordings. Where my opinion of the album slightly wanes is in the overall quality of the work. Many of the tracks have a very similar vibe and some of the field recordings seem a bit too generic, occasionally ripping me out of the zone. But these are only small gripes with an album that has much more to like about it than to dislike. If you are already a tried and true fan of the genre, I would certainly recommend A Wanderer's Tale. But, for beginners I think there are probably some more pristine releases for you to take the first plunge into dungeon synth.

Written by: Michael
Rating: 6/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Thurisaz
Album title: The Pulse Of Mourning
Release date: 31 March 2015
Label: Sleaszy Rider Records

It's not that often that you hear this kind of mixture between emotion and aggression so stunningly put together. This band simply deserves more attention from fans of divergent metal music. The Pulse Of Mourning is nothing else but a rollercoaster of emotions, a professionally done album from each and every aspect. The new offering from Thurisaz serves with nine songs that often go beyond all normal boundaries of metal genre. The basis of their musical output is still doom, death and black metal, let's say it's dark metal in some strange way, but done with an avantgardish spirit so often reaching the borders of progressive rock, post-metal and post-rock, even a huge dose of melancholy that is present all over in those beautifully arranged melodies makes most of the songs truly unforgettable, sometimes making your skin going goose bumps and leaves you breathless. It's a release that will captivate your mind from the ominous opening on, through all those memorable clean choruses, groovy climaxes, until the calm melancholic ambiances of the closing track.

Read a full review HERE