May & June Recommendations

Welcome to another installment of my recommendations. I’ve alas not been able to listen and get as much stuff as in April, but there were still highlights to these last two months (and what highlights, damn)!

Immerse yourself in these recommendations with my Spotify playlist which consists mainly of tracks from albums I reviewed here or enjoyed:

Bubble Blade – Vaporous Halls

Unique. Vaporous Halls delivers on every level, with utmost care and craftsmanship. True to their name, these vapour-clad levels capture the essence of modern fantasy with absolute accuracy. A genre-blurring classic that should bless every ear.

Favorite tracks: Dragon N’ Bones, Frozen Stiff, Rot Visage (couldn’t choose)

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Dragnipur – La Combustion des Ondes

If you like harpsichord, prepare to be blown away by the depth of Dragnipur‘s melodies. La Combustion des Ondes does not stop there, and offers us a vast array of ambiances, from castle-wandering amongst notables to a soul-searching quest through old landscapes. At least that’s what I imagine! It also takes its lore from the Malazan Book of the Fallen which I just recently started to read, and it’s always nice to see good fantasy as the source of inspiration for a project.

Favorite track: Danse Délicate au Manoir d’Églantine

Gray Friar – Meditations

The Meditations of the Gray Friar have blown me away in more ways than one. I’m not usually the biggest enjoyer of drony ambient dungeon synth, but not only is Gray Friar a master at it, but he also makes it very enjoyable and non-linear, despite its hypnotic nature. This album truly has a meditative quality to it, and I often find myself listening to it whenever I need to take a step back.

Favorite track: On Revelations

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Refusa: Goddess of Trash – Turned to Sludge

High quality (anti? I guess, it’s trash after all)-food synth concept with banger melodies, killer synths, and an all-around flair for making my head bounce. I put this up without thinking about it too much, but I ended up enjoying it tremendously. A highlight of these months for me.

Favorite track: Sludge Will Flow

Other projects of Frostvale

Aura Merlin – 3 Swords

I have already said a lot of good things about Aura Merlin‘s Illuminations, but I found myself wanting to explore their first album also. We find here everything that made the second album so great, the vapoury ambiances, the lustrous synths and harps, and the sense of storytelling that set Aura Merlin aside from the rest. This one is a bit more whimsical and exploratory than the next one, which is not without its charm.

Favorite track: The Sword of Three Blades

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Skhemty – Sunrise on the Old Kingdom

A one-of-a-kind wonder that borrows a lot of its ideas from dungeon synth while being very much its own thing. It is a glorious picture of a fantasy-laced Egypt that is very enjoyable for anyone who simply enjoys an immersive experience. John Lordswood is a jack-of-all-trades and a master at each of these trades.

Favorite track: Pyramid of Khafre

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Hjartans – Oneiric Quest

HjartansOneiric Quest is exactly what its title says: an adventure through a mist-covered dream. I’m particularly susceptible to anything dream-related, as I’ve been describing my own art as oneiric, so the promise of questing through enchanted dreamlands full of eldritch beasts and vaguely contoured silhouettes always sounds lovely. At times disquieting, curious, foreboding, and even adventurous, Oneiric Quest never fails to transport us to another world.

Favorite track: We stare back in defiance

Moss Knight – Homestead

What a wonderfully soothing album, like enjoying a nice cup of tea after hard work in the garden on a gentle autumn day. Moss Knight‘s work is one of simple times when all you crave is a quiet evening. Maybe a lentil soup, some bread (still hot), a cat on your lap, gently purring. The hearth is warm and welcoming, maybe a comfortable rocking chair awaits you in front of it. And as you sip your chamomile, you slowly drift off to the land of dreams.

Favorite track: The Fall of Rain Gently Guides You Indoors. The Broken Gate Strut Will Yet Be There Tomorrow, and You Needn’t Let the Tea Go Cold.

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