Dungeon Synth Bangers

A small selection of some really superb #dungeonsynth albums to listen to while you #adventure!

Are you aware of the musical genre Dungeon Synth?

While the easiest comparison is video game music from 8-bit and 16-bit console RPGs and CRPGs of the 80’s-90’s, it also encapsulates old-school TTRPG milieus and non-game influences such as Tolkien and other fantasy literature and art.

It is a varied genre that obviously has a lot of source influence and there is a significant range in music, from harsh to soothing. From these various accounts I have selected some of my favourite Dungeon Synth Bangers.

Gollum (Demo) by Grimdor

If the inspiration for this one is not obvious, I seriously wonder why you are looking at this list at all.

Regardless, let me laud praise on this track.

This hazy, Korg tune is able, within a few minutes and without any lyrics, able to tell a story that goes from mysterious, to frightening, and into a subtle denouement. To me, this track conjures adventure and peril and I totally recommend listening to it while drawing a map (yes, for the fun of it).

Don’t Fuck with Batspike by Batspike

Something that is almost universal for the genre is that it goes without lyrics, often as it is intended to be used as background music for actual (or fantasy/rpg) dungeon-delving. Due to the lack of lyrics, there is a large worldwide pool of artists and fans that share their music that can be fully appreciated by anyone regardless of their language or culture.

Anyway…

This album, while aggressively titled, is a slow-burn synthesizer grind through bleak land(sound)scapes and, to me, makes me think of the toils of slaves in a mine, a wizard working on some unknown alchemical tincture, or a party of nervous adventurers stumbling into the chambers of a long-forgotten cult.

The Dead Man’s Journal – eponymous

Wow. Just the title of this one is enough to inspire me, but actually listening to this album is a real adventure.

To me this evokes feelings of 70’s Italian gothic horror movies combined with the absolute terror of a player’s first dungeon-delve while player Second Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons – but maybe that is just my experience.

This is another slow, subtle set of music that feels like a journey fraught with peril and the unknown and you have to keep listening to it because you need to know how it resolves… What a fantastic album, in any genre.

Sidequest – eponymous

These are some subtle, warm synths. The chip-tune inspiration is glaringly obvious and it is glorious.

When you listen to this you will find yourself on an uncomfortable wooden chair in front of the glare of a 15″ CRT monitor, the only light in the room. Your hands will rest on a yellowed, mechanical keyboard; absent is a mouse, for it doesn’t exist on this setup. Near the monitor rests a spiral-bound graph-paper notebook filled with maps and notes, a half-filled bottle of Pepsi gently fizzes. PC-speaker sounds and music grate on your senses but it doesn’t matter, because you are absorbed in adventure.

Empyreal Forest by Lost Horizons

I love this album and as dungeon synth, it is absolutely fantastic. I find the title fitting, and the clean, mysterious sounds are really evocative. The, hollow, distant sounds make it seem like this is played in a vast underground chamber, filled with treasure and danger.

When you listen to this album, you are listening with the elves.


I hope you liked these dungeon synth selections, maybe you opened up to some new musical horizons. Let me know your favourite album from this list, or otherwise, in the comments.

2021 Classic Halloween Watchlist: Lesser Known Edition

It’s October, and for the media-centric western hegemony, that means Halloween, or, in more recent parlance, “Spooktober” – a term that I kind of dislike. For a lot of people Halloween is the time to watch scary movies and advance ever further towards diabetes with fun size candies by the dozen(s).

Most people are aware of the some of the more popular horror movie franchises (Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Scream, Halloween, etc…) and, in my opinion, they are excellent films, but they may be a little familiar (I mean, I know I have seem all of them multiple times…) so maybe this year it might be a nifty experiment to try one of the many horror movies out there that are less known, and may be totally new to you.

Anyway, presented in no particular order, with the exception of my favourite (of this list) being last, here are 11 movies to check out this Halloween Season.

Paul Naschy is a legend of horror.

Howl of the Devil

Known originally as El aullido del diablo, this flick from 1988 starts off this list as a bit of hidgepodge flick. The movie has a definite plot and story, but it is basically a vehicle to show off Paul Naschy and excellent quality makeup and prostheses.

For spook fans there are a lot of different classic monsters and ghouls that are al done well; and for the sleaze fans (which, as far as I am concerned, is an essential part of any horror movie) this one features a hooker-murdering plot, which means that there is a lot on display and some moments that might make you shiver.

tl;dr lots of boobs and great horror makeup

This posters is turbo misleading.

Crypt of Dark Secrets

Despite what the poster above and the title of the movie might hint at, 1976’s Crypt of Dark Secrets is a weird horror movie, but doesn’t have a lot to do with crypts. Another thing this movie doesn’t have a lot of is budget – it is fairly obvious that this was made with limited resources, but, despite that, it is fairly entertaining.

Like a lot of low-budget horror movies, this one decides to make up for the lake of stunning effects with a another stunning visual – lots of nudity. The story is fairly trashy and there is plenty of sleaze to go along with it.

tl;dr no-budget flick with lots of nudity on coupled with a weird story

“TWINS”

Twins of Evil

The only thing scary about this flick from 1971 is how unabashedly straightforward and upfront it is with the nudity and sleaze. Peter Cushing may be a serious actor with real credentials, but this is not the type of movie one watches for the acting.

So, it may not be scary, but it does have a decent amount of creepiness and atmosphere, and hey, maybe someone would find it scary.

tl;dr sleaze and classic spookiness

Let me ‘axe’ you a question, is budget important?

A Night to Dismember

Forget how the title is a terrible pun, remember how great this flick is! The perfect delta between sleaze and violence, this 1983 movie is a zero-budget wild ride that veers from sex to violence at random.

It should be noted that due to the low-budget of this one, it is not for everyone, people who are in love with intense effects and top-tier production are not really going to get a kick out of this.

tl;dr sex + violence – budget = this flick

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

The Nail Gun Massacre

Greater than any crime depicted in this film from 1985, is that it is not more widely known. Nowadays a lot of movie makers try to recreate some idea of what they think the 1980’s were, but just make some super-contemporary movie that is nothing like the 1980’s. Not this flick, it’s from the 1980’s, and it oozes 1980’s.

Everything anyone could want in a slasher movie is here (except actual slashing, but it has nailgunning!!) – lots of violence, gore, and glorious sleaze. This one even gets special bonus points for having the box cover actual resemble what actual happens in the movie.

tl;dr nailguns, nudity, watch this movie

That lady has a secret…

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers

This entry from 1988 is probably the best known on the list (but still not very well known) and for good reason – the initial movie in the series is a bit of a cult classic with a “twist” ending that is a little too-well known.

I enjoyed the first movie, but I really enjoyed the second – it has a larger budget and is a little more ambitious in just about every way possible. There is lots of really good effects, violence, and this flick is absolutely packed with sleazy stuff for everyone.

tl;dr effects, violence, and sleaze

Is that some VD?

Deep Space

I had never even heard of this 1988 movie until it was suggested to me. It has a very sci-fi name, and it has a definite sci-fi bend to it, but it definitely falls into the horror/creature-feature realm.

Without going into too much detail, this one features a lot of nice practical effects and over-the-top violence. There is some sleazy stuff in this one with some trashy characters (including trashy narration) so it ticks all of the boxes.

tl;dr little-known monster feature

The scariest part of this poster is the weird shape and size of that dude’s arm, I mean, look at it….

Grave Robbers

Unless you are a fan of Mexican Horror cinema, I doubt you have heard of 1989’s Ladrones de tumbas before this.

This one is clearly inspired by Indiana Jones as well as several other movies, and while it has the inspiration, it doesn’t have the budget. Despite lacking funding, the movie does have a largely coherent story and it is reasonably well-acted. The effects are a little on the light side, but they are definitely present.

tl;dr grave robbing is cool

Spooky.

Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings

The original in this series was somewhat popular, but the 1993 sequel was less so, which is a bit of a shame, because it has everything the first one had, and more!

There is lots of the good old gore that most horror fans crave, and there is even a bit of the sleazy stuff to mix things up. If you want a moralistic plot, there are hintings at it without being too bash-you-over-the-head about it, or you can just ignore it an revel i the carnage.

tl;dr monster fucks shit up

“TRUE” Story in bound…

Werewolf Woman

Have you heard of La lupa mannara from 1976? I doubt it. There are lots of female werewolf movies (Howling series, Ginger Snaps, etc) but this is a forgotten “classic” of that genre. This has some questionable-quality effects, but makes up for it without having a drop of decency.

This one has lots of violence and an abundance of sleaze, so this probably isn’t one that you want to watch with someone prudish. I found that this one was well-acted and you really feel the madness.

tl;dr werewolf titties

The cover, like many movies, has nothing to do with the actual movie.

Mortuary

This amazing flick from 1983 really snuck up on me – I like to think that I was aware of most (if not all) great horror films of the 1980’s and 1970’s, but somehow I missed this amazing movie.

This movie really does have it all, great effects, great sleaze, and it even has Bill Paxton! This film is well-acted, well-written, and has an acceptable budget for effects. I really enjoyed it and it has earned itself a spot in my multiple viewings category.

tl;dr Bill Paxton in a great horror movie without aliens

That’s the list. I hope you found a new movie to watch from it and if not, well, that’s life.



image sources: imdb.com, cinematerial.com, amazon.com, rare-movie-collector.com

15 Wacky Comic Book Ads from the 1950’s!

If you’re anything like me (ouch, sorry to hear that), you read a lot of comic books from the 1950’s and are constantly depressed that most of the (patently awesome) things advertised in them are no longer available.

Continue reading “15 Wacky Comic Book Ads from the 1950’s!”

14 Times You Were Insulted in Final Fantasy VI*

*in the World of Balance

I am going to assume, if you are reading this list, that you are at least somewhat familiar with the game Final Fantasy VI (or III as it was originally released in North America).

Continue reading “14 Times You Were Insulted in Final Fantasy VI*”

Baconator Pringles: Review & Thoughts

Look at these!

Maybe you don’t know very much about me, in fact, in all likelihood, you barely know anything about me, a largely anonymous blogger. Well, here is some exposition: I love tie-ins. Almost any kind of tie-in or crossover really gets my motor running. I am not simply referring to food-based tie-ins (although those are the best), really, any time two established franchises/organizations/brands decide to come together and make some kind of amalgamation, it is something that I find, at least, interesting. Whatever. It was enough to get my attention and I purchased a tube at my local grocer.

Continue reading “Baconator Pringles: Review & Thoughts”
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