Our first announced artist and MMXXI headliner, Thorsten Quaeschning, originates from Berlin, DE, and in 2020 released "The Capitol Session" as a solo artist, as well as Tangerine Dream's "The Sessions VI" and "Recurring Dream". He has recently appeared on Steven Wilson's "The B-Sides Collection" and joined Schiller as a special guest, acting as Co-Composer and performer in the creation of the 2021 release "Summer in Berlin".
A multi-instrumentalist working with a custom modular synthesizer as well as digital/analog synths and guitar, Quaeschning joined Tangerine Dream in 2005. Since Edgar Froese's passing in 2015, Quaeschning has served as their bandleader and musical director, stewarding the group (currently a quartet) into a new decade. He has also worked as a film composer both solo and with his group Picture Palace Music.
Northeast Dungeon Siege is proud to welcome Quaeschning to its virtual stage, in an explicit nod to the kosmische fabric that exists behind the walls of the dungeon.
Our second announced artist, An Old Sad Ghost, hails from Austria and recently released "Musikanten Mittelalterlicher Madenmeere" in January.
An Old Sad Ghost debuted in May of 2017 with two back to back releases entitled “From the Tombs of Videna” and “An Old Sad Ghost”, after which Lord Sargeburt took a year to work on other projects which focus on other characters in the same world before returning with a steady four releases per year.
The Old Sad Ghost wanders through empty halls, depressive landscapes, and mournful memories. While the surrounding instrumentation varies from album to album, the heart of An Old Sad Ghost is filled with romantic melancholy comprised of forlorn horns, doleful strings and beautiful piano melodies.
Our third announced artist, Hideous Gomphidius, hails from Colorado and recently released its sophopmore album "Keepers of the Fungal Order" in January.
Thee Horrible Witchtroll sent their debut, "Spore Sorcery", through the mycelium in July of 2020. Utilizing many layers of synthesized drones and spare, ominous percussion, this release led the listener on a dark and damp journey that never strayed far from the forest floor. Hideous Gomphidious released "Keepers of the Fungal Order" in January, to guide the listener back to that hazy, psychedelic realm, where we are invited to explore caverns filled with mysterious, ephemeral emanations, and can only hope that we do not find ourselves at the mercy of the Sporelord.
Our fourth announced artist, Erang, hails from the Land of the Five Seasons, and released “Imagination Never Fails” in October of 2020.
Since the release of “Tome I” in 2012, Erang has blazed an iconoclastic and highly personal trail through the landscape of the Dungeon Synth revival. Over the course of 18 albums, the artist has invited listeners to explore the deepening lore of the Land of the Five Seasons and the Kingdom of Erang, representing locales and characters in his world with specific musical ideas that develop from album to album. “Imagination Never Fails” is a cinematic tour de force, incorporating dynamic composition with sampled speech and effects to provide a sonic experience that is at times almost visual in quality, an experience which is supplemented by the music videos Erang has created for six of the album’s 10 tracks.
Northeast Dungeon Siege is proud to welcome Erang to our virtual stage, to summon up the full powers of nostalgic creation, and to remind listeners worldwide, that “the Kingdom is Ours!”
Our fifth announced artist, Magic Find, hails from the United States, and released the split “Moondrawn, Foul-Crescent Rapture” (with Vorvadoss) in January.
Starting with “Seeping Auras” in 2017, Magic Find has been steadily perfecting its blend of aural corruption described as “ambient dungeon electronics”. Haunted loops and disintegrating samples establish an otherworldly sonic landscape, while blasts of overdriven melody cause the listener to oscillate between fear and melancholy in rapid succession. “Moondrawn” sees Magic Find channeling a side-length track brimming with occult power; sounds melt into spells, melodies melt into drones, and the listener melts into a realm where their existence can only be maintained by means of enchantment.
Our sixth announced artist, Malfet , hails from California, and released the full length album “Alban Arthan” in October of 2020.
In the three years since this project’s inception, Malfet has made a profound impact on the dungeon synth scene, pairing idyllic backdrops with tales of Arthurian-inspired heroism. Using a concise palette of harpsichords, percussion, flutes, lush strings, and delicate harps, the artist has invited listeners to experience a nostalgic dream along with him across three albums and many live performances. With the release of the highly acclaimed “Alban Arthan”, Malfet has continued to refine his ethereal blend of rich melodies and evocative field recordings, creating a magical listening space where companions new, old, and departed can exist side by side, questing together in pursuit of the unknowable.
Our seventh announced artist, Fåntratt, hails from Sweden, and released “Frisk Kuling” in April of 2020.
Across a quadrilogy of albums, with each one representing the seasons, Fåntratt has offered listeners a mystical vision of the natural world, alternating between playfulness and profundity at a turn. Utilizing toy keyboards, live percussion, ancient synthesizers, samples, and found sound, the artist creates an enveloping soundtrack to accompany the titular sword-and-trumpet wielding wizard through his journeys across creation. With “Frisk Kuling”, which can be translated as “fresh gale” or “healthy, easygoing person”, Fåntratt sets his eyes toward the north and the night sky, with music grounded in traditional DS but occasionally veering into drone or psychedelic terrain, providing a sonic well deep enough for listeners to be completely submerged.
Our eighth announced artist, Fen Walker , Hails from Oregon, and released “Hark! The Whispering Dead of the Burial Lake” in November 2020.
Over this project’s first three albums, Fen Walker has demonstrated a focused commitment to storytelling, conveying a soundtrack to the perilous adventures of the Wandress through the lands of Ur. Effortlessly marrying orchestral harmony and percussion with folk and progressive melodies, this project’s far-ranging compositions are woven together with inventive synthesized texture. The result evokes the limitless imagination of the sword-and-sorcery revival of 1970’s literature - listeners are taken through worlds that are full of magic and technology, but with surprises at every turn. With the release of “Hark!...”, Fen Walker turns the focus towards the next generation of adventurers in the barbaric lands, with a dynamic musical experience that places the listener in full view of this engrossing world.
Our ninth announced artist, Vaelastrasz, hails from Virginia, and released “Sunstrider” in August 2020.
Over the last five years, Vaelastrasz, has spanned dungeon synth, drone, and dark ambient in a heartfelt tribute to the lands of Azeroth and the adventures spun within. Soaring string pads are grounded with heavily syncopated percussion and sorrowful brass, utilizing a sonic template inspired by the masters of old-school DS but with an utterly original melodic flavor. Filtering a diverse palette of influences through a minimalist sieve, Vaelastraz has crafted some of the best long-form work the genre has to offer. With the release of “Sunstrider”, Vaelastrasz has all but perfected the expansive, hypnotic sound that has become the project’s hallmark, with ear catching melodies woven together in a meditative tapestry that demands repeat listening.
Our tenth announced artist, Morketsvind, hails from Russia, and released “Highland Etudes” in November of 2020.
A veteran of the Russian scene, Morketsvind combines baroque keyboard virtuosity with the stark power of the medieval dungeon synth archetype. Elaborate harpsichord and organ fantasias alternate with dynamic blasts of brass and percussion to create music that speaks to history and fantasy in equal measure. Morketsvind has also brought a dynamic visual presentation to the table, including a highly theatrical stage performance with a small cast in 2018. With the release of “Highland Etudes”, artist Morbid demonstrates his considerable accomplishments as a keyboardist, with single take recordings of progressive, classical and folk-influenced melodies grounded by strong, nimble basslines, switching effortlessly between instrumental patches to create fluid compositions. Northeast Dungeon Siege is proud to welcome our first ever performer from the mighty Russian dungeon synth scene to our virtual stage.
Our eleventh announced artist, Conqueror's Morn, hails from Connecticut, and released the compilation album "I Will Face the Deathspell When it Strikes" through Gondolin Records in November of 2019.
Over the course of about six months starting in late 2017 Conqueror's Morn released four sets of depressive war-torn parables filled with tragedy and misadventure, starting with the project's debut album "Battle Weary." Pensive piano-driven melodies layered with sparse synths and samples are combined with highly evocative song titles and poems to describe the lamentation of war, the shame of survival, and pain of defeat.
This year Conqueror's Morn breaks free of it's battletrance to bring us it's final chapter and debut performance.
Our twelfth announced artist, Arcana Liturgia, hails from Italy, and released “Follow the old path” in March of 2020.
Arcana Liturgia first ventured into dungeon synth with three seminal releases in the late ‘90s, beginning with “MCCXXXI” in 1997. From these early releases, Lord of Time looked deep into a medieval past, demonstrating the full innovation of the first wave of dungeon synth with evocative tales of noble heroism, dark magic, and bitter defeat. After a hiatus of nearly two decades, Arcana Liturgia made a triumphant return to the scene with “Tales of an Ancient World” in 2019. With the release of “Follow the old path”, Lord of Time achieved a delicate balance between old-school synth sounds and modern orchestral samples, taking the music deeper into the past and into realms of fantasy. Synth bells, keys, and pads provide a canvas that is expertly decorated with mournful strings and winds, driven with elegant swells of percussion, carrying the listener to a richly imagined space between worlds.
Our thirteenth announced artist, Tir Official , hails from Turkey, by way of Australia, and released “Nigritude” in August 2020.
Since 2016, Tir has created music steeped in the rich atmospheres of old-school dungeon synth and second-wave black metal, utilizing epic strings, choral pads, and stark percussion, with melodies of solo strings and winds woven among them. In 2019, with the release of “Urd, Skurd, and Verdandi”, Tir cast a profound neoclassical shroud over his music with the introduction of choral vocals accompanied by solo piano. With “Nigritude”, Tir increased the levels of intensity and drama already present, digging deeper into the historical and mythological inspiration with each heavy stroke of the drum, each harsh cry of the warhorn, and each lament of the mournful flute.
Our fourteenth announced artist, Alder Deep , hails from the United States, and released “Wildemoeder” in August 2020.
Since exploding onto the scene in July 2017, the Alderen has built a fearsome and deeply personal mythology surrounding the lore of caves, the creatures therein, and those who communicate with nature. With elements of psychedelia and dungeon noise conjuring up the dank atmosphere of the depths, melodies emerge, covered in mud and soot, and retreat. The listener is compelled to follow them into subterra incognita, with fleeting moments of folk-inspired beauty, into the waiting jaws of the unknown. With the release of “Wildemoeder”, the setting of Alder Deep is further expanded. A wild woman with intimate knowledge of the unknown, lurks at the edge of the forest, and you must brace yourself, without judgement, against the sound of her gravelly song in order to learn what she knows of the entities beneath.
Our fifteenth announced artist, Faerie Cross Grotto, hails from California, and released “Crystal Majesty” in December 2020.
Under the name “Mausoleum Wanderer”, Espyritu of Dusk made an outstanding contribution to the field of epic, narrative driven dungeon synth with the release of “Kabal of the Ashuvrahqt'Aild: A Rasataalian Adventure”. Serpentine melodies and suggestive song titles guide the listener through an epic tale of ambition and conflict, with ambitious and creative arrangements. With the inauguration of Faerie Cross Grotto, and the release of “Crystal Majesty”, Espyritu of Dusk turned an unwavering gaze inward. Drawing inspiration from the overwhelming beauty of nature filtered through the surrealist lens of dreams, “Crystal Majesty” blankets the listener in layers of synths, bells, and strings. Elements of darkwave and new age shape the composition, guiding the listener on an emotional journey through subterranean landscapes whose dimensions flicker due to the unreliability of memory.
Our sixteenth announced artist, Gargoyle Collector, hails from New Jersey, and released “Gargoyle Collector’s Life” in September 2018, with new material on the horizon.
Artist Justin Mank has been innovating on the imaginative and hypnotic possibilities of Dungeon Synth under the banner of Ranseur since 2013, producing some of the earliest releases to be identified as Dungeon Noise. Through all of his projects, including Xuthal of the Dusk and Boggart’s Field, Mank has employed carefully-rehearsed musical and occult concepts, recorded live to capture the full possibilities of improvisational expression and harmonic exploration, providing a musical experience that is at turns whimsical, fearsome, and transcendent. With the release of “Gargoyle Collector’s Life”, Mank turned to a neoclassical direction, bringing an elegance and melancholy to his sonic canvas that invites the listener inside a walled estate. with stoic guardians installed to protect the solitary inhabitant from the bitterness of the outside world while he gazes inward with an impassive eye.
Our seventeenth announced artist, Tharmazegethuzan, hails from Pennsylvania, and released “Militant Vampirism”, a split with Possession Cult, in December 2020.
Tharmazegethuzan emerged into the scene with a trilogy of releases entitled “The Necroglyph Triptych” beginning in the spring of 2020. Plumbing the depths of the depraved tradition of vampiric Black metal, Tharmazegethuzan unleashed tightly focused spells of Black ambience, utilizing found sound, organ, vocals, and synthesizers, with light-starved atmospheres to make the depraved revel, and to make the penitent listener fearful for their soul. With “Militant Vampirism”, the artist demonstrates a masterful command of dissonance and atmosphere, positioning notes and sounds within a composition to siphon the maximum amount of psychic energy from listeners and passersby, slowly piecing together a physical form out of writhing masses of negativity.
Our eighteenth announced artist, Calderum, hails from Spain, and released “The krypts of the sorcerer” in July 2020.
Over the course of three releases since fall of 2019, Calderum has contrasted the serenity of nature with the darkness of humankind, evoking dusty medieval atmospheres that evoke pristine untouched landscapes and guileful machinations in turn. In the celebrated three-way split with Caverna and Lord Orots, Calderum helped to draw significant attention to the currently flourishing Spanish dungeon synth scene, with four extremely effective compositions fully embodying the mystery of old school DS. With the release of “The krypts of the sorcerer”, Calderum added furious assaults of raw symphonic black metal, amidst dungeon synth conjurations with full orchestral timbres alongside the aged-sounding synths, providing a wide view of the power achieved and the devastation contrived by means of dark magic.
Our nineteenth announced artist, dungeontroll, hails from the Forests of Uzohr, and released “Mournful Melodies of Ophior’s Grotto” in February 2021.
Since the summer of 2019, dungeontroll has woven an elaborate personal mythology in musical form, inviting listeners into a breathing world filled with magical creatures and tales of intrigue and heroism. Delicate flutes and bardic harps are complemented with mystical synths and bells, drawing us deeper into the storyteller’s memory as the story unfolds. With the release of “Mournful Melodies of Ophior’s Grotto”, dungeontroll comes to a conclusion - but not before bringing listeners one final compendium of tales. Melancholic visions are infused with an epic spirit, and flutes and strings driven forward by war drums, as the dungeontroll sings a lament that will live through the ages, like the great sagas of old.
Our twentieth announced artist, @lordorots , Hails from Basque Country in Spain, and released the lengthy single “Arimen Gudarostea” in November of 2020.
Clad in fearsome mask, Lord Orots brings grim tidings from the forests of the kingdom of Latzine. With a purposeful nod to the old school dungeon synth sound, Lord Orots produces a powerful atmosphere steeped in medieval history and fantasy. Distinct percussion cuts through the sounds of the wilderness; distant horns and choirs sing melodies evoking heroism and pride, while harps and flutes add desperation to these tales. With the release of “Arimen Gudarostea”, Lord Orots expertly foreshadows melancholic sounds from a darkening world, as strings and faraway cries of betrayal draw the listener into a crisply imagined landscape, at once familiar but somehow growing more threatening by the moment, the deeper into the woods you go...
Our twenty-first announced artist, Mystica Visio, hails from Brazil, and released “Mystica Visio I” in May of 2020.
The sound of Mystica Visio evokes the deepest melancholy, a hermetical escape from the known world. Through the alchemical possibilities of pure synthesized tones, the artist draws a satin veil over the sensory perception of the listener, with evolving pads and crystalline bells to slowly deprive us of a reference point as we encounter shapes and figures in an ultramundane realm. With the debut release, “Mystica Visio I”, the artist draws unveils a potent occult journey to those willing to abandon their bodies, following a path lit by ghastly spectres playing choirs, flutes and electric pianos, the sounds they produce not matching image of them being played, as the prospect of returning to ordinary existence becomes slimmer, less desirable.
Our twenty-second announced artist, Of Antler and Oak, Hails from Québec, and released “Yuletide” in December of 2020.
Under the banner of Realm of Sleep records, artist Jason Browne has made an indelible impact in the modern dungeon synth scene. Whether contributing vertigo-inducing dungeon drone tracks, providing sonic experimentation with processing and acoustic sound sources, or setting his sights toward the traditional origins of the genre, Browne has always managed to convey a sense of escape throughout his many projects. The DIY spirit of Old School DS is alive and well on Realm of Sleep Records! With “Yuletide”, his project Of Antler and Oak dives deep into pagan lore and pre-Christian history, bringing listeners a crystalline reflection of midwinter hypnosis, as hazy synths pile on top of each other, settling upon you like a blanket of snow after many nights of Saturnalic celebration.
Our twenty-third announced artist, Sprites of the Wood , hails from the Land of Gates, and released “Kingdom - II” in March 2021.
Over the last year, Sprites of the Wood has been building a carefully crafted fantasy world, with specific releases geared towards elaborating specific elements of that world. From the elaborate orchestration on display in the project’s debut release, “Old Souls”, to the stirring, percussion-driven sounds of “The Shadow Fortress”, Sprites of the Wood has established a strong command over the imagery of high fantasy. With the release of “Kingdom - II”, Sprites of the Wood walks the perimeter of a fair and sunkissed land, as acoustic guitars, flutes, and light percussion working in hypnotic fashion to transport the listener into the heart of a breathing world. Well placed sound effects add to the cinematic quality of the music, while melodies weave around one another to generate a world that can almost be felt.
Our twenty-fourth announced artist, Many Waters, hails from New Jersey, and released “Hypothermic Death among the Pines” in January 2021.
Since March of 2020, Many Waters has built a discography consisting of nature-focused dungeon synth, with elements of traditional DS blended expertly with drone, ambient, and noise. With a strong use of samples and electronics, interspersed with stark percussion, MIDI instruments and pure synth tones, the artist creates an escapist sound world that is at once inviting and threatening. With the release of “Hypothermic Death among the Pines”, Many Waters casts an eye toward the barren landscapes of deepest winter. Delicate bells seek to lull travelers into submission, while bleak choirs urge them onward, all the while oscillating synths give the listener the profound impression that sensation and perception are slowly fading, stolen from them by the desolate chill of the coming storm.
Our twenty-fifth announced artist, Hosste, hails from the United Kingdom, and released “In Sullen Praise of Somnus” in December 2020.
Drawing from a strong foundation in black metal band Abduction, artist A|V has developed a voice for expressing deep solitude, torment, and melancholy. With the exploration of melodic dark ambient on previous Abduction releases, the artist has foreshadowed the current work, creating haunted soundscapes with a distinct and evocative voice emerging from the texture.
With the establishment of Hosste and the release of “In Sullen Praise of Somnus”, the artist has fully pushed into dark melodic territory, conjuring a whirling mass of synths, strings, percussion, and atmosphere. The result is a sonic tapestry that evokes goth rock, neofolk, and dark ambient, all united under the banner of myth and the ethos of dungeon synth, conveying the uneasy familiarity of the world of dreams.
Our twenty-sixth announced artist, Varkaros , hails from Spain, and released the debut single “Dawn of the Winged Lord” in March 2021.
No stranger to the worlds of dungeon synth, the mind behind Varkaros has been active for several years under the moniker of Trova de Lid. With that project, the artist has provided intricately arranged compositions of dungeon synth, fantasy music, and medieval ambient, wielding folk and orchestral sounds with equal skill, most recently on the release of “Lira de Dragon”. With the establishment of Varkaros, the artist has turned that same romantic vision of a re-imagined past toward the sound of epic dungeon synth. Ebbing strings and driving percussion evoke the sound of past rulers of these great domains, while contemplative organs and synths provide a personal stamp to these sagas. Choirs of sullen brass narrate to the listener the tides of war, stirring the listener into desperation even in the face of tragic defeat.
Our twenty-seventh announced artist, Graveren, hails from Québec, and released “Du cortège à la fosse” in 2018.
From the northlands of the North American continent sits Graveren atop a crowsnest, focusing a steely eye towards northlands across the sea. In eternal obeisance to the past masters who created the thrones of dungeon synth and then sat upon them, uncontested, for so long, artist Charnier delivered a powerful, distinct vision of this realm at the Northeast Dungeon Siege in 2019. Decked in corpsepaint, hammering his wardrum with cruel precision, Graveren’s performance was a fearsome vision of the old ways. “Du cortège à la fosse” is a time capsule, a short but highly focused recording combining fierce barbarism and weird necromancy to create a clear vision of what once existed in this world, and what shall soon return.
Our twenty-eighth announced artist, Jenn Taiga, hails from Massachusetts and released “Plight” in March 2020.
Like a starship descending through the clouds, Jenn Taiga offers listeners a vision of fantasy that peers into an alternate dimension, drawn as much from the boundary smashing ethos of progressive rock and new wave science fiction as from the more traditional inspirations of weird fantasy and sword and sorcery. In a realm where the distinctions between magic and high technology are sufficiently blurred, Jenn Taiga is both a scientist and a sorceress, refining her craft over dozens of live performances. On “Plight”, the already evocative music is infused with a strong sense of psychedelic narrative - synth sweeps and mellotron choirs punctuate virtuosic melodies, while sequenced rhythms drive the music along, inviting listeners to contribute to the adventure in a vividly realized sonic landscape.
Our twenty-ninth announced artist, Redhorn Gate, hails from Illinois, and released the demo “Beneath the Stone” in January 2021.
Redhorn Gate excavates treasures of classic dungeon synth from deep within the earth. Gundrim the Smith and Dalom the Delver work in tandem, crafting their dwarven finery from simple means with great patience. Beginning in 2019, Redhorn Gate released three significant demos establishing their visions of Dwarven synth, with expansive compositions driven by direct synth melodies and stark percussion. Voice and dialogue samples help to solidify the scene, but the Tolkien-inspired narrative is clear. On “Beneath the Stone”, Redhorn Gate shows greater intention and evolution to their song structure, with soaring melodies and more evolved percussion that offer an addictive momentum to the music, even as the listener is drawn deeper into the ground, and farther from the sun.
Our thirtieth announced artist, Orb of The Moons , hails from Massachusetts, and released “Overtones of the Underworld, Vol 1” in April 2020.
Over the course of the last several years, Orb of the Moons has crafted a vision of psychedelic, cinematic ambient with a fantastic vibe. While some of the reference points land fully outside of the realm of dungeon synth, drawing inspiration from artists such as Vangelis, Brian Eno, and Boards of Canada, Orb of the Moons ties this all together with a solid sense of fantastic narrative. Even as the genre boundaries dissolve in a haze of bells, pads and samples, the sense of storytelling perseveres, bringing the listener along on a journey for occult wisdom. With “Overtones of the Underworld, Vol 1”, OOTM plunges us into a dense sonic pool, with back-masked loops, brass swells, and chimes rising and falling in the mix like sediment within, forcing us to confront the face of a deathly abyss without the chance for fear.
Our thirty-first announced artist, Khand, Hails from Massachusetts, and released “The Sage of Witherthorn” in January 2020.
Dating back to 1998, the works of Khand have covered terrain as diverse as ambient, kosmiche, and fantasy music with equal skill and painstaking attention to detail. The 2013 release “The Fires of Celestial Ardour” stands as a defining work of the early Dungeon Synth revival, casting an eye toward the infinite void of the cosmos from the perspective of a terrestrial listener living in a world of magic and fantasy, with delicate bells and sweeping choral pads conveying a sense of grandeur and scope. With “The Sage of Witherthorn”, six years in the making, Khand has created a cinematic vision, a narrative that unfolds seamlessly from track to track, growing in scale and intensity as the story progresses. With the use of diverse sound sources from vintage keyboards to trackers, the album’s meticulous presentation and mix creates an immersive narrative experience that rewards repeat plays, pulling the listener deeper into the tapestries of this breathing sonic world.
Our thirty-second announced artist, Sombre Arcane, hails from Massachusetts, and released “Arcane/Mvndane” in September 2019.
Comprised of bard Naginah, armed with kantele and harps, and wizard Phranick, equipped with a variety of mystical and technological sound contraptions, the duo Sombre Arcane brings a meticulous sense of detail to their narrative and musical tapestries. Intricate arpeggios ring forth bearing the weight of folk tradition, while warcries and lamentations conjured from the air supplement these dusty tales. Gathering strength in preparation for their next release, Naginah and Phranick have both embarked on separate journeys, collecting lore and crafts of war, while in turn together they’ve been sighted across the land, bringing their passionate theatricality to the masses in isolation and on tour. “Arcane/Mvndane” demonstrates the full creative powers of this project, working in collaboration with other artists as well acoustically, demonstrating the ability to reinvent themselves as well as forge new ground, while remaining true to the narrative vision that gives the project its identity.