Gladden Fields – “Tower Of The Moon” – Album Review (dark ambient/dungeon synth)

a2979852535_16We go now to the UK for a digital only release that is both at times inclusive and incongruous with the sub-genres it identifies with; a rule-bender and genre-defiant release; Tower of The Moon from UK’s Gladden Fields.

From Bandcamp: “Ghostly ambient black metal which evokes an ethereal sense of place from which the project aptly takes its name. This is a solitary march through a sonic landscape. A pastoral wilderness relinquishing whispers of a dark past through a series of well crafted compositions. Bleak, beautiful, haunting and elusive.”

Tower Of The Moon is a creature of many feet in the areas of dark ambient, dungeon synth, ambient black metal and medieval.  It is a digital-only release containing five tracks ranging in length from 4:50 – 8:10.  The release’s opener, “Nocturnal Fear”A track like “Woven Grave” stretches out the dungeon synth aura into more of a dark ambient arena to create a very eerie, gloomy, almost uncomfortable apocalyptic vibe.

The interesting thing about this release is that it is almost like the soundtrack to the likes of a Stephen King short story collection.  The tracks are often very different from one another.  The title track, “Tower Of The Moon” is a pretty good example of how simple structures and repetition can be used to most effectively get the point across.  The piece starts out somewhat hypnotic but ends as a bit of an ethereal, almost nocturnal celestial track.

“Hidden Fortress,” the final track immediately is reminiscent of the neo-folk sound of early Dead Can Dance with the string strikes and somehow but effectively makes use of a primitive dungeon ambient sound. 

There’s a lot of different things happening on this album so there’s something here for nearly everyone to enjoy.  Tower Of The Moon most certainly is a great example of why genres like “ambient black metal” or “dark ambient” bear some qualities but are on the abstract are also about others.

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