Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Darkstroll - Frozen Forest

This release, being from the age of the computer dungeon synth composer, lacks the grittiness and sloppy playing that typically come with cassette tapes and physical keyboards. That does take from the potential "dungeon" atmosphere in the music, yet the clearness of composition in such a similar style gives this demo a different sort of sound than its influences, while wielding the same archaic synthesizer power that takes one into a visionary world of the artist. The release is called "Frozen Forest," and that is accurately depicted with the lightly drawn grayscale forest stream that haunts the cover. The atmosphere is of a similar nature, a bouncy jaunt through a nature-landscape of a lost age.

Where the music is lacking in spirituality, it makes up for it with lighthearted catchiness. It is not quite the retarded cousin of dungeon synth, which is renaissance-fair music, but it certainly comes close. Yet one still feels as if they are searching for something higher. It is not given the dignified quality that comes with music that is struggling to reach that greater mystic plateau, and yet it is unlikely the songs would be nearly as, well, pleasant to listen to if that were the case. Even songs such as "Into the Darkness" have a peaceful reassuring quality that contrast against the name, giving listeners the romantic idea that within the darkness is the pure beauty of fantasy. This is very similar to many of the deeper ideas conveyed in black metal, but the music itself lacks all darkness, and so that theme is a bit more difficult to grasp based on the music alone.

Otherwise this demo is nothing but a very relaxing work of dungeon synth that is not particularly ambitious or moving, but nice when one wants to explore a simple wilderness scene. After all, life is not only about struggles, heroism, and horrors. Sometimes one must simply relax and wander, appreciating the subtle beauties of nature surrounding them.

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