Compendium III is gripping, you can feel the darkness and suspense. It takes DIM's melodic talents and applies them to a much more action packed album. This is one of my favorite dungeon synth albums, especially to listen to during a dnd combat. Moundweller is a bop, but Runo II's crescendos of strings orchestrate a suspenseful feeling that always makes me stop and gasp.
Favorite track: Runo II.
He had well learned on a most difficult passage that the dreams of men die in the deep places of the world, for men are not meant to dwell in darkness. Seeking refuge from those who pursued him, he lost his way, drawn ever deeper into the dripping, labyrinthine bowels of the world. In the heavy air of that abyss dwelt accursed things, such creatures, shunned by the light, who for the want of an exotic morsel, so rare in the murk and damp of their lair, they swarmed in a fashion and at such a pace unknown to any of the world’s beasts. But in the fateful moment that his stout heart began to fail, he saw the faintest sliver of a glorious hope far above, for light had entered the cavern. In that moment, he had learned that he loved the light, for it would lead him out of the pit, and as it grew brighter, it nourished the deepness within him.
He had learned that the steps of his dusty shoes upon the road, one placed in front of the other, could, in time, take him to the very edges of the world and bring him back again, though he had yet the occasion to go back. He had dined with the great and the small. He had sung in the long hall of the King and had lifted the hearts of unknown hundreds of weary travelers, hardscrabble farm folk, gamblers, layabouts, fools, whores, fighting men, and young lovers. Feast and famine were his oft companions and he had made his peace with both. He had learned the songs of the far lands and recognized the voice within their melodies that speaks to the heart when words are impossible.
Three nights he had slept without a fire above the treeline, chilled to his core. On the sacred mountain, dusted with snow even in summer he learned that his journey must end. And so, he turned his face back, back to the south, back to the warm, light-filled valley of the river towns a world away, their markets teeming with the stock of a hundred farms. His friends would dance again to the strains of his lute and they would sing with him the songs they loved. His pace quickened. The rocky path descended sharply and ahead, far below, he saw the road and it cheered him.
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No one ever told me that Dungeon Synth could hit me in the feels! Such a concise and wonderful capture of a sound and an atmosphere that must just be taking us all back or idyllic childhood romps through fantasy RPGs. That’s it actually, it makes me feel like I’m on my first play through of Fable or Oblivion. Richard Bendall