Greece: Maybe not the first place in which one might consider a dungeon synth artist to reside. Nevertheless, Anglachel is indeed a Tolkein-inspired dungeon synth artist from Greece and one that uniquely incorporates elements of dark ambient and neo-classical. The latest release is Of Tuor, Idril and Their Departure from Gondolin; available as a limited edition CD and digital download. We’d like to thank Anglachel for their time.
Could you give us a bit of background information on the Anglachel name, its inspiration or why you chose it?
Anglachel is a project of mine creating epic orchestral music, best described under the genre Dungeon Synth. The major conceptual inspiration comes from the fantasy world of Tolkie, so does the name of the project. Specifically, Anglachel was the name of a sword forged by Elves (Eol) and after a long story ended up in Turin’s hands, with Turin being the main character of one of the darkest and most tragic stories in Tolkien’s work. So the idea and story behind this sword was what intrigued me to use this name.
You have an interesting fusion of dungeon synth, dark ambient and even neo-classical elements. What classical artists, if any have you found yourself inspired by?
It’s nice to hear that you can find all these elements in my music. As a matter of fact I always try to combine elements of different musical styles than stick to specific frames. I wouldn’t say that I’ve been inspired by classical artists but I have found inspiration in the quickly growing Dungeon Synth musical community.
The new release is “Of Tuor, Idril and Their Departure from Gondolin.” Talk for a bit about the Tolkein inspiration behind the title specifically.
Tuor is a main character in the First Age of Tolkien’s legendarium. While I was composing the first release of Anglachel (Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin; 2017) I was reading Tolkien’s “Unfinished Tales”, the first chapter of which is about the story of Tuor and his arrival to Gondolin. Since this was the inspiration behind the musical compositions I thought that it would be nice to name the EP after the title of that chapter. The second album, “Of Tuor, Idril and Their Departure from Gondolin” is essentially the sequel of the story where Tuor and his wife Idril are fighting against the evil forces of Morgoth, until their city, Gondolin, falls and they flea to safety.
How much of this work, if any was improvisational?
None and all. What I mean is that I usually start writing a song by improvising basic tunes and melodies which eventually set the background of a track. After that, however, I try to create new melodies, countermelodies etc. based on the improvisational initial work.
I’m curious to know more about the technical side of your creations. What do you utilize in terms of studio equipment.
For this project I work digitally. MIDI controllers and programming, VST instruments, and libraries. The only actual recording is the spoken words on the song “Shadows Awake”.
What plans do you have for 2019 and 2020?
I am looking forward to start composing new material, yet at the moment I am working on compositions for some other projects. I do hope that in 2019 a new Anglachel release will take place.
Did you use field recordings with this album or did you use simply utilize sound samples?
No field recording were performed in this album, only sound samples etc. However, I’d really love to experiment in the future with recording, ambient sounds and so.
Situation: You’ve been commissioned to compose a dungeon synth version of the “Four Seasons.” You can incorporate field recordings if you need to relocate. But what to you do to create this in the dungeon synth style?
Firstly, in my opinion in order to have a good dungeon synth version you need to make dark atmospheres and soundscapes. It could also be good to set the tempo a little slower in order to add to the darkness of the atmosphere. To tell you the truth, I have thought of doing similar “covers” (not in classical masterpieces like the “Four Seasons”, but more traditional ones) and perhaps I will try to do it sometime!
You also have ties to the black metal scene? Can you talk about any black metal side projects you are with? What do you think it is about dungeon synth that is so appealing to be associated with black metal?
As a matter of fact I do. Black metal is what brought me to dungeon synth, I’ve always been fan of “dungeon synth-like” intros, interludes etc, in black metal albums. This can be one reason why dungeon synth is so appealing to black metal fans. Another reason may be that both DS and BM are based on dark as well as epic atmospheres. Finally, it is very important the both DS and BM communities are very active and really care about music, especially music that is produced by members of the community, sharing ideas, opinions and thoughts. For me this interaction is very important.
As a guitarist I’m involved in two black metal projects. Elegos is the one, where we play epic black metal and Faunus is the other, playing atmospheric black / doom metal. At the moment I’m composing material for the next Elegos release, while Faunus latest album was released a couple of months ago.
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