Fortress of Mystery
La Rose de Fer


4.0
excellent

Review

by Scuro CONTRIBUTOR (79 Reviews)
February 22nd, 2017 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The hint of something sinister.

La Rose de Fer is a somewhat perplexing experience to describe. At once enticing and eerily repulsive, this 40 minute saunter through suggestively haunted passages and abandoned chambers gently tugs at the listeners nerves, leaving you convinced that around each corner and deep within every shadow lurks something unknown. Though seemingly bare-bones compositionally, the odd melodic choices throughout the album leave the final product sounding decidedly unnerving.

From the moment opening track ‘Fascination’ begins, a palpable and uncomfortable atmosphere builds - strange eyes watch from afar, movement flickers just out of sight, and tentative synth lines pose unanswered questions. It’s not enough to simply address the sonic effects that the lonesome melodies and exposed rhythmic pulsing induce; special attention must be paid to the intended feelings that accompany them, and equally to the mental images this conjures up. Of course, abstract concepts such as these depend heavily on subjectivity and personal experience, however, with the cover art and aural soundscape guiding the journey certain aspects are inescapable. Combining skeletal dark ambient compositions with dungeon synth sensibilities, Fortress of Mystery paint an uncanny picture with this sophomore effort, full of gothic aesthetics and drawn out anxiety.

Interestingly, the variety of sounds displayed here manage to keep the experience not only interesting, but continually challenging, despite the somewhat “empty’ style of the recording. Sharing it’s name with an eponymous French film set in a crypt at night, Fortress of Mystery’s own La Rose de Fer does an excellent job of eliciting comparable feelings of fear and uncertainty. Constantly treading a line that never quite culminates in outright danger, this album teases the mind all the way up to ‘Levres de Sang’s’ conclusion. This final track delivers no concrete resolution to the tension, but the uplifting “wind chime”-esque melodies offer a false sense of security that seems quite suspicious amidst the daunting dark ambient surrounding it, with merely the hint of something sinister.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2017


10804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

link to the album which is name your price - https://fortressofmystery.bandcamp.com

the film of the same name I mention - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Iron_Rose



Feedback is welcome and appreciated (: probably my favorite album of the year thus far.



Edit: didn't mention it in the review but personally the album really reminds me of the silent film Nosferatu. Recommend that everyone watch it, maybe even with this playing.

Digging: Rabor - ?????????

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2017


10497 Comments


Good review Scuro, you actually convinced me to give this a go. pos.

Digging: Ruler - Rise to Power

Storm In A Teacup
February 22nd 2017


22091 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this sounds like it could be the album I've been wanting someone, anyone to make.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2017


10804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hope so Storm (:



Cheers Manosg, hope you enjoy it

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2017


5409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didn't expect to see a review for this one come up - and a decent one at that :] I only heard Fascination and I thought it was... weird. Really, really eerie, but I don't think I was in the mood for it at the time. I'll try again later today though, cos that was a while back.

Storm In A Teacup
February 22nd 2017


22091 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listening at 430 in the morning lol

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2017


10804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No better time to jam it (:



Thanks Arche, it is a pretty weird album

DungeonBoy
February 22nd 2017


3069 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, pos! Listening now

Digging: Kauan - Kaiho

DungeonBoy
February 22nd 2017


3069 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've never heard anything quite like this before. It's very soundtracky, and pretty repetitive but I found it to be interesting enough to keep my attention. Tons of gothic sounding melodies that all have a very unresolved feeling to them which is effective in creating a curious atmosphere. My only gripe is it's a little too synthetic in some areas. I wish they used a real choir vocals, real harps, real trumpets etc. I don't mind blankets of ambient synth, but when it comes to certain instruments, especially choirs, it sounds so artificial when they are the central instrument.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2017


10497 Comments


Agreed Dungeon. The album definitely has a soundtrack quality but I can't say that it keeps my attention all that much. I enjoy the eerie atmosphere but at the same time the music kinda feels like it doesn't have a specific direction. However, this is just from one listen so it might change and I won't rate the album for the moment.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2017


10804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Dungeon thanks man I can understand that complaint, personally I enjoy the artificial feel to it (it's a big draw for me actually), but yeah could easily see why someone would prefer something more authentic sounding. Glad you gave it a shot and liked it to some degree (:



@manosg it wanders quite a bit yeah and the almost constant tension leaves it feeling pretty unresolved too, hope it grows on you on a second run though (:

BlushfulHippocrene
February 22nd 2017


1911 Comments


Fantastic review, will have to remember to check.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2017


10804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers (: happy listening

hansoloshotfirst
February 23rd 2017


529 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sweet review. bookmarked the album like a month ago, but have since then failed to give it a proper listen. though the bits I've heard so far are interesting.

Digging: Thangorodrim - Gil-Estel

Storm In A Teacup
February 24th 2017


22091 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hopefully more people check this out

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2017


5409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the way I perceive this is kinda shaped by a comment left on Bandcamp, but I really do hear a kind of insanity when I listen to this. It's interesting.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2017


10804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's interesting that that influenced you, the guys description was really accurate and creative for sure. Nice rating btw.

hansoloshotfirst
February 24th 2017


529 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

was probably a comment by Kaptain Carbon.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2017


10804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, his is the only comment (;

hansoloshotfirst
February 24th 2017


529 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

didn't know this, I just guessed that. because this guy has basically bought everything on bandcamp with the tag dungeon synth. ( and I've discovered quite a bit of music through comments from him or his column about dungeon synth)



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