Castle Zagyx
Doors to the Battlefields of Ertbe


3.8
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
March 4th, 2021 | 18 replies


Release Date: 02/11/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An epic journey that borders on soundtrack rather than dungeon synth.

Categorized under "dungeon synth", Doors to the Battlefields of Ertbe is actually more of a soundtrack in the making. You see, contrary to many dungeon synth releases that you might have heard, this is much more majestic, bombastic, and for what it's worth, more professional. Its creator seems to draw inspiration from the likes of Basil Poledouris and Howard Shore, as well as Sword and Sorcery films, such as Conan and Excalibur. Therefore, the outcome is much more expansive and creative than your usual DS, which might alienate some purists, but hopefully entice some new listeners who aren't very familiar with the genre.

Right from the start, the album draws you into a magical world with its cover art that brings to mind Summoning and the eerie opening track, that conveys a The Lord of the Rings feeling. The transition to Bascinet, Hauberk and Flamberge, meanwhile, reveals another important aspect: dynamics. You can listen to tracks slowly building up to a dramatic moment, which, in turn, makes the album highly engaging, a vital ingredient for every DS record. Overall, this is a relaxing experience, as most tracks seem to weave a web of forests, enchanted artifacts, abandoned forts, and a feeling that something is round the corner. Also, this album seems to complete Castle Zagyx's turn into a more symphonic sound; one that creates a highly evocative experience with a palpable heroic feeling. Due to its big orchestral sound with forceful percussion and brass instruments, it bears no similarity to medieval DS acts like Fief or Sequestered Keep. However, that doesn't mean that it lacks memorable moments or melodies; which brings us to one of the two drawbacks on here.

Castle Zagyx, consciously or subconsciously, has created something really close to his influences, to the point where some of the melodies feel too familiar. For example, "An Army of Skeletons and Ghasts" sounds as if it's taken right out of Conan, and there are moments that point too much towards The Lord of the Rings. In addition, a couple more energetic songs could have made the album slightly more engaging, especially considering that its theme is war. Nevertheless, those deficiencies do not reduce significantly the overall experience or the fact that this is an excellent alternative for when you want a quick fix of Middle-earth.




Recent reviews by this author
Kanonenfieber MenschenmühleEmpyrium Über den Sternen
Electric Sun EarthquakeCauldron Born Born of the Cauldron
Michael Schenker Group ImmortalAC/DC Power Up
user ratings (6)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2021


12212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Just a quick write-up for some dungeon synth that I want to bring to your attention.



Feel free to check the album and share if you like it.

garas
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2021


5926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oh, this was on my radar! And now after reading this, I'm sure I'll like it.

Digging: Impaled Nazarene - Eight Headed Serpent

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2021


12212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Sweet! Let me know if you liked it, when you jam the album. This is seriously good.

DavidPrincipe29
March 4th 2021


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Howard Shore would be proud.

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2021


13964 Comments


This looks like a Garas summoning album for sure.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2021


24224 Comments


garas core nice, this year I've been getting into this kind of staff, nice write up manosg, will check.

Digging: Zao - The Crimson Corridor

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2021


13964 Comments


Manosg hitting home runs early in the year : )

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2021


16848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this sounds like its right up my alley. i hear lotr and i'm there

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2021


12212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Appreciate it guys. Can't stop jamming this one, especially while working. Really atmospheric and epic.

Elynna
March 5th 2021


833 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cinematic dungeon synth? Count me in. That cover art is beyond gorgeous. It reminds me of a blend between the covers of Summonings Dol Guldur and Oath Bound. Also my favorite 2021 records all have green(ish) artwork, so it must be a good sign!

Digging: Kauan - Ice Fleet

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2021


12212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

It surely is, Elynna! Hope you enjoy.



Great dig as well.

garas
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2021


5926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

> "It reminds me of a blend between the covers of Summonings Dol Guldur and Oath Bound."

This! [2]



This is more like a neo-classical piece, and it is surely EPIC!

Elynna
March 7th 2021


833 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, this rules. I can see myself returning to this quite often.

garas
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2021


5926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Do you guys know Mount & Blade?

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2021


12212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Glad to see you digging this one guys.



Not familiar with Mount & Blade. Is it any good?

garas
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2021


5926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I've spent way too much time in that videogame... so I guess it is good, yes.

"Marching Through High Pass" perfectly captured the vibe of that game's soundtrack. Some sweet nostalgia, I'd say.

AaroN911
March 10th 2021


2979 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This kind of reminds me more of a Morrowind/Runescape vibe... is that offensive?

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2021


12212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Not in my book!



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy