Review Summary: A fine example of well-executed medieval dungeon synth.
In dungeon synth, the line between "genuine" and "amateurish" is extremely thin. Nevertheless, when it clicks, the outcome can be truly special, and The Fire of Conquest
is a fine example of well-executed DS. To begin with, the cover art suggests a barbaric/epic approach which is only 50% correct, as the atmosphere here is definitely epic but the songwriting is diverse and, even, refined. Take, for example, the relaxing "When the War-Glaive Wanes", which brings to mind Sequestered Keep with its gentle medieval flavor. This medieval flavor is part of every track, however, the songwriting is diverse and engaging enough to keep the listener's attention almost undiminished throughout its 34 minutes, except for "Blood Oath". The 16-minute long album closer, with its driving rhythm, creates a sincere war-like feeling, but at the same time doesn't justify its length as it doesn't feature enough twists and turns. Other than that minor drawback, The Fire of Conquest
can be a delight for anyone who appreciates medieval DS or simply epic orchestral music. The dreamy atmosphere brings to mind ships sailing on the sea preparing for battle, an image which is augmented with the use of sea and storm sound effects on "Dark Shores of Fury". In fact, the first four tracks create an array of feelings, from imposing ("The Seething Fjord of Swords") to nostalgia. However, where this compilation excels beyond doubt, is in exuding a convincing epic atmosphere that doesn't sound at all amateurish or banal, a feat that makes it a perfect offering for escaping reality, even just for a while.