Secret Stairways – Enchantment of the Ring

‘Around Knock Greine and Knock-na-Rae,
Ben Bulbin and Keis-Corainn,
To Ben Echlann and Loch Da ean,
From thence north-east to Slieve Guilin,
They travelled the lofty hills of Mourne,
Round high Slieve Donard and Ballachanery,
Down to Dundrim, Dundrum and Dunardalay,
Right forward to Knock-na-Feadala’

As of late I have been on a dungeon synth bender, it started when I began reading a fantasy book called Silverdolken(don’t know the english title, and I’m too lazy to google it), and it got worse once I found the Dungeon Synth Archive on YouTube. Oh boy, I had no idea there were sooo many DS album! Before I knew about a handful artists/albums, but now I’ve found stuff enough to keep me submerged in dank atmosphere for the rest of the year! And I think my DM is going to be very pleased with me bringing all this great stuff to the next campaign!

I wasn’t really sure with what album/artist to start with, since there are so many to choose from, so I decided today to just start with the one I happened to start listening to while at work. And the lucky one was Secret Stairways!

Secret Stairways is a dungeon synth project by one Matthew Davis, 1973 – 2011, who was active in the doom metal band, Faces of Bayon, the black metal band Labyrintheory, and the goth-rock band Twelfth of NeverSecret Stairways was his only solo band and he self-released two albums with it, Enchantments of the Ring (1997), and Turning Point (1999).

Enchantments of the Ring, despite it’s name, is not about the worlds of Middle Earth, but about our very own Earth, more specifically the emerald isle Éire. One of the big things with DS is its themes of either high fantasy, folklore and mythologies, and the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. Almost all DS bands can be put into one of these themes, with more sub-categorization within them.

Enchantments is a very calm and soothing album, soft piano melodies with sweeping ambiances and the occasional drum track in the distant. As open and windy as the lush green meadows of Ireland it self! A beautiful cassette for a night in the reading chair, or for when the party is having a slow moment of solemn reflection.

Discogs/Encyclopaedia Metallum/YouTube

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Filed under Ambient, Dark Ambient, Dungeon Synth, Folklore, Lo-FI, Minimalistic, Secret Stairways

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