Eikona – Mysterium Tremendum Et Fascinans (2019)

Some say the spirit of black metal experienced an afterlife in dungeon synth, the fusion of Conan soundtracks and traditional folk music that took life in projects like Lord Wind, later Burzum, Ice Ages, and even tangential more ambient soundscape projects from Ildjarn, Beherit, and Neptune Towers.

Eikona comes into this field with musically-erudite, compact songs that use layering within the context of shifting themes, built around relatively traditional variations on the verse-chorus structure. However, the instrumentation — entirely digital — takes the place of vocals, and percussion is minimized.

Only a few albums can really suspend disbelief and leave the listener happily ensconced in a world entirely opposite to this one. Instead of the more medieval aesthetics of most dungeon synth, this band simply makes music that upholds the ancient spirit in a playful, gentle, and emotionally varied way.

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