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Forlorn Citadel - Ashen Dirge of Kingslain

Forlorn Citadel
Ashen Dirge of Kingslain
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 10 February 2020, 2:56 PM

FORLORN CITADEL is a one-man Atmospheric Black/ Dungeon Synth Metal band based out of Australia. I was not able to gather much info on the band from the Bandcamp page, or Facebook page. “Ashen Dirge of Kingslain” is the band’s debut full-length, and contains eight rather lengthy titled songs. Let’s get down to the music to find out what they are all about.

“Glimmering Hearth to Ages Unkindled” leads off the album. It opens with cold, howling winds, and something lurking in the background. Solitary synth notes come out of nowhere, building atmosphere with some other elements joining in. It’s a mood setting, short instrumental. “Forthwith thine Guildhelm Strong” is a five-minute song. You get more of a sense of what the album is all about here. Drums roll in the background, and those Black Metal vocals combine with some ominous sounds. Many of the elements are programmed; electronic if you will. “Ancient Keepers of Unending Entombment” is a bit longer, clocking in at over seven minutes in length. This song has darker tones, but with those keys still features proudly. They sound a bit like an accordion to me.

“Ashen Dirge of Kingslain” is a slower grind, featuring soft piano notes and hushed vocals. Pretty soon the main sound drops and it’s a heavy and regal sound. “Below the Grey Mist, Above the Forgotten” is another two-minute instrumental, featuring some light atmosphere and winds at first, building into a slow groove towards the end. “Blade Pride, Whom’st Grasp Unyielding” opens with some hushed tones and the steady beat of drums, before the main sound drops, and it drops hard. Keys still carry the melody here, but you feel like you are standing on the top of a mountain after slaying all of your enemies, and the sun shines down on you with approval. “Beholden to Griefborn and Veinroot” opens with dark tones. The vocals don’t appear until after the half-way mark, and the song features some more guitars prominently.

“Conquering the Gate of Kazuth-Dol” closes the album. It’s tenuous at first, then the main sound comes marching in, like an army of soldiers ready to take over your city. The vocals are sparse as that main sound is carried throughout. It takes a brief pause for an ambient passage where the melody can be heard easier, and then the main sound returns with a vengeance. Overall, the album really champions diversity. While the main keyboard sound is present in every song, the songwriting is done very well, and you feel energized as the album moves forward. I can’t help feel as I mentioned before that it’s centered around achievements and conquering. It also does a nice job of straddling the line between Modern Black Metal and Dungeon Synth. I think fans of either genre are going to find things they like here.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Glimmering Hearth to Ages Unkindled
2. Forthwith thine Guildhelm Strong
3. Ancient Keepers of Unending Entombment
4. Ashen Dirge of Kingslain
5. Below the Grey Mist, Above the Forgotten
6. Blade Pried, Whom’st Grasp Unyielding
7. Beholden to Griefborn and Veinroot
8. Conquering the Gate of Kazuth-Dol
Solace – Everything
Record Label: Northern Silence Productions


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