Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra "Midnight Fullmoon" (1997)


Continuing our journey through the nostalgic realms of Dungeon Synth, I cast my mind far back as memories reach commands. Into my mind popped this strange cassette I obtained well over a decade ago. My memory of how and why I got Midnight Fullmoon are vague but I remember finding the band name somewhat hilarious. The music itself didn't captivate me since I only listened to it once, at the time I had no knowledge of DS or if that term had been coined yet. It was just a strange and peculiar piece of music from the early days of a now evolved and blossomed sound.

Its opening track wains in a balance between harsh, cheesed synths and whirling, spell bounding wave forms in the background. They relish the low fidelity setting and start to conjure the dark and indulging atmospheres one might expect. The following track nails this, a primitive composition pined by a beating heart as the sound of rain drops lowers the tone and thunder strike reinforce a lonely, gloomy setting steeped and an eerie, mystic vibe driven by its subtle synth lines. Track three is one I remember, or more so its familiarity to a well known melody which I couldn't pin down. The music is fine but the aesthetics are just to bold and punchy, it stands in contrast to what came before it.

At this point a direction, arching theme or sense of place fails to define itself. A swampy song is clustered with a selection of sounds including trumpets that seem to pull it in multiple directions, only to be followed by a dizzying six minute experiment with techno synths and buried electronica drums. It too suffers from an arsenal of contrasting sounds that fail to gel. A brief uplift from the short The Last Rays Of A Dying Sun is a brief glimmer as the following track plays around with bells and reoccurring theme of unsuited instruments chiming in with one another in an unmusical fashion of gap filling.

Its easy to point out flaws and focus on negatives. If I were to rid myself of the focus a charm does emerge, one of mysticism and distant voices of despairing figures. Its dark allure has a safe distance and a couple of passages ways do strike something of memorability, especially that ever present heartbeat. Another consideration is how primitive this was. I have no idea as to how these ideas spread beyond tape trading and its relation to the Black Metal scene. Although records like Depressive Silence had far more to offer at its time, this could be seen as a jewel if isolated in its inception. There are interesting and intentfull ideas at play here, they are just far behind the then curb.

Favorite Tracks: Raining Darkness Of The Forestland Midnight, The Last Rays Of A Dying Sun
Rating: 4/10

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