Sunday, 9 August 2015

Soulside Eclipse "Forgotten Conquest" (2010)

It was over five years ago now that I made my first record. At the time I was working an active job that gave me lots of time to think. Times were changing and I decided to take my own music seriously. I invested money into a new computer and audio equipment for music production and set out to turn the large collection of songs I had written over the years into a series of albums. During the composition and production of the first record I stumbled into the world of Dungeon Synth, a microcosm genre of ancient, mystic songs packaged in low fidelity. My intrigue into this music quickly had me writing melodies and songs which hastily grew into a full length. I made the decision to follow other musical interests alongside my "main series" of records, with some electronic songs developing into an album too. Unfortunately it was not long after this record that youtube started to take a big portion of my time. It started as a hobby, something to break up the continual indulgence in music, eventually becoming more and more engrossing. I then hit a point where it was viable for youtubing to become a job and at that time I ended up leaving the music behind, with plans to return to it again sometime. I left behind a lot of unfinished work but managed to write two full length records, of which this one saw release.

My point of view on this record is obviously going to be a unique one since I created it. Each song holds vivid memories, stories and a uniqueness no other music can create, so for me this record is very special and its not possible to approach the same way as my other blog posts. Therefore this will be an insight into the story behind each track and the concept of the record.

"Forgotten Conquest" Is no cryptic title, each song represents a part of a tale devised by my inspiration for imagined mythology and ancient nostalgia. The record starts with "A Journey Begins", fittingly the very first Dungeon Synth inspired song I wrote. It sets the tone of impending wonder and ambition as the songs rises with a building of anticipation towards the main melody sung through triumphant horns that signal the start of a new conquest across the seas for a civilization looking to expand their territory and wealth. "Eternal Myst" was originally written for guitar and was adapted to suit the record as the song to soundtrack the beginnings of the voyage as a thick fog rolled in across the oceans between the two continents. Its my least favorite song on the record, mainly for the lack of care the instruments received in production, and perhaps the writing to which is a little monotone and lacking depth at times. The song ends with the sounds of stormy seas, thunder, the horns of despair and the cry's of men as I took my first ever attempt and creating a vivid image of events through sound. The conquest is cut short as a kraken like creature attacks the ships in the fog of night.

"Drowning Tombs" dives into a world of eerie ambiance as we follow the one survivor, a prince,  through the wreckage of ships and bodies as his consciousness drifts into darkness at the wake of horrific events. The song unravels with spooky sounds, rain and deep noises that set a tone for the decent into darkness as our prince comes to terms with whats around him before passing out, overwhelmed by the horrors of his slaughtered people. Drifting through the night our prince awakes in a mysterious underwater "Cave". This writing of this song was a turning point in the records production, the sound pallet used and the chemistry of the instruments made its way into other tracks and gave me a huge motivation to finish the record. The songs eerie and wondrous feel signifying the beauty of the caves explored as dazzling melodies sparkle in their reverb soaked glory. The song turns to a darker vibe as our prince overcomes the beauty of the cave and realizes the reality of his situation. "Snow" shifts gears drastically to a slow and hazy drone of synth that signifies the princes escape from the cave onto the freezing planes of snow of an unknown continent. This song and the next are inspired by some of the early ambient works of Burzum and attempt, and succeed in my opinion, to create thick and stiring emotions through droning minimalism and simplicity of melody, using minimal notes to form melodies that build gently into grander beings. The princes journey across the barron planes leads his consciousness into darkness as "Withering Visions" takes us through his drift from consciousness as he losses touch with reality within himself. The song dives further into minimalism and creates an empty and sparse atmosphere above the underlining beat of his heart playing often with just two melodies and tiny amounts of background noise.

It was on a day of great inspiration I wrote the next piece, my job had me working alone in the woods for a day and the nature gave me these melodies that came so easily when I returned home to write. "Heros End" has the prince coming back to consciousness in a lush and green forest having escaped the snowy planes. At the midpoint of this song it turns to a dark and despairing melody echoed over sorrowful synths as out prince discovers the dead body of his farther, the king, who also escaped the wreckage. I especially love this part of the record as the two instruments repeat over and over, the reverbs continually increasing and amplifying the emotion as every passing second deepens the reality of his fathers death. The record ends with "Ice" a lengthy, sorrowful track of repetition that has the prince walking back out onto the planes of snow, knowingly walking to his own death. On his last legs he comes to terms with all that's happened and finds a moment of peace as he accepts his fate and chooses to die with the memories of his life he cherished most. Its in this final melody the record comes to a close and the prince passes away.

The record holds up well to what I wanted to create, and it continually inspires me to create more, which is something I will get back to one day. Looking back on the record there are one or two songs that could of received more attention. Some of the pianos get a little stiff in their repetition and in a few moments a lack of depth, or layers take away from the immersion the melodies offer. On the flip side, songs like Cave, Snow, Wither Visions and Heros End really hit the mark and I am very proud of what they turned out to be. Every now and then I have to go back and listen to the record, its like a therapy and writing this blog was therapeutic. I just want to say thank you if you took the time to read this all. The album is available for download here and streaming here. If you want to let me know your thoughts you are more than welcome to comment below.