The cult Greek dungeon synth act LAMENTATION is one of the best examples of the dark side of 90’s synth, which focused on vampyric and gothic themes that were not as heavily explored as the fantasy and medieval realms of their contemporaries. Surprisingly, these themes continue to be less common in the modern dungeon synth ‘scene’. Ekthelion is a Greek project that has captured the sound of Lamentation better than any other project I’ve encountered thus far. In this interview I speak with Ekthelion about the project and latest release, MoonRealms.
- Greetings Lord Thornophox, thanks answering this interview with Barbarian Skull. Please tell us about the history of your project Ekthelion.
Greetings my fellow friend and to the mighty readers of Barbarian Skull ! Ekthelion were created by me and Prince Losdir around mid 2014 but no material was released till 2016 . We took the name inspired by a character from Tolkien’s World but we never intented to do music with its concept
- Your latest album MoonRealms is inspired by gothic/nocturnal legends as well as the musical concept created by Lamentation in the 90’s. What inspires you most about Lamentation’s unique style of dark dungeon music? Why did you choose to continue their musical tradition?
When i discovered Lamentation it was a complete new experience for me in the world of synths . I loved the dark and macabre atmosphere in it . It wasn’t common back then to make music like this i suppose so it was something different from other dark ambient projects . Nowdays the same thing happens , not many projects seems to follow that path , so our love for this kind of music and to do something different in today’s scene made us follow this path in our music .
- From what I understand, you used the same electronic organ that Lamentation used on their demos to record MoonRealms. Can you please shed more light on this? How were you able to track down the exact instrument used?
I knew that it was somekind of theatre organ and i did lots of research in both real synthesizers and VST’s to find what fits my needs for Moonrealms . I remember i did find an ad online someone selling an organ , a used Yamaha Electone HC-2 for a ridiculous price so i immedietly purchased it , which happened to be i think a model very near to what LAMENTATION used which it was i think a HC-4 . The organ just came to me when i needed it , haha .
- Which song is your favorite from MoonRealms, and why?
If had to choose based on emotions i would say “White Lady’s Lament” which i wrote all by myself under a lot of grief for a beloved person of mine that recently passed away . Many people compared it with “Whispers From Carmilla’s Tomb” which is insane cause nothing will touch that masterpiece easily , but it honors me anyways . If i had to choose based on what fits the concept and its more atmospherical i would say “Midnight Passion” or “The Shining Darkness of Void”
- MoonRealms will soon be release by the new label Ancient Recollection based in the USA. How did this deal come about? Do you plan to continue working with Ancient Recollections in the future?
“D” contacted me first to check out my project and he said he liked it . By then i had already sent some emails to some labels and i was on hold . We discussed it a bit and after a while we agreed on working together on it . “D” the owner of the label is friendly guy and do what he does with passion and of course and most importantly he has a good taste of what Dungeon Synth means .Even though the final product isn’t done yet i have high trust on this guy that he has done a good work . I’m definitely gonna consider it again to work with him
- Greece has a history with dark dungeon music which goes back to the 90’s, what other Greek artists inspire you?
I’m glad that Greece had (has) a major role in the scene . One is of course Lamentation and an another i would say is Erevos . I think hes underrated but his “Shadows of Storming Nyx” is a masterpiece and he has something that many Dungeon Synth projects avoid …. Vocals! We don’t see many ds projects with black metal vocals or even simply clean vocals and that upsets me . It’s sure one element that we consider a lot to add in the future and i hope other artists will , too ! A honorable mention will be Barak Tor of course , he creates panic in the scene with his releases , very talented guy and a great friend of mine. It’s kinda sad thought that i can’t think any other “modern” GREEK DS project except me and him .
- Several new projects such as Crypt of Carmilla and Catacombs Enshadowed have listed Lamentation as a primary influence, although MoonRealms remains the most successful Lamentation styled music that I’ve heard so far. Will you continue with this sound in the future? What else lies ahead for Ekthelion?
I didn’t have time to listen to Catacombs Enshadowed yet but as for Crypt Of Carmilla , really good atmosphere and obviously inspired by Lamentation’s 3rd album . I’m glad that he follows this path with his music . Your words honor me , maybe it’s in the greek blood , i dont know , haha . Yes we will continue with those kind of aesthetics , we are thinking adding vocals aswell in the next release . I’m also thinking to add 2 cover tracks from “Age Of The Faceless Demon”, the previous album, because i always wanted those 2 specific tracks (which i wont reveal right now) to have the “Moonrealms” sound .
I think we are through a period of crisis right now . Personally i don’t like the 80% of the stuff that bandcamp has under the tag nowdays . Maybe it’s just me but i have people/artists that i agree with me . Maybe people are confused about what DS means anymore . It seems that multiple mentalities in such a small scene seems to tear it apart . People embrace mediocre stuff and i don’t like that . People are proud of composing albums in 3 days etc . They dont give the time needed to make a proper release and that saddens me . Maybe i should do what my mate and friend Prince Losdir does , keep away from social media and groups and if something its good you will hear about it 😉
- Thanks again for this interview, any last words are yours!
Thanks for inviting me to your magazine ! Keep The Ancient Flame Alive! Hails!