Interview: Grimdor Tape Release (Raw Black/Dungeon Synth)

I’m very happy to interview Grimdor, Stone of the Hapless is one of my top picks from the year so far and it’s coming out on cassette. I only recently started my collection so it’s exciting to get further glimpses into the cassette world and dungeon synth in general. If you are a fan of the genre I’d consider a subscription through Akaschic where you get tapes sent out every month before they sell out (they all sell out). I’m going to be a proud owner of this limited run:

Grimdor tape
Stone Of The Hapless Cassette. 12th July Akaschic Envoy Records


Grimdor are a duo, who are you guys and where are you from? 

We are Grimdor, I am Grimdor and my bandmate is Narzug and we play a LoFi Tolkien inspired Black Metal / Dungeon Synth music, formed from USA and Germany 

Being a duo, is the creative process much more time consuming?

Yes it is, Even tho we both can work pretty quick creating our craft we do it in different schedules so the process can take quite a while for that reason. I will send him the finished products of the songs once I’m happy with them, he will then lay his vocals and send them back to me for mixing and mastering, but it doesn’t happen right away due to different schedules and availability, so the time between that can take a while.

Dungeon Synth is an intriguing genre to me and your tape Stone Of The Hapless was my entry point. Care to give some insight into the genre?

Dungeon Synth is pretty much Dark Ambient music or “Dark Dungeon Music” as Mortiis called it, We as a band take big influence of it into our music, but we are very new to Dungeon Synth ourselves, We have only known about it by its name for about 2 years or so. For the Dungeon Synth influence we loved Mortiis, the Burzum “prison albums”, Summoning, Nazgûl we had listened to this stuff before but we had no idea there was a movement for it called Dungeon Synth, we found out about it once someone tagged our first album with it then we dove right into it.

I am familiar with Mortiis and Burzum, the other two look like great listens though. Are cassette releases a big part of the genre? I’ve noticed that most of the tapes I find are from niche genres like grindcore or raw black metal. 

Well in the Dungeon Synth community tapes are about 90% of releases I would say, It’s still a very small movement with a couple of thousand people deeply involved in it, cassette being the easiest and cheapest physical format to spread your music majority of the releases are DIY, so everyone supports each other there. 

You’ve got two tape releases happening, both to very limited releases. Is the limited nature of it a big part of the appeal? Would you produce wider if able? 

Yes we have our new album coming out on Akashic Envoy Records and a reissue of the first album coming out on Lost Armor Records so look out for those. Being deeply involved in the Dungeon Synth community, our releases are being put out by it’s labels who at the moment are still pretty new so the limit of the production can be very small in numbers. I guess that is what can make a release very special and appealing to some people, we would of course like to have a big physical release since people seem to love and demand our music, but things in the community work this way for now and we are very happy with it. 

Grimdor first tape relrelease
The Lonely Mountain Tape. Lost Armor Records  July 5th release


What got you into tapes? It’s a pretty difficult and obscure hobby to have. Did it inspire the direction of the rawer sound for Grimdor?

I’ve been into tapes since I was a kid I always found it to be a very interesting format. It was the way they feel, look and play that got me to like them, I collected them but not serious enough until like 12 years ago when I found myself loving them more and more after I purchased a good tape deck. Then I got more serious and learned about calibrating and eq’ing frequencies to record and get the best possible sound out of a cassette, its very facsinating once you start learning how things work. You can say part of the production did come from cassette influence I always loved the Lofi sound and wanted to apply it to our music that and some of the Black Metal albums we love like Nattens Madrigal, Transilvanian Hunger, Deathcrush were all very Lofi. 

The artwork for Stone Of the Hapless is a very nice piece by Heraldo Mussolini, how did you come to find his work? Is this a scene played out in the music or lyrics in some way?

We had a few ideas of what artwork we wanted for our album that could have fit more with the story of it but one day browsing I came across Heraldo’s piece and right away I knew we had to use it, we contacted Heraldo and he gave us to O.K, but this particular scene of Túrin Turambar is not played out in the music, the concept of the album takes part in the last chapters of the Children of Húrin, we went with it for more of a visual aspect for the album and everyone seems to deeply love it so I think we made a right choice by going with it. 

(You absolutely did make the right choice. Artwork by Heraldo Mussolini) Album art is how many of us find music now and that piece accompanies the physical releases nicely.

Thanks for the interview Grimdor, anything you’d like to add?

We would like to thank you for the interview and everyone who has been very supportive of our music, we would like to give a big shoutout to our friends Clayton, Daniel, and Jordan Dawson, also go check out music by Lord Eimsamkeit, Tyrannus, The IXth Key, Erythrite Throne, and Coniferous Myst.
Keep an eye out for these Grimdor releases, might get one if you’re quick enough. You won’t be quicker than me.

CarcassBomb (Noob Heavy)


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