A4La Dame Du Lac
A5My Kingdom's People
A6...To An Endless Journey
A7October Fields
A8The Iron Lord
A10Rainy Days
A12A Melancholic Sunset
A14Der Goldenen Wird Dir Den Feuer Weg Bahnen
A15Auf Meinen Land
A16Bren & Arden
A17Deep In The Lonely Forests
B18The Forest Is My Refuge
B19The King Is Back (Unfinished)
B20Towards The Tall Pines
B21The Old Oak Lament
B22The Green Room

Other Versions (1)

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Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
New Submission
Demo 96 (Cassette, Repress)Cauldron MusicnoneFrance2022


  • Alyyx's avatar
    Completely unnoticed when it was released, Maelifell's 96 demo seems to have become one of the hype releases of the French proto-Dungeon Synth; not necessarily the most representative from a stylistic point of view, nor the best from an artistic point of view, but undeniably, 25 years after its release, this tape has acquired a certain reputation and had the honour (which is probably the very cause of its current fame) of being uploaded on the Dungeon Synth Archives YouTube channel.

    And yet there's objectively not much "dungeon" in this demo - I know the term itself was coined after the fact, and it's a very broad one, but Maelifell, neither on this demo nor in their later work, has ever had anything to do with fantasy, imaginary worlds, epic, initiatory or mythical tales, etc. Or let's say, not much. It seems to me that here we are rather in the concrete, the everyday life ("Rainy days") the real world ("Freiburg", a black forest town, in Germany) and the one of legends, of French and European folklore ("La Dame du Lac").

    The music itself has nothing epic or dark about it and seems to be trying to imitate folk, traditional music, in an almost "peasant" sense of the word, rather than the warlike music a la Mortiis or the medieval/pseudo-medieval music one usually hears in this scene. The sounds are quite cheap and sometimes sound like children's keyboards - I found this same feeling in the 1996 (also!) demo "Desolate Land" of the Italian project Avox.

    This musical identity can be related to another French project, Anamnèse, whose demo "Glorification de la maladresse" and CDR "Les Brumes du Passé renaîtront hors du Temps" offer musical pieces inspired by real French baroque music, but also real folk compositions, worthy of a country ball, with sounds evoking the accordion or the harmonium (sounds that Maelifell will use later on "The Summerlands"). There is also a traditional theme on this Maelifell demo, with the track "The Iron Lord" which is in fact the medieval Christmas carol "Gaudete Christus Est Natus".

    I'm not a specialist of French proto-DS, but what I'm trying to say with this digression is that it seems to me that Maelifell, with Anamnèse and maybe with others, is in a different register from the heirs of Mortiis and Burzum, which constitutes the main part of the Dungeon Synth scene - such as, for example, Forn Draugost, which officiated in a totally epic and grandiloquent style (but excellent in its genre). Perhaps this French variant of DS was influenced by the French folk scene of the 1970s, which revolutionised music in that country, with major artists such as Alan Stivell or Gabriel Yacoub.
    • DungeonSynth's avatar
      Looking for a copy, minimal and medieval dungeon synth, chasing shadows...


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