Gnoll – Flight from the Dark (2021)

I was surprised and delighted when I saw that Gnoll had recorded a soundtrack for Flight from the Dark (2021). I was even more surprised to hear how far along Gnoll’s sound has developed — I like dungeonsynth generally, but listening to it for an extended period feels punishing in a way similar to a steady diet of black metal. Even jauntier seeming stuff can feel incongruously oppressive. Which I’m not against! I dunno what precisely is different about this Gnoll album, but it is more listenable than the others I’ve checked out. There’s more space in the mix, more ambiance? The synths feels more intentional, like an 80s film score. And it fits the action of the book pretty good, even if it isn’t quite what I’d imagined.

All the art is from the book, repurposed in Heimat der Katastrophe style. I love seeing it re-contextualized for an audio cassette. You can check it out on the HDK bandcamp, give it a listen! Hard pressed to pick a fave (“Threats Lurk Everywhere,” maybe?), but the title track is pretty representative. The groove almost moves into synthwave territory.

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