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Synth Single Review: "Dungeons" by Color Theory

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Color Theory’s Dungeons pays homage to his adventures in gaming as a teenager. Separated, broad synth blocks move with a steadily ticking drum and a vocal-sounding synth. Brian Hazard’s lyrical voice carries the wistful vocal melody as the solid percussion dances into a gliding, smoothly pulsing beat. A kalimba’s unique, deeply metallic sound and reverent vocal synth chant is joined by tabla percussion over the snapping beat. A synth like a reed pipe ornaments the music.

Deep blocks of separated synth move again while the kalimba adds its sound again. Brian Hazard’s smooth voice calls out the chorus as it glides along. The vocal melody starts to glow as warm washes of rising synth buoy the fragile, softly touching piano that doubles the soft vocals. String sounds interweave in an enfolding sonic upwelling while the tabla adds its distinctive sound. The shaping beat keeps moving as the fluting synth adds an ancient and mystical sound as the track fades.

The narrator talks about how “absorbing damage is the name of the game” when it comes to dungeon running. The damage may come from “monsters or the heat from a ball of flame.” He adds that it’s a “roll of the dice” so you have to give respect to the numbers. He proudly boasts that he’s only died once (or maybe twice) in 1,000 hours.

In the chorus he talks about how he’s always “lived in dungeons like a kid.” Now the narrator talks about raiding in a game. He says, “I’m well respected as a lord of the blade” adding that he’s got “a dozen guild mates” up for late-night raiding. Although he doesn’t know their names or faces “we fight like brothers in war with the dark elf race.”

Again he talks about living in dungeons, interspersed with him saying that he rolled “a 10 in wisdom, 15 in constitution.” He adds that he inhabits “caves and holes, pits and falls” The narrator elaborates that his character is “totally immune to poison but weak to holy magic.”

In conclusion, he says, “Now you know why I’m glued to my chair and what you call real life just doesn’t compare” but he bears no grudges because he lives in dungeons.

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© 2021 Karl Magi

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