The first new release to follow up 2017's critically acclaimed Rise of the Spectre, Stellary Wisdom is the latest work by dungeon synth titan Old Tower, and is an example of the power the genre can conjure. Stellary Wisdom is a glimpse into a realm of brooding, dark fantasy, where magic has fled and great myths have already taken its place, leaving behind only ruins and whispers of greatness. Though only two tracks, Stellary Wisdom is an expansive journey, with each of its songs containing various segments, much like chapters in a book.
"Deep Within My Sombre Castle Halls" hints at tragedy, weighed down by a sadness that comes through in the slow, elegant keys that linger eerily. Gradually, Old Tower layers on the sounds of choral voices and grandiose percussion to great effect, building up a tangible atmosphere. Much like a king's funeral, title track "Stellary Wisdom" reflects a dark ages brand of splendour, coupled with profound sorrow, while still hinting at great mystery in the shadows.
The dungeon synth style no doubt goes hand-in-hand with the sensibilities of a lot of extreme metal in its exploration of the macabre and the negative, but rather than feed on raw aggression, this aims at contemplation and immersion. Old Tower once more has proven his command of the style with Stellary Wisdom, which is sure to please fans as well as welcome newcomers to the moss-caked corridors of the dungeon synth underground. (Profound Lore)