Realm and Ritual is an important dungeon synth label with a healthy output of various genres. Revolt & Regicide is their new compilation with new tracks from dungeon synth and black metal artists. The compilation is a charity release with "all proceeds from the compilation [...] donated to Givedirectly - a charity that serves people living in extreme poverty in Africa and the US by giving them unconditional cash transfers." This is not the first time Realm and Ritual has devoted proceeds to charities, nor do I think it will be the last.This release's compassionate nature, coupled with its roster of artists, makes Revolt & Regicide even more intriguing. One release highlighted in this compilation, folk duo Ulvesang's "Ceridwen" (which is streaming ahead of the compilation's release below), is a great example of both social goodwill and dungeon synth progress.

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I have always enjoyed the borders of dungeon synth as it walks in the hinterlands of folk, experimental music and ambient. Ulvesang, a Canadian duo from the majestic area of Nova Scotia, is a perfect example of music traversing this space. "Ceridwen" is the first track presumably from the group's upcoming third album. "Ceridwen" begins with a melancholic synth lead before opening into mournful guitar over droning ambience. This leads into a song that surrounds its listeners with both melodic ambience and an uncurrent of sadness. The band's social media posts featuring many nature walks has me associating their music with the thawing of snow on desolate landscapes and the idea of life waiting to bloom once again. There is a frozen melancholy to the group and, much like their social media posts, it feels like joy and celebration are in hibernation waiting for the right time to blossom.

Ulvesang's music is meditative but far from passive as it contends with emotions and situations during its quests for redemption. Together, Alex Boyd and Ana Dujaković create neofolk tracks that explore nature, healing, and our role within those two spaces. Ulvesang's music uses imagery of nature to deal with both personal and cultural illness. The duo's support for progressive social and political change is a fitting addition to this compilation as the group seems to never cease being concerned with the welfare of others.

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The Revolt and Regicide compilation releases December 17th on Realm and Ritual.

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