Retro synthwave post-rock inspired by 16-bit video games.
The duo of Glen Walker and Travis Thomas, better known as Continuum Kingdom, return. Their latest album, Fantastic Revenge, is more of that ominous adventuring feel that I loved so much on their debut album Adventure Forever. Unlike their debut album, which I described as something akin to sailing over an 8-bit ocean, Fantastic Revenge takes a more entombing tone.
Fantastic Revenge lands somewhere between the haunting musical spectrums of the more dissonant sounds of classic Castlevania and the Mother/Earthbound series. The foreboding mood rarely leaves the album, creating an ambient yet imposing mood, as if being walled in from all sides. This gives the majority of the album an adventurous, dungeon-crawling vibe.
Tracks like "Golden River" and "Pyramid Subterannea" really drive the cave raiding mood home. The former sounds like the emotions one would have when finding an underground oasis / save point deep inside the earth. My personal favorite track is the deep and ominous theme "Dark Rider." This track just seems to step a bit heavier than the rest of the album, which really captures the energetic drums and synths as they rise and fall. If CK performs live, this is the song I need to see happen.
The album closes with the lengthy "Never Ending," a track that kicks off like a distant doomsday warning before fading out in a wave of fuzz that reveals the instrumentals full form. A spacey, soaring track that is thematically very different from much of the claustrophobia inducing album. Does this song signal a death, or even a rebirth for the unnamed adventurer this album is about? Maybe this song just sounded best at the end of the album, because it most certainly does. A final blare of synth sirens announce the close of this track, and the album.
Make sure you have some quality headphones (honestly, a requisite if you subscribe to this blog), or crank that surround sound up, because Fantastic Revenge holds some surprising nuance within the glitches and fuzz that permeate the edges of the album. If you enjoy classic RPG soundtracks, synthwave, and/or chill ambient electronic rock, then grab Fantastic Revenge free (or name-your-price) from the Continuum Kingdom bandcamp page.