Los Angeles-based quartet Vitskär Süden draw on elements of heavy psych and prog with their cosmic – horror, multi layered concept album The Faceless King, complete with incredible RPG module .
Released: November 4th 2022
Label: Ripple Music
Format: Vinyl w/RPG module / Digital
Vitskär Süden have successfully entered the realm of ancient folklore and a fantasy world in this multimedia musical epic. Their many layered approach to musical composition has avoided the trap of being over complex. Straightforward and compelling lyrics don’t confuse like much prog music can be guilty of as there is enough thrown into the musical melting pot to sate the purist prog follower.
Dragons, sorcery, mystic legend and secret rites are woven into this cosmic tale. The Way Parts 1 and 2 are deep, powerful and cosmic. With Archdiocese of Worms the fantasy tale and the sonic effect becomes even more sinister. Musically so far it is all encompassing with every space filled to magnificent effect.
Acoustic light touches are rare in this dark saga . When they do appear like in Voices From Beyond The Well there is some breathing space creating a warm sentimental mood in the instrumental opening . This recedes when the dark atmosphere is returns with the woeful vocals which build to a raucous ending.
Even the most casual listener would be able to conjure up mystical imagery. This is definitely a dim the lights or close your eyes, don the headphones and and enter the world of the Faceless King experience.
Not only can you do this musically but accompanying the vinyl album has an RPG module. Vitskär Süden, in their own words, “are long-time D&D enthusiasts. Once we came up with the idea to create a module based around our album’s story, we had to see the project through. It wound up taking much longer than writing, recording and mixing the album did, but it was worth it. “
I must have spent hours playing a D&D themed style board game when my lads were younger but this module which includes a 24-page illustrated adventure game with incredibly detailed instructions and album lyrics inserted too is far in advance of that!
Following the instructions to this fantasy game will fill many a dark winter’s night to complete the challenging quest but leave some time to listen to the album too!
Check out Shepherds On The Roadside from Vitskär Süden below and you can order the album from the bands Bandcamp page here.