As much as I’m mixed on Balrog, I’d never heard of The Inquisitor, so I’m surprised that he took the show here. While yeah, Balrog’s side sound extremely professional on most levels, it’s a tad on the short side. And if I’m being honest, at a certain point you start sounding way too professional and all of the natural charm dungeon synth has starts to go away. A lot of that side sounds more like a triple A video game soundtrack than a dungeon synth album, which theoretically should be good but imo it eschews any kind of songwriting for pure epic aesthetic. Also holy hell the mixing on that side, and really the whole album, desperately needs some kind of compression, the bass overdrive was extremely distracting at times.
The Inquisitors side is much more along the lines of traditional dungeon synth, however I think it stays true to the tolkien based themes and epic scope enough to where it’s not a jarring transition between the two sides. Again there are some mixing issues, but overall this feels much more like what you would expect from an epic dungeon synth album. That said, I think the last two tracks (especially the last two) perhaps end the album on a bit too much of an introspective note, which really runs counter to Balrog’s insane introduction. I think the final track along would’ve been fine, but maybe have a better climax.
This is still great however, when he’s really trying, anything Balrog touches turns into something at least decent, and normally insanely large and epic in scope. Again, I think he was was upstaged here but this release definitely needs more attention in the dungeon synth community, especially considering truly epic tolkien releases are kinda dying.