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Alban Arthan

by Malfet

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  • Limited Edition Cassette
    Cassette + Digital Album

    Pro-dubbed audio cassette in metallic gold pad-printed purple haze shells with full colour cardstock j-card. Edition of 300.

    Released by Dungeons Deep Records (dungeonsdeeprecords.bandcamp.com)

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“…To sleep, perchance to dream…”
“Where art thou, my gentle child? Let me think thy spirit feeds, With its life intense and mild, The love of living leaves and weeds Among these tombs and ruins wild;— Let me think that through low seeds Of sweet flowers and sunny grass Into their hues and scents may pass A portion— Percy Shelley. “To William Shelley.” MDCCCXXIV.
“When the sun rises I long for thee, and when the sun sets I long for thee still. Surely I would ask no boon of this life but to lie with thee once more, if but once more. Such is my ardor. In knowing thee all else beneath the sun seems foul, and so does all beauty pale to thine, so that no fair thing shall ever seem fair so long as my love for thee endures. I carry its ashes in somber procession, silent, arrayed in black, and will take for myself no other love so long as I tarry beneath the sky. I love thee, now and always.”
“I ween that I hung on the windy tree, Hung there for nights full nine; With the spear I was wounded, and offered I was To Othin, myself to myself, On the tree that none may ever know What root beneath it runs.” Anon. “Hávamál,” v. CXXXIX. Codex Regius, MCCC. Trans. Henry A. Bellows, MCMXXXVI.
“Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd, Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve; She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!” John Keats. “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” MDCCCXIX
Alban Arthan 08:39
“Thereat once more he moved about, and clomb Ev'n to the highest he could climb, and saw, Straining his eyes beneath an arch of hand, Or thought he saw, the speck that bare the King, Down that long water opening on the deep Somewhere far off, pass on and on, and go From less to less and vanish into light. And the new sun rose bringing the new year.” Alfred Lord Tennyson. “The Passing of Arthur.” The Idylls of the King, MDCCCLIX
“She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die; And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh, Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips: Ay, in the very temple of Delight Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine, Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine; His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might, And be among her cloudy trophies hung.” John Keats. “Ode On Melancholy.” MDCCCXIX
“Oh, where do you wander When the frost fades in spring? Do you seek for the land where the hearth glows everlasting?”
“When she died at last, her Lancelot came for the body, with his snow—white hair and wrinkled cheeks, to carry it to her husband’s grave. There, in the reputed grave, she was buried: a calm and regal face, nailed down and hidden in the earth. “As for Lancelot, he became a hermit in earnest…He entered a monastery near Glastonbury, and devoted his life to worship…and lived in glad austerities apart from man. He even learned to distinguish birdsongs in the woods. Arthur, Guenever, and Elaine were gone, but his ghostly love remained.” T.H. White. “The Book Of Merlyn.” The Once And Future King. Harper Collins, MCMLVIII, pp. CMXXII-CMXXIII.


PT-26: Malfet - Alban Arthan

We are honoured to share the latest missive of neo-medieval fantasy ambient conceived by the “Ill-Made Knight,” Malfet. Alban Arthan (“the Light of Arthur”) is named for a modern druidic celebration of the dawning of a new year, wherein the Oak King returns to wrestle power away from the Holly King, gradually driving out wintry darkness with dawning sunlight as the eternal wheel of seasons turns.

Malfet’s third full-length album is a rumination on dreams and death. The flickering torchlight and subterranean abysses of mourning are tempered with the relief found in dreams, where friends who have passed into the unknowable realms are reunited and pale fantasies blossom in cheer.

Down labyrinthine passages of stone that seem to dance in shadow, echoes of ancient melodies, some plaintive, others blithely redolent, emanate from the naves of dusky halls. Snatches of lost rhapsodists – the ancient blind harpist, the beautiful young shieldmaiden cut down well before her time – may be recognized among the many new and unfamiliar strains. Bittersweet threnodies plucked by dulcimer and harp follow gentle flute arias and folkish themes by tabor and pipe. It is an ambitious undertaking, these dungeon synth lieder ohne worte, to memorialize fallen brethren and sisters without losing what small snatches of light still glow in this crepuscular chapel. The fair and sunny fields of Avalon and that Snaking Path through shadowy forests lie behind us – a deeper, more arduous journey lies ahead, perhaps all the more rewarding to traverse.

“Alban Arthan” will be released in a joint effort between three stalwart allies. This October, a cassette edition limited to 300 copies will be released by Dungeons Deep Records. Simultaneously, on CD, Pacific Threnodies takes the helm. Finally, before the year’s end, a deluxe vinyl edition has been left to the machinations of Expansion Abyss Records.

Recommended for listeners of Mortiis, Old Tower, Nest (FIN), Acheulean Forests, Fórndom, Sephiroth, Elder Scrolls series soundtracks, etc.

"Few acts hold as much focus, creativity and thoroughness therein as Malfet, not to mention that certain something that touches the very core of a person—the way a melody resolves, or simply the tone of a sustained chord. Malfet possesses these characteristics, what’s more they wield these spells with a masterful restraint, as if their true powers would blind us." - DECIBEL MAGAZINE

“Rather than relegated to a cottage of cozy fire, Malfet’s music rolls over hills in both sunshine and rain questing towards adventures far away from here...” - TAPE WYRM

“Malfet opts for a clear medieval and melancholic undertone. The music takes the listener to the battlements and dark corridors under the castle more often than through the rugged Scottish countryside...” - ZWARE METALEN

"Painting pictures of forests and feasts in dim lit halls, it’s an album that carries within it a constant sense of joy, but combated with such darkness that it never truly becomes uplifting..." - TOILET OV HELL

"The escapism and relief to be found in art and music has been regularly extolled - particularly now, with good reason - and Alban Arthan may just be the most joyous escape that 2020 has to offer." - SPUTNIK MUSIC

"In my opinion this is another great sounding recording from Malfet and if you are a fan of dungeon synth and medieval fantasy ambient, you should check out this album." - DARK UNDERGROUND MUSIC ZINE

"This album will be a classic one day...A strong candidate for the album of the year." - DUNGEON SYNTH ZINE

“Malfet's music is deeply immersive and really takes you on a journey in ways that many projects of this nature only dream of… This is a masterfully crafted album and deserves your attention and any praise that it may receive.” – CAVE DWELLER MUSIC


released October 2, 2020

Art and music by Malfet

Tracks 3, 4, and 8 adapted from Morrowdim, "Wandering Songs," MMXIX

Track 4 also adapted from Murk Rider, "Exile of Shadows," MMXIX.

Layout by Andrew Ross Fritts & Malfet
LP & CS editions mastered by Mammoth Sound

12" LP edition by Expansion Abyss

Cassette edition by Dungeons Deep Records (dungeonsdeeprecords.bandcamp.com)

CD / Digital edition by Pacific Threnodies (pacificthrenodies.bandcamp.com)

Dedicated to Maria Rice & Nick Darway.


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Dark Paeans from the Central Coast of California

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