As the last weekend of March rolled around and people got ready to make piss-poor April Fool’s jokes, the Northeast Dungeon Siege MMXIX music and gaming fest happened at The Raven; a club located in one of the sketchiest parts of Worcester, MA. Centering around the headliner and arguably the artist most commonly associated with the term “Dungeon Synth,” Mortiis, the fest combined three nights of synth artists from around the globe, multiple merchants selling everything from board games to jewelry and fake dreadlocks, and two days of gaming. For those interested in synth music, metal, the occult, gaming, elves, goblins, hobbits, King Richards Faire, cosplay and excessive use of fog machines in small spaces, this is likely where they spent their weekend.
This little fest was pretty well attended, especially on Saturday night, the night Mortis played, but it was more than a little bit weird having this all happen in such a tiny little forgotten venue. For Mortis, the small stage was converted into a forest with leafless tress propped up and up-lit framing his keyboard stand from which he never came out behind. Adorned in the familiar goblin-like facial appliance, he stood dialing knobs, pushing buttons or fiddling with whatever gadgets were actually behind that welded metal stand and other than an occasional empty stare towards the crowd through his mask there wasn’t much else to see. Even so the audience stood firm to hear the entire set.
It was a strange fest, not a bad idea, just odd. If there had been a bit more mixing of different bands and maybe some more that had some energy, even metal bands, then I think it would have kept my interest longer and maybe could move from out of the figurative basement and into a bigger venue.
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY HILLARIE JASON