The move into dungeon synth is a clever one for Northern Electronics, a label that has long used black metal aesthetics to underline its bleak style of techno and ambient. Linell's take on the style sheds the medieval pageantry of well-known acts like Wongraven in favour of bold synth lines, melancholy melodies and icy atmospheres. Rudimentary effects—like the reverb on "Melt To One"—help make the music feel cavernous and empty, while small variations in tempo or arrangement, such as the tentative rhythms of "The Earth Rises Again" or the decorous synth strings of "End Of Reign," keep it from getting monotonous.
Consolidate is a revealing look into the aesthetics and inspirations of one of modern techno's most distinctive crews, and, for techno fans, an introduction to the strange and sometimes silly world of dungeon synth. The album doesn't reach dungeon synth's most melodramatic heights, but it's pleasingly grim and ominous, fitting right in alongside recent releases from Ulwhednar, Acronym and Isorinne. Connecting the metal world to Northern Electronics and vice versa, Consolidate expands the remit of a label that was already about all things dark and electronic, without drifting too far from what made it great in the first place.