Old Sorcery

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Realms of Magickal Sorrow (2017), 6.5/10
Strange and Eternal (2019), 5.5/10
Sorrowcrown (2020), 5/10

Old Sorcery, the project of Finnish musician Vechi Vrajitor, indulged in "dungeon" synth ambient music on its all-instrumental album Realms of Magickal Sorrow (2017). Sorcerer's Dream (12:02) sets the tone with its stately and gothic, also baroque and cinematic, fantasia. The soaring melodic theme of A Lost Soul Amid the Listening Trees (09:12) has a macabre ending. The more pastoral melody of In a Forest Trapped floats through an enchanted suspenseful atmosphere. Alas, the longest piece, Further Beyond the Melancholic Horizon (13:44), is too languid and sickly. Like most of the dungeon synth genre, this music is dejavu for those who heard the electronic new-age music of the 1980s.

The 20-minute piece of the EP The Path Lies Hidden (2018) is another melodic fantasia that unfolds slowly, a cinematic soundtrack with a peak of pathos after about eight minutes and then a long slumber leading into the gentle carillon of minute 16.

Strange and Eternal (2019) continued in that vein. If The Crystal Funeral (11:14) fails to achieve more than a trivial melody and a trivial rhythm, A Moss Covered Grimoire (7:30) is a kaleidoscopic cinematic fantasia with folkish motifs, similar to what Mike Oldfield did in the 1970s. De facto, Tears Of A Dying Star (5:42) is a ditty of instrumental synth-pop. Tulessa Uinuva Kuningas (15:54) begins with the sound of a blizzard in the tundra, from which a magniloquent melody emerges that sounds like a symphonic requiem, but then the piece gets lost in tedious declamation.

The 21-minute piece of the EP An Inkling of Void (2020) unfolds too slowly, perhaps aiming for a Zen-like ecstasy.

Clandestine Meditation in Two Chapters (2020) collects the EPs The Path Lies Hidden and An Inkling of Void.

Vrajitor converted to Burzum-esque black metal on Sorrowcrown (2020). The 19-minute Fortress Of Molten Silver unleashes a combination of grating guitar drones, demonik shrieks and hysterical synth melodies, but after ten minutes it gets stuck in an anemic hypnosis and the solemn ending is a bit facile. The 16-minute Voidborn is swept for nine minutes by merciless gusts of guitar distortion and blastbeats and then shivers to a laconic end. The 13-minute Phantasm is instead an electronic melodic fantasia of the kind that filled his first two albums. Unfortunately the 20-minute Blades Of A Reflection is another case of little substance in a long aimless composition. Vrajitor has a gift for melody but lacks a gift for editing down his compositions.

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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