Old Sorcery - Official Website

Realms Of Magickal Sorrow

Finland Country of Origin: Finland

1. Sorcerer's Dream
2. Vaikerruksen Portti
3. A Lost Soul Amid The Listening Trees
4. In A Forest Trapped
5. Further Beyond The Melancholic Horizon

Review by Carl on March 23, 2021.

My fascination with the dungeon synth genre started in the 90's, with a medieval styled interlude on the first Ancient Rites album "The Diabolic Serenades". With me being fascinated by medieval times (the time period, we don't have the restaurant chain here in Europe), it spoke to me, and after discovering the early works of Mortiis, I was sold. Unfortunately, these days the style is being swamped in mediocrity, with sparse leading lights such as Thangorodrim, Fief and Diplodocus, among a few others. And it's between these others that we find Old Sorcery.

The biggest problem I have with a lot of these contemporary dungeon synth artists is that they sound rushed, as if they don't take the time to expand on their music, resulting in short tracks that are over before they even get started. Well, none of that with Old Sorcery here. The shortest piece on this album is a bit under 5 minutes, with the longest clocking in at 13:44. Now that's the way to create some ambience! Old Sorcery takes the time to let the music unfold itself into a sprawling soundscape, where emotion and imagination can run free. Within these lengthy works, there are elements woven throughout to give each track an identity to distinguish it from the others. There's the slowly unfolding opener 'Sorcerer's Dream', wherein the spirit of 70's krautrock and the early works of Klaus Schulze dwells, followed by 'Vaikerruksen Portti', in which a choral keyboard drone gets interwoven with a church organ, with a light Vangelis vibe added. 'A Lost Soul Amid the Listening Trees' gives you an idea what a collaboration between Burzum's Count Grishnack and Mike Oldfield could sound like, 'In a Forest Trapped' sets a moodier atmosphere, and in the album closer we have a dark and droning soundscape with sparse orchestration leading the listener out of the dream-like world of Realms of Magickal Sorrow. The influence of dark ambient is profound throughout, and each track is being unfurled at the appropriate tempo, taking exactly the time needed to set the right mood for each track.

This is of course "mood music", there isn't a guitar riff or, apart from some sparse spoken words, vocal line to be found anywhere on this album. Its main goal is to set an ambience, and that it does in great fashion. The music nowhere sounds rushed or uninspired, the soundscapes are well built up, and there's a wide array of emotion that runs through the music.

Even if this isn't as great as what Mortiis or Lord Wind did back in the 90's, Old Sorcery does deliver the goods in a more than agreeable manner. It's soothing, atmospheric and dark, and I can recommend this to fans of the more atmospheric black metal bands, but those into dark ambient and even 70's krautrock as well. A worthy release indeed.

Rating: 9 out of 10