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CD: Sorcery (2012)
Review Rating:   Very Good  
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May 22, 2012

Tracks / Album Length:

28 tracks / (60:05)



Mark Mancina


Special Notes:

16-page colour booklet with liner notes / Limited to 3000 copies.

Comments :    

Most of the cues in Sorcery tend to average less than 2 minutes, but Mark Mancina’s score for the PS3 game is surprisingly low-key and atmospheric, bearing just a handful of aggressive action cues – a marked difference from his more familiar action scores and penchant for bombast (Speed [M], Speed 2: Cruise Control [M], and Money Train [M]).

The title theme is simple yet evocative of Medieval stories where legends and mystery instilled excitement, danger, and rewards for heroic challenges, and much of Sorcery is about a journey through various mystical episodes.

Mancina’s main theme (“Sorcery”) is fairly straightforward, but quite charming when played on uilleann pipes with gilded percussion, and the galloping motif that recurs in transitional and bridge cues, but it's most attractive elements lie in its intimacy, since most tracks are derived from the main theme.

The first sense of mood change is conveyed in “The Nightmare Queen,” with sleek chords on strings, and some furious ascending chords reminiscent of Basil Poledouris’ writing. Mancina also segregates certain sonic densities to specific characters, with the Queen getting heavy vibrato, and the journeying player an airy lightness from woodwinds, with brass and percussion characterizing changes in the relationship between the two, if not their inevitable confrontation.

Mancina also passes on motifs to different arrangements, such as a lumbering theme variation on heavy strings in “Undead Soldiers” to a soft percussion version with twanging hurdy-gurdy in “The Island of Lochbarrow,” with menacing woodwinds echoplexed against subtle waves of organic percussion.

With its gradual sloping towards darker material and more kinetic cues, Sorcery feels like a concise feature film score, although the brevity of the closing cues do make the album’s wrap-up a little too brief.



© 2013 Mark R. Hasan



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