Composed By: Mark Mancina

Distributed by: La-La Land Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Sorcery is a fantasy adventure video game developed for the Playstation 3 console utilizing the Playstation Move technology.  In Sorcery, you are Finn, a sorcerer's apprentice who must master the arcane arts in order to defeat the Nightmare Queen's evil plan to cover the world in eternal night.  The game is based on Irish mythology and features battles with Banshees, Restless Dead, bogies and more as Finn makes his way to the Faerie Kingdoms.

            The music of Sorcery is composed by American composer Mark Mancina who began his musical training at an early age with the focus on classical guitar and piano and composition.  He eventually went on to become a performer, traveling with Trevor Rabin on his solo tour.  Eventually he became a writer and producer, working on music with Yes, Kenny Loggins, Phil Collins and more.  Mancina's résumé includes musical scores for such well-known films as Tarzan, Moll Flanders, Twister, Training Day, Camille, August Rush and the television series Criminal Minds.  Proficient in a number of instruments, Mancina's musical compositions often feature performances by Mancini himself on the piano, guitar, bass, percussion, drums or any of the unique, personal collection of instruments Mancini has collected or custom designed.

            Based on Irish mythology, the music of Sorcery contains a definite Celtic influence.  One can detect a variety of interesting instruments in this score including traditional Celtic woodwinds and strings, exotic percussion instruments, bells and more.  The music becomes more intense and increases in volume as Finn approaches each goal.  It speeds up and grows louder as you enter into battle with the various evil entities you come across in the game.  The game even contains some spooky moments, especially Faerie Forest which contains music of an enchanted, dreamy quality, featuring bells and half-heard whispers.  Finn's final battle features intense music that can be both heroically hopeful and incredibly ominous.  Once the game comes to an end, you are met with happy, light music letting the player know that all is right with the world.

            Listening to this soundtrack, I was at once struck by how much the musical scores for video games had changed for the better.  Gone were the cheesy 16-bit musical scores for games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda.  The musical score of this era's video games have matured greatly, resembling the scores of full feature films.  They are even created by composers who primarily work in film scoring, pretty much guaranteeing that movie feel for the video game scores they create.

            The Sorcery Soundtrack plays like the score of a fantasy adventure film, filled with enchanted wonder, ominous foes and adrenaline-pumping action.  This score makes for a perfect accompaniment to the visuals of the game and is a perfectly enjoyable standalone album.  But you must act quickly if you want to get your hands on the Sorcery Soundtrack as La-La Land Records has only released the album in a limited edition of 3000 units.  So what are you waiting for? 


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