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Magik Way, The: Materia Occulta 1997-1999

Materia Occulta 1997-1999 is a bit of a strange release, as it represents two very different phases in the creative history of the Italian cult (and, here, you may interepret "cult" literally) band The Magik Way. As the title indicate, the two eras are 1997 and 1999 respectively only two years of difference in terms of chonology, but millions of years of difference in terms of music.

The first four tracks form a suite of sorts and are from 1997. The musical style here is perhaps best described as "occult black metal". The anchor of music aesthetics is lodged in the black metal with all the chaotic elements it entails genre, but, drawing on keyboards and various other effects, The Magik Way add an atmosphere which is sometimes errie and creepy, and at other times epic. The constant in terms of atmosphere, however, is darkness.

And darkness is just about the only thing tht these four tracks have in common with the rest of the album, which consists of songs from 1999. In a radical change in style, the rest of the album falls under the rubric of dark ambient. With no metal whatsoever, these tracks are highly atmosperic and ambient and range from dark soundscapes to pieces with more musical substance and melody to them.

Interestingly 'La Conoscenza' does seem whether by design or by accident to form a kind of link between the two parts of this release, as it contains a longer passage of dark and melancholic ambience, juxtaposed with heavier and more metallic parts. For my money, the four black metal tracks constitute the attraction point of the release. While definitely interesting, the rest of the album just does not appeal to me to the same extent probably because, following four quite intense black metal tracks, they kind of fall flat.

Facing the risk of appealing to two quite different crowds of music fans, this release nonetheless excells as a work of dark music art, and if you happen to like both dark ambient and black metal, then you might just want to give it a listen.

1. Il Dubbio
2. La Folgorazione
3. Il Sacrificio
4. La Conoscenza
5. I Signori del Caos
6. Le maschere di Pietra
7. L'Icona
8. Gloria
9. Lupenare
10. Le Prigioni di Corda
11. La Quiete
12. Trasposizione
13. Mantramime
14. La Caduta
15. Danza degli Elementi
16. Pianto ed Estasi
17. Il Tempo si Fermato

Added: February 17th 2013
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: The Magik Way @ Facebook
Hits: 1429
Language: english

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