Alongside Drachenblut and Finsterströmung, the Dutch musician and Dungeon Synth master Old Tower completes the "dark alchemy" trilogy with this newest release. Once again its three songs of dark, spiritual, meditative music with an eerie and unsettled quality. My immediate enjoyment of Seelenasche had me pondering on my complaints around musicians or bands getting stuck on a sound, failing to progress. In this case the premise of a trilogy has firmly set expectation and they have been met. This was purposefully the musical experience I wanted, however it is the weaker of the three.
Seelenasche sounds rather reserved and less adventurous in comparison. The mystique and tension is loosened as its commonly reverberated instruments are paced at a slow tempo with soft, inviting melodies gracing the rather welcoming droning of base horns that make up the atmospheric backdrop. The Chasm Within plays out a more mysterious tone with its lead instrument sounding lost and lonely in the beginning as the song builds up its layers to then meander back into isolation. Its all fair however the sense of lurking evil or a coming event simply isn't in these tracks, they are far more pleasant, relaxed and inviting, which is fine of course.
As the final, title track, rolls around the tempo and spirit picks up, ushering in triumphant horns over a smiling base line. With a couple more layers its denser tone feels as if the sun has touched it. A sense of gleam and wonder arises, perhaps in the wake of light flooding the deep dungeons this music so often conjures. Maybe this warmer climate creates a nice conclusion for the trilogy, a final resting place. Either way I have enjoyed all thirds. I'm excited to see what Old Tower comes up with next!
Favorite Track: Seelenasche