Alex Sforza’s constantly progressing musical journey resumes with his Ars Onirica, a project that emerged to all intents and purposes in 2019, after a first isolated demo dating back to 2004; the death doom with black veins proposed by the Roman musician has been further refined until reaching a mature and perfectly accomplished form with this II: Lost, although the previous I: Cold was already a work of considerable level. What can be said about the new full length is that all the sources of inspiration that Alex has elaborated over the years are ideally synthesised here, achieving a well-defined style that is anything but derivative. Compared to the previous album, the black component that characterised the sound, bringing it partly closer to the territories beaten by Forgotten Tomb, has almost disappeared; in fact, in the new work the possible point of reference can be found in the current Swallow The Sun as well as in Evadne, thanks also to the presence of more melodic tracks sung with clean vocals by Alex, who has become impeccable in this field as well. On the other hand, as happens to me with both the Finnish masters and their Spanish disciples, I personally prefer the heavier and slower tracks and so, in this sense, in the initial triptych that includes the rarefied opening of the title track and the more rhythmic Daydream, I consider the second track My Heart… Your Tomb the most effective, as it shows in an exemplary manner that melodic death doom that has perhaps always been in Ars Onirica‘s veins, but which in this case and in the conlusive song On The Wall finds its ideal sublimation. Regardless of one’s personal taste, the variety of rhythms and atmospheres contributes to making II: Lost decidedly enjoyable, demonstrating how Alex has also used his recent experiences with other bands such as Invernoir and Veil Of Conspiracy to make this latest long-distance effort the high point of a constantly evolving path.

2022 – Ardua Music