Musical sketches of the mysteries of the occult.

Never one to shy away from ambitious projects, Norwegian multiinstr­umentalist Anders Buaas has followed up his sizeable The Witches Of Finnmark trilogy with an album where he’s created 22 entirely instrument­al portraits of the cards in a tarot deck. Every note here is written and played by Buaas, and the result explores wide stylistic variation.

There’s more than a little jolly folk in The Fool, a bit of portentous prog metal in The High Priestess and some sludgy guitar riffing going on to introduce The Devil. The longest track on the album, the seven minutes of The Hierophant, covers a lot of ground growing from bucolic guitar into a full symphonic rock workout. Not only is each “card” given a unique theme, but Buaas also reflects the nuances and complexiti­es inherent in any reading of them – thus the track Death builds upon a slowly repeating brooding bassline, but blossoms into something altogether more colourful and varied.

Although the album can be enjoyed, and Buaas’ obvious talents appreciate­d, in its own right, it could also act as a prompt to explore the mysterious tarot more fully. Prog as entertainm­ent and occult education.

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