Alba – Innocence + Ixalan Bundle Player’s Guide

Noting like a little dungeon synth when you’re cracking a couple of Booster Packs and perusing the Player’s Guide from the latest Magic The gathering set bundle. Alba is a new project, based in Italy. The style has some cross-over tendencies, which we’ll get to shortly.

First we must discuss Ixalan, the latest set for Magic. I haven’t played the Collectible Card Game par excellence for many years, and coming back and actually buying a bunch myself has been surprisingly rewarding. One product I bought, the Ixalan “Bundle” (former “Fat Packs”) came with a very nice booklet featuring listing all cards in the, and explaining some of the backstory. The latter includes Dinosaurs, Pirates and Vampire Conquistadors. It’s absolutely a very nice read, with great looking graphics and decent quality paper. Those who deny its value because “all the information is available online anyway” are people who don’t even listen to audio cassette tapes anymore, and their opinion is naught to me and anyone else important.

When fiddling around with fantasy collectibles made to ruin the personal finances of teens and lonely men, dungeon synth seems like a pretty clever choice of genre. Unfortunately, or perhaps rather fortunately, Innocence isn’t the most suitable type of DS to accompany this somewhat suspect activity. Marrying some of the Lofi sound of Burzum’s synth albums with neofolk drums, decently sounding piano and a splash of darkwave, this is basically dungeon synth with a heavy sprinkling of both the martial and the obscure.

In short, the EP really works well. There is a certain gothic, almost vampiric touch, nice melodies which hold up even when repeated multiple times, and the overall mood is great. It might be a tad too serious (and good) for the occasion of an adult male taking up a card game again (though a title such as “Innocence Lost” might have some bearing on ageing players’ growing cynicism and/or paranoia about Wizards of the Coast’s business practices).. A Mary Shelley novel or somesuch would probably be better suited for this minimalist but somber music. Innocence is available for digital download from the band, but for real men and great gals it can also be purchased on CDr or cassette from Depressive Illusions. Despite the slight mismatch here, I also want to recommend the Ixalan Bundle (but beware – the Tolarian Community College has some rather sound financial advice on the topic)

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