Desiderii Marginis - _Seven Sorrows_
(Cold Meat Industry, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (10 out of 10)
"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding."

As much as I like hearing new blood, it is no less pleasurable -- and often more so -- to hear an old master at work. Picking up where 2005's stunning _That Which Is Tragic and Timeless_ left off, Desiderii Marginis continue to produce uniquely sublime and dreamily sonic constructions of darkness on their sixth opus of dark ambient soundscapes, generated through a cornucopia of strummed guitars, strings, drones and the sound of tortured steel. This may seem the norm for a CMI act, the difference being that sole member Johan Levin infuses this heady mix with nuances and subtleties that most of his peers -- a term I use loosely -- can only aspire towards.

This is a bit different in mood from his previous meisterwork, as the atmosphere is not as gloomy as before but contains an aspect of hope, what could be considered as a candle amongst the darkness, or the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. This is enhanced by the unusual choice of spoken word segments, which include passages from Florence Scovel Shinn's "The Game of Life and How to Play It" and Khalil Gibran's "The Prophet". The former would be found amongst other self-help rubbish, whilst the latter would probably be placed under the amorphous mind-body-spirit section. Not quite what you would expect on an album of this nature, and I suspect I would be nauseated by these books, but when decontextualised, the quotes are highly effective.

I can't pick any one song as a highlight. I also have difficulty trying to find an effect, a drone or even a single strummed note that I consider as a negative, and I am unable to do so. The most negative statement I can make about this release is that it could have been longer, even though it lasts for an hour, and that Levin could have released a new album in 2006, rather than 2007. I can do nothing other than award it a full 10 out of 10.


(article published 9/9/2007)

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