That Which Is Tragic and Timeless
posted on 11/2005 By:
Desiderii Marginis is a self proclaimed “Dark-Ambient-Industrial” one-man affair hailing from Mjolby, Sweden. Johan Levin first started the project in 1993 for the sole purpose of releasing material he felt didn’t quite match the repertoire of his band at the time, Wounded Meadow. Since its formation, Desiderii Marginis has released 6 full length albums, and has appeared on numerous compilations during its 12yr life. This latest release was my first exposure to Levin’s project; although I had a feeling I knew what was in store based on who released the album. Cold Meat Industry is a record label which prides itself in bringing the world talented (Scandinavian based) atmospheric bands, and let me tell you, they hit the mark with this release.
When I first played That Which is Tragic and Timeless, my intention was to simply let the album run in the background while I busied myself with menial tasks around my apartment. After the first 5 minutes I realized this work deserved closer analysis through the intimacy of headphones, and in complete solitude.
That Which is Tragic and Timeless is a masterful work of the genre. It is equal parts organic, lush, daunting, and reflective. The album does an amazing job of drawing the listener in and transposing them into a trance-like, meditative state. For example, the first track, “Worlds Apart”, immediately lures the listener into Levin’s chimerical realm. The beginning features lofty, dreamy keyboards interspersed with numerous industrial clangs, scratches, and loops. Eventually the song acquaints the listener with another staple found throughout the album; strumming acoustic guitar accompanied by a slow, deep drum. It is this element which sets Desiderii Marginis apart from much of the Dark-Ambient releases I’ve heard recently, and it helps give the material the organic, lush feel I spoke of earlier. Not all the songs incorporate the above formula however. Track 3, “Secrets of The Future Past” forsakes much of the organic feel for a decidedly industrial take on things. It sounds very much akin to the industrial passages on later Blut Aus Nord material…very dark and foreboding.
It might also be worth mentioning, while the album on the whole is rather dispirited, there were times during, and after the album played, where I felt a strange awareness of hope. It’s a bit hard to put into words, but I found it somehow uplifting. I guess the best way for me to describe it would be analogous to thought of being dropped in a frightening, alien world, only to discover eventually that it’s quite beautiful. (spare me the fucking hippie comments)
I consider That Which is Tragic and Timeless an essential listen for Dark-Ambient enthusiasts. In fact, I would recommend the album for those just interested in learning more about the genre as well. It’s a fascinating listen, and I look forward to checking out Johan Levin’s earlier material as a result of this fine release. Superb.
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