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Desiderii Marginis - Hypnosis [71st Cycle - 2014]

Here we have the 8th full length album from Desiderii Marginis.  Begun in Sweden in 1993 by Johan Levins, Hypnosis is a study of dreams and nightmares.  Levins gathered submissions by friends, fans (and himself) to illustrate musically the emotions, atmospheres and finer points of our thoughts.  All this is ensconced in a 2 cd digipak release edition of 500 copies.

The concept behind Hypnosis is a well used one, using music to dissect the emotions and complex details of dreams and nightmares.  As a whole Desiderii Marginis has successfully done just that.  Every song is incredibly atmospheric. Levins is able to convey that sketchy dream state where we feel like we’ve walked in on the middle of something that could either be very pleasant or rather awful.

We are plunged into a dream state of sputtering static and clandestine conversations on “Wake”.  “Paralysis” begins with acoustic guitar played minimally until it unites with ominous echoing sounds thrusting us into a space of dank, dripping walls and stale air.  “Paralysis” is an aptly title for the piece as the music conveys an overall feeling of unnatural stillness.  “Rain On Your Dreams” (which for some strange reason reminded me of the soundtrack from the film 8MM) has the sounds of rain on a barren city street with ambient tones lending an ethereal aura to the piece.  It all could be dream like or nightmarish (as with quite a few of the songs on Hypnosis) depending on your point of view.  “Night Slept On My Arm” gives a mechanical, conveyor belt sound with intermittent bells and distant chanting.  It’s all very solemn but disturbing, especially when it transforms into loud, grating sounds then back to quiet stillness.  “Lazarus Palace” is so sweepingly majestic, but it is so lonesome and wistful in its emotion.  Great tones are filled with hushed gentle moments.  “The Monkey God” is another track which is so utterly other worldly yet organic.  Shimmering sounds and scraping noises become like a breath.  It seems life like in its rhythm, growing louder as the track progresses but the listener can tell these roaring, distorted sounds are quite inhuman. “Temple of Andromeda” switches things up with mystical bells, giving a slight psychedelic lean to it.  Distant pounding grows louder, a bit tribal, suggesting an ancient ritual.  “Bright Dead City” finishes our dream/nightmare journey.  We are presented with sputtering motor and metallic sounds converging with bells tolling.  It’s a very grand and huge sound yet it comes across as a drone; becoming a soundtrack for a midnight stroll through a city; dark, eerie and unnerving.

There are other songs on the cd set that are just as atmospheric as the highlights listed above.  There only sin is that they are not as memorable or developed.  Which, when assembling a 15 song piece of work, would be forgivable; it’s a bit greedy of us as the listener to get all gold!  What we are given is a fine example of music, concept and emotion that is just shy of brilliance.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Viktorya Kaufholz
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