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Desiderii Marginis - Songs Over Ruins [Cyclic Law - 2017]

Song Over Ruins, the debut by Desiderii Marginis, was originally released by Swedish label Cold Meat Industry in 1996. This, long out of print, dark ambient classic is finally reissued by Cyclic Law.

At the time considered a landmark in the genre, with it’s desolate, minimalistic and grief stricken odes to religious and spiritual burdens Songs Over Ruins is a foray through abandoned ruins and a reflection on the passing of time and the impermanence of all things physical.This reissue has been remastered by Johan Levin himself and is now graced with new artwork. It does seem a little ironic, however, that an album concerning the impermanence of all things physical should be reissued at all!

Spanning 11 track s this is a spartan dark ambient journey. Heavy synths, huge reverb, bells, militaristic drums and spoken word samples make up track 1, the first title track (track 10 is is it’s partner), and lay the foundation for the next 50 minutes. Quickly followed by “Scintilate II”, a beautiful drone based piece that deserve a darkened room, and a darker whisky, to really make the mood: water falling in a darkened cellar, while a lone cellist haunts the outer spectrum of your consciousness, as the drums then march into the track. And then comes “Ephemeral” a funereal walk across a wasteland.

Each track has it’s own life, but each of them does seem to follow a similar plan: each one variations upon a theme. This isn’t a criticism, as each track is a beautiful crafted work and has enough individuality to stand alone.

“Embossed In Bones” would make the perfect intro to any number of the apocalyptic / survivor games out there. But take the album as a whole, spare yourself 55 minutes to savour the atmospheres created, enjoy the darkness, the splendour, the history and then relish that something impermanent has resurfaced to grace us once more.History, in this case, is beautifully repeated.

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

Adam Skyes
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