The goal of Desiderii Marginis — fronted by sole brainchild, Johan Levin — has always been firmly rooted within the drifty, dark-ambient realm, but Levin has always added loads of strummed acoustics, crescendoing strings, and sparse moments of tribal-sounding drumming to give the project more of an elemental, organic sound when compared to much of his more “mechanized” peers on Cold Meat Industry Records. The same can be said for his latest output, Seven Sorrows, but this time around Levin focuses a little more attention on the industrial and aerial side of the project.
There are still plenty of the organic elements afoot, but the heart of this particular outing really pushes the ante in terms of a more ethereal atmosphere. I couldn’t help but find myself transported into the distant future during my frequent spins, slowly drifting outside an immense, clattering space station and trying to determine whether my life of astral solitude was bringing me immense inner peace, or driving me to the point of some face-scraping, cackling madness. Probably a healthy measure of both.
Seven Sorrows, while definitely drifty and relaxing on the surface, also ranks as Desiderii Marginis’ darkest work to date. Of course this has a lot to do with the creepy atmosphere Levin builds with his choice of wares and moody songcrafting, but it’s also because of the repeated Heaven’s Gate/Hale-fuckin’-Bopp voice sampling found scattered throughout the recording. “Why Are You Fearful”, “The Bitter Potion”, “Night Pretenders”, and “I Tell the Ancient Tale” all feature looped, echoed voice samples that give the whole of Seven Sorrows a disturbing “motivational tape for the newly indoctrinated” feel that meshes seamlessly with Levin’s already ominous soundscapes – definitely an album to be listened to in a nice set of headphones in the middle of the night.
2007 has certainly seen some immensely desirable metal albums rise to the surface to fight for your hard-earned cash, which makes this record somewhat of a difficult sell to many of our readers. However, for those folks with a more varied musical palate and a penchant for the dark-ambient genre, Seven Sorrows is certainly worth more than just a cursory glance. Another quality trip executed by an already well-established act.