Genre/Influences: Dark-ambient, cinematographic.
Format: Digital, CD, Vinyl.
Background/Info: “Departed” can be seen as a milestone in the history of this project driven by Johan Levin. It indeed is the tenth full length of the Swedish artist, which two years after the great “Vita Arkivet”-opus strikes back with a new work meant as a ‘soaring meditation on mortality’.
Content: “Departed” clearly features classical elements of dark-ambient music. The work reminds me of the magic of the project’s early releases, composing overwhelming sound waves and ghost-like atmospheres. The darkness is accentuated by some mysterious choirs, which you’ll notice running throughout some cuts. There also is a passage with delicate piano playing, which also empowers the spooky format of the album.
The opus features six tracks, but the digital- and CD formats both have a bonus of 3 more cuts. You will discover reworked edits of familiar tracks featuring the famous “Deadbeat”-track originally released on Desiderii Marginis’ second album (2001).
+ + + : Johan Levin is clearly getting back to the essence of dark-ambient music; an obscure sonic voyage elaborated with haunting atmospheres and multiple little noises and other details. Some cuts create an intimate, but morbid atmosphere. It totally matches with the concept of the album. “Through A Forest Of Empty Armors”, “An Immense Hardened Shadow” and the reworked version of “I Am Without Rule (Sum Sine Regno)” sound pretty grimly. The reworked version of “Deadbeat” is another attention grabber and I especially like the kind of trumpet sound, which has something icy and like predicting a nearby disaster.
– – – : It’s hard to find minus points, but I just want to mention the third track “The Silence Of A Thousand Years”, which couldn’t convince me. No reason to complain!
Conclusion: “Departed” sounds like back to basics; an album in the purest dark-ambient tradition and reminding us the genius of this Swedish Master in the genre.
Best songs: “Through A Forest Of Empty Armors”, “An Immense Hardened Shadow”, “I Am Without Rule (Sum Sine Regno)”, “Deadbeat – MMXIX”, “Departed”.