A notable name in the dark ambient genre, Johan Levin’s Desiderii Marginis returns with another pensive and meditative collection of atmospheric textures. Departed, like most in the genre, plays as something of a seamless sonic continuation and voyage into the ether. “Through a Forest of Empty Armors” and “An Immense Hardened Shadow” feature shimmering swells and choral ambience, instigating the brooding and claustrophobic atmosphere of the record, while “The Silence of a Thousand Years” delves into more melancholic, warbling delays, a sense of oblivion and saudade pervading its length to make it a standout in its sheer and undeniable mournfulness. “Eternity Shuddered at the Image of Death” slightly bucks the trend as it showcases a sort of synthwave sound at its onset, but returns to bigger and broader choral swells with a sense of earnest majesty, before “What Death Whispers to the Dying” returns to the earlier, more somber trend with downplayed piano reverberating unto its end. We finally reach the titular track, which is easily the sparsest of the album, suspended somewhere over an abyss, a knife yawning on an edge before edging into silence.
Departed doesn’t end there though, as Levin includes three bonus tracks. The first, “I Am Without Rule (Sum Sine Regno)” skews ever so slightly more Zen than dark, with a tinge of sci-fi in the snarling sine wave synth permeating the number perhaps a little too plangently, diverging from the majesty of the album tracks. The other two, “Deadbeat MMXIX” and “Worlds Apart MMXIX” are remasters of previously released works. Although perhaps unlikely to grasp new fans with brazen reinvention, fans of acts such as Lustmord or Atrium Carceri, as well as those looking for quiet accompaniment to their inner journeys, will find plenty poignant soundscapes to enjoy throughout Departed.