“Worlds Apart MMXIX” by Desiderii Marginis

The dark ambient maestro’s latest album includes a reworking of one of his finest songs.

One of the songs that I featured on my June 2020 subscriber playlist was Desiderii Marginis’ “Worlds Apart,” from his 2005 album, That Which Is Tragic and Timeless. One of Johan Levin’s finest songs, it’s a sorrowful epic that tempers his usual, ominous dark ambient textures with acoustic guitar and some This Mortal Coil-ish synth elements.

Earlier this month, Cyclic Law released Desiderii Marginis’ latest album, Departed. It’s described as “a slow, soaring meditation on mortality and the great uncertainty of life, the complete certainty of death, and how we cope with that knowledge.” Which seems rather apropos given the current pandemic and the thousands of preventable deaths caused by human selfishness and pride, social breakdown, and incompetent leaders.

Departed is consistently strong, as one has come to expect from Levin, but the album’s highlight arrives at the very end in the form of a reworked version of “Worlds Apart.” I didn’t know it was possible, but Levin managed to make the track both more epic and more melancholy — the textures are more foreboding, the synths more grandiose.

In other words, a perfect song for, as Levin puts it, “gazing at the endless ocean of infinity, trying to catch a glimpse of meaning through the tiny rips in the fabric of existence.”

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