Steve Roach

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Mercurius Review

by Paul Simpson

Steve Roach's Mercurius consists of four sparse, slowly drifting ambient pieces, two of which are nearly half-an-hour each. The tone is reserved and slightly melancholy, but it doesn't quite approach the threshold of dark ambient -- perhaps "gray ambient" would be more accurate. Roach's synth melodies are cloaked in gaseous echo, and they continuously ebb and flow like waves. While soft, balmy, and tranquil, the album isn't just musical comfort food. There's a deeply spiritual motive behind this work, and it's equally fitting as a soundtrack for intense soul-searching as relaxation or slumber. While all of it is awe-inspiring, perhaps the highlight is the mind-altering "Aeon," a three-dimensional sound-sphere which becomes brighter and more mesmerizing toward its finale. Reflecting on a lifetime's worth of experience while considering what's yet to come, Mercurius is a powerful, enriching experience. Not to mention, it's downright astonishing how Roach manages to release several albums per year, four decades into his career, and keep up such a high level of quality.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Steve Roach 07:27 Amazon
Steve Roach 27:57 Amazon
Steve Roach 24:08 Amazon
Steve Roach 14:23 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick