It's hard to believe it's been 5 years since Numina's (Jesse Sola) last Hypnos release, "Shift to the Ghost"! Previous to that, Hypnos released two other Numina titles, "Eye of the Nautilus," and his Hypnos debut "Sanctuary of Dreams" (a phenomenal, landmark release in the Hypnos catalog). For me, SOD will always be hard to top. The press release for the cryptically titled "The Deception of Reality" opines that this is the best Numina release to date. I don't agree, but the album is nevertheless another example of Numina's excellence in the space music field.
Effective album opener "The Illusion Transmission," clocking at 17 minutes, is like a cavern opening in the ether, with dark and ominous waves of spiralling synths setting the scene for this drift-fest (the album is predominantly percussionless). Reminded me a lot of Roach/Obmana's "Well of Souls" opening track, minus the percussion. Towards the end of the piece, the synths turn symphonic, with a yearning, melancholy quality that is very beautiful. I wish this symphonic aspect had gone on longer than it did and been explored more in the second track.
This is followed by another 17-minute track, the dreamy "Our Elegant Experience," which continues the move away from the dark opening of the album into a more serene and peaceful space. Next up, the excellently titled "In Cerulean Haze," harkens back to the underwater explorations of the "Eye of the Nautilus" album. A very pleasant track, although perhaps drifting a bit without direction for its duration, unsure of where to go.
The fourth track, "Empire of Nothing", at nearly 20 minutes, has two distinct "halves", the first part twinkling and drifting pleasantly enough like the previous two pieces. Slowly, a theme starts to emerge halfway through, and we are treated to the most haunting, visceral passage of music Numina has produced to date. This is the kind of electronic music that gives you goosebumps and makes you want to crank up the volume and just disappear in the sounds. A truly stunning track!!!
The final piece, "Translunary Return," is a fine closer, and probably the second best piece of music on the album, although somewhat anti-climactic after "Empire of Nothing." It's hard to follow pure perction.
I thought overall this album was very good and Numina fans will not be disappointed. I think some of the pieces could have been a bit more dynamic/dramatic. When you hear a track like "Empire of Nothing" it shows you what great heights this artist is capable of achieving, and I think some the greatest heights are still yet to come.