Steve Roach: Mercurius (CD)

$16.98 $14.00


I Liminal – At the threshold of the in-between 7:27
II Immanent – Innate, intrinsic, inborn 27:58
III Aeon – Forever… and a day 24:09
IV Mercurius – Alchemical creation from
the realm of opposites 14:23

Total Time 73:57


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Steve says: This release could only have been created at this time in my life, after all that has come before, bringing me to this point in my music’s evolution and to this place of which Mercurius speaks…

Mercurius is a resplendent sonic expression on the psychology and spirituality of impermanence and finding comfort in the liminal spaces of the in-between. Moving beyond the security of naming the infinite nuances intrinsic to being human is just one of the threads of intention woven into this music. Composed in four movements, Mercurius is a soulful resonation upon the ineffable.

Steve Roach is a leading American pioneer in the evolution of ambient/electronic music, helping shape it into what it is today. Grammy nominated in 2018, his career stretches across four decades and over 150 releases. Drawing from a vast, unique and deeply personal authenticity, his albums are fueled by the momentum of a lifetime dedicated to the soundcurrent. Roach is an artist operating at the pinnacle of his artform, driven by his passion and unbroken focus on creating a personal vision of electronic music.

The ebb and flow within Mercurius emerges from its own space and time moving beyond ambient, immersive or drone-based pieces. Masterfully delivered, Roach’s singular evolving language of contemplative soundworlds arrives at a place of deeper refinement. Through the stately, profound pacing of chordal harmonic structures the diaphanous suspension and release of the four movements breathe with exquisite grace and depth.

deep atmospheric, introspective ambient

In four movements
I Liminal – At the threshold of the in-between 7:27
II Immanent – Innate, intrinsic, inborn 27:58
III Aeon – Forever… and a day 24:09
IV Mercurius – Alchemical creation from the realm of opposites 14:23
Total Time 73:57

Weight .3 lbs



Release Year


  1. padmin

    From All Music

    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. -Paul Simpson

  2. Greg Moorcroft

    The outstanding quality of this album, for me, is its majestic and stately, yet closely-restrained, symphonic nature. This has been an element of Steve’s atmospheric work all the way along, especially building up through The Magnificent Void, Mystic Chords, Dynamic Stillness and Sigh of Ages, and which has reached its perfection here. Steve’s hand on the controls seems more focused than ever, as it would be easy to let the sound just sweep us away. Instead, perfectly guided, the current swirls calmly around us. Beautifully done – highest recommendation!

  3. padmin

    From Prog Archives

    American progressive-electronic/ambient composer Steve Roach divides his releases these days between rhythmic-based energetic discs (often highlighting his vintage/Berlin School influences) and more unhurried ever-expanding long-form works, with his latest, 2018’s Mercurius being one of the latter. It holds plenty of those ever-reaching and subdued ambient caresses the artist is known for, but is performed with the endless grace, keen intelligence and complete sophistication that only comes from a lifetime of honing his craft. Roach describes this album as a meditation and reflection on impermanence, and that balance of appreciating the moment, looking back in both gratitude and regret, contentment with the present as well as excitement and apprehension of what’s to come is all kept in perfect unison, with the disc never being overwhelmingly uplifting nor too melancholic.

    For an artist that frequently works in electronic drones of the most minute of perceptible changes, `Liminal’ instead is constantly undulating and weaving with sweeping synth lines of constant movement that drift and swoon with inviting beckoning and comforting romance (it’s even ever so slightly whimsical too!), and being a shorter piece at seven minutes makes for a more approachable and easily-welcoming opener. There’s an orchestral-like elegance that sustains throughout the hauntingly mesmerising `Immanent’, its ethereal ambient embraces stretching on to lulling infinity, and its carefully emerging shimmering finale quivers with the possibility of life and love.

    `Aeon’ soundtracks the ups-and-downs, the unpredictability and reality of life itself, drowsy and lightly disorientating in its opening minutes with an infiltrating unease, before expanding out with unravelling bursts of awakening light that proves almost overwhelming in its intensity. The closing title-track `Mercurius’ holds a pensive air of placid rising and retreating synth pools that ultimately reveal renewed strength and self-belief, lifting even higher in the final moments that prove defiant and victorious.

    This probably isn’t the place to start for more green prog-electronic/ambient and Roach newcomers, nor will it likely click with listeners who prefer the man’s more driving and dynamic compositions. But many of those established Roach fans who connect with his carefully building percussive-free collections will discover a very special and deeply moving electronic work here full of contrasting emotions, and Mercurius proves to be poignant, deeply immersive and exceptionally powerful.

    Four stars out of five. -Aussie-Byrd-Brother

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