In August Jerome Reuter, a.k.a. Rome, released his ninth full length album, and let me tell you, it is his best, so far.
Taking its name from a novel by Friedrich Hölderlin, The Hyperion Machine is Reuter at his darkly romantic and windswept best. Unlike his past albums The Hyperion Machine is not based on/tied to a specific theme. This makes the album feel more personal, which in turn makes the listening experience more powerful. Don’t get me wrong – All of the Rome albums are more or less great, but this is Rome looking inwardly and in the process moves from great to sublime.
From the depiction of Louis-Ferdinand Celines disoriented wanderings in Jerusalem (You’re wandering the world meaning no harm, finding no peace…) on Celine in Jerusalem, to the defiant post-punk farewell to bitter blood and lovers of old on Transference, to the crushingly gorgeous Adamas, about the loss of faith in a world that is crumbling to pieces all around you (And you wonder is that God out to help you now? But he is gone…).
But the track that really does it for me is Stillwell, a duet with Thåström. When has impossible love ever sounded this desolately stunning? Jag stannar min tid här, vid din källa. Shimmering, atmospheric, frail. For five minutes time actually stops. Then the track fades out and my trembling finger reaches for the repeat button.
Finishing off the album is a cover of Thåströms classic lost-love-ballad Fanfanfan. A venture like this could very easily go tits up, but Reuter avoids the common pitfalls of clumsy frame-by-frame literal translations and karaoke arrangements, and creates his very own version, while still retaining the heart wrenching sentiment of the original. And he sings the chorus in Swedish!