Inanna – Œuvres Complètes Tome I – XVI DCD Old Captain 2016
To start with a quick history lesson: Archon Satani were a Swedish duo of Mikael Stavöstrand, and Tomas Pettersson who operated in the early 1990’s, before Tomas Pettersson departed to start Ordo Equilibrio and Mikael Stavöstrand continued solo as Archon Satani, whilst also recording as Inanna (…before folding both projects by the late 1990’s). After personally picking up on Archon Satani in the mid 1990’s I have always been a particularly a big fan of their haunting satanic hymns (aka dark ritual/ industrial soundscapes). Conversely from what I heard of Inanna at the time, it just did not capture the same essence as what attracted me to Archon Satani. With that background context out of the way, admittedly I had never heard ‘Œuvres Complètes Tome I – XVI’ until now, given it had passed me by at the time by being released prior to picking up on Archon Satani (…for its original edition it was issued in 1992 on Sound Source – a short lived side tape label of Cold Meat Industry – in 200 copies on 2xMC). So whilst I was aware ‘Œuvres Complètes Tome I – XVI’ to be considered as a ritual death ambient classic, I had not previously paid much mind to this, based on my earlier impressions of Inanna. This view has been completely revaluated now I have heard ‘Œuvres Complètes Tome I – XVI’ in its re-released DCD edition.
Essentially (to this ear), ‘Œuvres Complètes Tome I – XVI’ draws from the best elements ritual ambient linage of earliest Archon Satani (…but perhaps even more mysterious and obscure). Obviously on later releases Mikal would push Inanna into slightly differing sonic realms, but on ‘Œuvres Complètes Tome I – XVI’ it amounts to classic obscure toned ritual ambient/ death industrial of the highest order. Evidently the original analogue recordings were un-mastered, and have been reproduced here without any further updating/ remastering, which is means its densely muffled and obscure aura remains for full effect.
Instilled with equal measures of obscurity and dread, this release hits its mark perfectly. The soundscapes presented across the 16 tracks and total play time of around 2 hours effectively play out as variations of the sound akin to arcane ritual in progress, but heard from afar given the distant muffled tone. Broadly speaking the sound features a desolate and cavernous aesthetic which draws in clanging metallic rhythms, sporadic ritual percussive drumming, plodding atonal piano, sub-orchestral resonances, classical music looped samples, unintelligible dialogue/ sermon/ choir samples etc., which are all mixed into eerie haunted soundscapes instilled with strong ritual intent and atmosphere (…even the looped ritualized re-working of John Lennon’s ‘Give Peace a Chance’ which closes out Disc 1 works – which by description alone should not work at all).
Without putting too much of a point on it: this is a grand and welcomed reissue of a classic release, where even I have been surprised by the obsessive listening I have given this since obtaining a copy. Packaging is slick and understated DCD fold out digi-pack, in an edition of 200 to mirror that of the original pressing. Don’t make this mistake and miss this new edition, as it is unlikely to stick around for long.