Die Sonne Satans – Metaphora LP AnnapurnA 2018
The Italian Dark Ambient project Die Sonne Satans is a name I have always been familiar with, but only ever heard their track on the Slaughter Productions Death Odours compilation of 1994, which was was a moody dark ambient piece, with a minimalist cinematic horror music flair. Although the project issued three formal releases from 1993 to 1995 (including two tapes on Slaughter Productions), they effectively passed me by.
In its original form, Metaphora was the first release from the project, and was issued in 1993 via Old Europa Cafe as a split tape with Runes Order, which I have obviously not heard until now. With mention of the minimalist cinematic horror slant above, this is in fact substantially elevated here, and particularly based on the slow tolling church bells, distant orchestral melodies, owl calls and crepuscular voices open the album on The Garden of Hydra. Other tracks feature muted melodious loops, sweeping tones and ritual percussive textures, and create a tensile atmosphere as a result (refer Body Snatcher, Spiritwood). Source stands apart with its darkly whimsical synthetic orchestral strings, blended with aquatic tones textures for sublime result. Side B brings continues the obscure and moody atmospherics, with Orbis mining tensile catacomb ambience, while The Venerable returns to sacral ambient spheres through the use of slow tolling church bells, loops and treated choir vocal textures, orchestral tinged synth lines and solo piano line. Advent constitutes a more driving and dominant sub-orchestral composition structured with a variety of fragmentary loops, while the final track Pleurotomaria (originally taken from a 1992 tape compilation) returns to a floating darkly cinematic terrain, with floating disembodied vocalisations.
With a dour mood and obscure melancholy which is characteristic of early 1990’s industrial / dark ambient scene, the music lives and breathes with subtle vibrancy, whereas modern computer versions of the same type of material usually come across sound flat and lifeless. Although clearly of the era in which it was created and recorded this is not some mere nostalgia trip, given Metaphora can stand above much of what is released in dark ambient spheres today. This is a fantastic release, and huge credit needs to be extended to AnnapurnA for reissuing this underground obscurity.