Die Sonne Satans ‎– Metaphora

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.

Mz.412 ‎– In Nomine Dei Nostri Satanas Luciferi Excelsi

Mz.412 ‎– In Nomine Dei Nostri Satanas Luciferi Excelsi DLP Annapurna Productions 2019

In the last issue of Special Interests Magazine (Issue No.10, February 2018) ,I was asked to provide some impressions of my top ten classics, of which this album was one of those chosen. At the time I was not aware of the intention to issue this on vinyl for the first time, which was certainly most welcomed news upon announcement. Regarding my thoughts on this album, those as documented in the ‘top ten’ article were:

‘My initial intrigue with the group was sparked by the partial adherence to an underground black metal aesthetic, but soon enough I was completely taken in by the harsh and hellish electronics; the heavy and occasionally polyrhythmic tribal beats; the general industrial cacophony; and the heavy dose of appropriately satanic themed dialogue samples. This is also the album which resulted in group being furnished with the ‘black industrial’ tag, yet in the years since no other act has come close to touching the sound and mood of Mz.412. God of 50 Names is a particular album highlight for me’.

As for this vinyl reissue, the track listing is noted to be slightly adjusted from both the original version from 1995 and the reissue on Cold Spring Records from 2010, and the slightly expanded version issued via Cold Spring Records in 2010, which included some additional tracks (but minus the track Infinite Hollow here, presumably due to the maximum length of the double vinyl format).

With regard to the sleeve artwork, the main blood red image and internal gate-fold spread builds upon and pays homage to the artwork of the original version, while the back cover and LP labels contains band images associated with the Burning The Temple Of God (which followed in 1996), to round out a stunning presentation on high gloss cardboard stock. All in all, this is a darkly beautiful and immaculately presented version of this Mz.412 classic, and well worth the effort to track this down for your vinyl collection.