So…Mercury is in retrograde. I mention this not because I’m some sort of devotee of astrology – for what it’s worth, I’m actually more of a tarot kind of guy – but because I’m sitting here putting the finishing touches on this premiere at the end of what’s turned out to be a pretty shit day. I’ve got the lights off, my good pair of studio headphones on, and I’ve been listening to Sataray‘s solo debut Nocturnum on repeat for the better part of the last three hours…
Sataray is fairly vague about the exact nature of the rituals that inspire her dark ambient excursions aside from the fact that they took form as part of “the spiritual night [she] experienced while recording over a succession of nights between the winter of 2017 and winter of 2018 in Olympia.” There’s no mention of what led her there, but one doesn’t have to spend much time with the album to know that the night was dark and full of terrors. However, Nocturnum isn’t the fire that will burn them all away. Instead, it feels more like an embracing of the dark – a work that establishes dominion over the night’s destructive forces by first meeting them where they are and living among them.
Musically, Sataray takes the MIDI synths and other electronic hallmarks of dark ambient and adds in tribal rhythms, forming a mesmeric base for the vocals. This is where Nocturnum truly stands out – the layers of vocals, whispers and growls and screams, intoning words of great power from languages long forgotten if they ever existed at all. There’s an unmistakable energy coursing through these compositions, and the open listener will be able to feel it washing over him or herself in waves.
We’re honored to be premiering “Maleficum, Pt.1” Here today at the Vault. When asked about the track, Sataray replied:
Maleficum is a 2-piece composition, Part 1 and 2 being very different aesthetically but stemming from the same source. Although the particular subject content is very complex and personal, the intent is simply an invocation to dispel malefic energies and cleanse one’s karmic past.
Nocturnum will be available on April 5 both digitally and on cassette through Scry Recordings. You can find preorders here.