Sator Absentia – The true meaning of Golgotha

I think this is the third album by Sator Absentia. “The true meaning of Golgotha” contains 9 tracks, recorded between June 2001 and September 2002. The line-up of the project: former Asmorod member Cedric Codognet (treatments, sequences, violin, guitars, voices and recordings) and Sophie Codognet (voices, vocals and structures). Fredrik Bergstrom, who you may know of No Festival of Light, recorded some of the rhythmical parts. The album was conceptually inspired by the work of one Maurice G. Dantec. Golgotha is of course the place where Jesus was crucified.

The album starts with chilling dark ambient. After a minute heavy percussion and grave male vocals give ‘The world through abduction” a deep ritual atmosphere. The electric violin that appears now and then creates a solemn feeling. The song has a nice melancholic classical ending. Impressive!
‘Binary Relatism’ continues in a ritual vein, with male and female chanting, monotonous drumming and a mysterious background soundscape. Suddenly the track gets more industrial and violent, with agonizing screams, making me think of torture chambers, whips & burning flesh.

The dark soundscape ‘Chaman, bird and cross’ is striking because of the sampled Arabic sermon. Again this song has an interesting combination of atmosphere, percussion, industrial and orchestral elements.
Then follows ‘Like you are not’, the undisputed highlight on this compilation. Great tragic beauty, full of tension. A wonderful mournful violin and nice guitar work. The vocals are also full of sorrow, reminding me somewhat of Arcana. I also have to think of Die Wappen des Thodt.

After this great track the harsher piece ‘Inverted Red Ghost’ follows, with a somewhat demonic industrial sounds. A multi-layered piece of oppressive ambient. Here the violin and spoken words have an estranging effect. Four more tracks are featured on this album. ‘Corrosion Chromatique’ is the noisiest and most rhythmic one, with vocals remining of power eelectronics, though even this song contains soft violin intermezzo’s. Variation is abundant on this album!

An impressive diverse album, with a deep and dark ritual atmosphere. Sator Absentia takes you to an ancient cloister, full of secrets and hidden for ages. The track ‘Like you are not’ alone is enough to judge “The true meaning of Golgotha” favourable. One of the better albums of this year.

artist: Sator Absentia
label: Dark Vinyl
details: 9 tracks, 55 min. [DV #39]