Church Of The Second Sun is a three way collaboration between composer/Giallo Disco Records cofounder Antoni Maiovvi, heavy psych-proggers ANTA, and graphic novelist (and sometimes ‘Shaman scribe) John Reppion. The album gets its title from a novelette, written by Reppion, about an encounter with an interplanetary cult set in the far future. The music, composed by Maiovvi and ANTA serves as a soundtrack to the story.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about the story itself as I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that it involves malfunctioning robots, giant space hulks, hybrid *things* and much fanaticism. Fans of Jeff VanderMeer’s early novel Veniss Underground, bleak Lovecraftian vibes, Clive Barker, and H.G. Wells will be right at home. Speaking of Barker and Lovecraft, Reppion also conjures shades of (the much maligned) Hellraiser IV: Bloodline and the not-Lovecraft-but-totally-Lovecraftian space hell film Event Horizon.
Maiovvi and ANTA have crafted the ideal accompaniment to Reppion’s bleak vision. Ominous synths and organs swirl and heave like solar winds. The rhythm section is pulsing and insistent, while the guitars churn and tumble like an untethered astronaut.
These sorts of conceptual combinations often work better in theory than in practise, but Maiovvi, ANTA, and Reppion have done it with style…
There are nods to the cream of 70s prog/psych from the UK and Europe; King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator, Can, Goblin, Magma… and there are parallels with more contemporary heads such as Calibro 35, Orgöne, and in vibe, if not sound, Voivod.
The pacing is excellent. Death Waltz suggests, perhaps jokingly, that the ideal reading tempo should be roughly 3.33 words per second, to match the 33 RPM play rate of the LP. I’m not patient or obsessive enough to confirm this, but what I will say is that each composition really does roughly correspond to each chapter of the story when you listen to and read them at the same time. It’s a nice touch.
These sorts of conceptual combinations often work better in theory than in practise, but Maiovvi, ANTA, and Reppion have done it with style.
Scribed by: Neddal Ayad