Sopor Aeternus and the Ensemble of Shadows

Sopor Aeternus and the Ensemble of Shadows


Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble of Shadows is a Darkwave project, founded and led by Anna-Varney Cantodea. The name “Varney” is believed to be inspired by the 1847 vampire novel Varney the Vampire or the Feast of Blood by the song titled “The Feast of Blood”, which appears on their first demo titled “Es reiten die Toten so schnell” from 1988 and later re-released in 2003.


Sopor Aeternus and the Ensemble of Shadows


Little is known about Anna-Varney Cantodea, except that she has created a dark androgynous character surrounded by mystery, very much in keeping with the music she composes. Anna-Varney’s real name is unknown. In the photographs she usually appears heavily made up. She does not give interviews in person, (“nor does she organize concerts or performances for human beings”) and she only grants them if they are done under conditions that guarantee her anonymity.



Anna-Varney creates her music around himself, and for himself. In it he deals with subjects such as death, suicide, bad karma, loneliness and sadness. Despite this, he has a certain sense of humor, which can be seen in details (for example, in the title of the song “Coffin Break from the 2019 Death and Flamingos album where he certainly refers to the Coffee Break pun about drinking a break from death “).


Sopor Aeternus and the Ensemble of Shadows


Nor is much known about “the Ensemble of Shadows”, the origin lies in the discovery of “supernatural presences or voices” that awakened his musical sensitivity, in the times (almost three decades) in which Varney lived in harsh loneliness, depression, and despair. A tortured life and negative feelings that he would end up sharing with the public thanks to the music that was going through his head.



His music is very emotional and gloomy. His style has mutated and evolved record after record, from early electronic to electro-Gothic, through medieval and Renaissance music. In his compositions he uses both traditional instruments and synthesizers or drum machines. Among the traditional ones there are wind instruments (especially flutes), guitars, basses, string quartets, and the ever-present bell.


Sopor Aeternus and the Ensemble of Shadows


Anna-Varney’s personality has an androgynous character, and he rejects the ideas of declaring himself one gender, since as he describes himself he is “neither male nor female”. However, he refuses to subject his body to any surgical operation.




Did i forgot to include an amazing track from this band?


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