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Music: Sopor Aeternus And The Ensemble Of Shadows
German Dark Wave band formed by Anna-Varney Cantodea in 1989, at the time simply known as Varney. The band has released 10 studio albums, six EPs and three demos, only one of which has been released. At the time of the project's start, Cantodea was living in complete isolation, afflicted by severe depression and close to blindness, and claims to have been "given" the music in her dreams by spirits, the "Ensemble of Shadows", thus forming Sopor Aeternus. Lyrical themes in the band's early songs focused on the extreme pain of her life, the occult, her own spiritual discovery, and vampires, but later embraced her own coming to terms with her transsexuality, love, sex, and whatnot.
Tropes applying to this group

  • Creator Breakdown - She has apparently suffered from depression since age SIX, because of being abused by her mother, hating herself after having an out-of-body experience, became suicidal at age 12, and later struggled with a cancer-like illness and near-blindness. She created the group after she absolutely couldn't take it anymore.

  • Genre Shift - "Ich Tote Mich..." was primarily synthesized, and had Post-Punk and Goth Rock influence, and production values were very raw akin to Black Metal. "Todeswunsch" had more of a Medieval/Renaissance-influenced sound, with gloominess still very much intact, but everything since "The Inexperienced Spiral Traveller" has been Dark Wave based on Classical Music, with "La Chambre D'echo" veering off into Electronic Music

  • I Am the Band - a man named Holger helped her record demo tapes, since the first LP was released, everything has been solely composed by Anna-Varney, with all other musicians being session musicians.

  • Nobody Over Fifty Is Gay - averted. Anna-Varney is transgender, and although no birthdate has ever been officially given, is assumed to be around sixty.

  • Transsexual - Anna-Varney is MTF, but refuses hormone treatment or surgery

  • Shout-Out - has turns several of Edgar Allan Poe's poems into songs.

  • Vocal Evolution- on the early albums and demos, especially "Ich Tote Mich...", the vocals were very tortured, unprofessional and alternated between near-crying and singing fairly often. On the newer albums, she sings much more professionally, sounds more feminine, and has less of a pronounced accent.
Harry SecombeMusiciansTwo Steps From Hell

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