The Shockin’ Holy Saints – Lamentations Concerning the Five Sorrows of Love

The Shockin’ Holy Saints
Lamentations Concerning the Five Sorrows of Love
1991 (no label)
Croydon, England, United Kingdom

Vince Millett

Side 1:

  1. Lamentations: Prelude
  2. Lament for an Irish Princess
  3. Love is Stronger Than Death
  4. The Toymaker’s Dream
  5. Lament for the Sorrows of Love

Side 2:

  1. Crossing the Sacred Wilderness
  2. Lament for the Daughter of Prophecy
  3. Lamentation: The Tracks of the Poet’s Snowshoes
  4. Lamentation: The Hour of White Roses

This was a side project by Secret Archives of the Vatican. Stylistically, I am not sure there is a huge difference between this and SAotV, except that it seems to be more ambient and… medieval? The song titles seems to imply a kind of “ancient times” tie in to me at least. Also not as much world music influence on this one (at least, not as obvious). The last two tracks would probably be my favorites, especially “The Tracks of the Poet’s Snowshoes” with its chanting Benedictine monks (before it was cool, I believe).

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Secret Archives of the Vatican – Whiteflower of the Blackberry (Chapter Three)

Secret Archives of the Vatican
Whiteflower of the Blackberry (Chapter Three)
1991 (no label)
Croydon, England, United Kingdom

Vince Millett

Side 1:

  1. Heart’s Desire
  2. The Wind Among the Reeds
  3. Torc of Twisted Gold
  4. Craneskin Bag
  5. Trembling Mist of Peaches

Side 2:

  1. The Lost Tribes of Albion
  2. Eclipse Over Golgotha
  3. Whiteflower of the Blackberry
  4. The Yellow Leaves of Endseason

This demos continues the evolution of Secret Archives of the Vatican. While it is still less techno/electronica than later albums would become, it also still finds them experimenting with many different world music styles from various countries. I say “them” because I believe there were two people involved in the project at this time, but I need to go back and check some articles to be sure. At this time they also put out a side project called The Shockin’ Holy Saints, although I am not totally sure if this demo or that project came out first. I love eclectic world fusion music like this, so it is always a treat to see SAotV in the tape stacks I get. The last track on here seems to get the closest to the electronic world fusion music they grow into later.

Secret Archives of the Vatican – Secret Archives of the Vatican

Secret Archives of the Vatican
Secret Archives of the Vatican (aka “1”)
1989 (no label)
Croydon, England, United Kingdom

Vince Millett

Side 1:

  1. Chanctonbury Ring
  2. The Balcony of Endless Days
  3. High Spires Have Fallen

Side 2:

  1. The Book of Hours
  2. Albannaich
  3. The Wall of the Three Whispers

This is where it all started for Secret Archives of the Vatican. They are still going strong today, so they must be doing something right. I personally love world and electronic music, so I always try to check out what they are doing. Their current music is much more electronic in nature – call it club or techno or whatever to show your age. Their early music was more ambient, with the world instruments taking a more prominent role in the music. They are still there, it is just that the beat and keyboards are more prominent in their current music. You can see by the song titles that they do not go for the typical concepts you see in most music. Definitely an act worth checking out.

Secret Archives of the Vatican – Across Darkness Benediction

Secret Archives of the Vatican
Across Darkness Benediction
1990 (no label)
Croydon, England, United Kingdom

Vince Millett

Side 1:

  1. Narrow Stone
  2. Tail of the White Tiger
  3. Of Ancient Swords Be Still
  4. Sprog the Dark Cat
  5. I Will Forget You in the Thirteenth Month
  6. Colloquay of the Elders

Side 2:

  1. Dragon Bone
  2. Hall of Stallions (She Moves Through the Fair)
  3. Tent of Silk
  4. Nostra Phalans
  5. Fair White Swan / There is a Garden in Her Face
  6. Sir Robin the Reliant and the Quest for the Holy Ale
  7. The Wind’s Twelve Quarters
  8. Moonrise on a Distant Shore

Secret Archives of the Vatican has been around for a long time – and they are still going today. Their music today is released mostly on their BandCamp page, but back in the 1990s it was all cassette demos. As you can see by the titles above, this is a very unique album. SAotV is known in electronic circles for mixing in all kinds of world music influences into their electronic music. These earlier cassettes seem to be a bit more ambient than the current music, but still very unique and full of world music influences. This was their second tape – I think after the third or fourth they stopped numbering them. I have heard a few later tapes and of course everything on BandCamp as I am a big fan of theirs. I hope to track down the rest of their music soon. An interview on Cross Rhythms digs more into what this band was about at about the time this tape was released.

Missing Information: Who played what on this.