Sunday, October 31, 2010

Christian Death - only theatre of pain (1982)

Better production values dampen the attack somewhat (their peak remains the "primitive" Deathwish EP), as evidenced by the new version of "Cavity", turning from a panorama of frenzied distortions into a more clean-cut form of morbid psychedelia. Nevertheless, "Figurative Theatre" shows they haven't lost "the edge", seeing as a tame dark-punk verse derails to an explosive chorus, while "Burnt Offerings" shows that despite the clearer sound, theirs is still a paralytic form of death-disco, a terror acid-rock if you like.

"Mysterium Iniquitatis" is a very important track; firstly it showcases a progressive complex structure, and secondly it displays an angular bouncing chorus, whereas their death-rock moves closer to agonizing spazz-rock and what will eventually be called math-rock. In the meantime, "Stairs" dwells on atmosphere (lush and middle-eastern), and the same goes for "Romeo's Distress" (lush, epic and romantic). "Resurrection" is also an important track, where they gradually freak-out along an unusual harmonic scale. The final track "Prayer" shows a desire to experiment on the electronic free-form sonic environment (which Rozz Williams explored more convincingly in Premature Ejaculation).

The unsung hero of the album is Rikk Agnew, whose guitar leads and distortions battle for attention with Rozz's vocals: vitriolic, morbid, demonic, hysterical, agonizing. Get it here.