On this day where so many celebrate the birth of their saviour, is it then fitting to write a review of an album made by a band called Christian Death? I laugh to myself and say ‘hell, yes’ that’s exactly right. And a merry Christmas to you out there, by the way \m/
Now, Christian Death have been around in some form or shape since 1979. I write in some form or shape because there have been a host musicians in and out of the band over the years. The core of the band these days consists of Valor Kand, Maitri and Jason Frantz, which was not the case when ‘Atrocities’ was originally released in 1986. Kand is the only member remaining from that line-up.
For me, Christian Death is one of those bands who have always been there, and I know that they’ve been influential. I have a copy of ‘Atrocities’ and a couple of other of their releases somewhere in the vault, but truth be told, they rarely come out of the dungeons. Not like the Sisters of Mercy or Fields of the Nephilim who seem to have ever-lasting relevance, or even The Cure who also have something about them that seems to last. I tend to categorise Christian Death with Dead Can Dance also, and their albums I get out from the racks every now and then too.
Now that I listen to ‘Atrocities’ again, I can easily hear how some of the material is brilliant. The shrill violin opening of Will-o-the-Wisp captures your attention right away, and the song proper is also cool and weird. Tales of Innocence is also very goth a la 80s in a great way.
Strapping Me Down, on the other hand, is a mediocre song, whereas the Danzig Waltz is dark in the Dead Can Dance way.
The bass intro of Chimere De-ci De-la is epic, but the rest of the song perhaps less impressive. Silent Thunder is pure 80s goth rock, and Strange Fortune is very much the same, and doesn’t add anything new and shocking, although it’s also a fine tune.
Ventriloquist builds up excellently, but moves into a punkish style that I’m not at all a fan of. Gloomy Sunday, on the other hand, is a dark soul(less) song with Gitane Demone in the female lead. Creepy stuff. The Death of Josef (i.e. Mengele – the Angel of Death) concludes the album. It’s one of those long and rather pointless tunes.
This re-release is either for fans of the band or new-comers who want to get into the goth vibe of the 80s. Special things did happen back then, certainly, and Christian Death were an important part of it. This will never one of my favourite albums from that period, but it still has a certain charm.
A2. Tales of Innocence
A3. Strapping Me Down
A4. The Danzig Waltz
A5. Chimere De–ci De-la
B1. Silent Thunder
B2. Strange Fortune
B4. Gloomy Sunday
B5. The Death of Josef
Playing time: 43 minutes
Release date: 8th of January, 2016
Label: Season of Mist