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Thread: Christian Death

  1. #1

    Join Date: 04.09.12
    Posts: 392
    Rank: Glass Jaw

    Default Christian Death

    Any fans of this deathrock band? If so, what are your favourite albums of theirs? Are you a fan of the Rozz-era only or do you enjoy the Valor-era as well?

    I'm surprised that more Marilyn Manson fans aren't also fans of Rozz, a true poetic genius and visionary.


    Only Theatre of Pain gets most of the acclaim but I think the increasingly artsy and avantgarde albums Catastrophe Ballet and Ashes are just as strong as is the seemingly forgotten about glam-infused The Path of Sorrows. These are four of the best albums I've ever listened to and are equally worthwhile lyrically.







    As for Valor, he's done some good work: The Wind Kissed Pictures, Atrocities, Sexy Death God, Pornographic Messiah. He's also responsible for some incredibly weak albums too.

  2. #2
    The Overman's Avatar
    Join Date: 04.11.12
    Location: Hell, Illinois
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    Catastrophe Ballet is a million times better than Only Theater Of Pain. If the debut were the only act this band had ever released, they would be deservedly dismissed as the stereotypical goth rock band de jour and of everything wrong and bad with the genre. [Or perhaps not, judging by the high reviews the record got; I know that, at any rate, I do not like that album.] I feel that Only Theater Of Pain is completely overwrought and underproduced, to the point of being virtually unlistenable.

    It's almost shocking to me how much better the second release is, in that it's not only an enjoyable record on its own merits but actually does something with the genre it's playing in. "Electra Descending" particularly show an astonishing progression from the debut:



    My favorite track from Catastrophe Ballet is "The Blue Hour". It's so incredibly warm and hopeful, and completely at odds with the image the band tried to project on the debut that it's hard not to feel that there was real progression here as an act in a way few bands achieve. It might be the biggest leap creatively and compositionally from debut to follow-up by any band I can think of.



    I suppose it doesn't hurt that basically the entire band was replaced between releases.

    This record, I think, influenced a lot of my favorite bands from later in the genre's afterlife, like the second half of The Third And The Mortal's discography, so it holds a special place in my heart. But the awfulness of the debut really put me off from listening to anything subsequent. A poor logic, I know, and one I'll try to correct in the future.
    Last edited by The Overman; 09-24-2017 at 11:45 PM.
    To revenge the misdeeds of the ruling class, there existed in the middle ages, in Germany, a secret tribunal, called the “Vehmgericht.” If a red cross was seen marked on a house, people knew that its owner was doomed by the “Vehm.”

    All the houses of Europe are now marked with the mysterious red cross.

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  4. #3

    Join Date: 10.29.12
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    Absolutely adore Christian Death (Rozz). Valor nah.

  5. #4

    Join Date: 04.09.12
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    @The Overman

    I'm surprised at your dislike for their debut. It's my least favourite of four I mentioned but that's only because it can be somewhat dry at times, and that shouldn't really happen with a short album. I still think it's outstanding though. Romeo's Distress is one of the best and the main reason why people praise this album. Rozz never sounded more seductive.

    So you haven't heard anything after? Ashes has some amazing songs. It isn't so melancholic but takes the avant-garde progression even further. It maybe feels a bit short but I highly recommend it.

    The Path of Sorrows took a while to grow on me but now I consider this album along with Catastrophe Ballet to both be in my top ten all-time albums. At times it does remind me of Catastrophe Ballet.

  6. #5
    The Overman's Avatar
    Join Date: 04.11.12
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    My biggest problem with Only Theater Of Pain is that it's really stereotypically goth-y, in both sonic and lyrical content. You can practically hear bats flying out of the belfry when you listen to "Spiritual Cramp", for example. It might have been one of the first records to really take "Bela Lugosi's Dead" and lean on it for a whole record, and for that I'll give it props if nothing else, but the style doesn't set right with me. Take the lyrics from that track, for example:

    On a mission of the father to reduce the gates of hell
    The ivory bone eyed mother's flesh is starting to swell
    I'm setting twenty-two tables for the funeral feast
    Satan is by far the kindest beast
    No thanks.

    What I like about Catastrophe Ballet, conversely, is what I like in the gothic subgenre more broadly: its experimentalism. To my mind, having a 'dark' ambience or a morose atmosphere is totally secondary to creating sonicscapes completely outside the context of mainstream music. That's what I appreciate in an album like the Banshees' A Kiss In The Dreamhouse, for example, or that aforementioned band The Third And The Mortal whose later works owe a lot to Catastrophe Ballet. For example:



    Rubber bats and rubber vampire fangs bore me to tears, but the tilt-a-whirl kaleidoscope of gothic music at its best will never cease to amaze me. Catastrophe Ballet, I think, helped to open goth rock up to the avant-garde.

    If as you say The Path Of Sorrows leans on Catastrophe Ballet for its sound, I'm sure I'll enjoy it and I'll add it to my list.
    Last edited by The Overman; 09-25-2017 at 02:36 AM.
    To revenge the misdeeds of the ruling class, there existed in the middle ages, in Germany, a secret tribunal, called the “Vehmgericht.” If a red cross was seen marked on a house, people knew that its owner was doomed by the “Vehm.”

    All the houses of Europe are now marked with the mysterious red cross.

  7. #6

    Join Date: 04.09.12
    Posts: 392
    Rank: Glass Jaw

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    @The Overman

    I think you are being a bit unfair to Christian Death and may have misunderstood them. They never tried to be a 'goth' band but I know that the word became an ever-reaching umbrella term because goths have a habit of projecting 'goth' onto everything they like. Lyrically, Rozz wrote Only Theatre of Pain with a lot of anger towards religion and was rebelling against his religious upbringing. I don't think they were doing anything like Bauhaus' tongue-in-cheek ode to gothic/horror films. Musically, he was very influenced by glam rock and then later embraced punk rock and Only Theatre of Pain is basically just a death rock album.

    With Catastrophe Ballet Rozz infused influences from dada and surrealism and it shows; it's a more interesting and unique album. I think you would like Ashes too because of its disposition to the avant-garde as well, although I do favour the former. Ashes is sonically brighter and less bleak in tone, more diverse musically but perhaps less unified in its vision.

    Even though they are different and separated by nearly a decade, I compared The Path of Sorrows to Catastrophe Ballet because it is likewise full of emotion and passion and with elements of surrealism and an avant-garde artsy direction. Songs like A Widow's Dream, Mother, In Absentia are just fantastic. It reminds me of glam/art rock 70s band Roxy Music musically and with the way Rozz theatrically enunciates words.

    On a side note, I'm a big fan of Siouxsie and the Banshees. A Kiss in the Dreamhouse is an excellent album!

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