Gothic Text files Christian Death - A Brief Introduction

Christian Death - A Brief Introduction

by John Mc Donagh (mcdonghj@unix2.tcd.ie)


"In the beginning there was sinning..." Church of No Return

Actually there was a 17 year old Rozz Williams releasing his debut album with his post-punk band Christian Death. This band were punky in sound and the lyrics were anti-religion(surprise surprise). After this album (Only Theatre of Pain) came an EP called "Deathwish" which was slightly more mainstream than the original LP.

In 1984 (3 years after the above) Pompeii 99 saw Christian Death live and Valor Kand and Rozz came to an agreement. Thus the second movement featuring also Gitane Demone and David Glass. They released two albums "Catastrophe Ballet" and "Ashes". CB is one of my favourite albums. It is quite mainstream Goth though is much more. Lyrically no album I have outpasses it. Rozz however now leaves the band and Valor becomes the driving force behind Christian Death which becomes more of a movement featuring numerous musicians over the following years. Valor also changed the meaning of Christian Death to mean "For sin and sacrifice we must die a Christian Death".

The vocal style is hard to describe for both singers. It is nothing like Eldritch but it isn't Paul McCartney either. It is a guitar based band and every album IMO is completely unique. It is very possible to love one album and detest another. Many people love OToP and others find Rozz difficult listen to and feel that Valor is God :-), which is a scary thought. Valor believes though that he is here to save some of us and I have heard the reason for no LP release by Valor in 3 years to be due to his recruiting people for a survival trip to Antartica in 1999 after the revolt by the Third World. He frequently preaches at concerts though this takes nothing away from the brilliance of the music. :)

Rozz last year re-released old songs which he re-recorded with his wife Eva O. and a new band. Also released was a new single and a new album "The Path of Sorrows" is in the shops now. "The Iron Mask"(comp. of old songs) is easier to listen to than OToP(Only Theatre of Pain) and would be a good introduction to Rozz. I also feel that to hear what Valors Christian Death are about one should get "Jesus Points the Bone at You?" which is a singles compilation that was released last year.

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