Friday, January 14, 2011

Christian Death - Ashes (1985)

Fronted by Rozz Williams, Christian Death formed in LA in 1979. Rozz stayed with the band until mid ’85, although a lot of lineup changes took place due to fighting and drug abuse. Williams, who was born into a Christian family, commited suicide on April 1st, 1998, giving some unfortunate credence to their namesake. Their cadaverous nature was not unlike Legendary Pink Dots or Current 93, but with a more noisy post-punk edge. Their 3rd and relatively terse LP, Ashes is a mire of mordent, macabre knells trembling with nil desperandum and brooding calignosity. My favorite track on the album, “When I was Bed,” is an obfuscating nocturne and the most harmonious song on Ashes. The near 7 minute long “Luxury of Tears” has a culminating intensity that brings to mind the Swans mid 80s material. Closer “Of the Wound” takes on a more experimental spoken word angle, with nebulous lyrics and frightful screaming and moaning in the background creating an atmosphere of anxiety, leaving the listener with an eerie after effect once the silence hits.

Rating: 8/10


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