Christian Death

Christian Death

Lover Of Sin

Candlelight

It’s astonishing really; no matter how much you just might hate them for what they’ve done (or haven’t done), you still have to admire their tenacity. The old joke about only cockroaches and Keith Richards surviving after the apocalypse should probably be amended to take note of the fact that surely some lineup of Christian Death will be playing in a fallout shelter to five horribly mutated Goths. Is that tragedy or is that comedy? Additionally, it’s safe to say that Valor and Maitre and whomever they’ve got along for the ride this time have taken Christian Death far beyond the occult glam that a teenage Rozz Williams envisioned all those years ago.

Truth be told, Lover Of Sin sounds a lot like classic Slayer, Fear Of God or even Candlemass. The influences seem to be early thrash and the more flamboyant practitioners of black metal like Cradle Of Filth and Kovenant, rather than the old standbys of David Bowie and Lou Reed. This seems to indicate that a lot of hybridization and cross-pollinating went on during the Cradle Of Filth and Christian Death tour — Cradle got to rummage through and select the goth bits they wanted, while Valor saw his future in a sleeker, more muscular aesthetic that only metal could adequately channel. Maybe he’s seeking a Mishima-esque level of aesthetic purity through dumb, brute force. This could get interesting.

The male vocals, which I logically presumed were Valor’s, are now somewhere between Geddy Lee from Rush and Slayer’s Tom Araya before his voice changed. Weird. Turns out they were done by the current singer of Savatage. Good. Maitre, judging by her performance, now wants to be Jarboe. Even better. The music, as I mentioned before, strains against its black vinyl encasements, surging along on pitch black waves of death metal, infused with a fatalistic, yet oddly erotic sensibility. I daresay it’s their most adventurous and sonically pleasing experiment yet.

I respect you folks for what you are, now more than ever. This is a damn good album. Will you just change the name, please? There are no original members left. Do it for your self-respect, your own legacy, if nothing else? The time has come to put aside the follies and playthings of youth. You can stand on your own.

Candlelight Records: http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk

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