Sunday, July 19, 2009


Christian Death's second unholy offering came in the form if this great 12" EP titled Deathwish. from 1984. I think it was the band's best material. Rozz WIlliams was a poet of the highest caliber. If there is any justice in this cold unfeeling world, he will be regarded alongside Baudelaire and Rimbaud by generations to come.


ido said...

Aahh. I listen to this almost daily. Some of the most important music ever recorded. Its mind boggling to think that Rozz was just a teenager when he wrote these words.

I completely agree with you: Rozz was one of the greatest poets in the history of world literature. I put him along side such world luminaries and E. A. Poe, Fujiwara no Teika, and Bai Juyi as far as sheer innate talent and ability is concerned, although your alignment of his work does fit thematically into the same literary schemata as Baudelaire and Rimbaud. In my mind, the only lyricists to come even remotely close are Gira and possible Nick Cave's earlier work. His syntax, use of symbolism, and subtle understanding of the flimsy boundary between reality and surreal hallucinatory states are genius. The fact that he could command all of these while on stage...... words escape me. The man's oeuvre deserves serious recognition and academic study.

I'm fairly certain that this material was recorded as demos before "Only Theatre of Pain" and released on the L'Invitation au Suicide label. The production is definitely rougher on these takes than the same songs on "Only Theatre...." Personally, this is my favorite version of "Romeos Distress."

Its hard for me to pick my favorites from his body of work. Everything he did with the first incarnation of CHRISTIAN DEATH is stellar- the live album "Decomposition of Violets" tends to hit me hard every time I listen to it. "Ashes" is especially lovely. I remember driving through a snowstorm listen to it when "Luxury of Tears" came on. Rozz's voice and words struck this bizarre cord in me, causing me to remember all of my dear friends who had either left me, were far away, or dead. I started sobbing like crazy, which made trying to drive through that fucking New England slush that much worse. His work in SHADOW PROJECT is also sublime and overlooked- IN TUNED OUT is spellbinding in its darkness. "Guilty Stroke" may very well be the best song he ever wrote, and that is saying a lot.

Thank you very much for posting this and spreading this genius to all who ride the Hearse.

Aesop said...

Wow, thanks for all that. I couldn't agree more.

e normous said...

"Hey babe, check out my oeuvre. Uhhuhuhhuhhuh"

Anonymous said...

The last song on this EP is amazing...I love the guitar playing.

Anonymous said...

Baudelaire is not holy ? no form of boring religions, right
ceci ne nous rajeunit pas, oh oh oh

Paul Von Aphid said...

Wow, its one of my fave EP's ever. Not so long ago it was daily listening. I think a lot of people have a lot of memories connected with this album...

And dont forget other talented musicians around Rozz like Valor, Gitane, Eva O, Rikk Agnew, Bari-Bari (Mephisto Walz rocks!!).

Yeah, Christian Death is overlooked band, but they was stylish, they was moody and murky at the day. There a lot of much more talented but much lesser known bands, but not all of them can be compared with CD as influence on whole scene... CD was VERY influental, even help to create japanese deathrock scene with bands like Phaidia and so.
And modern bands like Martyr Whore sounds just like CD clones.

I love this ep along with early 45 Grave, Mephisto Walz, Mighty Sphincter, Superheroines, Kommunity FK, TSOL and Drunk Injuns.

The best cover on Romeo's Distress, btw, I think was played by hXc band Ciril (featured on Rozz tribute album).

And as big fan of Rimbaud - i think Rozz lyrics much more closer to Arthur then Charles Baudelaire.

Paul Von Aphid said...

and, again... ido, you are very interesting person!

blort said...

yah, wow! thank you AGAIN for the turn on aesop.

Doug said...

awesome post as always aesop.

thinking of christian death for some reason always makes me think of the sex gang children. we're you ever into them? i have the beasts ep on vinyl, have had it for years, but would like it in mp3format and cannot find it anywhere...any help? if i had a usb turntable, the shit i could post on my blog but i'm too poor.

back to christian death, first song i heard by them was mysterium inquitatis. i was already a fan of the adolescents and rikk agnew's all by myself album, but didn't know he had anything to do with christian death until i heard that song, and i was hooked.

rozz was a great lyricist, but let's not tip toe arpound the fact that rikk agnew's guitar playing on only thetre was impeccable.

thanks again.

dustinswanson said...

Celtic Frost's Into the Pandemonium borrows from this pretty heavily. I didn't even know. when i was a young one i heard christian death and i was so disappointed that they had a name like that and weren't a death metal band that i never gave them a chance. listening now, of course this rules.

Paul Von Aphid said...

Doug, Sex Gang Children is fukken awesome!

I remember i was so fukken influenced by them, that even start to training sing like Andy.

Dustin, yeah, Celtic Frost was heavily inspired by goth and deathrock... Even in Hellhammer!
Listen to Bauhaus "Dark Entries" and then Hellhammer "Revelation of Doom"... It seems, in 80s it was a shame to say that you are metalhead and you like Bowie or Bauhaus or what.

Btw, i very recommend to everyone to check Burning Image band, if you dont do it before. As well Naked & The Dead - cool female fronted goth band!

z said...

urgh.... i'm from montreal.... this is sooooo classic there its almost mainstream :]

Doug said...

paul: of all the bands you listed, 45 Grave has to be my favorite. how many fuckin' versions of partytime did they record anyways?

JoeP said...

you're kicking down the door on a lot of people's goth closets lately, very nice. this record always makes me think of ladies I liked a quarter century ago

cjejons said...

How can I not try something that's had such a huge reaction? Looking forward. THANKS.

hex said...

your hearse charge is refreshing. my wife's right shoulder features the "only theater of pain" cover image. to her i owe my awareness and appreciation of such vital and lawless art. many thanks for propogating the venom...

a new regular,

hex said...

your hearse charge is refreshing. my wife's right shoulder features the "only theater of pain" cover image. to her i owe my awareness and appreciation of such vital and lawless art. many thanks for propogating the venom...

a new regular,

Darwinfish said...

Yeah, I was just thinking today about how much Frost's ITP rips off early Christian Death. I wonder if Warrior would even admit it.

Anonymous said...

This was included on SOME copies of the "Only Theatre" CD— I have heard personally that some copies friends have had that the CD itself did not include the extra tracks, yet they were listed on the CD's tracklist notes. I'm guessing these were ripped from the CD, as all of these were listed "_ of 16"— the amount of tracks on the CD.

I always thought this was released as a 7" proceeding "Only Theatre". Considering it sounds like it was recorded on a 4 track it seems unlikely they would go backwards quality-wise. Maybe it was rereleased as a 12" following the success of the LP? Or maybe I'm totally wrong...

Curious move making the cover mostly yellow. With that and the inset rectangle it looks like the designer was influenced by the National Geographic cover format.
The font the cover uses is Romic. Many thai restaurants seem to use this font. If you fatten it up to a bold, this version of the font was used for the logotype of the early Hellraiser films.

Am I the only one who detects the Can samples from "Super 16" at 2:56 on Sleepwalk?

It always blows me away how unique Rozz's approach was, from double tracking different vocal styles, bizarre lyrics, to the weepy effeminate dramatic tone ONLY HE could make work.

Rozz's persona in and outside of the band usually overshadows the rest of the members, though everyone is tip top here.

Royal Oak, MI

Anonymous said...

My girlfriend Candice always crying because when she think about Rozz William she always think about woman workers of Coca Cola and fathers of the Royal Navy
she's so stupid
We love Christian Death, very much

Anonymous said...

Hey Aesop, thanks for reigniting my interest in Christian Death.. I abandoned them long ago, writing them off as part of my being a "faggy 13 year old" but I guess I underestimate myself. It's still amazing music. I remember sitting in an alternative style cafe in Albuquerque, NM at the age of 14 with my parents and reading about Rozz Williams' death in an obscure music mag. Was floored for days..

Thanks again for the trip down nostalgia lane!



Anonymous said...

My experience was similar to Dustin's, as a youth just getting into black and death metal, I picked up a Christian Death album (rage of angels, i think) and was immediately disappointed. Of course, I was wanting to hear something grim and frosty. Thanks for putting this up, I will definitely have to reinvestigate after hearing this, I've been listening to it constantly. I think I would like to hear a black metal band cover "Cavity", it's already halfway there to my ears.

Anonymous said...

you're just a society of suckers
if you remember the death of Rozz at 14 you're still minor
they never be a band of black metal but of goth
go away with your cars and listen country commercial rock fm and boring rap victims
thanks to you

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I can't believe Andrew had the audacity to only be 14 when he read about the death of Rozz. wtf?

Chaogrammarian said...

I heart Christian Death.