Christian Death - Only Theatre Of Pain

Legendary debut album back from the grave - again

Only Theatre Of Pain

Desperately in need of an
outlet for his frustration at the
world, 16-year-old vocalist/
lyricist Rozz Williams formed
Christian Death in October
1979. Fascinated by religion
and death (and possessing of
an often-overlooked humor –
the band name was a word
play for Christian Dior), he
found a kindred soul in former
Adolescents guitarist Rikk
Agnew and together they
created a sound that was
unique in the synth-pop-dominated
early 80s.

Clearly drawing an
influence from punk, they
added nervous riffing, dark
basslines, furious drums and
darkly violent, yet intelligent,
lyrics to create a rollercoaster
ride of anger and doom. It’s
fast, furious and breathtaking
– and created a storm upon
its release. Only Theatre Of
Pain’s influence should not be
underestimated, either. Issued
on Frontier in March 1982, it
proved to be a pillar of the
emerging goth-rock genre.

Unfortunately, Christian
Death met their own doom
just one year later, when
vocalist Valor (of Pompeii 99)
joined the band and gradually
took over the reins (with not
an original member in sight,
he leads a watered-down
version of the group to this
day). This umpteenth issue of
OTOP (we make it the 23rd),
however, is the real thing, adding value with its purple
vinyl and bonus single
featuring two previously
unreleased tracks. Amazing
stuff for those who dare to
listen!

5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars

Frontier | 31007-1 (LP+7”)

Reviewed by Freek Kinkelaar
<< Back to Issue 398