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Christian Death – Evil Becomes Rule

Christian Death
Evil Becomes Rule
by Oli Gonzalez at 23 May 2022, 12:44 PM

CHRISTIAN DEATH. A name that divides crowds and is shrouded in controversy. However, one cannot deny the impact the founders of American goth rock have had in music and popular culture in general. Their list of touring credentials is impressive, where it’s probably easier for the band to tell you where they haven’t played, rather than listing every single nation they’ve frequented.  Nobody can deny the band’s longevity with a career spanning 4 decades and a discography of full length, live, and compilation albums that’s well into the double figures. To be truthful, this isn’t my preferred genre of music. Although I don’t think I’ve really given it a fair go. After all, I have a huge amount of respect for TYPE O NEGATIVE whilst DRACONIAN are one of my all time favourite bands. Maybe CHRISTIAN DEATH could be a gateway band and open up the genre to me more?

The vocal textures and harmonies were hugely salient to me through this album. The synergy between the down-in-your-boots deep gothic male and high pitch female vocals is glorious. This is most prominent in “The Alpha and The Omega”. Some songs are exclusive to Matri also, whilst I found myself entranced in Valor’s story telling during “New Messiah”. Again, something I’m not used to this so I welcome this diversity and change of musical scenery. Matri’s basslines at times are thoroughly hypnotic, being the focal point for large portions of songs, for example during “Abraxas We Are”. Sadly, the bass is often an afterthought in rock and metal, yet this much overlooked instrument is given the limelight during this track and the sole source of melody at times. And to great effect, as that low end washes over you and leave you in a trance like state.

“Elegant Sleeping”  was perhaps the fastest song on the album for me. I’d love to see this live. I can imagine an arena erupting into a darkened gothic frenzy when the tempo sky rockets during this number! This song is dominated by a soaring guitar lead which can only be described as all consuming and piercing through the rest of the mix! “Blood Moon” for me takes a more upbeat tone, and a more conventional song structure. One of the highlights for me on the album, and a nice contrast to the darkness within. I noted some of the more experimental elements, whether it’s the acoustic passages in “New Messiah” , or any delicate sprinkles of synth tracks throughout the album. The album can be down right dark in parts, whether it’s “Beautiful”, or subtle political message in “Rise and Shine”. The band clearly aren’t afraid of pushing boundaries lyrically or musically.

The production levels are high, and everything sounds sharp, crisp, clear, and well balanced in the mix. Perhaps not as crushing and in your face as I’m used to, but then again, I should listen to a doom metal album if I want huge sounds. The way it’s produced works well for the genre for sure. Overall, this was an interesting introduction to a new band and deeper dive into a genre I’m vaguely familiar with. I honestly would describe this album as marmite; a difficult listen for some, but thoroughly addictive to others. No matter your view point. CHRISTIAN DEATH definitely are an experience and one you’ll never forget!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Alpha and The Omega
2. New Messiah
3. Elegant Sleeping
4. Blood Moon
5. Abraxas We Are
6. The Warning
7. Beautiful
8. Rise and Shine
9. Evil Becomes Rule
10. Who Am I (Part 1)
11. Who Am I (Part 2)
Lineup:
Valor - Lead vocals, guitars, violin, cello, piano (inside and out), keyboards, percussion
Maitri - Lead vocals, bass guitar
Pao – Drums
Record Label: Season of Mist Records
     


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