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Only Theatre of Pain

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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★½
(26 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • I couldn’t believe my ears when i heard OTOP! It was kind of weird, but one of the greatest albums i ever heard. i still listen to it all the time. I just can’t get tired of it. Cavity sets the mood for the entire album. And Desperate Hell sounds like a horror movie. One of the things that other Christian Death albums are missing is James McGearty’s basslines! He and drummer George Belanger are the backbone while Rikk Agnew plays the guitar in a way that i never heard before. Then theres the late, great Rozz Williams. He was only 19 years old when this album was released! There are times when his lyrics sound like Anne Rice novels. The bad thing is that he really didn’t know how to sing too well on this album or maybe he was faking it because his voice never stayed the same throughout his career. The original 9 songs are great (Prayer isn’t really a song) and the bonus tracks are great too. Unfortunately, the group disbanded before they could finish a second album. Then Rozz met a guitarist named Valor Kand and they formed the 2nd incarnation of Christian Death. They made 2 albums together and they sounded different (but good) from the original album. In 1985 Rozz decided to end the band and move on, but Valor revived it without Rozz Williams’ permission. Valor went on to destroy Christian Death’s name with several terrible albums. In the early 90’s Rozz Williams decided to take back what was his and formed his own version of the band. Other Christian Death albums i recommend are: Catastrophe Ballet, Ashes, Decomposition Of Violets(live), Invocations(live/rarities. some tracks have bad sound quality), The Iron Mask, Path Of Sorrows, Rage Of Angels, and Iconologia(live/original line up reunion concert). I also recommend the Christian Death Live VHS/DVD.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I grew up with this band and new the members. Rozz was a poet and a great writer. it is too bad he could not get his life straight. This and Catastrophe Ballet are two of the albums I will take to the next world with me.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I first heard this when I was 15, back in 1985. At the time I was into Black Sabbath and moving into punk like Rudimentary Peni. I had always been moved by heavy, dark sounds. At the moment the needle hit the vinyl, I knew my destiny was right on course. This is by far the best death rock album of all time. There is nothing that sounds like it or even comes close to the beautiful gloom that Rozz created at a mere 16 years old. Maybe that is the charm. Part of it. Without Rikk Agnew, this would be a different record entirely. He only played on this one and Christian Death never had the same sound again. Even now, in my 30’s, I still find the musicianship on this record amazing. And not just for its time but for all time. I highly recommend this album for teenagers who like darker music. You know who you are. Marilyn Manson is not enough. The religious overtones, the creepy, mortuary vibe and the punk energy make for the perfect mix. I can’t really compare them to Bauhaus, Joy Division, Sisters, Misfits, Rudimentary Peni, etc.. because they simply don’t sound alike. There are so many genres or labels given to music but I feel this is the quintessential Death Rock album. Sometimes the stars do align, the graves are just the right depth and miracles do happen. This is one of them.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This album came out the same year that I was born, making it 23 years old now. Yet, 23 years on, it still sounds as fresh as anything out there now. No, it sounds BETTER than anything coming out now.

    I got this when I was 16 or so, making a transition from old school punk (Crass, Dead Kennedys, et al) into more “goth” music and culture, like Bauhaus, The Sisters, The Cure, etc.
    Quite simply, it blew me away. The perfect blend of both styles, in my opinion. The lyrics are darkly violent, sexual, blasphemous, and above all, intelligent. The music is loud, and punky, but at the same time, noisy and often changes pace, something most punk and goth cannot claim. For all the fast, punkish songs, there are still dirgy, synth-laden ones, and tracks of pure noise collage hell. It does not give the impression of being dark and morbid simply for the sake of being dark and morbid-far from being contrived, it feels like this is the only way that Rozz and Rikk could have sounded at this point in time. Fluid yet dischorant all at once. I cannot recommend this album nearly enough.

    While the production is not Pro-Tools perfect, it’s still excellent, and really does not sound dated like a lot of albums of that time.

    This is where the make-up set got their sound, make no mistake. None have done it better, and likely, none ever will. Rozz was a true original…I only wish that he and Boyd Rice had been able to do the long talked about project they talked about. Now that would have been an amazing recording…

    The original Christian Death with Rozz Williams-accept NO immitations.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • … In the 80’s it was called Deathrock or Deathpunk. Listening to this album, you’ll hear the punk influence clearly, yet this album is as weird and as experimental as rock & roll gets. Not to mention about as dark. The sounds that come from this disk can be best described as pure depression. From Rozz’s sickening moans, to the bizarre guitar playing of Rick, and of course the gloom drenched lyrics. (Not as blasphemous as people say when you really look at them) …. … Christian Death was a big influence on Mr. Manson and were infinitely cooler than he could ever hope to be. And PLEASE, for the love of heaven DO NOT buy a Christian Death cd without Rozz on vocals! You’ll be supporting someone who stole the name of Rozz Williams’ band and is currently capitalizing on his death. Also try Catastrophe Ballet, Ashes, The Iron Mask, Path Of Sorrows, and Rage Of Angels.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now