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Only Theatre of Pain

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(26 Reviews)

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  • 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