DEATH GOD PROPHECIES and PORNOGRAPHIC INQUISITIONS
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Death God Prophecies: Insanus
In 1990 Valor’s Christian Death was essentially a one one man band. 1989’s All The Love/Hate fiasco was laughably bad. In 1990, he released the masterpiece Insanus, Ultio, Proditio, Misericordiaque, replete with vague liner notes about Rozz Williams being dead. A sarcastic memoriam, if you will, due to his rage at both finding out the original lineup (Rozz Williams, the inexhaustible Rikk Agnew, George Belanger, James McGearty, plus Rozz’s now wife Eva O) had been touring the West Coast of the U.S. as Christian Death, but also in the lawsuit Valor had received for rights to return the C.D. name back to Rozz.
In 1987 Rozz and Eva O. also formed SHADOW PROJECT, a different kind of deathrock band that released two incredible albums (one of which, DREAMS FOR THE DYING, was recorded during the Rodney King riots, in a studio just beneath the chaos, with Rozz and several other members slipping into severe heroin withdrawal — the album is incredibly powerful and dark, the pain is in the music it very self, spiraling forever downwards from pummelling goth/punk/metal structures to literal noise, fully Satanic in its pleading screams of soul drain circling), a fairly decent live one (In Tuned Out), and a piece of confused, boring goth-balladry (From The Heart), as well as several ep’s of (mostly bootlegged) demo material.
Funny thing is, at this this time, Rozz had lost the lawsuit to Valor (who had not released an album in years), that allowed Rozz to record new material as CHRISTIAN DEATH featuring Rozz Williams. Their first release was the lp THE IRON MASK, and it is mostly (but for the track “Skeleton’s Kiss,” apparently a song by the original C.D. that had never been recorded) re-recorded versions of classic C.D. songs. So much for new material; it is common knowledge that it was recorded quickly and sloppily, for drug money, and released behind the bands’ back, supposedly unfinished, as they were touring with SHADOW PROJECT at the time. Funny thing here, the C.D. Featuring Rozz Williams lineup is virtually exactly the same as on the SHADOW PROJECT albums. Also, THE IRON MASK features a big FUKK YOU to Valor, this time dedicating the album to the Memory Of Valor Kand. Heh, more passive-aggression. Anyone see a theme?
Valor’s C.D. finally released SEXY DEATH GOD in 1994, their first album in four years, featuring a far heavier, darker sound, with hints of some strange kind of twisted industrialized metal creeping in here and there. They were now a three piece, the token C.D. female being an unknown (and succubussly-busted) bassist and decent backing vocalist named Maitri. The drummer was merely known as Flick, and from what I understand, he was arrested at some point during the tour *(which I did see, and was a great show, naysaying Rozz-ists aside — why’d you pay to come to the show asshole?) for being caught doing mounds of cocain with some underaged groupies or something. So much for Flick. I’d like to imagine now he justifiably resides somewhere behind bars and his name is nowFukk.
Anyway, at this time C.D. Featuring Rozz Williams released their final album of new material, 1994’s heavy and chaotic THE RAGE OF ANGELS. After the lackluster THE IRON MASK in 1992, they had released actual new material in the form of THE PATH OF SORROWS (1993), a strange and bleak, meanderingly odd album.
Also in 1993 Rozz tried to organize a huge theatrical production (released as ICONOLOGIA — no, not Robert Loggia). Even this monumental event could not go down smoothly, as during the last song, Rikk Agnew stormed off the stage in a fury. To this day I know not why, nor does it really matter.
SHADOW PROJECT and C.D. Featuring Rozz Williams, essentially being the same band, they both disbanded around 1994, in part due to the divorce of Rozz and Eva O., his finally deciding on a sex change (which would never occur, though he was on estrogen, and this I know for fact), his alcoholism, and a multiple-member inability to progress forward or agree on anything artistically, aesthetically, and even spiritually. In 1994 all members went their separate ways, some into very odd but quite unique and interesting directions. And Rozz, who had stopped using heroin, replaced it with alcohol in bucketloads, making him unbearable to those even closest to him. *Both times I had met Rozz, he was an absolute trainwreck of a drunkard, and I will spare any further details to leave the man some fukking dignity.
This whole thing between all these versions of C.D. divided the fanbase quite astonishingly, vitriolically, ignorantly against one another, constant quips of “who the better performer was” ever dividing a community that realistically needed to stick together, especially then, as this is before “goth” had become some kind of mainstream joke *(thanks, by the way, Mr. Marilyn ”Tubs” Manson). The whole argument, to me is ludicrous, and watching these too-young-to-have-been-there buffoons argue about this endlessly is both as funny and as tiresome as that picture of GLENN DANZIG carrying $300 worth of cat supplies to his Iroc (that’s just what I see, heh).
In 1996 Valor was still riding on high in the concept album department (and terricloth bills as that just won’t go away), releasing PROPHECIES, a fascinatingly strange album that explores the writings/predictions of Nostradamus through really florid and vague metaphor (much like Nostradamus himself) and many an experimental series of musical choices. It all works to great effect, creating something different. Maitri’s talented, sensual vocals slowly drift in more with Valor’s own mumbled melodies, proving she has the chords; but her vocals had yet to realize their full potential.
On April 1st of 1998, Rozz Williams hung himself from a cabinet in his kitchen while home alone, drunk, of severely ill health, and a broken heart. Later that year Valor’s C.D. released PORNOGRAPHIC MESSIAH, another amazing album that had finally brought Maitri’s songwriting abilities and sex-beast mad-witchy vocals to the forefront on several different tracks. The album is almost a trip through their entire (Valor-period) career, touching on every style they had gone through to some degree. It is an incredibly fluid and fluctuating album.
And Valor was even kind-hearted (?) — or at least appreciative (?) — enough to include a genuine heartfelt dedication to Rozz in the liner notes, essentially admitting that without Rozz there would have indeed have never been a CHRISTIAN DEATH. *Most Rozz-ists are unaware of this little tidbit of information — keep that in mind next time you’re Valor-bashing, jack asses.
BORN AGAIN ANTI-CHRISTIAN, from 2000, was just the worst move C.D. could have made, musically. They had suddenly taken on the absolute worst aspects of modern metal and crammed it with something goth-like. Members of CRADLE OF FILTH appeared on the unfocused, mostly quite droll album. Dani Filth, and their drummer, whichever one at the time, who knows, show their *ahem* talents to make a disaster worse. Maitri’s songs, and one Valor track are the high points, actual genuinely good songs marred by bad drop-D tuning tricks and too many effects in general, never mind the bad, repetitive songwriting.
And then, silence. It seemed that C.D. had disappeared entirely, with nary a word to the world, who by this point couldn’t have really cared less anyway.
LOVER OF SINS and HORNY INQUISITIONS
In 2002 a strange album appeared out of nowhere, titled Christian Death Presents LOVER OF SIN. However, this is NOT a C.D. album. It is Maitri’s solo project (even though Valor IS in the bad, of course, and I think may even have been producer of), a black metal/whore metal/goth rock hybrid of devilish lusts and succubus passions, of vengeance and of piece, as this succubi screams and yowls of nihilistic unfulfillment in nearly every tune. They put out one self-titled album in 2003, then silence, again.
Until 2007 when C.D. released the intensely anthemic and genuinely good, classic return to form AMERICAN INQUISITION, An incredibly strong album, they remained essentially a three piece with Valor on guitar, Maitri on bass, and Nate Hassan on drums. I think it may be one of the best goth albums, if not the best, of the decade. There was a small, theatrical and terricloth draped tour and then . . . nothing. Again they had vanished into virtual thin air, yet again.
LOVER OF SIN returned suddenly in 2012 with the album HORNY BEAST, yet another excellent blend of metal, rock, and goth stylings. And no Valor to be found.
Briefly, there was an act titled CD1334, that was the original C.D. lineup (Agnew, McGearty, Belanger) with Eva O. (replacing Rozz, quite obviously) on lead vocals. There was supposed to be an album, new material, but the project played a couple of festivals and basically faded away.
Then, the other day as I was trying to figure out just how the fukk I was going to finish this article, I saw that C.D. will soon be releasing a brand new album, The Root Of All Evilution, and in fact they have a video up for one of the new songs on youtube (“You Can’t Give It Back”). It was very rock, reminiscent of the 87-88 period. This could be a good thing, or a bad thing. I thought it was ok. Apparently we shall soon hear as it is slated for a late 2014 release.
Curiosity kills cats but, hey! I’ve got 13 lives.
Will Valor and Maitri (and new drummer Jason) take us into the Past, trap us in the death of the present, or give us a secret glimpse into the future?
We Shall See . . .
— Insanus, Ultio, Proditio, Misericordiaque (1990)
— Sexy Death God (1994)
— Prophecies (1996)
— Pornographic Messiah (1998)
— Born Again Anti-Christian (2000)
— American Inquisition (2007)
CHRISTIAN DEATH FEATURING ROZZ WILLIAMS:
— The Iron Mask (1992)
— The Path of Sorrows (1993)
— The Rage of Angels (1994)
— Shadow Project (1991)
— Dreams for the Dying (1992)
— In Tuned Out- live ’93 (1994)
— From the Heart (1998)
— The Original (EP 2005)
— Past Time (1993)
— Demons Fall for an Angel’s Kiss (1994, originally called Angels Fall for a Demon’s Kiss but rewritten/renamed before its release)
— Eva O Halo Experience (video)
— Cry for Help (1982, Bemis Brain/Enigma) — with the SUPER HEROINES
— Souls that Save (1983, Bemis Brain/Enigma) — with the SUPER HEROINES
— Love and Pain (1993, Cleopatra) — with the SUPER HEROINES
— Damnation (Ride the Madness) (1999, Massacre Records)
— Damnation/Salvation (2005, Massacre Records)
Vincent Daemon, writer and rabblerouser, can be followed on FB @ https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 , and join his blog The Writings Of A Depraved Mind @http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/?zx=e40931ba40511a11