THE ROOT OF ALL EVILUTION is CHRISTIAN DEATH’s first release since the amazing AMERICAN INQUISITION in 2007. I knew the album had been in production for some time, but next to no information was available *(ah yes, the enigma, that great mystique that has always shrouded all things CHRISTIAN DEATH related), and that it seemed to have an equally odd and very different, vaguely confusing crowd-funding campaign of some kind. Being as every album in the CHRISTIAN DEATH catalog has sounded entirely different from its predecessor, regardless of vocalist or era, I was wondering just where exactly they could go, not only in terms of sound, but thematically as well.
Well, it seems that Valor and Maitri have returned to the themes of Gnosticism, Thelema, perverse sensuality, religio-fixations of the mad, political power misused in the most vile of ways, a different sort of Apocalypse to overtake the people, and forgiveness. It seems they have also taken a great liking to Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS, the symbolism most easily found in the slow-burn, death-fukk beats of “Tar Black Liquid” *(one of my favorites on the disc), and even certain lyrics which permeate themselves throughout the album. The eerie “FEMA Camps” and classic CHRISTIAN DEATH composition of “Illuminazi” focus on the perverse fixations and actual intentions of the powermad and truly evil. Valor calls out the human race on what we have let it degenerate into, especially on the beautifully morose “We Have Become,” another composition of classic form and quality. Maitri’s vocals hit an all-time high on the sadly sinister “Forgiven,” cooing out a most bittersweet tale of loss and guilt. “Deliver Us” is another fine example of Maitri going through a complex series of different vocal stylings all within the frame-up of one song. The intense closer, “Secrets Down Below,” deserves to be a modern classic, driven by the multi-entendre meanings of her sultry vocalizations, and intense, lustful swirling rhythms behind her.
Soundwise, THE ROOT OF ALL EVILUTION is sensual, mid-to-slower paced Gothic Rock-n-Roll, and often reminiscent of their WIND KISSED PICTURES / ATROCITIES era at times, INSANUS, ULTIO, PRODITIO, MISERICORDIAQUE at others, and even a little SEX, DRUGS, & JESUS CHRIST period in tone and feel thrown in there as well, and certain musical chances taken that they manage to pull off flawlessly. It’s all very crisp, clear, a great sound. There’s nary a bad song on here to be found, most being modern anthemic dirges that swirl repetitively round one’s skull long after the initial listen *(or it at least did mine). And the album clocks in at around the 41 minute mark, a lot shorter than a good deal of their early 90’s era and on material. And that’s no complaint.
Here’s what I noticed *(and those of you familiar with the legacy of CHRISTIAN DEATH will have noticed this as well I’m sure): There’s not a bad song on this album because there is NO filler, no soundscapes or overlong, drop-tuned death dirges. It’s all meat and bite and suck and maul. From the first song onward til the last fades out, we get a steady running dose of modern classic, sexy, Gothic Rock-n-Roll anthems that flow seamlessly from song to song. Maitri and Valor have managed to create a solid, thoroughly consistent, enjoyable slab of serpentine sonic serenades of Death Rock passion that is definitively their best of the 2000’s. 2007’s AMERICAN INQUISITION I really thought was the highpoint, it’s a great fukking album, and truly wondered if there would indeed be a follow up album at some point in time. Well, it may have taken eight years, but I can honestly say that THE ROOT OF ALL EVILUTION was most definitely worth the wait. And I got to hear it on the most perfect of days, as well: dark, the sun hidden behind impenetrably thick walls of rain-teeming, slate grey clouds; the late-summer, dying climate hell-heat having subsided to a humid, pre-autumnal comfortability, for the first time in weeks. Alone. It fit the mood splendidly.
CHRISTIAN DEATH’s THE ROOT OF ALL EVILUTION I do indeed consider a modern classic, as fukkable as it is danceable, as thought provoking as it is wondrously visual, especially on the synesthese-minded. Or good to just sit back and lose yourself in the imagery of the sound. Recommended highly for the goth-set, who’ve kept an open mind over the years, and are curious to see just where this band has come to since mid-1985 (beginning of the Kand-era). Newbie or old head, it’s an interesting listen that captures every quality, at some point, that made the band so great to begin with. Well, everything that attracted me to the band so many, many moons ago in my wee-years of morbidity, anyway. I was (am) impressed. Do yourself a favor today, you cheap lowlife mopey-assed bastard, and pick up a copy of CHRISTIAN DEATH’s THE ROOT OF ALL EVILUTION. *(You know you’re not doing much else, anyway, especially if you’re reading this – – – I’d say ‘get back to work’ but, chances are, if you follow this column, you ain’t got no fukking job.) You’ll thank me later. Also, it made a great back-to-back listen after CANCERSLUG’s ROOTWORK – – – a lotta “roots” going on. Burn one down and crank it up. Thanks for reading!
Vincent Daemon, writer, editor, musician, photgrapher, film/music buff and historian, and rabblerouser, can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 as well as his spontaneously updated blog of writing news and nonsense THE WRITINGS OF A DEPRAVED MIND http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/Some of his music can be painfully experienced at http://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 His email is firstname.lastname@example.org