Change of style.
Yes, a short"gothic" visit in the world of CHRISTIAN DEATH - inventor of the "death rock" (sort of dark punk rock). Not to be confused with the cheap and marketed gothic styled black / heavy metal you meet nowdays with such bands as Cradle of Filth, Marylin Manson etc...
Ok, recently CHRISTIAN DEATH has become one of them, in their later incarnation. But in the 80s, it was a completly different story : created by Rozz Williams, their 1st incarnation released one cult album, "Only Theatre of Pain", regarded as an absolute underground and "batcave" classic : distorted guitars (almost "ring modulated" - to compare with early SONIC YOUTH, yes!), confused drums from beyond, and this desperate voice - in comparison the saddest Robert Smith almost sounds like Sinatra.
After that, the band dissolved, Williams continuing with members of POMPEII 99 (I'm looking for the albums, if they exist, could you share them?), their leader Valor playing the guitar. 2 good albums were made, in a much softer style. This kind of "classic period" is rather dark, but not really "gothic" in my opinion.
Then, Rozz chose to leave the band, Valor becoming the main composer / singer / producer. To my ears, the 2 albums he made from this point, "Atrocities" and "The Scriptures", are 2 dark / psych / punk mixed rock masterpieces, and should be considered by every "weird rock" fans as such. Of course, everything is not good, but the music here is incredibly eclectic. It even reminds me of some krautrock bands like AMON DUUL2 who ignore boundaries in music.
At the end of the 80s, Valor and his friends made 3 contrasted albums, keeping on trying new styles : you'll find some really good things, but so many horrible tunes too... Don't try "All the Love / all the hate" first if you want to enter CHRISTIAN DEATH discography, this imitation of heavy metal is rarely successful. Then Valor stopped.
He came back in the 90s with a new band and made one inspired album, "Sexy Death God" but, unfortunenatly, turned later into black metal parody of little merit (and no interest at all), maybe because he'd gained the interest of the young goth metal fans who possibly consider C.D a godfather of the dark music. Don't loose yourself in this period.
To confuse us a little more, note that while everybody thought he was dead, Rozz Williams came back in the 90s too, with his own CHRISTIAN DEATH (there was a trial for the use of the name) that has nothing in common with Valor's. In my opinion, the 2 or 3 albums and the dozens of live and re-takes sessions of old tracks are rather pretentious and not really interesting, despite what some early fans may think - Rozz finally suicides in 1998, that's probably the reason. On the contrary his band called SHADOW PROJECT, with the same members as this CHRISTIAN DEATH incarnation, made an excellent album (their 1st, untitled) very similar to "Only theatre of pain", with some tracks composed in the early years but that were never recorded...
Ooch, sorry I was long, but it's not easy to explain. Please take a look to All Music Guide, where a very good biography has been made.
For the beginners, I tried a best of, to be heared in chronological order, with this track listing :
1. Deathwish (demo, 1981)
2. Desperate Hell (demo, 1981)
3. Spiritual Cramp (only theatre of pain, 1982)
4. Romeo's Distress (only theatre of pain, 1982)
5. The Drowning (a catastrophe ballet, 1984)
6. As evening falls (a catastrophe ballet, 1984)
7. Lament (Ashes, 1985)
8. The Danzig Waltz (Atrocities, 1986)
9. Chimère de-si de-là (Atrocities, 1986)
10. Strange Fortune (Atrocities, 1986)
11. Four Horsemen (The Scriptures, 1987)
12. Golden Age (The Scriptures, 1987)
13. Erection (sex drugs & jesus christ, 1988)
14. Climate of Violence (all the hate, 1989)
15. Angel (all the love, 1989)
16. Woman to Mother Earth(all the love, 1989)
17. Eternal Love (sexy death god, 1994)
18. Temples of Desire (sexy death god, 1994)
Don't look the povocation and the crow's style, just listen. Who can resist to such songs as Romeo's Distress, Strange Fortune or Temples of Desire?
You tell me after having downloaded this compilation here .