I have a long-standing but distant relationship with Christian Death. One dark 80s night, I found myself alone at Goth Night. My bleached perm was a beacon of light among the sea of jet black weave. I asked John the Goth what music he liked, and he declared his love for Christian Death. Intrigued, I demanded details. I can’t remember what he told me, but I know I repeated it to everyone else in the dungeon, and found myself the belle of the goth ball.
30 years later, the launch of a new Christian Death video gave me a reason to check out the band I’d professed myself a fan of that night. I watched the video (Forgiven), I listened to the entire album that it comes from (‘The Root of Evilution’ fact fans), and I checked out some of their back catalogue too.
Musically, Christian Death will feel like an old friend to anyone who liked The Cure, The Cult or Sisters of Mercy. ‘Forgiven’ is by far the best song on the Evilution album. For those of us whose musical tastes were forged in the 80s and 90s, you’ll find Christian Death different enough to be interesting, and familiar enough to be comforting. Based on my very quick tour: I’d say Christian Death’s album ‘Only Theatre of Pain’ is the most accessible: it has a touch of the Joy Division about it. ‘Romeo’s Distress’ is the best track for my money.
The video will be instantly familiar to all who’ve seen Carrie: whose final scenes also have a girl walking slowly to a grave with flowers. Unlike Carrie, repeated viewings are needed to untangle the video’s storyline. Maitri, the vocalist, shoots a girl with lilac hair. Maitri attends her funeral and dances next to lilac girl’s grave, before reflecting on what she has done. She returns with flowers, feels sorrow, and is forgiven by the lilac-haired girl, who in turn is freed by having forgiven her killer. I was particularly impressed by Maitri’s remarkable cleavage and ability to walk past puddles in a long white dress and train without getting muddy.
The best thing about Christian Death has always been the name. It shocks, and once so did we. We wore extraordinary clothes and dyed our hair to stand out, and look identical to our tribe. Now we turn to Christian Death for comfort, to remember our rebellious youth. Few of us still dance next to graves, but I’m glad there’s still bands to remind us that we still could.
Watch the ‘Forgiven’ video here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R5cutw0Eg
Details of their 2019 European Tour is here: http://www.christiandeath.com/