A true classic
Josh | Boston, NY USA | 06/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Atrocities finds Christian Death somewhere between the departure of Rozz Williams and Valor's turn towards metal. The result is arguably the best release by Valor's Christian Death.Still fueled to some extent by the musical tendencies of earlier Christian Death material as well as occassionally imitating Rozz's vocal style, Valor manages to create a truly emotional and atmospheric album. Distinct guitar and bass driven gothic rock melodies fuse with classical ambience and instrumentation. Valor's lyrical skills also seem to have peaked here, with emotional and poetic lyrics that don't resort to the religious preaching or often amusing vulgarity and sexuality that would plague much of his later body of work. Gitane is also in top shape here with wonderful vocal work on the beautiful "Tales of Innocence" and an original take on the classic "Gloomy Sunday"...This album would also be of special interest to fans of Mephisto Walz. Central Mephisto Walz songwriter and musician B. Galvin appears here as bassist as well as co-writer on several songs. The atmospheric sound on many of the songs here is almost completely identical to Mephisto Walz's signature sound. In fact, this album contains the original version of "Silent Thunder", which would later be released in re-recorded form as a Mephisto Walz track.The only complaint I have about this album is Cleopatra's remaster. Like their other Christian Death reissues, the disc won't play right in some portable/car CD players and there are volume/clarity issues with some speakers. However, despite the faults of the record label, this album is still a must have for fans of Christian Death, Mephisto Walz, or atmospheric gothic rock in general."
Not everything put out by Valor sucks
Pen Name | 01/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good introduction for anyone interested in that genre that had been labelled 'goth' by music journalists. This album came out in 1986, when the gothic thing was really starting to crystalize into a distinct sound and this album sums up that sound well. Some songs are mellow with piano and guitar with lots of reverb, others are more rockin, and all of it is filled with atmosphere and the bass guitar is prominent. Valor's vocals on this album are what was becoming standard goth style while Gitane Demone's vocals were much more powerful than his. It is a shame that she only sung on a couple of these songs.
Like most Christian Death albums, this one is controversial because none of the people involved in its making were in the original line up of Christian Death. They weren't even on the first album. It's a totally different band with Valor Kand (who joined the group on the second album) assuming leadership. This album, along with the Wind Kissed Pictures EP (1985) were the first Christian Death releases after the last original member had left the group (Rozz Williams:vocals). It contains three members from Pompeii 99 (a really good and poppy eclectic band yet unknown and underrated) and two guys from Mephisto Waltz. The synergy between these musicians made for some really good music but unfortunately the latter two members left the group after this album was made so they could concentrate on their own Mephisto Waltz project.
The Pompeii 99 members would continue to release albums under the Christian Death name but these albums could never match up to this one or the Wind Kissed Pictures. This is why Atrocities and Wind Kiss Pictures are the only albums without Rozz or any other original members that I would recommend. Among albums with Rozz Williams, I would recommend their first album Only Theatre of Pain (1982), especially if you like bands like Samhain (back before goth was clearly defined, more eclectic and experimental, and more post-punk, when it was given labels in the US like 'death rock', 'horrer rock', 'ghoul rock', and 'death punk'). But this is the only Christian Death album without Rozz that matches the power and creativity of Only Theatre of Pain even though these two albums sound nothing alike.
For those who are cautious of buying this album on the grounds that they refuse to support Valor because he stole the Christian Death name from the original group, bear in mind that Valor wasted no time in taking copyright control of all Christian Death releases with Rozz Williams after Rozz died (though I don't know if Only Theatre of Pain is included). So not only do you end up supporting Valor anyway if you only buy the albums with Rozz, but you miss out on a very good album here."