Thursday, September 12, 2013
Live Review : Christian Death @ the Masquerade
O.k before we get into how the stage was set with cob webs draped over the drums and mic stand a roses abounding lets get the elephant out of the room...
Some goth die-hards will be reluctant to give the non- Rozz Williams line-up of the seminal death -rock act a chance, if they don't out right scorn it. Valor took over as the singer in 1985 and Williams tried to reclaim the name in 95 resulting in a legal battle. Which Valor claims never took place, maybe it didn't I was too high at the time to keep up or care about that drama. He said it all went down with Cleopatra Records and they didn't want to deny Rozz's fan and said his version just had to say featuring Rozz Williams. Sound fair enough as long as his version said featuring Valor Kand but it's water under the bridge unless you ask the people over a rozz.net on Facebook who are still trolling the Christian Death page to make sure justice is done.
The conclusion I came to is this...it's like Ozzy and Dio. Ozzy is Black Sabbath. Rozz is Christian Death. Dio is technically a better singer than Ozzy, just as Valor is technically a better singer than Rozz , however both Ozzy and Rozz have the personality that makes their bands come to life. Mob Rules and Heaven & Hell are good albums. Sex, Drugs and Jesus Christ is a good album. So it's ok to go see Valor as it was o.k to go see the Dio Sabbath. The big difference being Rozz Williams is dead, so there are no other options, so we get off the hook better than Sabbath fans because Dio could still sing his songs and he is dead , Ozzy is back with the band but can no longer sing.
Now that they years and the drug lifestyle have worn on Valor as well he sounds more like Rozz than he use to and after last night the playing field was leveled vocally between the too but he still hits more of the notes than Ozzy
Maitri who joined the band as the bass player back in 1992, took a more commanding presence on stage than Valor , who introduced himself as "Satan or at least that who some people think he is " this kind of deprecating humor took on a Spinal Tap air. Valor almost seemed apologetic at times and this being the third date of the tour maybe he just needed to get his sea legs back on stage.
Maitri held the audiences attention for a few reasons depending on which members of the audience you asked. Young goth boys who hadn't ventured out from in front of their computers since dragon con to see a woman in the flesh where particularly enamored by her, as she was clad like a sequined stripper. Her high heels seemed like an odd fit to stalk the stage in while slinging her bass and her skirt was more like a few strands of black to decorate her panties. It was more than she is wearing on the cover of her album "lover of sin" and like Thrill Kill Kult they adopted a very over sexual theme since the 90's so they stuck to that theme, despite rocks steps toward feminism, but like metal this kind of sleaze goes back to the bdsm themes in early goth, so some objectification applies. Hey it worked for Lords of Acid.
Drummer Jason Frantz did and excellent job of keeping the songs moving. Drummers are never the strong point to goth, come name some great goth drummers...I'll be waiting. The bass players normally run the show and let the guitarist and singer romantically waltz around the proceedings, so having a drummer that was really solid gave them more of a metal edge. The newer material they Valor said was being introduced and sold exclusively on this tour was much more metal at one point there was a riff that reminded me of something from Metallica's Black Album,so almost dumbing it down metal. This did prompt Valor to explain what tuning his guitar down to drop d meant.
The crowd did fill in a little better for Christian Death, though the Rozz resent would be one suspected reason for the low turn out. I only caught the opening band locals Board of Whores best attempt to win the crow over with a cover of Concrete Blond, when I asked the bartender how the rest of their set was she said very 80's, so there is her word for. If asked a decade to pick for Christian Death featuring Valor Kand's set was I would say very 90's. It was a good decade for Cleopatra Records so little wonder thats where their evolution ended them up at. I think it would be a nice gesture to the fans and an olive branch to do a tour that served as a Tribute to Rozz, reach out to bands like Mephisto Waltz and Sex Gang Children with Rikk Agnew , Gitane Demone, and Eva O. It wouldn't be goth without the drama and what else have they got to do. Sure if Valor swings back though town I'll saunter in again and hope for the best.