CHRISTIAN DEATH: Only Theatre of Pain: LP

If you’ve not come across it before, suffice it to say that this is one of the pillars upon which the death rock/goth sound is based. Though the band would go through many incarnations and ultimately end up with two wholly different lineups—one fronted by original vocalist Rozz Williams and another comprised of the remnants of a band called Pompeii 99 that, to keep a long story short, Rozz ultimately lost the Christian Death name to—claiming the right to use the name and releasing a slew of competing albums for a number of years before Rozz committed suicide. All convoluted history aside, this remains their signature release—a heady cauldron of swirling guitars, throbbing bass, pagan rhythms, dour poetry, dark alchemy, and ill-intent, from its bell-peal opening to its closing with the Lord’s Prayer recorded backwards. This touchstone album has been reissued many times and in many formats over the years, this time with the inclusion of an additional single and colored vinyl to make it all the more enticing.

 –jimmy (Frontier)