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Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Death in June- The Guilty Have No Pride


Artist: Death In June
CD Title: The Guilty Have No Pride
Label: NER
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 5/8/06

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Death In June are one of the defining acts of the new martial ambient scene; before that, they helped launch the apocalyptic folk movement alongside Current 93. At their very beginning, though, they were straight-up old-school post-punk, rising out of the ashes of leftist political punk act Crisis. This album, long out of print, captures those early years, when band founder Douglas P. was part of a trio along with Tony Wakeford, who later went on to form Sol Invictus, and Patrick Leagas, who left the band to form Sixth Comm. Already there were hints of industrial and militaristic influences, as evidenced by the marching drumbeat of "Till The Living Flesh Is Burned" and the strident tape loop of "All Alone In Her Nirvana." A lot of these tracks are surprisingly standard early goth numbers, however; "Nothing Changes" is like Joy Division with Halloween sound effects, and the tinny guitars of "Heaven Street" are like the Cure gone scary instead of mopey. There's also a reworked version of "Heaven Street" that comes closer to Death In June's classic dark folk sound, with acoustic strums layered over reverberating industrial loops, and the snare drums and mournful brass of "We Drive East" prefigure later classics like "The Golden Wedding Of Sorrow" with the added bonus of hearing Douglas and Patrick sharing vocal duties. For Sol Invictus fans, this disk finishes with a young-sounding Tony singing lead on "Holy Water." With the possible exception of "Heaven Street," none of these songs quite manage to be true classics, but after being next to impossible to find for so many years, it's wonderful for fans to be able to get their hands on this material again. As an added bonus, this special reissue is accompanied by a concert DVD filmed in 1982, so pick this one up to add to your apocalyptic folk collection.

Visit http://www.deathinjune.net for more news and information from Douglas P. and friends.


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