If you’d wanted me to think of a band with as strong opinion against religion, based on their name only, then I’d look no further than Christian Death. It took them ten years to return to Zagreb but if my math is correct, there are numbers greater than ten.
Zagreb-based Dark Rock act Phantasmagoria are local legends by this point. I’m sure most of you can remember their early days in the late 80’s when they were already topping the charts and capturing the hearts of everyone. Of course, everyone couldn’t wait to bring up comparisons with bands like The Sisters of Mercy or The Fields Of The Nephilim. I guess that wasn’t wrong, but they did their own thing obviously. They have done so many shows, sharing the stage with some of the highest ranked bands of the genre; of course, who can forget their run-in with the Catholic Church who naturally wasnt’t exactly fond of their cultlike status. You all probably know the story; promo posters got destroyed for using that whole pentagram thing as a symbol and following the philosophy of Alister Crowley. If you think that’s absurd while also ridiculous, you’d be absolutely right. However, this absolutely worked in their favor, as in a way it marketed them as “unholy”, which was what people used to say about another old band that you might have heard of – The Rolling Stones! However, the silliest and most contradictory thing of all was the fact that their pentagram was “borrowed” from a Catholic cathedral!
I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when they discover more bands of the same “theme”, but that’s a different story to tell.
Phantasmagoria, admittedly, sound better and better as the years pass by. Well, it’s either that or I’m taking big breaks between their shows. But let’s address the “elephant in the room” here, which is mirrored in too frequent lineup changes. This has sadly been a problem for them throughout the years, because with every change they’re pretty much right back at the beginning. This is obviously why despite being around for 30 years, they have only one album to show for. Regardless, their legacy is unquestioned and Tomi Phantasma remains as the constant driving force.
Christian Death, would you believe it, was started by late Rozz Williams in the twilight of the 70’s! The first album under their name was released in 1982, and oh dear, that feels like a forever ago! Of course, since such were the times, that whole thing didn’t last long so the crew was soon disbanded but Williams brought fresh new faces, allowing the story to go on. Williams himself stepped away from the spotlight, paving way for Valor Kand who ended up making the band that we know now! There was a lot more crazy stuff going on, different band members arrived and departed by the ‘truckloads, although I’m not going to talk about that now, you can look it all up! What remains is a lot of albums released over the years, though there’ve been quite a long breaks between releases.
Like I’ve said, it took them a while, but here they are again! They’re spooky, their lyrics are shocking on purpose and that’s exactly what we’ve came here for! I went out of my way just for a minute or so, to get myself prepared and get a drink – you know the drill already! I was in position just in time for the first song, and it was a familiar one alright, a cover version of Black Sabbath!!!!!! Boogaloo quickly started resonating with the riffing. It didn’t take long and Jesus Christ almighty, (if the band would forgive me for my language) the heat in the club had became a real issue!
A band with a wide and large discography is expected to spread their setlist across as many albums as they have and here there was no exception. What ended up dominating, as usual, was stuff of their latest “The Root of All Evilution” from 2015. and compared to today’s standards, that’s almost “classic hit” level of old. I didn’t mind though, because damn, I was having fun as much as the previous time.
What wasn’t fun in the slightest was the state of the crowd around me. Or lack thereof. I know it’s a Wednesday night and the band isn’t exactly in their prime years, but come on now. If you can complain on how no bands are coming here anymore, then you could at least consider checking this out despite not being in the top 5 on your app.
PS: My initial plan was to stay focused on providing the visual experience while my colleague Lukrecija handless the writing but due to a foot injury, she was unable to come, so here I am again, on my own.