by François Zappa

The new volume of the tribute series, Honoris, is dedicated to another great band of the scene: deathrock pioneers Christian Death and their late frontman Rozz Williams. Among the bands called up are some of our favourites such as Years of Denial, electronic music artist Judith Juillerat and HIV+, the label boss himself. The selection includes tracks from Catastrophe Ballet, Only Theater of Pain and Ashes but also some not so well known songs. It is available as a download and in a nice CD edition.

Pedro Peñas y Robles, owner of the label and better known as HIV+ takes the intro “Excommunicamus” and makes it danceable. Judith Juillerat, who we hope will release a new album soon, presents a haunting “Stairs (Uncertain Journey)” while Years of Denial sound better than ever on “Cervix Couch” and remind us that we have to buy their latest Suicide Disco II as soon as possible. Der Himmel Über Berlin, an Italian band who have released on the Franco-Spanish label, take a more respectful approach to their version, although they manage to give it some of their personality. We know the duo Swesor Bhrater from these compilations. They have recorded a theatrical and sinister version of “Stairs” quite different from Judith’s. France’s Yannick Rault and his project Closed Mouths maintain the sense of drama of “The Blue Hour”, and at times, even intensifies it. Dreamscape Invocation using low vocals and sharp guitars deliver a sickly “Figurative Theatre” that doubles the length of the original. Sébastien Faits Divers together with Diamond Dog have made a faithful version of “Romeo Distress”, the band’s greatest hit and the biggest classic of the genre. Baron Fantôme‘s “Skeleton Kiss” is also quite faithful with a bit more drama and solemnity in the vocal parts. Stranger Dreams released an album last year on Unknown Pleasures that you can listen to if you like their cover. Here they bring a curious version of “Halos” with a long intro and a bit more mysterious. Estonians Forgotten Sunrise present a dark and somewhat slower version of “When I was Bed” with a spoken part. We hear for the first time Lunar Paths who deliver a personal version of “Spectre” and to finish, Lonsai Maïkov bring “The Angels” closer to their folksy and angsty terrain. Now let’s wait for volume V.

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