DEATH IN JUNE - The Wall Of Sacrifice - CD - 9 tracks - NER - 2003

The latest reissue of Death In June's out of print back catalogue, 'The Wall Of Sacrifice' was originally released in 1990 as a LP limited to 600 copies and then as a CD, one year later. In 2000, this album was also reissued as a picture disc (in the series designed by Enrico Chiarparin, also featuring 'Nada', 'Brown Book' and 'Not Guilty And Proud') on NER, through Tesco.

This album was, at this time, thought to be the last Death In June album, for some spiritual, mystical reasons... On this recording, Douglas P. was aided by David Tibet, Boyd Rice (for his first collaboration with Douglas P.), Rose McDowall, Nikolas Schreck (of Radio Werewolf) and Andrea James. 'The Wall Of Sacrifice', a title in reference to some of Douglas' mysterious dreams, certainly marks a period in the history of Death In June but it also seems to remain a strong experience in the life of Douglas P, both being closely intermingled. "I remember that I literally felt I was at the end of a Quest when I recorded that particular album" explained Douglas P. on his yahoo group mailing-list, one year ago... qualifyng 'The Wall Of Sacrifice' an 'extremely particular' album.

It begins with the very long eponymous track, introduced by the tinkling of bells, a repetitive melody played on a piano and the now cult lyrics 'First you take a heart, then you tear it apart' and then evolves as a mix of military drums, German marching songs, the two words 'Heilige Tod' whispered and repeated with parsimony, looped childish voices, trumpets... an opening 'melting-pot' title that makes the album not very easy to approach music-wise for the non-initiated. The same observation could apply to the 'Death Is A Drummer' and its experimental sonorities but the album also includes songs that have become classics over the years: 'Giddy Giddy Carousel', the Mishima inspiration in the lyrics and the minimal but sufficent accompaniment of the drums and the acoustic guitar; 'Fall Apart', the sober original interpretation with only Douglas and his guitar that finishes on the well-known lyrics 'To love is to lose, and to lose is to die'; 'Hullo Angel', a song also recorded for the Current 93 'Swastikas for Noddy' album, released two years back (1988).
The vocals are provided by contributors on two tracks: 'In Sacrilege' with David Tibet interpreting in his usual ensorceling way complex poetical lyrics inspired partly by Solitude, Destiny, Nothingness… only accompanied by an acoustic guitar and some stretched sounds of synthesiser; and 'Bring In The Night' with the Boyd Rice spoken verse 'Psalm Of Destruction' at beginning.
A new track 'Heilige Tod' has been added to the album as an echo to 'Heilige Leben'. This very short track concludes an album that is quite uneasy to qualify otherwise than with the words 'devastating', 'full of resignation', 'exceptional'.

This reissue has been digitally re-mastered and comes in a very nice deluxe digipak with embossed metalic-foilblocked titles and spotvarnished just like 'The World that summer'. It contains a booklet with all the lyrics, artwork and new photos (amongst which the reprint of the two DIJ promotional postcards that came with the LP directly ordered from NER mailorder at this period).
The original cover has disappeared, replaced by a photo from the original booklet. (Another photo from this same session features on the 'Östenbräun' CD booklet.)

A new reissue of a long sold-out classic record that should be the delight of the new fans and that should easily find its place in every Death In June collection worthy of its name.

Nathalie F.
Winter 2004


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