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Tiamat | Judas Christ | review | goth | metal | Lollipop
Judas Christ (Century Media)
by Scott Hefflon
The bald-headed cock-smoker may've blown me off for an interview, but that doesn't mean I don't love Tiamat. (I'm kidding. I have no idea of his sexual preference and I don't care.) These Goth rockers have evolved from plodding black metal (think Celtic Frost, not Emperor) to Goth metal with Pink Floyd tendencies to full-on Goth cock rock. Singer Johan Edlung's side project, Lucyfire (say it aloud, get it?), covered "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top, and that's pretty swagger rock, dig? The thing that saves it from Buckcherry laughability is Edlung's deep, dry cool delivery. Something about a "fuzzy bunny" here falls shy of accidental genius like Lucyfire's "C'mon baby and set me free, baby c'mon" rockisms. And, well, a lot of the lyrics here are just plain baaad. Not to mention clunky. But most American "hoodies" (white suburban kids who seem to think that by aping ghetto Blacks they're cool instead of absurd) can barely speak English, and it's their first language, so why blame the cueball?
"So Much for Suicide" is a stab at moping, pseudo-loopy Goth culture, which is kinda funny seeing as that's much of his audience. Fuckin' soap opera drama queens ("men" and women alike), sure, but why piss on your target audience? I don't know if the black eyeliner crowd can "rock out" to a foot-stomping classic like "Vote for Love," but they can stare deep into the candle flame and chainsmoke cloves whilst contemplating slitting their wrists and miss out for all I care. The song rules: Almost formulaic guitar rock swagger, but with sleepy Goth vocals and delicate guitar arpeggios over a "Shook Me All Night Long" driving beat. And when the pounding beats build to the "solo," it's just the melody "sung" on what sounds like one of those long horns the guys in funny shorts play in the Alps. Genius!
Another gem is the mini-skirt-twirlin' rocker "I Am in Love with Myself." Note: It's not "I'm in Love..." because that's too slang; this is deep'n'dry Goth vocals singing trite lyrics over an AC/DC rhythm section. Heh. And the final two songs (minus bonus track, which I seem to skip every time) is more of the Floydian dark acoustic melodic stuff, although the latter is a little more G'N'R's "Patience" than usual. But deep vocals whispering "but I still love you like the bullet loves the gun" confound, but not as gorgeously as Lucyfire lyrics in "Pure as Sin" (which, like Monster Magnet lyrics, simply can't be quoted out of context and retain impact) or perhaps "The Pain Song"'s "What if there's no Cayman sunshine/to make me believe I'm fine," which I think is pretty deep.
Oh, and there's a video for "Vote for Love" on the CD as well, bonus!
(2323 W. El Segundo Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90250)