Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Divine Punishment - (1986)

The Devine Punishment is the first instalment of Galas' Masque of the Red Death trilogy around the AIDS epidemic and all the agonies and drama that it brought forth. It is the most experimental and eccentric album in the series, containing almost no repeated melodic patterns and creating a horrifying atonal experience with droning rhythms, dissonant organ effects and outrageous vocals. Galas is a classically trained artist but do not expect operatic stunts, instead she performs everything from screaming hellhounds to falsettos, cracks, whispers, growls and obsessed outrage. Each of the 2 long pieces can be divided into a number of shorter sections of which the very last one Sono L'Antichristo has to be heard to be believed. It's a demonic prayer that eradicates all other music that wants to give shape to evil. Galas impersonates AIDS itself and presents it as a curse of the antichrist. In 12 lines, repeated in a hysterical craze, she presents herself as la prova, la sanzione, la pestilenza and 9 other Italian nouns for everything that is threatening and abominable. Needless to say the lyrical content is essential to understand and appreciate this piece. It is as much a performance as it is music. Actually, this will not pass for music to many people. But the agonizing power of it is unmatched and has to be heard. (

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