Altar De Fey
The Insatiable Desire… For More LP
Flawless deathrock that so closely mirrors the premier bands of the early ’80s, you’d think that this was a DISCLOSE-like tribune to CHRISTIAN DEATH. While that would be awesome, the truth is even better: they’re actually original gangsters! While their first recordings didn’t emerge until the 21st century, the original lineup of the band gigged around San Francisco between ’83 and ’85, and even this, their second album contains songs written during that period. While there are touches of gothic influence present in the aesthetic, the instrumentation, eschews the synth ’n’ sax overkill of full-blown goth in favor of a leaner, more punk-oriented style. Founding guitarist Kent Cates is the centerpiece of the band, with the songs being built around his elaborate, often oddly-tuned compositions, supplemented by vocalist Jake Hout whose singing echos Rozz Williams’ sleazy charm. A couple tracks linger for a hair or two too long, but to be fair that kind of comes with the style. In pretty much every other aspect, this is as good as it gets when it comes to deathrock, past or present. Hell, even the cover art is so vintage that just looking at it makes you smell like cloves and patchouli for days.