Diamanda Galás

Saint of the Pit

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Originally released as a separate LP and later as a CD in combination with The Divine Punishment, Saint of the Pit was one of the first Galas recordings in which the pieces fall relatively easy into the "standard" song format. In fact, several of these songs would become part of her ongoing repertoire and be including in major pieces like her Plague Mass. Relatively traditional melodies are employed (including her borrowing of the Berlioz theme that's been used in every other horror movie ever made!) as well as regular rhythms (by F.M. Einheit), making this an accessible entry to her oeuvre for a listener grounded in rock. If it lacks some of the insane abandon of her earlier work, the concision of the songs and her resolutely strong and passionate voice pretty much make up the difference. The texts are oblique thematic allusions to her longstanding battle against AIDS and the prejudices it engendered and some of them, notably Tristan Corbiere's "Cris d'Aveugle" ("Blind Man's Cry") are extremely effective. A very strong recording by a remarkable artist.

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