Long Live Death

To Do More Than God...to Die

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The very name Long Live Death conjures up expectations of a group with gothic ritualistic overtones. On that score, this record -- either a long EP or a short album, its six songs totaling 25 minutes -- doesn't fail. It's in your face, actually, in the tribal percussion rumbles that open the first track, which insistently reassures listeners that "There Is No Death," in repetitive round-like chanting vocals that, contrary to the surface message of the title, sound pretty funereal. The kinder, gentler black mass atmosphere continues throughout the disc, the medieval-ish folk base topped with accordion, violin, flute, melodica, cello, ominous percussion rolls, and weird theremin-like squiggles. The constant muted downbeat tone of the melodies and lyrical themes, though, would get wearisome if the record didn't cut off before the half-hour mark. The death-sentence gong that ends the last song is a nice wave-off, however.

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