Marc Almond & Foetus

Violent Silence/Flesh Volcano

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Collecting two at-the-time incredibly out of print mid-'80 EPs, this disc's spine reads as being a full partnership between Almond and Foetus, a semi-regular collaborator for Almond's solo career during its first few years. However, only the first three songs represent that actual pairing, being the original Flesh Volcano tracks from 1986. It's essentially nothing more or less than Foetus at his most industrial and clattering with Almond at his most theatrically pained and howling -- great if you want it, but not as earth-shattering as you might hope. The real winners are the Violent Silence tracks, which were recorded by Almond and his core Willing Sinners lineup of Hogan, McCarrick, and McGee in 1984. Inspired by and dedicated to French extreme sensualist/philosopher George Bataille, the songs capture Almond in perfectly poised moods; you can almost taste the incense and smell the leather on such masterful tunes of total love/hate obsession as "Healthy as Hate" and "Body Unknown." The Willing Sinners' music is deceptively gentle and low-key, making the lyrics of dominance and eroticism all the more striking. A mixed release in the end, but one with its solid charms.

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