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Death Rock

CVLT Nation
Deathrock 2014 Mixtape
Curated by Oliver Sheppard

Well, we’re two years into these Deathrock mixtapes, and the fascination that dark postpunk and deathrock continues to hold over the punk scene continues unabated, even if many punker-than-thou bands refuse to acknowledge their own new swing into gothic territory, proud as some would-be tastemakers are. The punk scene’s dipping into the waters of this tradition is producing, to me, some of the best new music around these days. And the best of that is represented in the mixtape below.

There is a special advance “leak” (but — an OFFICIAL leak!) of a new Christ vs Warhol song, included below. “A Drop in the Ocean.” Christ vs Warhol are a self-described “anarcho-postpunk band,” and they’re a fave of mine. Their 2010 “Dissent” LP is a must-have for anyone into this style of music. I interviewed Christ vs Warhol in my own No Doves Fly Here days, here.

Deathrock: the intersection of DIY punk rock, gothic rock, and dark post punk. Deathrock was, after all, an offshoot of the punk scene (as was gothic rock, too). For the pedants among us — and there are many of them, lord knows — “deathrock,” per se, was an historically specific milieu of dark California underground music in the 1980s, primarily localized around Los Angeles. And, yet, a newer band from Europe calling themselves “deathrock” may fit that descriptive bill more than any other genre tag available (Dystopian Society from Italy, for example – deathrock to the core, despite not being from L.A.). At this point in time, 2014, “deathrock” is just that: A descriptive genre tag. To maintain that a “real” deathrock band could not exist now is like saying a “real punk band” could not exist now, but only in the late 1970s, because that is where, historically, “punk” belongs. Well, that is wrong.

Some of the bands below may not consider themselves to be “a deathrock band.” And Andrew Eldritch insists the Sisters of Mercy are not a gothic rock band. Sorry; tough luck. If you make the music, and it sounds a certain way, and it resonates with the sonic traditions of the genre, expect the “deathrock” label, no matter how irksome you may find it. I say – like advice given to a man with a hairy back, or a small penis — this is simply how you are. Embrace it, learn to live with it, make the most of it, and love it. It’s almost disingenuously pretentious to confess to anything else. “Too punk for goth, too goth for punk.” That’s exactly what deathrock is.

All of the songs below are relevant to the continuing and vital evolution of this particularly cool genre, and all of the bands sampled below are making great music, whatever they consider themselves. This really is some of the best underground music being made nowadays, regardless of anything. It’s just amazing stuff. So, even if the band below is “not a deathrock band” [sic], the song showcased is relevant to the deathrock genre.

CVLT Nation 2014 Deathrock Mixtape

1. RAKTA – Life Comes from Death (2013)
2. CHRIST VS WARHOL – A Drop in the Ocean (CVLT Nation exclusive) (2014) (Starts at 2:47)
3. DYSTOPIAN SOCIETY – Violations (2014) (Starts at 5:04)
4. ANNEX – Nightmares (2014) (Starts at 7:58)
5, MASSES – Blind (2014) (Starts at 11:01)
6. ARCTC FLOWERS – Byzantine (2014) (Starts at 13:46)
7. PADKAROSKA – Hallot Varos (2013) (Starts at 17:01)
8. CATHOLIC SPIT – Sick Sick Sex (2013) (Starts at 20:12)
9. PEG LEG LOVE – Heaven Street (Death in June) (2013) (Starts at 22:38)
10. SAFEWORDS – Outta My Head (2013) (Starts at 24:59)
11. CADAVER EM TRANSE – Running Like Ghosts (2013) (Starts at 28:55)
12. CRIMINAL CODE – Mocking Shadows (2013) (Starts at 31:13)
13. POPULATION – Spears of Silence (2014) (Starts at 34:29)
14. DEKODER – Asleep (2014) (Starts at 38:19)
15. INSTITUTE – Putrid (2013) (Starts at 43:28)
16. ANASAZI – Nuke York (2013) (Starts at 46:06)
17. SALOME’S DANCE – Basis (2012) (Starts at 50:01)
18. FINAL RITE – Terrorist Fairy Tale (2013) (Starts at 52:51)
19. NIGHT SINS – Dear Marquis (2013) (Starts at 57:52)
20. BELGRADO – Palac Kultury (2013) (Starts at 1:00:45)
21. READERSHIP HOSTILE – Damaged Parts (2014) (Starts at 1:03:43)
22. RULE OF THIRDS – Love and Loathing (2013) (Starts at 1:06:49)
23. KURRAKA – Hermanas de la Oscuridad (2013) (Starts at 1:10:05)
24. OCCULTS – I Was Wrong (2013) (Starts at 1:11:56)
25. DEMZENCJE – Trepanacje (2013) (Starts at 1:14:49)
26. WHITE LUNG – Those Girls (2013) (Starts at 1:16:59)
27. BELLICOSE MINDS – Banished Alone (Forever) (2013) (Starts at 1:18:58)
28. SPECTRES – Maison Gris (2012) (Starts at 1:21:44)
29. MUERTE – Tortura (2013) (Starts at 1:25:11)
30. BLUE CROSS – Civilized (2013) (Starts at 1:26:52)


CVLTNation Deathrock Mixtape 2012, Part 1 is here.
CVLTNation Deathrock Mixtape 2012, Part 2 is here.
CVLTNation Deathrock Mixtape 2013, Part 1 is here.
CVLTNation Deathrock Mixtape 2013, Part 2, is here.


A Brief History of Deathrock, Part 1
A Brief History of Deathrock, Part 2
A Brief History of Deathrock, Part 3

cvltnationdeathrock2014 copy_cover

Written By

Oliver Sheppard is a writer from Texas. He's been writing for CVLT Nation since 2012. He's also written for Maximum Rock-n-Roll,, Souciant, and others. He started the Radio Schizo podcast in the early days of podcasting (2005) and began the Wardance and Funeral Parade event nights in Dallas and Austin, respectively, in 2012. He is the author of Destruction: Text I and Thirteen Nocturnes.

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