Genre/Influences: Neo-folk, experimental.
Format: Digital, CD + Vinyl 7”
Background/Info: Death In June is a name, which needs no further introduction. Being considered as the ‘inventors’ or ‘Godfathers’ of neo-folk, the album “The Corn Years” was originally released by New European Recordings in 1989. It was the first Death In June production released on CD format. The album brings songs together from the early albums “The World Thät Sümmer” (1986) and “Brown Book” (1987). The compilation has been re-released featuring some reworked- and exclusive tracks plus the 7” vinyl featuring three more songs.
Content: This album brings us back to the early years of Death In June. Douglas Pierce has been assisted by some famous names from that period like David Tibet, John Balance, ‘Bee’ aka Paul Hampshire, Andrea James, David Tiffen, Rose McDowall ao. Both albums have been released after the mythic “Nada!”, which explains that as little extra among the non-album tracks from the original “The Corn Years” you’ll find “Behind The Rose (Fields Of Rape)”. This re-edition features a total of 7 songs that didn’t appear on the original version of 1989.
The neo-folk influences are there, but it moves much further featuring some apocalyptic ballads and even cinematic passages. From bombast to delicacy, the songs are covering a wide sonic canvas lead by the regular apparition of a solemn trumpet play. Male and female vocals are alternating or singing as a duo.
+ + + : My personal favorite period of Death In June definitely is the one of the early years; back to the 80s, which was a decade of music revolution and underground welfare. Death In June created something apart, something new and definitely visionary. Together with artists such as Psychic TV, Coil, Current 93 and related names Death In June left a creative trademark, which is easily noticeable on this album. This is an opportunity to rediscover the magic of “To Drown A Rose”, “Blood Of Winter” and “Come Before Christ And Murder Love”. I also have to mention the more delicate “Break The Black Ice” and “Behind The Rose (Fields Of Rape)”, which is one of the other extras on the album. Last, but not least I also have to say a word about the great, artistic 7” format digipak of the album.
– – – : My only disappointment is the 7”, which according to me doesn’t really add a bonus although a single remains a cool format.
Conclusion: Some especially know Death In June for its controversy, but the 80s was about controversy! We’ve to get back to the real context of that decade to give controversy a place, but I definitely will remember Death In June as one of the 80s underground music artisans. I think this album is a kind of testimony.
Best songs: “Blood Of Winter”, “Come Before Christ And Murder Love”, “To Drown A Rose”, “Break The Black Ice (Instrumental)”, “Behind The Rose (Fields Of Rape)”.