Death in June
Brown Book


5.0
classic

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
July 24th, 2009 | 54 replies | 10,879 views


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist


4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Death In June are a group which was born out of the post-industrial circle of musicians which came after the first wave in the early 80's, led by English musician Douglas Pearce (better known as Douglas P.). Alongside Current 93, Death In June started by working in lengthy, self-indulgent, experimental forms of folk music with a taste for exploring subversive political ideas and the occult, both acts becoming regular collaborators dwelling in esoteric literary and religious themes to be credited with spearheading the neo-folk genre.

Whilst Current 93 was often fueled by mainman David Tibet's strong Christian beliefs and fascination for all forms of obscure religiosity, Douglas P. and his work is strongly characterised by being influenced by Germanic paganism, featuring a political slant that has brought accusations of crypto-fascism and harboring neo-Nazi sympathies. Whilst there are clear differences distinguishing each artist both share a strong, common belief that the end of the world is coming, giving coin to the term "Apocalyptic Folk". Though this has become a suitable extension to describe the tone of musical output, this was originally a reference by David Tibet to folk as in "people", music produced by those who harbour beliefs of the apocalypse.

Brown Book is the groups fifth album, released in 1987. A reference to Braunbuch (a Nazi propaganda publication) musically the album follows along similar lines to previous releases Nada! and The World That Summer in its blend of crisp acoustic guitars, drum machines, samples, electronic layering and haunting vocals. The reverb saturated deep voice at the beginning of Heilige Tod feels like a prophetic foreshadow of things to come, the female backing vocals singing "la la la" lending the track a gloomy, profound curiosity. This feeling only intensifies as Touch Defiles kicks in, with its simple drum machine pattern and jangly guitar chords Douglas P. and his understated vocals chisel this song into an uneasy, eerily beautiful masterpiece ("But we desecrate at a touch/And touch defiles/Afloat on the evening tide/It's light and it's sadness"). Hail! The White Grain continues this trend of drum machine acoustic led moodiness, featuring some of the best lyrics to be found on Brown Book ("Fear is a token/And, in this darkness/It never rests/My body is barren/A horse for a hero/The sun fails to burn/Hail! The White Grain/This life, this pain"). Strong in their own right, the mans simple, matter of fact delivery gives an air of spooky reverence to his choice of words which is something that does not let up for the entire duration of the album. A lot of strange electronic samples are patched throughout, punctuating the natural acoustic sound of the album with something fiercely strange.

To Drown A Rose and Fog Of The World are very similar, but no less incredible. Runes And Men is differentiated by the use of German military samples at the beginning and layered in a subtle manner throughout, with lyrics that edge on pure brilliance in delivery ("With your hair of flaming Roses/Your kiss, Medusa's touch/Turn me to a pillar of salt/To die now would be perfection/And then my loneliness closes in so I drink a German wine/And drift in dreams of other lives and greater times"). Red Dog, Black Dog is the closest Brown Book gets to an ambient sound collage, dreamy female vocals filling out the background for several voice samples overlapping one another causing a conflicting mess which is quite hypnotic to listen to. David Tibet makes a vocal appearance on two tracks, the synthesiser led Punishment Initiation and closer Burn Again both are which are superb, the latter and its relaxed, foreboding guitar part sending off the album off into a dark, introspective place musically.

Brown Book as a whole is an entirely captivating listen and an essential 80's neo-folk recording. To get a sense of the influence of both Death In June and Current 93 is quite a thrill in its own right, but here Douglas P. and his majestic songwriting presents something unique and understated in its beauty which C93 just could not capture in the same way. If this music is anything to go by there is a sad, beautiful happiness in the coming apocalypse, Brown Book a suitable soundtrack if there ever was one.



Recent reviews by this author
Moevot AbgzvoryathreKate Bush Hounds of Love
Zoviet France botanical slimmingSPK Machine Age Voodoo
7 From Life Sting of The Honey SpiderCromagnon Orgasm
user ratings (47)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Meatplow
July 25th 2009



5524 Comments


I love this album and have always wanted to review it.

jrowa001
July 25th 2009



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

amazing band but i havent heard this one yet

AlexTM510
July 25th 2009



1398 Comments


hopefully the troll/neg will be deleted

excellent review sir i will def. check this out.

Meatplow
July 25th 2009



5524 Comments


Thanks man.

amazing band but i havent heard this one yet


You'll dig this, i'm almost certain :]

negrodamus
July 25th 2009



17 Comments


Very nice work, Haz. The only DIJ album I've listened to is Rose Clouds of Holocaust. Maybe one of these days I'll get around to checking out more of Pearce's music.

Meatplow
July 25th 2009



5524 Comments


Cheers, Rose Clouds of Holocaust is great. I haven't listened to it half as much as this one though.

ThusSpokeZarathustra
July 25th 2009



293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. Very soulful, rich music in a world obsessed with materialism and hedonistic consumer culture. Douglas' lyrics have always been a source of inspiration for me.

Meatplow
October 29th 2009



5524 Comments


Yeah, probably still one of the best albums from one of my favourite groups.

KAPO! and the albums with Boyd Rice really nail it for me though.

Roach
October 29th 2009



2149 Comments


Death in June is so good.

Meatplow
November 3rd 2009



5524 Comments


I love Hail! The White Grain

Max Wearing's reading of some of these song lyrics on Occidental Martyr is really great.

Dryden
May 27th 2010



12928 Comments


rules so hard

Ire
August 6th 2010



41749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is so good ohhhhh

dryden will be here in 10 seconds..

Dryden
August 6th 2010



12928 Comments


no i wont

Ire
August 6th 2010



41749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

5 minutes

i was wrong

If a few of the songs on here were better, I would 5 the fuck out of this.

Meatplow
August 7th 2010



5524 Comments


have you heard The Wall of Sacrifice? I love all their early stuff

Scorpion Wind with Boyd Rice is my favourite DiJ album by a long shot though

Enotron
November 26th 2010



7695 Comments


album is weird as shit

don't know what i really think, but i can see this growing

Meatplow
November 27th 2010



5524 Comments


pity DiJ is so fucking boring now

album always takes me to a special place

robin
Emeritus
November 27th 2010



4241 Comments


darned nazis.

i love symbols shatter tho.

EyesWideShut
November 27th 2010



3098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

have any of u guys seen DiJ live, and if so did Doug where that Nazi sniper mask ?

Meatplow
November 27th 2010



5524 Comments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc7_g3I9VDo

a lengthy interview with him

[img]http://imgur.com/0or1Y.jpg[/img]

also new album art is lol



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy