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Diamanda Galás


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Diamanda Galás The Divine Punishment album cover
3.86 | 20 ratings | 2 reviews | 15% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Deliver Me from Mine Enemies (18:56)
- i. This Is the Law of the Plague (3:48)
- ii. Deliver Me from Mine Enemies (3:02)
- iii. We Shall Not Accept Your Quarantine (2:39)
- iv. Ε Ξελόυ Mε / Deliver Me (2:34)
- v. Yιατί, Ó Θεός? / Why O God? (3:04)
- vi. Psalm 22 (3:49)

2. Free Among the Dead (13:27)
- i. Psalm 88 (7:34)
- ii. Lamentations (2:43)
- iii. Sono l'Antichristo (3:10)

Total Time 32:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Diamanda Galas / soprano & bass voices, Hammond organs, digital & analogue synthesizers

Releases information

LP Mute STUMM 27 (1986 UK)
LP Mute/Restless 71417 (1989 USA) (out of print)

Available on CDSTUMM33 "The Divine Punishment & Saint of the Pit"; also available on 61822 "Masque of the Red Death"

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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DIAMANDA GALÁS The Divine Punishment ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

DIAMANDA GALÁS The Divine Punishment reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bonnek
4 stars For those in need of an introduction, Diamanda Galás is a NY avant-garde / performance artist from Greek origins. Next to a battery of electronic sounds and piano, her most powerful instrument is her astounding voice, covering an impressive range of 3.5 octaves. She goes whispering, shrieking, singing and terrorizing through song material that ranges between modernist piano compositions and abstract experimental horror soundscapes.

The Devine Punishment is the first instalment of Galas' Masque of the Red Death trilogy around the AIDS epidemic and all the agonies and drama that it brought forth. It is the most experimental and eccentric album in the series, containing almost no repeated melodic patterns and creating a horrifying atonal experience with droning rhythms, dissonant organ effects and outrageous vocals. Galas is a classically trained artist but do not expect operatic stunts, instead she performs everything from screaming hellhounds to falsettos, cracks, whispers, growls and obsessed outrage.

Each of the 2 long pieces can be divided into a number of shorter sections of which the very last one Sono L'Antichristo has to be heard to be believed. It's a demonic prayer that eradicates all other music that wants to give shape to evil. Galas impersonates AIDS itself and presents it as a curse of the antichrist. In 12 lines, repeated in a hysterical craze, she presents herself as la prova, la sanzione, la pestilenza and 9 other Italian nouns for everything that is threatening and abominable.

Needless to say the lyrical content is essential to understand and appreciate this piece. It is as much a performance as it is music. Actually, this will not pass for music to many people. But the agonizing power of it is unmatched and has to be heard. The next chapter in the series might be a better place to start though.

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars Look what I just found lurking away in a dark corner of the Archives...

A beautiful but terrifying album. Diabolical - but in a good way. Inexplicable ululations from the startlingly scary, but strangely sexy Diamanda Galas are at the forefront throughout. This is ritualistic dark ambience from someone who's clearly watched 'Rosemary's Baby' too many times. With a vocal range that defies description, next to Lisa Gerard of 'Dead Can Dance' - she's probably the strongest vocal performer I've heard from any female singer.

This is the best and most accomplished of her albums. I once saw Diamanda Galas on 'The Tube' on Channel 4 in 1986 and will never forget the look on my parent's faces, as she wailed through a double microphone plastered in heavy make up and spider's webs with her jet black hair 18 inches high, getting louder and louder with those unearthly frequencies until our aquarium nearly shattered.

It would just be a cruel joke to call this a Satanic Mess - it's far more than that. Guaranteed - you'll never hear anything like this anywhere else.

It's actually an album about 'Aids', released in 1986 - when that affliction was just becoming public knowledge with the death of Rock Hudson.

This will probably be torture for most people to listen to, but it has that something or other that is strangely compelling. The only comparison I can think of is 'Jacula' - minus the vocals. So for goodness sake, don't play this when friends come round!

One way or the other I'm getting my bible out tonight, like a good Christian, just in case I have a visit from the Spanish Inquisition armed with crucifixes at 3.00am.

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