Christian Death: Rozz Williams (vocals); Rikk Agnew (guitar); James McGearty (bass); George Belanger (drums). Additional personnel: Eva, Ron (background vocals). The 1984 debut album from goth metal mongers Christian Death can, in retrospect, be seen as something of a landmark release. A trendsetting disc in its merging of a creepy gothic sensibility and heavy metal, not to mention its stridently controversial (yet subtly tongue-in-cheek) assaults on the Christian religion and conventional morality, ONLY THEATER OF PAIN influenced the countless goth, death, and black metal bands that heard it. While lyrics about Lucifer, sodomy, necrophilia, and church hypocrisy (like "Burnt Offerings" and "Cavity: First Communion") may seem commonplace now, they weren't in 1984. But it's the gloom-and-doom atmosphere here, the creepy dungeon feel of the music, that makes the greater impression, and puts Christian Death on the map as forerunners in their genre.