11085-2 Pandemonium
Produced by Youth
Released on July 1994
UK CHART POSITION #16
Find it at GEMM
11085-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

P unk bands are supposed to fade away, but Killing Joke didn’t get that memo. Instead they released the brutal, brilliant Pandemonium and put their original revolutionary brethren (Gang of Four, PiL) to shame. There are just a thimble full of bands that continue to rock with their original energy and ideals; Rush and Killing Joke are the only two I can think of this morning. Yet I can think of dozens that died with a whimper. Pandemonium does make some concessions to new music, notably the industrial movement. “Whiteout” and “Exorcism” could pass for Ministry. But the bulk of the record is richer than that, drenched in a hallucinogenic Middle Eastern bazaar of noises that often sounds like a modern update of “Kashmir” or Siouxsie on steroids. I’ve been studying screamers lately, and Jaz Coleman was frankly never one of the better ones. His voice here is harsh (it always was) but buried under an avalanche of sounds and effects. That’s not always a bad thing, since the lyrics are more sinister when only bits of them bubble to the surface. Underneath is the implied horror, the world careening toward destruction as middle eastern and western cultures collide. In the middle of all this mayhem is the disarming “Jana,” as close as they’ve come to writing a love song (of course, in the Joke’s cruel world the heroine is dying of AIDS). The only knock on Pandemonium is that the production lacks a deft touch. There’s so much going on in this music, and what I do hear (e.g., the bongos on “Communion”) is often less interesting than what I don’t (the sonic tapestry of guitars). No doubt some of the mixes available for “Millenium,” “Exorcism” and “Pandemonium” exploit the arrangements better. However, it’s a minor complaint against a major work. Endless kudos to Killing Joke for holding on to their original sense of humorless purpose. May they continue to kill (in sales) and never die.

11085-2 gatefold sleeve 11085-2 back sleeve
11085-2 gatefold sleeve 11085-2 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. PANDEMONIUM
  2. EXORCISM
  3. MILLENIUM
  4. COMMUNION
  5. BLACK MOON
  6. LABRYINTH
  7. JANA
  8. WHITEOUT
  9. PLEASURES OF THE FLESH
  10. MATHEMATICS OF CHAOS

    JPN original CD bonus tracks
  11. EXORCISM (LIVE)
  12. ANOTHER CULT GOES DOWN (ALTERNATE MIX)

    UK CD reissue bonus tracks
  13. PANDEMONIUM (A THREAD OF STEEL IN THE SUSPENSION BRIDGE OF TIME AND SPACE MIX)
  14. ANOTHER CULT GOES DOWN (PORTOBELLO MIX)

    All tracks written by Killing Joke

CREDITS

JAZ COLEMAN --
GEORDIE --
YOUTH -- mixing (10)
Aboud Abdel -- violin
Matt Austin -- programming
Said El Artist -- percussion
Paddy Free -- programming
Ibrahim Kowala -- Kowala in Cairo
Hossam Ramzy -- percussion
Greg Hunter -- additional production, engineer, mixing (10)
Ron St. Germain -- mixing
Cybersank -- mixing (3)
Mike Coles/Studio C -- graphics

return to KILLING JOKE discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK July 1994 Butterfly CD BFLCD-9  
US 1994 Zoo CDPRO ZMJ-11085  
US August 2, 1994 Zoo CD/CS 11085  
JPN 1994   CDX VICP-5499 w. bonus tracks
UK 2005 Cooking Vinyl CDX COOKCD-344 w. bonus tracks

 

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