379. Prints of Darkness – Dead Artist Syndrome
PRINTS OF DARKNESS (1990)
Dead Artist Syndrome
Dead Artist Syndrome is actually simply Brian Healy and a host of friends that over the year, records and concerts rotated in and out in support of their friend who is easily Christian Music most unheralded alternative artists. Too often pigeon holed as exclusively a “goth” artists, DAS was an alternative that presented a darker, gloomier and deeper perspective to the world than most in CCM. The label most obviously comes from Healy’s baritone and at time monotone vocals associated with goth rock. It is not a whole lot different from many Mike Knott (who makes in appearance here) created projects.
On “Prints” Healy is joined by Undercover’s Ojo Taylor and Gym Nicholson and it shows. There is an atmospheric sound to the record that is reminiscent of Undercover as well the Psychedelic Furs, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Sisters of Mercy. Healy willfully uses satire, sarcasm and symbolism throughout and, as a result, often misunderstood. Healy is an ordained minister and infuses much of his lyrics with doctrinal ideologies.
I was working for Frontline Records when the second album was released and met Brian on a few occasions as result. I always found him to be incredibly nice, very, very funny and quite intelligent and interesting. These virtues would appear within the content of all of DAS’s music and is most evident on this debut.
The opening track, “Christmas” is a sly indictment on the commercialization of the “Winter Break” and the rejection of the truth of the season. “Red” appears to be inspired by the story of Hosea and the harlotry of God’s people over the generations. I love the album’s finale, “Reach,” which is a very simply expression of worship in a somber and powerful way. It reminds the listener of the need to reach out to God in glory and honor.