Death in June and Boyd Rice – Alarm Agents

A new Death in June album is always an event to look forwards to. Especially when Douglas P. is joined by fellow provocateur Boyd Rice. After the collapse of the World Serpent label, there are still plenty of ‘pigs’ left to be angry about. The album starts in a sharp tone: ‘All have hunted me, like a wolf / and none has caught me – yet.’ Then the alarm bells ring…

“Alarm agents” comes in a green digipack which looks plain from a distance, but which has some minimal relief elements just like previous DIJ releases. The inside looks more colourful, with the usual ‘tasteful’ dressing up pictures. No less than 18 songs are featured on the album. The music is rather tranquil, without the noisy experiments of the previous album ‘All pigs must die”, with a few exceptions (‘Are you there?).

Musicwise most songs are rather simple, minimal compositions, based on acoustic guitars, with sparse percussion, samples and melodic synth elements added. ‘Black sun rising’ with its spoken and whispered vocals reminds me a lot of Of the Wand and the Moon. More plausible is that Of the wand… sounds more like classic DIJ than Death in June itself. This first track is probably also my favourite, together with ‘Tears of the hunted’.

At first the album sounded a bit anonymous to me, without a lot of fire. I have to admit though, after repeated listening the songs grow on me. But it will not become a classic like “Music, Martinis and Misantrophy”, it is just a decent album. Douglas and Boyd sound very serious and honest, with less humour than on the aforementioned album. It is also not as demanding as “Wolf Pact”. There is not much variation between most songs, therefore the album becomes a bit tiring halfway. If you can’t get enough of the sound of Death in June and the style of Boyd Rice and if you don’t care much about innovation, then you can safely buy “Alarm Agents”.

There is also a vinyl version with a different tracklisting.

artist: Death in June
label: NER
details: 18 tracks, 53 min.