Spiritual Front – Armageddon Gigolo

This is the fourth album by Spiritual Front, if you count the collaboration with Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio. “Armageddon Gigolo” breathes maturity in every aspect. Convincing songs, a professional sounding band with a full production, an elaborate digipack with creative artwork. Like before, Simone Salvatori tread the borders of folk, pop, rock, traditional Italian music and even gospel (on the final track). ‘Mafia folk’ and ‘Nihilist Suicide Pop’ are just some of the terms invented for this music, which goes much further than neo-folk.

This time Spiritual Front sounds more accessible then ever, perhaps losing some of the raw cult feeling surrounding this act, but compensating with a collection of excellent songs. The four piece band is assisted by multiple guests musicians (including Matt Howden), mostly on strings and backing vocals. Of course (homo) eroticism is the main theme as always, which becomes clear from the cover and song titles like ‘Cruisin’ and ‘Love through vaseline’.

On the first song ‘Slave’, Salvatori’s vocals remind me very much of Nick Cave, a comparison which is enhanced by the dark romantic atmosphere. Another reference is Ain Soph, who made a name with similar waltz-like compositions. One of the highlights for me is ‘I walk the (dead)line’, a moody and moving ballad with a refrain you’ll besinging along instantly. In fact, many of the songs have earwurm qualities, like ‘Jesus died in Las Vegas’ or the new version of ‘No kisses on the mouth’. Combined with the passionate renditions, “Armageddon Gigolo” is an addictive album which could make Spiritual Front more widely known.

artist: Spiritual Front
label: Trisol
details: 11 songs, 46 min, 2006 [TRI 272 CD]