I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Sin Disease is one of the greatest albums ever to emerge from our scene. Romald Domkus (born Allan Aguirre) and company unleashed a wonderfully chaotic debut album, with production from Terry Taylor (DA/Daniel Amos/Swirling Eddies/Lost Dogs) that set CCM on its head!
Think I’m overstating things? Not possible. Here’s why: have you ever tried to pigeonhole the album, or this band, into a single genre? Good luck. Take equal parts hardcore punk, reggae, goth, glam rock, and heavy metal, and then top the whole thing off with a weird experimental noise track lasting over 7 minutes long.
But it wasn’t just their originality, nor their penchant for blending genres that solidified their place in Christian music. Their knack for controversy also didn’t hurt. Lyrically the band played with words and images like impressionist painters painted nudes–both scandalous and beautiful at the same time. Those who didn’t listen closely enough would accuse them of swearing, on more than one occasion (“what in hell you gonna do?” or “God damn my enemies–annihilate”). However, on closer listen, one sees that in both cases the lines are meant quite literally, and therefore no cursing is involved.
It’s this attention to detail that set scaterd-few apart from the pack. Follow up a hyper speed thrash attack (in under 2 minutes, no less) with an instrumental prog rock anthem? Sure! Point out the idiocy of drug abuse, and the hypocrisy of how society–and the church–responds to it, all in the same song? Why not! Release an album with impeccable production, appropriate to the genre? Absolutely!
Releasing in 1990, the album would help to usher in a sort of ‘golden era’ of Christian alternative music. An era that included newcomers (Mortal, The Prayer Chain, Saviour Machine, Circle of Dust) and veterans alike (The Choir, Seventy Sevens, Adam Again, The Crucified). While it’s difficult to highlight a track from the album, I’ve always been partial to “U” (actually a re-worked version of “Untitled” from the Out of the Attic sessions released several years prior.