Mastery of misdirection and intrigue, Southampton’s very own Creeper had our hearts in the palm of their hands when they stepped from the stage of London’s KOKO back in 2018, pulling a classic David Bowie and feigning their final departure from the world. Thank goodness, this was all a clever rouse and the fabulous six-piece band are back, with outrageously ambitious second album ‘Sex, Death and the Infinite Void’.
Three years since the airing of ‘Eternity, In Your Arms’, their follow up record leaves the harsher side of rock/punk in the dust, in favour of this shining beacon of rock symphony. This conceptual piece follows ill-fated lovers Roe and Annabelle in the town of Calvary Falls and the horrors that befall its residents. An air of religion lingers throughout this piece, with notions towards the devil, sin, heaven and God. Even down to the name of the record itself, which could be interpreted in whichever way you please.
The voice of Patricia Morrison [of Sisters of Mercy] that open and close the record is a stroke of pure genius. Her poignant words crashing against the pathetic fallacy of thunder act as a haunting narrator throughout this tale and it is wonderful to behold.
What remains from the Creeper we know and love is Will Gould’s deliciously deep vocals, which marry seamlessly with the Hollywood vibes from which this record was born. This air of polished professionalism radiates through ‘Sex, Death and the Infinite Void’ and bleeds from the personal heartaches felt within the Creeper camp during its conception. This ragged, wretched pain seeps into every pained lyric – ‘Modern love can feel like suicide’ and ‘I’m such a disappointment to you’; and we’re completely hooked by this twisted tale.
Releasing handful of singles ‘Born Cold’, ‘Annabelle’ and ‘Cyanide’ among others leading up to this release were as if Creeper were tossing us jigsaw pieces of mystery and now, we have the full puzzle. We’re flying high with the astronomical riffs in ‘Thorns of Love’ and fall in love with slower ballad ‘Black Moon’ and ‘Cyanide’, it’s amazing to see how talented this band truly are and the artists that have influenced this journey. Every motion that this record throws at us is just another chapter in a modern goth classic. Gould’s voice carries into the night with every soaring chorus: if this were a gothic tragedy being performed in a dark theatre, you would be able to feel every strained emotion radiating from his voice and be amazed by the unfolding story.
Hannah Greenwood’s phenomenal vocals appear once again throughout this record, but in full glory in ‘Four Years Ago’ coupling Gould’s tones perfectly in a nod to lost love before diving back into more upbeat proceedings in ‘Napalm Girls’. Gould’s mesmerising vocals against the delicate piano and violin notes in ‘All My Friends’ is haunting to the senses, simply everything about this song is beautiful. Before we bow out, our almighty narrator imparts a warning for the listener: ‘I wish I were more careful with your heart’. Curtains fall, end scene.