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Death in June

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United Kingdom (1981 – present)

Death in June are a neofolk group led by UK musician Douglas Pearce. Although originally a post-punk band, they are credited with the initial development of music along with Current 93 and Sol Invictus.

Death in June emerged in 1981 from the remnants of the unit Crisis, reuniting singer/multi-instrumentalist Douglas P. and bassist Tony Wakeford; drummer Patrick Leagas completed the original lineup, which made its live debut late the following year with an opening slot for The Birthday Party.

The 12-inch Heaven Street soon followed, and in 1983 Death in June issued their first full-length effort, The Guilty Have No Pride. From the outset, the group was criticized for its adoption of fascist imagery, and charges of Nazism dogged Pearce throughout his career. However, Pearce is openly homosexual and has also collaborated with various ethnic Jews throughout his discography; the official Death in June web site used to sport an Israeli flag, and Death in June played live in Israel on June 18, 2004 for a predominantly Jewish audience.

Upon completing the Burial LP, Wakeford left the lineup to form Sol Invictus. Following the release of 1985’s Nada!, only Pearce remained, with Leagas exiting to form his own project, Sixth Comm.

Beginning with the 1986 double album The World That Summer, Pearce continued Death in June primarily as a solo concern, aided by a revolving group of collaborators including Current 93’s David Tibet, Boyd Rice and Coil’s John Balance.

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