Brian Healy, 1959-2020
Released on Blonde Vinyl in 1990, Dead Artist Syndrome’s Prints of Darkness was unlike any other Christian album I’d heard up to that point. Dark, ominous, and brooding, it was a full-on gothic rock album replete with haunting arrangements, mournful lyrics, and Brian Healy’s deep, booming voice.
I listened to Prints of Darkness on repeat for I can’t remember how long, and to this day, songs like “Amy” and “Dancing Without Touching” remain classics in my book. It’s not at all surprising that no less an authority than Rozz Williams (Christian Death) would label Healy the “father of Christian goth.”
In addition to his recording career, Healy was a long-time host of Frontline Records’ “Rewind” podcast, where he spotlighted countless Christian indie/alternative artists including Daniel Amos, Michael Knott, Altar Boys, Mad At the World, Poor Old Lu, The Choir, and Mortal. Healy also had a minor Hollywood career as a stand-in for John Candy in The Great Outdoors and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
Unfortunately, Healy — who experienced various health issues over the years — died earlier this week from a massive brain hemorrhage. Dead Artist Syndrome’s final album, Kissing Strangers, was released in 2015, and featured contributions from Ojo Taylor and Gym Nicholson (Undercover), Michael Knott, Steve Hindalong (The Choir), and Riki Michele. Suffice to say, nobody in Christendom ever sounded like Healy, and no one else ever will.