The Cassandra Complex (band)

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The Cassandra Complex
The Cassandra Complex in 2007
The Cassandra Complex in 2007
Background information
OriginLeeds, England
GenresIndustrial music, gothic rock, darkwave, post-punk
Years active1980–present
LabelsRouska, Play It Again Sam, COP International
MembersRodney Orpheus
Paul Dillon
Andy Booth
Chris Haskett
Mera Roberts
Brent Heinze
Past membersJez Willis
Keith Langley
John Marchini
John Galvin
Jurgen Jansen
Patrick Gordon
Gaz Wilson
Volker Zacharias
Axel Ermes

The Cassandra Complex are a British electronic rock group originally formed by Rodney Orpheus, Paul Dillon, and Andy Booth in 1980 in Leeds, England.[1] The current line-up still features original members Orpheus, Dillon, and Booth, with the addition of US musicians Chris Haskett, Mera Roberts, and Brent Heinze.

Over the years, the band's sound has included elements of EBM, industrial, goth rock, new wave and synthpop, and the band's sound has been described as a blend of Joy Division, the Ramones and Kraftwerk.[2]

Previous lineup L-R: Axel Ermes, Andy Booth, Rodney Orpheus, Volker Zacharias
Singer Rodney Orpheus at WGT Festival, Leipzig, Germany 2019


The band was initially composed of Rodney Orpheus and Paul Dillon, who met when Orpheus gatecrashed Dillon's 21st birthday party in Leeds. They began putting on large multimedia shows featuring various avant-garde acts from the Leeds area.[3] Andy Booth was a journalist who interviewed the band and was later asked to join.[4] The band released their first self-financed single, "March", in March 1985.[5] A live cassette followed a month later, and the band signed to local label Rouska. Dillon left the band to get married and the band recruited Rodney's childhood friend John Marchini, with Jez Willis and Keith Langley guesting live and in the studio.

They released two albums on the Rouska label, Grenade (1986) and Hello America (1987),[1] and added tracks to the compilations Raging Sun (1985) and Zarah Leander's Greatest Hits (1987).[6] Afterwards they signed to the Belgian-based Play It Again Sam label,[1] which issued the double-live album Feel the Width in 1987.[7] During the production of the Theomania album in 1988, Marchini and Booth left, with Orpheus recruiting a new line-up for 1989's Satan, Bugs Bunny, and Me album.[5] Hamburg guitarist Volker Zacharias from the band Girls Under Glass joined a year later, and has been a stable member of the group since then.

During this period Orpheus also began work on the book Abrahadabra, published by Looking Glass Press in Sweden and later republished by Weiser Books.[8]

Orpheus set up a recording studio in Hamburg where The Cassandra Complex recorded their next albums, as well as producing and remixing several records for other German alternative artists, including Die Krupps and Girls Under Glass.[9] Orpheus had a role in the German vampire movie Kiss My Blood, and toured with The Sisters of Mercy. He was described as a "technopagan" in Mark Dery's 1996 overview of cyberculture Escape Velocity[10]:

To Rodney Orpheus the ease with which such metaphors are turned upside down underscores his belief that there's nothing oxymoronic about the term technopagan in end-of-the-century cyberculture. "People say 'pagans sit in the forest worshipping nature; what are you doing drinking diet coke in front of a Macintosh?' " says Orpheus, who in addition to being a card-carrying Crowleyite is a hacker and a mind machine aficionado. "But when you use a computer, you're using your imagination to manipulate the computer's reality. Well, that's exactly what sorcery is all about – changing the plastic quality of nature on a nuts-and-bolts level. And that's why magickal techniques dating back hundreds of years are totally valid in a cyberpunk age."

Booth went on to become a lawyer and the head of Company Commercial and Creative Industries at Manchester firm Turner Parkinson.[2]

The band continued with Orpheus and Zacharias releasing Cyberpunx, The War Against Sleep and Sex & Death. In 1995, Orpheus worked with Patricia Nigiani and Markus Giltjes on a side project called Sun God.[4][11]

In 2000, the band released the Wetware album on SPV in Europe and Metropolis Records in the USA.[4][12] The album ranked #32 on the German Alternative Charts (DAC) Top 50 Albums of 2000.[13] The EP Twice as Good was also released in 2000, ranking #84 on the DAC Top Singles of 2000 chart.[14] Orpheus also produced the surround albums Planet Earth for LTJ Bukem and A Gigantic Globular Burst of Anti-Static for The Future Sound of London, and published his second book Grimoire of Aleister Crowley.[15]

In 2007, the original three band members reformed along with Volker Zacharias to play several festival shows in Europe and Brazil. Dillon subsequently left the band again and was replaced by Axel Ermes.[16]

In 2019, the band remastered and re-released their two earliest albums, Grenade and Hello America.

At the end of 2020 the band released a studio single: The Crown Lies Heavy on the King (Destroy Donald Trump Mix), which reached number 3 in the German Alternative Chart on December 31, 2020.[17]

The band released a new studio album entitled The Plague, their first for 22 years, on May 6, 2022.[18] The album went on to spend 4 weeks at #1 in the German Alternative Charts.[19]

In 2024 the band reformed their original lineup, along with guest musicians Chris Haskett (who formerly played with Rollins Band and David Bowie) on guitar, Mera Roberts (Faith & the Muse, Black Tape for a Blue Girl) on cello, and Brent Heinze (Probe 7) on keyboards. This lineup recorded the album Death & Sex, released by COP International[20] They also announced a world tour to take place throughout 2024.[21]


Studio albums[edit]

  • Grenade (1986) Rouska
  • Theomania (1988) Play It Again Sam
  • Satan, Bugs Bunny, and me ... (1989) Play It Again Sam
  • Cyberpunx (1990) Play It Again Sam
  • The War against Sleep (1992) Play It Again Sam
  • Sex & Death (1993) Play It Again Sam
  • Wetware (2000) Metropolis
  • Grenade - 2019 Remaster (2019) Complex Music
  • Hardware- 2019 Remaster (2019) Complex Music
  • Software - 2019 Remaster (2019) Complex Music
  • The Plague (2022) Complex Music
  • Death & Sex (2024) COP International

Live albums[edit]

  • Live in Leather (1985) Complex (cassette-only)
  • Feel the Width (1987) Play It Again Sam
  • Beyond the Wall of Sleep (1992)


  • Raging Sun (1985) Rouska
  • Hello America (1986) Rouska
  • Zarah Leander's Greatest Hits (1987) Rouska
  • Work 1.0 (1995) PIAS
  • Dancing in Darkness (2019) PIAS
  • Hello America - 2019 Remaster (2019) Complex Music

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • March (1985) Complex
  • Moscow, Idaho (1985) Rouska
  • Datakill (1986) Rouska
  • Kill your Children/Something came over me/Angels In The Sky (1987) Play It Again Sam
  • 30 Minutes of Death (1988) aka "Gunship"
  • Penny Century (1988)
  • Finland (1990) Play It Again Sam
  • Nice Work (1990) Play It Again Sam
  • Gnostic Christmas (1991) free with limited edition of "War against Sleep"
  • Give me what I need (1994) Play It Again Sam
  • Twice as Good (2000)
  • Twice as Good - 2019 Remaster (2019)
  • The Crown Lies Heavy on the King (Destroy Donald Trump Mix) (2020)

Associated works by Rodney Orpheus[edit]

  • Third Circle – Last Night (1984) (Producer)
  • Set Fatale - Set Fatale (1988) (Producer)
  • Girls Under Glass – Positive (1990) (Producer)
  • Sisters of Mercy – Under The Gun (1992) (Keyboards/Top of the Pops appearance)
  • Catastrophe Ballet – Transition (1992) (Producer)
  • Die Krupps – Fatherland (1994) (Remixer w/ Andrew Eldritch)
  • Rodney Orpheus - Sun God (1995) (Vocals, Instruments, Producer, Songwriter)
  • Asylum– Vent (1995) (Producer)
  • Aurora Sutra – Passing Over in Silence Unto Nuit (1996) (Producer)
  • INRI – The Whole of Nature is Renewed by Fire (1996) (Producer)
  • Still Silent - Still Silent (1996) (Vocals, Lyrics)
  • Faith & the Muse – Vera Causa (2000) (Remixer)
  • Soil & Eclipse – Purity (2002) (Remixer)
  • Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks (2003) (Technical Adviser)
  • LTJ Bukem – Planet Earth (2004) (Producer)
  • Beborn Beton – Another World (2004) (Remixer)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Beethoven Classics (Creative Director)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Handel's Water Music (2005) (Creative Director)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Mozart Classics (2005) (Creative Director)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker (2005) (Creative Director)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Bach Classics (2005) (Creative Director)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Tchaikovsky Classics (2005) (Creative Director)
  • Future Sound of London – A Gigantic Globular Burst of Anti-Static (2006) (Producer)
  • Within Temptation - And We Run ft Xzibit (WholeWorldBand Edition) (2015) (Remixer)
  • Rodney Orpheus - Sun God (2020 Remaster (2020) (Vocals, Instruments, Producer, Songwriter)
  • Rodney Orpheus - Places Beginning with N (2020) (Keyboards, Producer, Songwriter)
  • Lifeline International - Come Together (2022) (Performer)


  1. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Indie and New Wave Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 55. ISBN 0-85112-579-4.
  2. ^ a b Wade, Alex (2007) "My Weekend: Andy Booth - Eighties electronic band The Cassandra Complex are back - one of them with a law degree", The Times
  3. ^ Cope, Nicholas (October 2012). Northern Industrial Scratch: The History and Contexts of a Visual Music Practice (PhD thesis). University of Sunderland.
  4. ^ a b c Wilson, Mackenzie "The Cassandra Complex Biography", AllMusic, Macrovision Corporation
  5. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (1999) The Great Alternative & Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 0-86241-913-1
  6. ^ Various - Zarah Leander's Greatest Hits, retrieved 6 April 2022
  7. ^ "Cassandra Complex Feel the Width", Underground, October 1987 (issue 7), p. 10
  8. ^ "Red Wheel / Weiser Online Bookstore | Abrahadabra: Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thelemic Magick by Rodney Orpheus, Introduction by Lon Milo DuQuette". Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Rodney Orpheus". Discogs. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  10. ^ Dery, Mark, 1959- (1996). Escape velocity : cyberculture at the end of the century. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0340672013. OCLC 43123797.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ "Sun God Interview". January 1996. Archived from the original on 8 October 1999. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  12. ^ "Cassandra Complex Hard Wired Interview". May 2001. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  13. ^ "DAC Top 50 2000". Trendcharts oHG. AMC Alster Musik Consulting GmbH. 2001. Archived from the original on 11 February 2001. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  14. ^ "DAC Top 100 Singles 2000". Trendcharts oHG. AMC Alster Musik Consulting GmbH. 2001. Archived from the original on 23 April 2001. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Red Wheel / Weiser Online Bookstore | Grimoire of Aleister Crowley: Group Magick Rituals by Rodney Orpheus, Aleister Crowley, and John Dee et al". Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  16. ^ Lüke, LAy, Nastja Iz & Marcel. "Live Review: Amphi Festival - Cologne 2019 (Day 1)".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ "#3 in Germany!". The Cassandra Complex. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  18. ^ "The Cassandra Complex: "The Plague" – erstes Album seit 22 Jahren". VOLT Magazin - EBM, Industrial, Cold Wave, Post-Punk, Dark Techno, Ambient. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  19. ^ "#1 again in the German Alternative Chart!". The Cassandra Complex. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  20. ^ "The Cassandra Complex release new album Death & Sex". The Cassandra Complex. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  21. ^ "The Cassandra Complex announce European leg of their World Tour 2024". The Cassandra Complex. Retrieved 9 February 2024.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]