The duo, comprising of Alexandra and Zachary James, formed in (As they say with a slight case of tongue in cheek) the City Of Angels, only recently really in 2016, but have caused quite a stir among the alternative community in the brief time since. While you would typically associate the idea of Satanism in music going hand in hoof with genres such as black or death metal, here the pair argue the case that maybe the devil doesn’t have a ‘type’ and that maybe he loves a slow jam as much as the next bloke…or…biblical outcast, and so using the classical sounds of soul, blues jazz and doo-wop, they spread the message of feminist Satanism, and tackle topics of oppression while fighting for free will against dated ways of thinking in society. How are they doing this? Well with their new album of course! So with that in mind, let’s check out the smoothly titled “Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound…Satanic Doo-Wop)”…I feel like I’ve just summoned something just SAYING that out loud…Venite incipere!
We open up with “The Devil (Didn’t Make Me Do It)” and it’s a quaint little slice of social commentary and tackles the idea of perception; with lyrics about 8-Balls, playing pool, beer and what not…the idea that gambling and alcohol etc is the work of the devil and leads to further sinning, but here they defend him claiming he gets a bad rap, it’s not all his fault at all! There IS a sense of poignancy however as Alexandra references the 27-club, making the point whilst doing her best Amy Winehouse over some subtle jazz and soft blues. You make your own choices in life, but some of us do have our demons and we need to hold ourselves accountable; it’s a touching nod. “Lucifer, My Love” then goes head on into a world of Satanism but done in the most romantic manner possible. There’s no bombastic sense of theater or hedonistic rituals of sacrificial bloodshed…instead there is a sweet love song about how Alexandra genuinely loves him. The ceremonial candles likened to a candle-lit date, and she even asks if he prefers blue denim or a red dress? A rib at the expense of both gothic and heavy metal clichés…despite its pacing as a slow-dance track it’s really quite comical, in a good way!
The rest of the album continues to tackle the concepts of tortured romance, adultery, corruption and revenge fuelled by love and loss; “I Know How To Hex You” dabbles in a little black magic as the scorned woman gets back at her ex for objectifying her, all delivered with a smooth dose of Americana, while “Let’s Hang Together” goes down the route of taking marriage vows very literally, with emphasis on the till’ death do us part bit, so long the lovers both go out at the same time…morbidly romantic you may say. There are two instrumental pieces making up run-time in the form of “In Lvx” and “In Nox”, representing night and day and other than acting as an interlude and closing piece respectively, they contribute little to what is essentially an 8-track mini-album really.
Overall, while musically it won’t be exciting very many people in the heavy metal community, it IS a refreshing change, in both pace and style. Where it lacks in instrumental heaviness it makes up for in its message and entire point…its MEANT to stick out like a sore thumb because the duo are challenging preconceived and already existing ideas and norms, and really they’ve succeeded, all the while managing to not make any sort of mockery of their Satanic principles. The Goths will get behind this for its quirkiness, and if you’re fan of the “Dreamboats And Petticoats” era then you’ll likely enjoy this too, just, look past the nods to the occult and don’t play it for your grandma...the next time you visit you may find her hailing Satan and finger painting with her cats blood in between cups of tea.