Satanic doo-wop is certainly not a genre I’ve reviewed before, but Twin Temple have corrected that with this, their second studio album God Is Dead. Self proclaimed practicing satanists, the husband and wife duo of vocalist Alexandra James and guitarist Zachary James, formed Twin Temples in 2017 in an attempt to challenge the dominance that metal had within Satanist music. Being fans of American rock and roll of the 1950s and 1960s, and bands such as The Platters, Roy Orbison, and Buddy Holly, they wanted to incorporate Satanism with this musical era and culture. Please pay attention at the back of the class as there will be a short test at the end of this!!
UK audiences were exposed to them as tour support for Swedish rockers Ghost in 2022.
So what does satanic doo-wop sound like? Well surprisingly just like 50s and 60s doo-wop. Trebly, production, lots of strings and keys, with sugar coated vocals and more harmony than you can shake a stick at. Imagine Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers (ask yer Gran), but instead of titles like “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” or “I’m Not A Juvenile Delinquent”, the James’s write songs called “Let’s Have A Satanic Orgy” or “Burn Your Bible”.
You could easily have this on in the background at a meeting of the Cambridge University New Testament society, and nobody would be any the wiser. The lyrics are so superbly crafted to compliment the music, that you really have to listen hard to pick up on the satanic undertones. Indeed the tunes are so familiar, that you could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve somehow fallen through a hole in the fabric of time, and ended up on the set of Grease or Happy Days, in fact the Fonz was probably the first to embrace the genre! But aaaaay, what do I know?
This is the perfect sound track for a Halloween party without scaring the neighbourhood kids away. Particular highlights for me are Black Magik, about getting naked and having sex amongst the church pews and the empowering Be A Slut.
So who wins in the battle against satanic metal? Well without the usual trappings of the Dark Lord, 666, devil horns and pentangles, attached to screaming, impenetrable vocals, Twin Temples do make a very good case for themselves. However, I really can’t see them headlining Bloodstock any time soon!
Oh, and it’s released on Friday the 13th of October.
The band are currently on tour in the US with Danzig and Behemoth, but expect UK dates in due course.
To mis-quote Mr Spock’s mis-quote, “it’s satanic Jim, but not as we know it”.
Burn Your Bible
(Fallin’ For A) Fallen Angel
Let’s Have A Satanic Orgy
Be A Slut
God Is Dead