God Is Dead

MRI Entertainment
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Burn Your Bible
02. (Fallin' For A) Fallen Angel
03. Let's Have A Satanic Orgy
04. Two Sinners
05. Black Magick
06. Spellbreaker
07. Be A Slut
08. God Is Dead

It might not be the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled, but convincing metal fans to embrace doo-wop was no mean achievement. Despite sounding like some dust-covered relic from the late '50s, TWIN TEMPLE made light work of qualifying for metalheads' affections with their first album "Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound… Satanic Doo-Wop)" . Despite being based in the oldest old-school rock 'n' roll, the duo's euphoric devotion to Satan and mischievously theatrical live shows are a natural fit in our world, as support slots on tours with GHOST, VOLBEAT and DANZIG have stylishly confirmed. Four years on from the debut, "God Is Dead" is another splurge of sexy Satanic rituals, perfectly realized musical kitsch and cheerful blasphemy, all delivered deadpan, but with a huge twinkle in Alexandra and Zachary James's shared third eye.

If any criticism can be levelled at TWIN TEMPLE, it is that their records are stylized in such a way that the rowdy charisma of the live experience is seldom faithfully replicated. "God Is Dead" sounds authentic, as fans will expect, and as close to mirroring the sonic values of rock 'n' roll circa 1959 as modern recording environments will allow. As a result, these songs feel like curious, mothballed missives from another time and place, beamed into the present day by enterprising, malevolent forces. Although somewhat slight, at a very economical 29 minutes, "God Is Dead" skillfully builds on the velvet-clad glamour and priapic sass of its predecessor, via some of the catchiest tunes TWIN TEMPLE have written to date.

Opener "Burn Your Bible" ("with me, toniiiiiight…") is an absolute peach: the TWIN TEMPLE experience, crammed into a vibrant, classic-sounding trad pop anthem. "(Fallin' For A) Fallen Angel" is a charming, laidback rock 'n' roll ballad, with Alexandra James in particularly fine form. The previously released "Let's Have A Satanic Orgy" is a joyously wicked call to arms, and every bit as darkly sexy as intended. Again, there is little here that overlaps with metal of any form, and yet the prevailing atmosphere is devilish and nefarious, in the true tradition of rebellious heavy music. "You like the taste of blood?" asks Alexandra James, before cackling insanely and concluding, reasonably, that "You're under my spell…" Frothing religious types and purist naysayers aside, TWIN TEMPLE are very hard to resist.

Elsewhere, "Two Sinners" is a languid, lascivious doo-wop fever dream; "Black Magick" is a blissful '50s rock sweep, with accidental shades of Dusty Springfield and a sublime sax solo; "Spellbreaker" thrums with old-school girl group energy, and boasts an absurdly infectious chorus; and "Be A Slut (Do What You Want)" evangelizes for sexual freedom via a spinning, Phil Spector-ish groove. The closing title track is the best of the lot, with soaring strings that ebb and flow majestically around Alexandra James's show-stopping vocal.

Of course, if Satanic doo-wop is not your thing, "God Is Dead" may have limited appeal. But as they proved first time out and continue to prove here, TWIN TEMPLE are a uniquely enchanting and subversive proposition. Satan be praised.

Author: Dom Lawson
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