The Small Hall in Amsterdam’s Paradiso is packed to the gills with a seriously mixed bag, tonight: unassuming older couples, tattooed rockabillies, gloomy goths, battle-jacketed metalheads… all swaying together to the sweet and dulcet strains of Los Angeles’ very own Twin Temple, and their signature sound of Satanic doo-wop.
This spirit of community is perfectly in keeping with the band’s take on Satanism, though: and tonight, love most definitely is the law – and not just holding-hands, platonic love, either, as hip-gyrating, tongues-out carnal messages musk the very air. And this is the real magick of Twin Temple (currently on their European tour) – neither Alexandra’s sensual crooning nor Zachary’s expressive lead guitar chops are what sell the spirit of the performance tonight. And that’s not even mentioning the passion and power behind the live band’s part in the process. Saxophone about as far removed from Kenny G as you can get, punchy, crisp drumming and some seriously quicksilver keyboards just round everything off. It’s all about the love, baby.
If you didn’t believe me, here’s “Sex Magick” to seal the deal.
See, radio-friendly devil worship isn’t all that novel anymore. The likes of Ghost and Year of the Goat have made occult rock big news again, while SubRosa, Ides of Gemini and Sabbath Assembly have all played their part in bringing the dark lord back into the mainstream; Netflix shows like Sabrina have been the obvious media consequence. But Twin Temple delivers a touching, personal audience with Lucifer (and Lilith, Beelzebub, and Babylon) in their ritualized expression of devotion to the horned one. Rise Above records have something special on their hands here – and let’s hope they never forget it.
With song titles – not tracks, please, these are full-fledged, musical, toe-tapping examples of the songwriter’s craft – like “The Devil Didn’t Make Me Do It” or “Satan Is A Woman” Twin Temple makes evil fun again. Satanic sing-alongs? Yes indeed. Audience participation in Babylonian rites? Sign me up. Clever lyrics on top of sensitive music? Please, sir, may I have some more? And all topped off with a spirited delivery by a charismatic couple, complete with liberal lashings of blood anointing foreheads? Twin Temple IS what you’ve been missing all your drab little lives.
In their own words, “Let’s Hang Together” until the next time Twin Temple pass through your town.