Sun. Mar 7th, 2021

5.2.2020 Hexvessel & Twin Temple @ Tavastia, Helsinki

Satan has long dominated the music world, striking fear into the hearts of many metalheads alike: from bands like GHOST to Norwegian black metal acts, none have been spared. But nothing as special as TWIN TEMPLE has arisen inspired by the Devil: Los Angeles’ one and only Satanic Doo-Wop band. The temple made its way to Tavastia in Helsinki for a mass where any devotee could enjoy their blend of rock ‘n’ roll as if we were straight transported to the fifties. Support act of the night was the psychedelic forest folk-rock act HEXVESSEL. Check out our photo gallery here.

Admittedly, the main reason for attending this show, was because HEXVESSEL‘s latest album “All Tree” was one of the best discoveries of 2019 I made. When the news was announced they would support TWIN TEMPLE, I was almost obligated to go see their show, and with success. With a 40 minute show, HEXVESSEL played us some bluesy psychedelic rock tunes that really managed to make me feel relaxed, and lose myself in the music. The band is pretty energetic on stage, but mostly seem to share the seem feeling I have. It’s pretty hypnotizing to watch them play, and they immediately set the right atmosphere for what was soon about to come. Hopefully, next time I see HEXVESSEL live, it will be a headlining show because I can tell you that those 40 minutes were not enough. However, the supporting slot meant that the band could play a variety of songs, and they even included their new single “Demian” in the setlist, which really sounded outstanding live, which makes me think I can’t wait for more new material.

As I mentioned before, before committing to reporting this show, I hadn’t heard yet about TWIN TEMPLE. Some days before the show, I looked them up and I was amazed by their music. I have spent a fair share of my teenage years listening mostly to forties and fifties music, among others doo-wap was something that I loved listening to, so to find a band to mix the aesthetics of the heavy metal culture, and this blend of rhythm and blues music. My expectations after my initial research were actually quite high. Without spoiling too much, I figured that their show must be quite entertaining if their music is that conceptual…

The band started off by letting the audience chant different names of the devil, “Beelzebubs,” “Lucifer,” and a couple of more names on the tunes of “In Lux”. The chanting soon progressed into the first song of the night “The Devil (Didn’t Make Me Do It)” with a sound that blew me away right from the start. While singer Alexandra James is leading the audience like a priestess of Satan should be doing, the rest of the band have more a laid-back role, and focus on their instruments while shaking their hips to the beat. The otherwise reserved Finnish audience was mesmerized by TWIN TEMPLE, and was singing along, moving along to the songs, and were often interacting with the band.

The band played their whole debut album “Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound…Satanic Doo-Wop),” except for one addition to the setlist “I’m A Witch.” What I didn’t expect was that the show would be partially participatory as singer Alexandra James made sure most of the fans on the front row were involved in the show. At some point, she also asked if there was anybody who wanted to join them on stage, and two volunteers were invited on stage for a true Satanic ritual including blindfolding and wrist-binding, and secret oaths.

At the end of the show, singer Alexandra James drinks fake blood from a chalice and lets it drip all over her face, but not before spitting it out over the audience, an act that caught me by surprise, but luckily I could avoid the fountain of blood on my face. After that, however, she anointed those who wanted to with a stripe of blood on their forehead. I, of course, wanted to belong to the part of the audience that wanted to join the cult, so with blood on my forehead, I marched my way home, getting a view strange looks from scared people, and one man who thought I should be hospitalized. Overall, I would say that this certainly has been a great show. It’s always great when bands know how to entertain an audience, and not only does TWIN TEMPLE play outstanding and original music, they surely know how to put a spell on the crowd.

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