hat’s the scariest part of a fairground? Trick question, obviously. Almost every clown-filled pocket of sinisterly enforced gaiety has the potential to raise new underwear sales tenfold. The lonely carousel, creaking beneath the weight of a salty coastal wind and it’s own poorly maintained bulk. A gaudily decorated tent disguising the wicked den of twisted animal mistreatment within. Tests of skill and chance run by hunchbacked men with spooky facial ticks and all three hands on your wallet. The ghost train, darkly menaci ... no, hang on, the ghost train isn’t scary at all. A relative island of calm amidst the halls of glamour, it provides cheap and cheerful laughs with cheesy plastic skeletons. If Trinity was a fairground ride ... well, you know where this is going.
It must be tough being the conduit of Beelzebub. Sure, you can steal the photocopying toner from work and queue-jump at the bakers, but the Dark One is fickle with his acolytes. At some stage you need to raise your game. Armed only with a cheap Casio keyboard, a few samples from some dodgy horror flicks and a copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy, it’s time to SPREAD THE MESSAGE OF YOUR MALIGNANT MASTER. May as well drag Britain’s most infamous magick practitioner and pentagon-botherer Aleister Crowley along for the ride too. Everyone else does.
The choice to invert his moniker is a perplexing one. Surely the whole process of inversion terribly confuses the issue? Instead of beaming the image of occultist wickedness directly into our brains, it instead invokes some kind of dubious anti-Crowley. A twin from a parallel universe. The nicest man in the world. In any case, the word yelworC sounds like someone choking on a peanut. Perhaps a SATANIC PEANUT OF DEATH though. Makes you think, doesn’t it? About possessed snacks, I mean.
Amusing diabolical shenanigans aside, the music isn’t terribly good. I’m the kind of guy who might be genuinely excited about the opening album to a trilogy based on The Divine Comedy; but much like The Prince of Darkness himself, all is smoke and mirrors. The man behind the curtain is impossible to pay no attention to, because he keeps cranking out sub-par atmospheric nonsense that would sound dated on a mid-90s PC blast-em-up title. Admittedly not many retro games contained lyrical passages about being blinded by demonic jizz, but on the whole I think the decade was just a little more bearable thanks to things like that.
I could elaborate upon the echoey beats which half-heartedly merge with SPOOKTASTIC synth effects that practically ooze gorgonzola, or I could ponder why every ‘evil’ vocalist in the world insists on singing in a bizarro throat-straining way which suggests serious breathing problems in later life—but I won’t. Instead, I’ll hand over to the alleged final words of Mr. Edward Alexander Crowley:
“I am perplexed.”
With stuff like this being put out in his (inverted) name, he bloody well should be.
Reviewed by: Peter Parrish
Reviewed on: 2004-09-28