Electric Hellfire Club – Electronomicon

Despite being fans of some really heavy music, none of the staff around here are actually practicing Satan worshippers (that I know of). Sure, we all enjoy Hell related artwork, flame jobs on cars and big-tittied she-demons wearing bikini tops and daisy dukes, but when it comes right down to it none of us come home from work and sacrifice goats to the big horned one himself.

The Electric Hellfire Club however do, and they want to tell you all about it. Long before Marilyn Manson ever thought about joining Anton LaVey’s army, Thomas Thorn and co. were already marching in line behind Captain Flames himself. The Electric Hellfire Club’s songs range in subject from Hell to Satan to Satan in Hell to Satanism in general, with occasional side tangents of serial killers, murderers and drug addiction thrown in for good measure. If you’re waiting for EHC to release a family oriented Christmas album, it’ll be a cold day in … well, it’ll be a long time.

A quick history lesson; Thomas Thorn (the mastermind behind EHC) was a member of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult for several years. When MLWTTKK began leaning away from “evil” and more towards “pop,” Thorn split and channeled his dark energy into the EHC. Over the past ten years, EHC has become known as a mediocre electronica band whose sound fell somewhere between old MLWTTKK and the Lords of Acid. Despite their demands to be taken as a serious Satanic band, their cover tunes are some of the funniest (and greatest) I’ve ever heard. Some of their covers include Sympathy for the Devil (Rolling Stones), Killing an Arab (the Cure), Highway to Hell (AC/DC), Shout at the Devil (Motley Crue), Devil Inside (INXS), the Halloween theme, Reign in Blood (Slayer), and Charles in Charge (yes, the television sitcom theme song, but dedicated to Charles Manson).

Summary up to this point – Electric Hellfire Club is a campy, techno-based Satanic band with albums titles like Burn, Baby, Burn, Satan’s Little Helpers, Unholy Roller, and Kiss the Goat. Got it?

Kiss that image goodbye. The EHC has emerged into the new millennium with a leaner, meaner sound, rooted in Swedish metal and branching out from there. Forget dance-related comparisons — the new incarnation of EHC is closer to White Zombie and Ministry than it is to MLWTTKK or Lords of Acid. Sure, Thorn is still taking the stage with horns stuck to his forehead and pentagrams flying, but he’s doing it this time around backed with guitars instead of keyboards. EHC’s latest release was Recorded at Swedens Abyss Studios with producer/engineer Tommy Tägtgren (known for his work with black metal legends Marduk, Dark Funeral, and others), and Tägtgren’s roots show through on the album’s sound.

Electronomicon, EHC’s fifth full length album, presents listeners will thirteen (of course) tracks firmly founded in hellish fun. EHC hasn’t backed off at all — if anything, their most recent collection of songs are more intense than ever. “Wired in Blood,” the opening track, explains the theory of the Electronomicon. The EHC tell stories in all their songs. “Hypochristian,” one of my favorites, talks about how people are “dammed to salvatation,” and “lost in a labyrinth of their own creation.” The songs on Electronomicon are much more advanced than EHC’s previous efforts. Instead of just coming out and asking for “Bob Larson’s head on a platter,” the lyrics seem more mature and planned out.

Electronomicon is an interesting step for the Electric Hellfire Club. Most of their old albums were synth and drum machine based, so just the foundation of live drums and guitars is a big change. The new songs still contain a lot of samples, which add to the mood and fit the songs perfectly. It’s not death metal and it’s not black metal, but it is a nice blend of hard rock and hard lyrics. Check your Bible at the door and give it a spin.

01. Into Thee Abyss
02. Wired In Blood
03. Sons Of The Serpent
04. Hypochristian
05. Stockholm Syndrome
06. Whores Of Babylon
07. Broken Goetia
08. I Dream Of Demons
09. Nordland
10. Tannhauser Gate
11. This Is The Zodiac
12. Hymns To The Fallen
13. Conjuration (Song Of Azazel)

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