Music Review: Slashing Through the Snow by Venus De Vilo
by Alex S. Johnson
artwork copyright (c) Venus De Vilo 2015. All rights reserved.
Venus de Vilo’s Slashing Through the Snow is a three-song monsterpiece that should appeal to fans of Gothic singer/songwriter/cartoonist Voltaire, whose sinister snark makes him De Vilo’s twin when it comes to tuneage. The Dublin native plays her own instruments accompanying a voice that’s a bit like Lydia Lunch meets Jello Biafra with Nick Cave lurking somewhere in the shadows.
The only problem with this release is that it’s three songs. One of the many upsides is that the songs–“Santa’s Slay,” “Mistletoetag” and “The Night Before Christmassacre”–are such deliriously wrong and madly delicious ear candy they will burrow into your brain folds faster than a maggot on the Swedish biker crank.
De Vilo has been described as “the love child of Marilyn Manson and Amanda Palmer,” and the blurb is dead on, if the greying matter on display here is any bloody indication. I would add Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, among other artists who combine dark wit with horrific themes; one is reminded that H.P. Lovecraft’s first published story, “Herbert West, Reanimator,” was intended to be funny and appeared in a humor magazine (Little Known Fact Department).
If you ever wondered about the predatory character of Santa Claus, “Santa’s Slay” will set the record straight. Anybody who spends Christmas night breaking and entering into the homes of complete strangers with a “naughty and nice children” list pasted against his jelly belly should by all rights be listed on some kind of international Most Wanted list. Not to mention that Claus had done this once(?) a year for centuries before he began to sport the Coca-Cola corporate colors, and we have a big, bad, red and white problem on our hands.
De Vilo’s version strikes me as the more accurate–in her take on the legend, Santa takes a sharp weapon along with his gifts. And why not? Why stop at home invasion and stalking kids when you can add serial killer to your credits?
Preparatory to “The Night Before Christmassacre,” “Mistletoetag” tells the grisly yet hauntingly beautiful story of a bad romance. And then we have the sizzling giblets of the thing…
Santa’s slayride sets the stage for the unholy blessings of “Christmassacre,” where everything dreadful lurking beneath this beloved holiday worms to the surface and takes heads. Eerie keyboards echoing Keith Emerson’s score for Dario Argento’s film Inferno lead into the secret history of Yuletide. Yup, folks, “fresh from his spree,” it’s “f**king Saint Nick!” His hair soaked in gore, looking like Leatherface merrily dolled up in seasonal department store drag, the better to sit you on his lap and ask what you really want for Xmas…
De Vilo spares no institution, person, place or thing with her caustic, hilarious songs. If you’re easily offended, this download is probably not for you. But if you like brilliantly funny, razor sharp songwriting, Slashing Through the Snow is well worth the Euro.
Just a taste of De Vilo’s lyrical gifts, from “Mistletoetag”:
A mince pie for one and a bottle of wine,
This time last year, he was all mine,
under mistletoe, in our paper hats,
Now all that he wears,
On Bludgeon, On Shitsen…
For more information, go to: https://venusdevilo.bandcamp.com/album/slashing-through-the-snow-album-comic-book-and-killendar-2016