[Locals Only] Chapel of Thieves

A Haunted, Horror-ific Happy Medium


Horror-themed rock covers a pretty wide spectrum. ThereNs the playful fun of groups such as the Groovie Ghoulies, who are about as threatening as your average Scooby-Doo villain; and then there are those who take it a bit more seriously, like, say, Norwegian black-metal musician Varg Vikernes, who murdered rival Øystein Aarseth in 1993 by stabbing him 23 times.

Female-fronted Goth/punk Orange County/LA foursome Chapel of Thieves land (thankfully) somewhere in the middle. While theyNre not simply winking at dark subject matter—lyrics such as “In this swamp is your new home, youNre buried here all alone” in “Swamp” are delivered with no discernible irony—theyNre having fun with it, too: Their MySpace profile sports blinking jack-oN-lanterns and an ad for coffin-shaped guitar cases.

They released their album Haunted Hearts back in the summer of 2007, but weNre just getting around to it now (since itNs still their most current release, thatNs probably okay, right?). The eight songs are largely grim—not meant as a slag, since thatNs what theyNre going for and all. Opener “Buried Wings” starts with 40 seconds of keyboard designed to sound like an organ at a funeral procession, but itNs soon taken to a much more upbeat place musically (if not thematically) thanks to powerful drumming behind the moody vocals of lead singer Elysia Moon. Much of the album sounds like more traditional punk, from the anthemic chorus in “Minus You” to the cover of Bad ReligionNs “Yesterday” (with guitarist Ry Quinn Hemond providing lead vocals).

Chapel of Thieves strike a nice balance on Haunted Hearts; embracing the scary without becoming overwrought, having fun without being tiresome. They seem to know it, too: There is a song on here called “Angst,” but itNs one of the fastest, most danceable songs on the album.

Chapel of Thieves play with Vultures United, She Rides and Punk as a Doornail at AlexNs Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., (562) 434-8292; www.alexsbar.com. Sun., 9 p.m. $3. Visit Chapel of Thieves online at www.myspace.com/chapelofthieves.


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