ROBERT JACKSON - Twilight Theatre

Robert Jackson - Twilight Theatre

33 songs
85:22 minutes


The premise of Robert Jackson's Twilight Theatre is highly interesting and made me put this double-album on the top of my to-review list. His goal is to document every facet of horror from the witch burnings in the pioneer days of the USA to the more contemporary chill factors. The project is very ambitious indeed, and the research is well done too, but when it comes to the execution, it couldn't be more awkward. First of all every song is introduced by a spoken work part that can take up to one minute. If the music were any good, you could put all the songs (a total of 16) on one CD and you'd have a single disc with 67 minutes of music, and without the 18 minutes of academic sounding history.

Now about the music: Robert Jackson is full of praise for himself, calling himself an award winning artist. I only hope these awards have nothing to do with music. He is a rather poor guitarist, as can be witnessed on Land Of 1000 Suns, where the rhythm guitar sounds like recorded straight from the soundboard, and the lead guitar is just a sequence of fast notes without any concept behind them. At least his vocals match his musical abilities, which means: his voice has no power whatsoever, giving you the impression of the town drunkard singing in a classic rock cover band.

There are some good ideas on the album, because you notice that Robert Jackson not only knows the written history of horror, but is also quite knowledgeable when it comes to the history of shock rock: Arthur Brown, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson,... the influences are all there, and at times he even hints at something like ingenuity (as on the weird Ligeia The Spirit which sounds like early Seventies Alice Cooper), but the production is so thin that again everything is lost.

I could sympathise with Robert Jackson's ambition, were it not for the liner notes that read like right-wing libertarian tripe with a strong hint of racism. Remember, Mr Jackson, that the United States doesn't belong to the descendents of the Mayflower, because they stole the country from the native population. Maybe you should think about that historical fact before you go on thrashing minorities.

Back to Reviews