BIBLE OF THE DEVIL - A Sharp Pain To The Templars! Page 2
by Martin Popoff

"Basically, the fable of the Children's Crusades is set in Europe in 1212, and involves two different child prophets, one each from France and Germany, who are inspired through some sort of divine providence to lead children to the Holy Land in order to liberate it from "The Infidel" through their faith and purity alone. Of course, this mission ends tragically and brutally for them with numerous misadventures, not the least of which are starvation, enslavement, and death. I remember first reading about this studying world civilizations back in college, but had a renewed interest in it after reading Deus Lo Volt!. From what I've read, most historical critics regard the story as a fine work of fiction and mere Christian propaganda, but I think it has interesting parallels to the ill-conceived "crusade" - Bush's words, not mine - that our country is currently engaged in. Perfect fodder for a metal concept record!"

How this plays out lyrically... well, it's all meticulously stacked. Asked to expound on a lyric or two, Mark gamely explains that "Ecclesia Novorum Innocentium... this is the shotgun blast that starts the record; it translates to "Church of the New Innocents" from Latin. According to the fable of the Children's Crusades, this was a cenotaph erected on the isle of San Pietro in memorial to the shipwrecked crusaders who died en route to being sold into slavery. The second song, Sepulchre, declares the mission of the self-proclaimed child prophet Stephen de Cloyes, who was allegedly inspired by a mysterious vision of Christ to accomplish what trained soldiers could not - liberate the Holy Sepulchre from captivity by the Saracens. The chorus is actually a warning from King Philip of France to the child crusaders. He was but one voice attempting to dissuade Stephen de Cloyes and his youthful flock from their preposterous mission. As you have inferred, they did not listen, and hence we have a story."

Moving on, Mark reveals that "Orphans of Doom is an ode to the child crusaders. This one contains one of my favorite lines on the record, 'From pastures and wretched hovels / Thy doom-bound orphans gather / Obeying not this warning / beware the snake-oil prophet.' Later, The Elusive Miracle... this is the point where the crusaders who have survived the treacherous journey to the sea realize that Stephen de Cloyes does not have the Moses-like power to part the waters so that they can proceed to the Holy Land. Ripe for exploitation, many of the children are duped into boarding what are later revealed to be slave ships, setting the stage for the horrendous next phase of the journey..."

BIBLE OF THE DEVIL - A Sharp Pain To The Templars! Page 3