Before listening to this album, one must cast aside all preconceptions of Anton LaVey, head of the Church of Satan. The majority of the compositions on Satan Takes a Holiday are LaVey's favorites by others (all obscurities), from as far back as the 19th century. Anton plays all of the songs himself on keyboards and computer, and the results are quite surprising. The album isn't dead serious either; many of the numbers have a lighthearted feel, which helps the album overall. A wide variety of musical styles are present, such as marches, merry-go-round music, and organ pieces. The jolly organ of the opening title track has a mysterious feel, while the German love song "Answer Me" contains an English spoken-word vocal courtesy of LaVey himself, with other vocalists pitching in as well throughout the album. Also present is the sultry Duke Ellington/Irving Mills composition "Variations on the Mooche," which the liner notes say has been used by exotic dancers as a showstopper for years. And possibly the eeriest track, "Blue Prelude," begins with a bell chiming and soon tells the tale of a woman wanting to commit suicide. Satan Takes a Holiday is indeed spooky at times, but can create a comforting feeling as well.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato