Hailing from New Jersey as I do, there have been very few things to be happy about in this state – especially musically in the the last ten years – so I thought it would be good to shed some light on perhaps the brightest metal star in the state: Glenn Danzig. From the borough of Lodi in Bergen County NJ comes the veritable vocal force that saw him front two bands previously (Misfits, Samhain) before finally settling upon his solo project Danzig, with their self-titled debut being released in 1988. From that album came his major hit “Mother“ which hits Tipper Gore and the PMRC and points them out for the fallacy that they were and are. This article, however, will show that it was not the band’s first album, but their second that really separated them from the pack: let’s take a look at Danzig II: Lucifuge and travel back to 1990.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Danzig’s trademark voice then let the 0:40 sec marker of this song be the howl to open your ears and hearts to his lovably ridiculous voice. “Long Way Back From Hell” is an incredibly powerful song that begs you to sing along with it, and it is only done properly if you do so in Danzig’s unique style, adding much comedy to the imitation. Guitarist John Christ adds many a blues-tinged riff to the fury of the music, and former Black Flag drummer Chuck Biscuits makes his presence felt as well. “Snakes Of Christ” follows this and makes for an equally fun time especially for those who enjoy a Black Sabbath-type experience that, in this case, is vocal-centric.
Going on through the album you will notice a few songs that stand out as blues, and almost country songs: “Killer Wolf” being one and “777” another; very much blues and not metal at all, and show the band’s diverse range of influences. It’s true that, while primarily a metal band, Danzig often sought out a reason or two to make their very different sound even more different than their metal peers, paying a homage to singers like Howlin’ Wolf instead. One of the best songs on the album, “Tired Of Being Alive”, rocks out with ferocious riffs and an exemplary guitar solo all to back up Danzig’s stellar howls, making for an excellent hybrid of heavy metal and hard rock.
Bringing about more of the evil themes we now come to “Her Black Wings” as Danzig beckons to a demoness and ends up seduced and ready to do her bidding. This is also the song that introduced us to the eventual name of Danzig’s signature tour: the very first lyric is “blackest of the black.” Start to finish it is another remarkable experience and the riffs and vocals go hand in hand. “Girl”opens up very much in the same fashion as many an AC/DC song with similar Angus Young aplomb. The slow riffs explode on contact, as do the sexual lyrics of the throes of passion and the song’s overall structure seems like it could be very placed at the scene of a striptease as it just feels sexy.
Danzig has been in the music game since the late ’70s and he still makes his presence felt even now that he is a whopping 57 years old. He is still obsessed with evil, darkness and of course the female body as noted by his most recent album, 2010′s Deth Red Sabaoth and the inner and rear cover (NSFW). Danzig and all three of his bands are must-listen material if you love heavy metal, blues, and a stellar vocalist who demands imitation. Feel free to drop me a comment about a band you’d like to see covered, or just leave one as a sign of good faith. For what I’m currently listening to you can always check out my Last.fm page if you like. Now let’s take a trip into Danzig’s past. See you all next week.