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Danzig


Male role models have changed over time. Movies, music, and even T.V., have all made contributions. An MTV cartoon "Bevis and Butt-head" took the rebellious male role model to new depths (at least they lowered everyone's expectations). So dumb, they probably even offended Jerry Lewis; these two characters "blessed" several mediocre or middle level groups and made them "pop" famous. Danzig was among the beneficiaries. "Bevis and Butt-head" picked up on a live version of "Mother" (from "Thrall: Deamonsweatlive") and made it a high rotation hit.

Vocalist Glenn Danzig and his band; guitarist John Christ (perfect last name for a guy in a demonic band), bassist Ernie Von (pretty pedestrian name) and drummer Chuck Biscults (later replaced by Joey Castillo) formed in L.A. Danzig was a veteran of the extreme Metal band Samhain (with Von) and the Misfits. Both groups recorded but failed to reach beyond extreme Metal's narrow confines. Danzig took another shot, naming the group after himself, and this time connected.

Danzig's self-titled debut (which contained the studio version of "Mother"), released in '88, did well but it wasn't until the '90s that Danzig kicked in with "Danzig III: How The Gods Kill" and "Danzig: 4."

A turn toward Industrial on "Danzig 5: Blackacidevil" was not well received. The '96 album was basically Glenn's solo album with help from Alice In Chains' Jerry Cantrell. Three years later, "Danzig 6:66: Satan's Child" backed off the electronics but Danzig's altered vocal style "an uncharacteristic, harsh, whispery tone" didn't register with critics or fans.

"I Luciferi" marked a return, at least sonically, to the group's heyday. But the '02 release was marred by second rate production. Two years on, "Circle Of Snakes" was heralded as Danzig/s best vocal performance in years. Unfortunately, many felt his work was buried under Tommy Victor's multi-tracked guitars.

"Deth Red Sabaoth," Danzig's first studio album since '04's "Circle Of Snakes," dropped in '10.

There are reasons why a band goes six years without an album:
a) constant turmoil with members coming and going,
b) side project consumes principal member's time (Danzig's '06 solo album "Black Aria II," the follow- up to '92's "Black Aria"),
c) the record company doesn't think sales will cover recording and promotion costs.

Seemed Danzig endured all three but managed prevail.

Also, "Deth Red Sabaoth," was the first album with Johnny Kelly (drums) and Steve Zing (bass), even though Kelly signed on in '05 and Zing, a year later. Victor, who returned in '08 (for his third tour with the band : '97-'98, '02-'05 and '08 forward), was also featured.

Vaulting a few years, Glenn Danzig was featured in the official trailer for the sixth season ('16) of IFC's surrealist sketch comedy show "Portlandia." "(The filming) was a lot of fun. It was very last-minute, so I had to learn all my dialogue really quick," explained Danzig, who was recruited by Portlandia's co-creator, co-writer and co-star, Fred Armisen.

Turned out, the comedian and Danzig were mutual admirers. "I put Fred up there with Bill Murray and some of my other favorite comedians Jerry Lewis, stuff like that," stated Danzig.

The time to get back to music was long overdue. "Black Laden Crown," Danzig's first album of original material in seven years arrived in '17. The group's eleventh studio album (tenth featuring all-new material), took three years to complete using a large number of musicians.




Like a lot of Metal bands, Danzig was all about demons and destruction. Hey, it's showbiz. Satan is as good a prop as anything. The PMRC (Parent's Music Resource Committee - led by Tripper Gore - wife of Pres. Clinton's VP) did not approve. And that was great for business.






Danzig Discography

Albums:

1988 Danzig
1990 Danzig II: Lucifuge
1992 Danzig III: How The Gods Kill
1994 Danzig 4
1996 Danzig 5: Blackacidevil
1999 Danzig 6:66: Satan's Child
2002 Danzig 777: I Luciferi
2004 Circle Of Snakes
2010 Deth Red Sabaoth
2015 Skeletons
2017 Black Laden Crown

"Danzig III: How The Gods Kill" ('92) and "4" ('94) are the group's best shots. The former has the driving "Twist Of Cain" and the telling "I Am Demon." "How The Gods Kill" opens with the majestic guitar of "Godless." While the title track is a waste, the album also scores with riff Rocker "Dirty Black Summer." "4" has the smoldering "Going Down To Die" but it's the over the top Thrash Metal of "Brand New God" that really delivers. These two albums are what the group is all about.

It would be a good idea to jump from "4" to "Circle Of Snakes." Glenn's vocals, for some reason, are way down in the mix on most "Circle Of Snakes" tracks. But more Victor and less Danzig is not necessarily a bad thing.

There are enough holes in "Deth Red Sabaoth" to keep it from becoming a classic. But even so, there are tracks too good to miss. The set opens with a song titled "Hammer Of The Gods." Dicey to use a title so closely associated with another, even more legendary band - Led Zeppelin. But this is no Zep rip. Rather, "Hammer Of The Gods" sounds like Jim Morrison (The Doors) fronting prime Sabbath. Then there's "Red Deth Moon" and "Ju Ju Bone." They prove this edition can match the band's best. Too bad there aren't more songs like them.

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