|Review: Danzig - Danzig|
Label: American Recordings
Year released: 1988
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: January 17, 2010
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Rated 3.85/5 (77.07%) (41 Votes)
You know, more bands should play this style of bluesy, drugged out Heavy Metal. I really don't know why it hasn't caught on more. It's just about the coolest fucking thing in the world; I mean it. I just really dig the style in general, and Danzig, straight out of his career with horror punk rockers The Misfits, put out a really thoroughly enjoyable debut of it in the late 80s. I love the heavy grooves and the Southern home-cooked riffs and every cool nuance in the rhythms, as well as the great gruff, tuneful hollering of the hillbilly from Hell himself, Glen Danzig, It all sort of coalesces into a melting pot of good ideas that proves a really enjoyable listen.
This owes as much to rock as it does metal. Comparisons can be made to Savatage, as the groovy, rhythmic pounding of the drums and guitars together is about as close as twins separated at birth. It all shows a shared lineage in Black Sabbath and a lot of blues and older rock bands even before that. This is very organic, stripped down music. There's nothing dishonest or deceitful about Danzig. What you see is what you get – hard-edged, down-and-dirty metal with deep rock and roll linings and a certain aroma to it that reminds one of reedy, booze-soaked Louisiana back-streets and swamps where occult rituals might take place. Like the movie Angel Heart.
Danzig's voice is kind of like Elvis if Elvis had lived long enough to see metal come to fruition. His bittersweet hollering is charming and surely kept me listening. He has a charisma to his voice that makes you want to hear everything he sings, not just the choruses or the higher notes or whatever. It's all good. This is obviously a guy who really loves his music, as his voice just sounds perfect for what he's singing over on here – loud, raucous, nifty as hell.
If there are any flaws on here, it's probably that no one song here is really a standout – but then, there doesn't have to be. This is an album I can just throw on any time and love from beginning to end. "Twist of Cain" has this great funky groove to it, with a catchy chorus and jagged rhythms I can really dig. "She Rides" is a slow burn that ends up being one of the most initially memorable. "Soul on Fire" has an organ backing up the guitars that makes the whole thing sound absolutely awesome - one of the album's best tracks. Toward the end we sort of streamline out into a gaggle of heavy, driving blues rockers like "Am I Demon," the psychotic "Mother," the hyper-catchy "Possession" and the epic "End of Days" that just rock out.
This is just a really solid, enjoyable album. It is exciting, endearing and consistently spirited in delivery, always constantly replayable. If you have a hungering for some great rock music, turn to no other but Danzig and his eponymous debut album. Fuck, this is cool. Now I have to go listen to it again...
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