Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Aug 31st, 2017

Danzig: Black Laden Crown

Black Laden Crown
(Nuclear Blast America)

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Heavy metal crooner/shrieker Glenn Danzig and his hard-hitting band have been a little quiet for a few years on the Danzig front. This is the first new album (of original material) we’ve seen since 2010, which brought us Deth Red Sabaoth, Between then and now,  the band has played several festivals, put out a greatest hits album, and even sung some Elvis tunes on their recently completed Elvis tribute album.

Most notable was the Danzig Legacy Tour, which featured members of the Misfits, Danzig, and Samhain playing each other’s songs. If only out of curiosity for what he could possibly come up with next, I took a listen to the new album. I recommend listening to this album on headphones or good speakers or you’ll miss a lot of the punch it packs in the mix, but when you do hear it, you’ll love it.

The title track starts it off, and at first feels a little too lurching, but then by the last minute and a half, it picks up and propels us mercilessly into more familiar territory. “Devil On Hwy 9” sounds like Danzig at his best. It’s tight and pounding with a chorus reminiscent of his Misfits days. It’s also a satisfyingly aggressive performance by drummer, Joey Castillo, who is best known for his work with Queens of the Stone Age.

“Last Ride” really brings us home to the heavy metal blues that Danzig does so well. His vocals are as soulful as they are dark, with the opening rhythm section consisting only of finger snaps and the guitar pushing a steady, gritty blues riff. “Blackness Falls” is another stomper, and it’s really where the band shines. That sweet spot tempo that crawls menacingly while still leaving room for musicianship.

If you’re a fan of Samhain or earlier 90s-era Danzig, this one is worth a listen. It’s just sludgy enough to leave an impression while still keeping Danzig’s vocals very central to the songs.

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Danzig: Black Laden Crown