Monday 5 June 2017

Album Review: DANZIG - Black Laden Crown

DANZIG - Black Laden Crown

01. Black Laden Crown
02. Eyes Ripping Fire
03. Devil On Hwy 9
04. Last Ride
05. The Witching Hour
06. But A Nightmare
07. Skulls & Daisies
08. Blackness Falls
09. Pull The Sun

Yes! A new Danzig album is just what I need right now. There's always a temptation to compare any new Danzig album to his holy trilogy of his first three studio albums, and I've learned not to do this. For me, the first three Danzig albums are three of the best albums ever made. I've given up hoping that subsequent releases will ever match those, because they never do.

There have been some duffers in Danzig's back catalogue such as the terrible tenth rate Nine Inch Nails rip off that was Blackaciddevil, and 2015's covers album Skeletons that sounded like it had been recorded on a cheap cassette four-track with one microphone. Aside from those faux pas, every album has been pretty good, or at least had a handful of awesome songs on there, so a new Danzig record was always going to be a good thing.

Black Laden Crown has a very strange production. It sounds rushed, flat, and almost demo-like in places. It's nowhere near as bad as Skeletons, but from a major artist like Glenn Danzig I expected it to sound better. Either he didn't want to spend much time or money on it, or it intentionally sounds like this to give it a raw vintage feel. I hope it's the latter.

Prong's Tommy Victor plays guitar and bass on this album, and his distinct lead tone is very noticeable throughout the record, as well as his overuse of pinched harmonics. Danzig's distinctive 'Evil Elvis' vocals are always welcome to my ears, and considering he's now in his sixties, he still sounds amazing. Black Laden Crown is a good collection of songs, but it isn't packed full of obvious singles. Most of the tracks take a few listens to appreciate them fully. For me the standout tracks are the menacing Last Ride which reminds me a little of Thirteen from 1999's 6:66 Satan's Child album, and the more aggressive Devil On Hwy 9.

I doubt Black Laden Crown will win Danzig a new generation of fans, but it is strong enough to please hardcore fans like me. Now let's hope Danzig can make things work with Jerry Only and Doyle to bring us some more Misfits reunion shows and, if we're really lucky, a new studio album!


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