Danzig – “Danzig” (1988)

DanzigGlenn Danzig had previously made his name with the low-brow horror punk band Misfits, and the sloppy whatever-you-call-it Samhain before he signed on to Rick Rubin’s Def American record label.  Soon thereafter, the Danzig band was formed.  Though there was some carryover from Samhain (including that kick-ass skull logo), Danzig took a new musical direction — a stripped down brand of evil blues-metal.

With Rubin as producer, Danzig became an ultra-tight war machine on their 1988 debut.  Rubin’s production on Danzig is one of the driest you may ever hear.  It’s completely devoid of oxygen.  This was in stark contrast to Danzig’s previous bands, Misfits and Samhain — both which sounded loose and unrefined.

As a songwriter, Glenn Danzig kept things simple, with entry-level riffs and lots of hanging power chords.  John Christ took care of the guitar duties on Danzig, and his less-is-more approach suited the songs well.  After all, nobody wanted to get in the way of Glenn’s “Satanic Jim Morrison on steroids” vocals, which was the center-point of Danzig.  It’s hard to tell whether Glenn Danzig was (is) completely serious or not with his whole ego-maniacal, tough guy persona.  If it’s a joke, kudos to Glenn for delivering it with a straight face for years and years.  If he’s for real… well, that’s both scary and hilarious.

Obviously, Mother is the standout here.  Just a stone cold classic in my book!  An absolute masterwork by Danzig, and one that proves simple ideas can have a devastating impact.  Other faves include Am I Demon, End Of Time, and Twist Of Cain.  But the whole album is really quite special.  There’s nothing quite like a Danzig album.  Their second, 1990’s Danzig II: Lucifuge, was even better.  My score: A-


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