With Beelzebub riding shotgun, everyone’s favorite juiced-up, demonic lilliputian returned to serenade his acolytes with another album of brooding and crooning. Lucifuge is Danzig’s best work. It is the band’s magnum opus! Though Danzig (1988) was a strong debut album, I will admit that it is a bit sterile sonically. By contrast, Lucifuge has much more depth and breadth. Chuck Biscuits opens up a bit on the drum kit, and John Christ is afforded a few more overdubs to beef up his guitar tracks. Most importantly, Lucifuge features the best vocal performance of Glenn’s storied career. Subsequent albums would find him losing his range more and more, but Lucifuge is the sound of Glenn at his absolute prime. He channels Elvis, Morrison, and Orbison via the left hand path. (Yes, Roy Orbison was still alive in ’90, but you get my point.)
Killer tracks include the sinister opener Long Way Back From Hell and the evil Snakes Of Christ. I am also partial to Tired Of Being Alive and 777. Truth is, the only time Lucifuge falters is on its last two tracks — the ordinary Girl and the lousy Pain In The World. Both sound second-rate compared to the high quality material that precedes them.
The original album cover is depicted above. It is an obvious reference to The Doors first album. This was either a direct homage to The Doors, or it was a case of Glenn giving a little wink to all the fans and critics that compared his voice to Jim Morrison over the years. An alternative cover was used for the CD version of Lucifuge in the U.S. and Canada (see below).
Yes, to be a fan of Danzig means to have to contend with the unintentional hilarity of the whole Danzig persona. Under scrutiny, it all falls apart like a house of cards. My advice is to not dig too deep, and just enjoy the ride. One thing is for certain, Danzig sounded like no other band in the world back in the day. Glenn certainly carved his own little niche with this creation. Hey, it was Danzig’s world, we just lived in it. My score: A