Oh… Danzig. How I’m always conflicted about you and what you’re doing.
Straight up, I’m a huge Danzig fan. All The Misfits stuff, all the Samhain stuff, those first four Danzig albums (and Deth Red Sabaoth) are so fucking good. SO fucking good. So when he got into shit territory starting with Blackacidevil I’ve been longing for a return to form, or at least to hear him fucking sing like he meant it again. That didn’t happen again until what? 2010. Fourteen years after Blackacidevil with Deth Red Sabaoth an album I think is easily as good as those first four and is the real “Danzig 5” in my mind. Somehow his voice was back, the songs were on point, and Danzig was fucking killing it again. I love that album.
Then another long period of silence, followed up by that gawd awful 2015 covers album Skeletons (except “Devil’s Angels which you should all just accept as a new Misfits song and leave it at that) and the Misfits reunion.
Long had he been promising a new album. Upon hearing the first track from the album, and still a little high off of how good Sabaoth was, I was hoping this would be a worthy follow up. That Youtube single of “Devil on Hwy 9” crushed my hope. What happened to his voice, again? Why was this song so fucking stupid, macho, car-infused bullshit? What the fuck happened to the production? Disappointed indeed.
Not that that would stop me. I’ve listened to every album he’s put out and I was sure as hell going to listen to this one, regardless of how bad it might have been. To my fucking surprise, it’s fairly good. Minus that song, it’s a back to the bluesier, doom-ier, swaggering side of Danzig. A “Dirty Black Summer” or Danzig 3 style. His voice is hit or miss. There’s moments where it sounds shot and moments where it sounds like it’s 1992 all over again. It probably doesn’t help that the production on it is not great. I know he was going for another old school, analog style like the one that made Sabaoth so enduring, but it really affects his vocal performance this time. There’s crackles when he hits the highs and often he sounds distant. But there’s moments of sheer Danzig glory (“Pull the Sun”), some fucking awesome riffs, again, and those hot summer night, witchcraft occult, swaggering bruisers. It’s not as aggressive as Sabaoth and I’m fine with that. It’s like Danzig 2 to Danzig 3 tone wise.
That being said, it doesn’t pack the same punch and overall excitement that Sabaoth did but I would easily rank this as the new “Danzig 6.” It’s not classic but it’s miles ahead of everything from Danzig 5 through Circle of Snakes. And taking into account that Danzig is in his 60’s now, this is probably far better than we should expect from him at this late point in his career.
If you’re a Danzig fan you might be surprised by this. I doubt this will turn any new fans his way but who fucking cares, it’s a good Danzig album and I’m grateful for what I got.
PS… The cover art is atrocious.