Changing their name from SAMHAIN to DANZIG in 1987 was one of the smartest business decisions in Glenn Danzig's career. Mutating from a cult band to a giant monstrosity, Rick Rubin developed a band that's remained in our minds for three decades of music. From 'Mother' to 'Her Black Wings' to 'Dirty Black Summer', the band threw out memorable song after memorable song. And who can forget the first 15 or so seconds of the video for 'She Rides'? We salivated and head-banged at the same time. Strippers all over the world had a new song to dance to.
DANZIG's changed back and forth through the years. From the raw, stripped down anthems on the first two albums, to industrial influences in later ones, to the Louisiana-dripping howls in very recent years, Glenn never stops with pushing the band forward.
And now there's "Black Laden Crown", a batch of new tunes reminiscent a little of "Deth Red Sabaoth",but not hanging on too much. The opening track with the same title as the album death-marches in a doomy swagger while Glenn's gloomy vocals create an atmosphere that will carry you through the album. 'Eyes Ripping Fire' begins with wailing guitars and bleating drums in a mid-tempo rhythm that rams face first like a charging beast. Bursting, pounding drums warn of the impending terror in a cross-country ride of the 'Devil On HWY 9'. The steady 'Last Ride', the eerie beauty of 'The Witching Hour' and the signature DANZIG sound of 'But A Nightmare' remind us DANZIG is still going strong and doing their own thing. Other bands have tried to mimic Glenn's sound but really haven't come close. 'Skulls & Daisies' chomps and spits out the rotting flesh of unbelievers with it's confident striding and ball-gripping arrogance. 'Blackness Falls' and 'Pull The Sun' wrap up the album nicely. Not a bad track in the bunch, and all contained in a bloody cover by Simon Bisley. Naysayers should give this a listen. It may not be coloring outside the box, but it certainly strays outside the lines a little just to show us who's boss.