1988, Music

Danzig (1988)

This is not the first Danzig record I’ve heard. So I worry that my reaction to it comes from the fact that I’ve heard a more “mature” version of the band, and this debut, which may have seemed relatively unique at the time – given the state of metal – sounds like something lesser to me. But I can’t help my ears.

Danzig plays a very loud version of blues rock that would have been called metal back in the 1970s. You might say they are what a bluesier, less jazzy Sabbath would sound like with Jim Morrison as their lead singer. (If you’ve never heard Danzig sing before, well, be prepared for someone who sounds a hell of a lot like Jim Morrison.)

But the similarities I detected on their third album between their sound and the emerging form of groove metal I don’t hear here. So, for whatever reason, this record sounds significantly more dated their their third album, to my ears.

The songs are reasonably catchy for this genre, and the lyrics are fine enough that I never really notice them. And the cover of “The Hunter” is at least different enough to not be annoying.

But this band sounds like a band stuck in a different time. They were undoubtedly going against the trend in 1988, when basically nobody in metal liked Sabbath or Zeppelin, and certainly not the Doors. But I can’t shake how much this sounds like another decade, albeit recorded better. And that’s frustrating.

All songs written by Glenn Danzig, except “The Hunter” by Booker T. Jones, Al Jackson, Jr., Donald Dunn, Steve Cropper and Carl Wells.

  1. “Twist of Cain” – 4:17
  2. “Not of This World” – 3:42
  3. “She Rides” – 5:10
  4. “Soul on Fire” – 4:36
  5. “Am I Demon” – 4:57
  6. “Mother” – 3:24
  7. “Possession” – 3:56
  8. “End of Time” – 4:02
  9. “The Hunter” – 3:31
  10. “Evil Thing” – 3:16
  • Glenn Danzig – vocals
  • Eerie Von – bass
  • John Christ – guitar
  • Chuck Biscuits – drums
  • James Hetfield – uncredited background vocals on “Twist of Cain” and “Possession”

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