Danzig - 'Black Laden Crown'

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Danzig - 'Black Laden Crown'

Testament to the musical force that is Glen Danzig.

This is the first album of new music from the man dubbed the "Evil Elvis" since the release of the rather patchy covers album 'Skeletons' in 2015. At the age of sixty-one, Glen Danzig doesn't appear to have lost any of his ominous Baritone or his love of the dramatic and dark art of music.

'Black Laden Crown' is a slow start to the album, with bass thudding like a heartbeat, before a slow menacing guitar riff punches in, his voice a mixture of a brooding Jim Morrison or latter day Elvis Presley. The album then lands on more familiar ground with 'Eyes Ripping Fire'; closer to his eighties Metal material, this offering finds supercharged riffs racing forward as Glen Danzig bellows out his lyrical madness. If there is any let down on this release, it's in the production. 'Devil On Hwy 9' has a weak, dry sounding vocal that could easily be a demo. You can only imagine Rick Rubin working wonders on this song if he was producing. Sadly, 'Skull & Daises' suffers the same fate.

Never one to shy away from a dark ballad, Glen Danzig pours all his emotional discontent into 'Last Ride', a song devoid of feeling, yet still romantic, blending darkness and light into one. The influence of Black Sabbath is all over 'But A Nightmare' with the vocal truly taking hold of the ghost of Presley – it's classic Danzig. 'Pull The Sun' takes us back to his work on 'How The Gods Kill', in particular the emotive and poetic grace of 'Sistinas'; they both drink from the same black well of bubbling bile.

To still be able to produce such meaningful yet macabre music this late in his career is testament to the musical force that is Glen Danzig.

Ray Paul

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