If there is an upside to music sales being in the toilet it’s the artists have fewer people to answer to and typically can do a record because they are inspired to do so and can do it the way they want. That never really applied to Glenn Danzig or any of his projects. From the Misfits to Samhain to Danzig, he’s managed to make his path as he chose without a lot of outside influence. He continues that trend with his latest album Black Laden Crown.
Danzig‘s career has had its highs (the first 4 Danzig records) and its lows (the Skeletons album) and it’s oddities (blackaciddevil). Regardless of your taste, he spent the first 20 years or more as a pioneer. The level of influence the Misfits continue to have is almost unprecedented. Samhain may have been the birth of true goth. Danzig was damn near impossible to label. He had a platinum record with an EP when it was a dead format.
The last 20 years he has largely settled for just being Danzig. Which is pretty cool. Sludgy, riffy songs about darkness. Music to listen to by candlelight. Upon hearing the news of this record coming out I was almost surprised to realize it’s been almost seven years since his last record Deth Red Sabaoth. There is something peculiar about aging with your favorite artists.
Black Laden Crown opens with the sludgy title track that is both epic and minimalist. A Danzig calling card of sorts. I’m happy to report that Glenn‘s voice continues to age well. It has changed over the years of course but it still has that haunting punk crooner quality. The next track “Eyes Ripping Fire” sound like it could’ve been ripped from the How The Gods Kill sessions. The lead single and next track, “Devil On Highway 9” on the record harkens back to the first record. It may be the classic rock sounding Danzig has ever come.
Black Laden Crown picks up where Glenn left off with Deth Red Sabaoth which was a return to Danzig‘s earlier albums. As good as Deth Red Sabaoth was BLC is a stronger album. Quite possibly his best since 4P. The only thing lacking is the production which after last year’s record of covers Skeletons was of concern upon hearing this record. Fear not, the production here is much improved from that. And the songs are really fucking good and Glenn delivers on vocals. I can’t help but wonder how songs “Witching Hour”, “Skulls & Daisies” and “Last Ride” would sound with the original band playing them and Rick Rubin producing.
Danzig proves to still be the king of bluesy doom metal with a touch of evil. BLC is an inspired addition to Danzig‘s impressive catalog.