"Black Laden Crown"

By Octopi Mills

Being a long running listener of this man for more than 24 years, and seeing him perform three times live in the past, it was natural for me to do this review. The man's status is legendary and spans many different projects and albums and you will not need me to point this out. Some say there is an Elvis covers album on the way, and Danzig has completed another covers album called “Skeletons” some time back, but there is tale that this may be the last Danzig album.

 Over sixty years old, Danzig is still making music that some say, even when at its weakest compared to the rest of the catalog, still holds truer and more interesting than younger acts of the day. When I read the complaints of how others bemoaned about the production I listened and found those accusations to be a sham. It is evident he has been involved in recordings for many years and knows about things. The production is good on a good stereo or even a bad one and I listened to the album fully several times over a few weeks on different stereos and devices. The production is heavy, and corresponds to the tuning and style of the album, which is not a stretch from his last albums of the last decade or so. The music is near to outright doomy; heavy, black music that bleeds the blues and sweats darkly; a thick, straight, flood of guitar driven vibrations.

 Reviews elsewhere have not been favorable, and some of the song writing and lyrics may be too bare or base for someone expecting something groundbreaking. The man merely kills time on his " last ride", singing with his distinguishable vocals as old long shadows grow around him. "Devil on Highway Nine" sees the wolven, howling vocals that he has always belted out, and sounds as charged as any other of his songs. He handles a lot of the music himself here. Lyrics are cryptic and darkly cold. "Skulls and Daisies" is simple yet powerful, and the man sings of nightmares and demons on "But aNnightmare"- nothing more, nothing less. As one who has penned songs for Orbison and Cash one might expect something more memorable here with this album though the simplicity is apparent, and there will undoubtedly be weaker moments for long running listeners. At the end of the night we have all the same elements and attitude; lycanthropic crooning,heavy, blues driven guitars that squeal and bend and an attempt to make some songs near the possible end of a long, established career. If he does disappear after this album, it shall not surprise me, for he was always a lone wolf and a stranger.