Danzig and I go way back.
The Misfits could easily be the soundtrack to my teenage years if there was ever a movie made. Samhain continued my obsession, then Danzig throughout my life. The only band tattoos I have are the Danzig skulls. Although I like some of material better than others, I do like it all and listen to the entire catalog frequently. That being said, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Black Laden Crown.
The title track opens up the album in a slow, brooding manner. Tommy Victor’s guitar is immediately present and he really holds the song together until it breaks into an all-out riff fest through the end. “Eyes Ripping Fire” has a more traditional Danzig feel, like it may have come off Danzig or Danzig II: Lucifuge. The verses and bridge are heavy and full of chunky riffs, while the chorus slows down and really focuses on the vocals. Victor’s solo once again shreds your brain and leaves nothing to desire. “Devil on Hwy 9” has a more blues-based feel, yet it retains the killer riffs and guitar work. The song is simple, stripped down, and pummeling. Johnny Kelly and Steve Zing keep the rhythm section tight on the track.
“Last Ride” is a bit different; slower with the focus on the vocals almost entirely. Danzig shows that he has not lost any of his chops at all here. The song almost has a ’50s feel, yet it retains the trademark heaviness. “The Witching Hour” starts with a melancholy aura, and then builds into a slower, heavy song. Victor’s guitar work, again, really speaks volumes here. “But A Nightmare” is slow, and it is one song that has to be at full volume to be fully appreciated. The tempo picks up toward the end and launches into a riff heavy feast. “Skulls and Daisies” is the only song on Black Laden Crown that I don’t really care for. It’s slow and very repetitive. “Blackness Falls,” however, is a dark song that slowly builds to a massive wall of riffs and ear-splitting guitar solos. It really highlights the talent of the musicians Danzig has in the current lineup. “Pull The Sun” takes the album out in true Danzig fashion. It’s heavy and the vocals are really on 10 here.
Danzig have stripped things down and went for the jugular with Black Laden Crown. It’s heavy, dark and brooding. The frontman hasn’t lost any of his vocal abilities over the years, and he really takes it to the next level.
Black Laden Crown is out May 26 on Nuclear Blast Records. Pre-order it here!