Danzig Returns...

...Well sort of. My Agit-Review of Deth Red Saboath is fairly glowing, mentioning that this might be the best pure Danzig record since the "classic" line-up did Danzig IV (featuring Eerie Von, John Christ, Chuck Biscuits, and Rick Rubin on production) and I'm sticking by that assertion. Since that time it's been rough for Glenn -- though he hasn't let old age or "creamy dressings" attack his chiseled physique. First, there was the loss of the aforementioned band. Then there was the series of releases with the "new" band, on a lesser label. Danzig was my first interview on KBUX my freshman year at the Ohio State University (if anyone has this tape? please?). He was touring for V: BlackAcidDevil and I distinctly remember his handlers telling me any Misfits questions were a "no go." Being that Danzig was as wide as I was tall (though I was taller than him) I refrained. I remember him being very cordial though and answering my questions with an invigorated sense of artistry that he attributed to this, his fifth solo album. Looking back, Danzig was trying desperately at that moment to remain vital -- adding hyper-distortion and mechanized beats to the overzealous playing of his latest guitarist Tommy Victor (of Prong fame)-- in an age when Marilyn Manson ruled metal (remember then?). The fact was, Danzig had fallen off, especially without Rubin to accent his crooner macabre. Why he didn't ever resurrect the "real" Misfits is a long-fabled soap-opera that may never be resolved. Now we have the cartoon Misfits wrecking it all for future generations.

Poor Danzig. Subsequent albums failed even worse fates, painting Danzig as a mockery of the foundation he sowed in that '90s heyday. Unfortunately, in most circles he has become a punchline. Maybe it was the infamous "punch-out" that knocked him from an immortal throne. There was once a time when I found his theatrics, his voice, his songs, evil as they come -- even though I knew it was an elaborate put-on. Damn if you didn't think the tape insert for II: Lucifuge, unfolding into an inverted cross wasn't masterful packaging. Opposed to the truly evil exploits of bands like Deicide, Morbid Angel, Carcass, and Death, Danzig's PR was all smoke and mirrors, a few well-placed skulls, a killer logo, and ample use of film noir (abuse of shadow). I suppose, if in fact this was all his doing, Glenn Danzig was the Orson Welles of '90s horror-metal.

But who shall remember that now? It's been six years since his seventh album, Circle of Snakes, and all we really know him for is his "grocery list."

That said. I've been listening to Deth Red Saboath for several weeks now and have not retreated to those first four albums yet. That is certainly saying something. There's enough here to warrant a comeback -- a yearning to see the man live, even if it's not the "best" band to back him. Reunion anyone? Here's a preview of the record, with snippets of each and every song. And below...the sole reason I'm still paying attention to Danzig in 2010.

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