Past Demons: Danzig – Danzig

 

Although this is a more obvious Past Demons that still happens to be a present demon, I feel compelled to share it with you. When I was just a young metal fan in my becoming phase, the name Danzig was one that I had heard many times, but never really embraced until the mid 90’s. I’m not totally possitive, but I think I first heard Danzig in 1993 when “Mother ’93” hit the radio waves; a song already five years old and an album the same. I may have heard the song before then, I can’t recall, but that’s what I remember most because it became overplayed. Anyway, sometime in 1993 or 1994 I bought the self titled album from 1988. I had seen the now infamous Danzig skull in magazines and t-shirts, but I didn’t fully become a fan until I bought the album on cassette.

It all began in 1993 when Thrall: Demonsweat Live hit the mainstream with Mtv. Those three chords that would define the band to new fans would carry a legacy into infamy and turn new fans onto music that was bluesy, dark and catchy. It wasn’t for everyone and most people can only name one Danzig song; “Mother”. That’s a damn shame because there are so many amazing songs by the band that most don’t even bother to try and discover from the debut album. Dedicated fans even went so far as to creep back through the Samhain days and eventually end up being fans of the Misfits.

It’s a rather short story of how I went from a casual listener of Danzig’s debut album to a diehard fan of Glenn Danzig’s work of old and new. By the time I became one of the diehards, Danzig had already released four solo albums, four Misfits albums, three Misfits EP’s, two Samhain albums, one Samhain EP and a bunch of compilations and live albums in between. I had to have them all. I only ended up collecting physical copies of most. The Misfits coffin Box Set was a must and still is for any fan that claims to be a Misfits fan.

I wasn’t very impressed with Danzig 4, 5, 6, 7, or even 8, but the Lost Tracks 2-disc set has a nice mix of unreleased stuff and the 2009 release, Deth Red Sabbaoth was quite a stellar effort to return to his roots . Say what you want about Glenn Danzig these days, but the fact is that he has quite the ‘Legacy Of Brutality’ that defines his career and the music he has been involved in.

Glenn Danzig will always hold a special place in my metal heart no matter how many shows he cancels; how many times he gets knocked or falls on his ass or how many bricks are stacked in his front yard. All you really need to know in the end is just like Metallica (not that I’m comparing Danzig to Metallica), Glenn Danzig and his music, both past and present, will always be legendary in the heavy metal genre. There is no denying that.

Now, talking about the self-titled album, DanzigDanzig hold a full 40 minutes of solid bluesy/metal tracks with no filler. “Twist of Cain” kicks off the album, followed by “Not Of This World” and the stripper anthem “She Rides”.  “Soul Of Fire” is a groovy number followed up with “Am I Demon” and the infamous “Mother” that everyone knows. “Possession” sounds like it was a left-over Samhain track that made it to the album. “End of Time” is one of the first Danzig ballad sounding songs, though with an up-groove to it that also sounds like a Samhain leftover. Still a solid song that although simplistic in nature is still heavy and sing-along worthy like most Danzig songs from this album. In fact, that is one of the main attractions of this album is the simplicity of it all that somehow ties into a very heavy sounding album doesn’t require too much to be a classic. “The Hunter”, another bluesy get-up  has the grooves and  drumbeat along with riffs chuggy riffs that require hailed horns held high. Lastly, “Evil Thing” is one of those anticipation type songs that Danzig is known for that has a guitar riff with gaps between that eventually builds up into a groove that captures your attention and has you doing your best Glenn impression along with the song. This album from front to back is a masterpiece in my opinion. Though follow-ups such as Lucifuge and How The Gods Kill try very hard to take the crown, Danzig self-titled album is one of his best that cannot be matched.

If you’ve heard “Mother” countless times on the radio, Mtv or any other outlet and you’re just plain tired of it and haven’t heard any other Danzig songs, do yourself a favor and check out the rest of the catalog, whether it be torrent or whatever. If you really like it, you will be compelled to buy physical copies like any other fan of Danzig. Here are a few songs from the self-titled album.



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