Album Thoughts | Danzig: Black Laden Crown

The long-awaited new full-length album by the dark lord himself, Danzig is finally upon us. Going into this one, I had my doubts. I enjoyed Deth Red Sabaoth, and I doubted that one too. Still nowhere close to what Danzig used to be, certainly no II: Lucifuge, but a pretty good listen nonetheless. Four years later, going into this album, I had even more doubt, especially after that atrocious cover album Skeletons, but was still willing to give it a shot. So, I did, and while I can’t say that this was a disappointment, as I knew what I was getting into, it sure as hell doesn’t have the listenability that Deth Red Sabaoth has. The music itself is actually pretty decent and there are a few really catchy tracks and some really good riffs here and there, but Danzig’s vocal performance is this album’s ultimate downfall.

The album starts off with the title track, which is very good and gave me some hope. The main riff that hits you from the jump is so intoxicatingly good and the build of the intro had me reeled in… and then BOOM, the vocals came in and it all bursted into flames and went downhill from there. I love everything solo Danzig from 1988 all the way to 2004 (except for his Industrial phase) and even a little beyond, but his voice just isn’t all there anymore. It’s sad to admit, but it’s lost it’s consistency and it just doesn’t have that flair to it that once made Danzig so unique. There are tracks on here that sort of make it work like the very catchy Last Ride or Devil on Hwy 9, but even those would sound much better if they were backed by the pipes in Danzig’s throat from the 90s or early 2000s. I couldn’t help but think that all throughout this album. No other track really stands out or packs that vibrant punch that the Danzig songs of old did.

The only other high point on this album that I can really point out is the closer, Pull the Sun; another really good track with a really good main riff that his vocals actually work in his favor on. So, at least the album ends on a high note. That’s about all the praise I can muster up for this album altogether. I don’t really have much more to say about it. Overall, it’s just anther step down the hill that further shows Danzig’s slow decline into a shell of his former self. I understand people age and that he’s much older now and I don’t fault him for it at all. At some point, however, you have to ask yourself: ”when is enough enough?”. Again, I love Danzig and everything he’s done in the Misfits and solo up until 2004, but his better days are behind him and this album and even more so, Skeletons (ughhh) showcases that.

At least it isn’t Blackacidevil though, right? *nudges* At least there’s that.

Until next time.

-Scvm

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