Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Album Review: Danzig - "5: Blackacidevil" (1996)

Danzig 5: Blackacidevil

What a fucking mess.

After give or take about 8 years of recording and touring for awesome albums with a strong, sturdy line-up, Danzig decided for whatever reason to fire all of them (except Joey Castillo, the drummer he'd had for a year or two at that point, and the only guy who hadn't been there since the beginning) and 'allow himself to evolve' (read: do what everyone else was doing at this time and pretend they're NIN/Ministry/Manson.) Now it's just Glenn, Joey, and a guy named Joseph Bishara (whose name I only recognize elsewhere from being credited for some NIN and Manson remixes) with some occasional reinforcement by others... But we'll get to that.

The new direction kind of abruptly comes out of nowhere. Where there was once stripped-down bluesy metal (though there had been more liberal use of production effects on How the Gods Kill and 4) there is now extremely derivative noisy, gothy electro-industrial/industrial metal. Now, don't get me wrong, I love industrial music. And musically, there are some good moments here. But frankly, it just doesn't sound very good or interesting for the most part. Combine that with the painfully bad lyrics, by far the worst Glenn has ever written, and it becomes a chore to listen to. There are lots of sounds that I like; clanging metallic percussion, grinding filtered guitar noises, spooky synthetic atmospheres, but more often than not with this album, the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

It almost seems like Glenn was bent on sabotaging himself at this point. He had a lot of fans, and a lot of fans were let down by this album, which I can understand. I'm sure then he thought that playing this newfangled industrial music that all the MTV-watching goth kids were running to would be a good career move, but he fails at doing anything interesting or original with it, and even when he makes a song in this style that's not bad, he has to ruin it with terrible lyrics, as is the case of "7th House" or his cover of "Hand of Doom" (which, in his infinitely large ego, Glenn foolishly thought he could successfully rewrite.) Not even Alice in Chains strummer Jerry Cantrell's magical guitar chops on a few songs are able to overcome Glenn's overwrought GOTH EXPERIMENTAL INDOOSTRIAL crap.

That's really all there is to say about this album. I mean, I am pretty hard on it, but it's not the worst thing I've ever heard or anything. I will say this though, it's by far Danzig's worst album. But hey, at least the reissue has cool artwork.


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