You find yourself in bed with the wind screaming outside your bedroom window like a banshee. Shadows dancing and morphing into sinister shapes upon the walls . Indeed the world is different once the warm embrace of the sun abandons us in the hands of the unknown abyss. Demons both of man and out of this world come out to play. Seducing the weak and creating nightmares that no man should ever experience, but there will always be some who seek out these dreaded apparitions. For them there is a soundtrack that catches the beauty of the night, I am speaking of Danzig’s 2017 release Black Laden Crown (released via Evilive Records). Here is another album review for those who love all things metal and dark!
Black Laden Crown is Danzig’s first original album since 2010’s release of Deth Red Sabaoth. The album features Glenn on vocals as usual and Tommy Victor behind the devil’s axe. You have Johnny Kelly, Joey Castillo, Karl Rokfist, and Dirk Verbeuren featured on this release for drumming sessions on the album. Recorded at East West Studios in Hollywood, California, Danzig once again generated his own brand of metal mixed with blues with the help from the undead! The track that really sets the mood for the album is the first single, “Devil On Hwy 9,” which first premiered on Full Metal Jackie’s show Whiplash on April 02, 2017. This song starts with a strong, straight for the throat blues-induced attack. The guitar solo by Victor and the slow bass playing really creates that sense of becoming dangerous for the listener. The drumming on this track by Castillo is a savage skull beating, which no man can help but feel the tribal need to go out on a hunt. With the lyrics being so simple and addicting, fans will imagine themselves behind the wheel on a forbidden highway with demons flying by and cursing through the night. With Glenn’s vocals being so raw and deeply disturbing, it gives the track a real element of morbid obsession. A perfect song to drive late at night. Just make sure you keep your eyes on the line!
With “Devil On Hwy 9” being such a direct approach of pure danger and blood boiling elements, we see this element in some other songs like “But A Nightmare” (Dirk on drums). Now we all do love Danzig for his slower stuff as well. I am a blues and a metal fan at heart, but sometimes the slower songs can be much heavier in terms of approach compared to the aggressive counterparts. With the second single “Last Ride,” it has that eerie sensation running down your spine as if death is waiting for you to greet him in your blacken room. It is very much in the veins of Black Sabbath and The Doors with the slow bass line and a wall of sound from the experienced mixing hand of Chris Rakestraw, which helps develops the vibe of the track. You see this same direction on the final track on the album, “Pull The Sun.” These two songs contain so much dismay and loathing you will find yourself drinking to these tunes at the bar with your friends. Pray that it is not your last drink my friend!
This album is a solid release from start to finish. This album is perfect for both metal fans and blues fans. With so much influence from past and new releases, this album is in my top ten of favorite albums to be released halfway through 2017. This album gets 4.5 out of 5 stars in terms of production, lyrics, and imagery. If you haven’t picked this beauty up, then you are missing out on something that is both dark and beautiful. Pick it up now through the Danzig official site.
Key Tracks: Last Ride, Devil On Hwy 9, Pull The Sun