Danzig - Danzig
American Recordings
Hard Rock/Blues Metal
10 songs (40:53)
Release year: 1988
American Recordings
Reviewed by Phil

You sure you want me to do this? You sure you want me to headbang down memory lane and pontificate wildly about the first Danzig album? Well, okay. To start off, I’ll put it to you plain like. This album is a classic – every vocal…every beat…every riff. This album is sweeter than Halloween candy corn; this album is darker than a month of midnights. This album is stronger than Hercules and meaner than Satan. It’s the perfect album for chugging whiskey and watching women undress. It’s the perfect album for driving too fast and staying up until dawn. This album typifies everything that is fun, evil and wrong, and it sounds so damn good.

Danzig burst onto the scene back in 1988. The band’s first album was released on Def American Records and produced by noted music guru Rick Rubin. Rumor has it Rubin discovered Glenn Danzig after attending a Samhain show at the suggestion of Metallica. Under Rubin’s guidance, Danzig left the Samhain name and the trappings of sloppy punk behind. Instead, the band liberally mixed hard rock with blues and pushed Glenn Danzig’s vocals to the forefront. The resulting music is simple and strong.

Twist of Cain may be the best album opener of all time. The intro guitar lick makes you want to punch an angel in the face. While the simple guitar part is the foundation of the song, the lyrics’ twisted tale of violent debauchery is what will really catch your attention. Not of this World is a blues-punk number that includes another classic guitar line. Here, the sturdy drumming by Chuck Biscuits helps highlight the guitar prowess of John Christ. For the most part, the band keeps a low profile and lets Glenn’s raging vocals steal the show. Next up is She Rides. This song is infamous for making millions of exotic dancers rich. The sultry drumbeat is the perfect metronome for watching curvy hips sway. You’ll just have to ignore those lyrics about death coming in a female form, I’m sure the stripper you’ve fallen for is the exception to the rule. Soul on Fire is a brooding number where the vocals and lyrics do the heavy lifting. The last 30 seconds of the song features an impressive, galloping guitar solo by John Christ that turns the tune on its ear. Am I Demon is an upbeat rocker with a speedy riff. The song is classic Danzig to the core; it’s packed to the gills with drum fills and yelling.

Next up is all-time karaoke classic and Music Television favorite Mother. Even though we’ve all heard this song a million times, the tune hasn’t lost a bit of its power or urgency. In fact, this is probably the perfect pop metal song of my generation. Its building intensity segues perfectly into the catchy chorus. And the chorus will have you singing along and bobbing your head in two seconds flat. Possession is next, and it is a chunky little song with plenty of intensity. End of Time kicks off with a broody intro, then Glenn belts out “Waiting for them!” The song morphs into a quasi-AC/DC jam with tons of crunchy riffing and wailed vocals. The Hunter is a rocking little number with a bluesy riff and bouncing drum beat. On this song, Glenn really lets loose and shows you how he earned the nickname “Evil Elvis.” Album closer Evil Thing is funky and dark. Glenn croons and caws all through the song, and the abrupt ending gives the album a “to be continued” feel.

So why are you still sitting here reading? Grab a copy of this album and grab a fifth of your favorite party liquor. But before you push play, go ahead and clear your schedule for tomorrow morning. Once this album gets its hooks in you, there’s no telling where you’ll end up.

Killing Songs :
Every Single One
Phil quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Danzig that we have reviewed:
Danzig - II: Lucifuge reviewed by Koeppe and quoted 92 / 100
Danzig - Deth Red Sabaoth reviewed by Tyler and quoted 69 / 100
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