Danzig - Deth Red Sabaoth
The End Records
Heavy Blues Metal
11 songs (51:59)
Release year: 2010
The End Records
Reviewed by Tyler

Playing up to ones strengths is wisdom, and some bands understand this better than others. Bands that have a strong sense of identity and know how to capture the essence of that identity in the studio are the bands that stay around the longest and make the strongest music. This makes it all the more surprising that on Danzig’s newest album, Deth Red Sabaoth, veteran frontman Glenn Danzig seems to have forgotten what this band is all about: him. I’m not sure whether it is age catching up to this iconic frontman or crappy production (or both), but on this new album (his ninth as a solo artist), Glenn Danzig just doesn’t sound quite up to form.

That’s not to say, of course, that the 55 year old singer doesn’t give a hell of an effort. There is just something about the vocals, in particular the way that they are mixed, that kills some of the potential that the songs have. Now, I’m all for bands that want to go for a more organic mix as opposed to the Pro-Tools reliant method too commonly used nowadays. However, on Deth Red Saboth, Glenn’s vocals are mixed in such a way that they lack the power and presence of Danzig’s classic albums, particularly his eponymous solo debut. His signature croon is as dark and foreboding as ever, especially on songs like On a Wicked Night and Black Candy, but the problems come when he starts to yell during the more aggressive parts of songs. These vocal parts seem distant and thin, and lack the power of Danzig classics like Soul On Fire and Twist of Cain. On a Wicked Night starts off particularly strong, with a gentle acoustic guitar intro and some dark lyrics sung gently by Mr. Danzig. Unfortunately, when the electric guitars come in, the vocals become distant and weak, and the song ultimately left me with a feeling of what-could-have-been.

As far as the music behind the singing goes, listeners may be surprised to hear how heavy some of the songs are. Hammer of the Gods has a dirty, palm muted thrash riff, and a few songs, such as Black Candy, even throw some double-bass drums into the mix. A number of the riffs are actually quite good, if a little repetitive at times. Guitarist Tommy Victor even throws in some surprise shredding, especially in Left Hand Rise Above and Hammer of the Gods, that keeps things sounding quite metal.

I know I’ve focused on the negatives of Deth Red Sabaoth for much of this review, but I’d like to emphasize that Deth Red Sabaoth is actually a pretty solid album. There is plenty of doom, darkness, and subtle sexuality to keep diehard Danzig fans happy, and enough raw metal noise to keep a few others entertained. As a big Misfits fan and a fan of Glenn Danzig’s early solo work, I’m somewhat disappointed by the vocals on the album; to me, it sounds like Danzig still has a damn good voice, but had he indulged in a little production to bring out the power of his voice a bit more, I think this album would have sounded much better. At any rate, fans of Danzig’s entire back catalogue should be contented with this album, and fans of any of Glenn Danzig’s career should at least give Deth Red Sabaoth a spin. Hell, its Glenn Danzig, so this album deserves your attention, at least for one listen- through.

Killing Songs :
Hammer of the Gods, On a Wicked Night, Ju Ju Bone, Left Hand Rise Above
Tyler quoted 69 / 100
Other albums by Danzig that we have reviewed:
Danzig - II: Lucifuge reviewed by Koeppe and quoted 92 / 100
Danzig - Danzig reviewed by Phil and quoted CLASSIC
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