Danzig - II: Lucifuge
Def American Recording
Bluesy Heavy Metal
11 songs (49:26)
Release year: 1990
Reviewed by Koeppe
Archive review

Danzig followed up the success of his self-titled debut via the hit single Mother with this gem of an album that didn’t sell nearly half as many copies, yet in many ways might be the better of the two albums. Lucifuge means to shun the light in Latin, which comes to take on a whole new meaning in light of Glenn’s recent confrontations with the media, but looking past the character that he has become this album is a classic in its musical quality.

What one first recognizes with this album is the much more pronounced blues influence than on the debut. Danzig wears his Howlin’ Wolf and Robert Johnson influences on his sleeve throughout Lucifuge. The delta blues sound is most apparent on the tracks, Killer Wolf and I’m the One, but is recognizable throughout the album with Danzig’s uniquely sinister spin on the classic vibe that those musicians exuded. I’m the One even relies on that simplicity prevalent in classic blues jams with his croon, a bluesy guitar lick and minimal hi-hat throughout the track. Both tracks capture that dark imagery that Danzig is so reliant on with respective tales of prowling for women and being destined for evil.

The album closes up with some amazing ballads in the form of Devil’s Plaything and Blood and Tears, the latter being a page seemingly directly out of Roy Orbison’s playbook. Danzig’s ballads are always successful in that perfect blend of emotion and angst with an ominous, foreboding evil vibe. His voice simply has the strength to emote such strong anguish. Darkly romantic tracks like Her Black Wings and Girl seem to foreshadow the schtick that made Type O Negative so popular amongst the ladies, that blend of sexuality and malevolence that came to be Glenn’s trademark. It helps that both tracks are simply badass in the riffs that carry them and the choruses that you can’t help but sing along with.

The most crucial element to this album is honestly not Glenn as much as it is John Christ. Who has never received the acclaim that he rightfully deserves (even if his solo album was a little too Kenny Wayne Shepherd for me). From the initial dive bomb that kicks off Long Way Back From Hell to the unique twang that a slide guitar has on 777, the band Danzig was always crucially dependent on his guitarwork as much as it ever was on Glenn’s vocals.

Snakes of Christ is the one element of the album that I have an issue with. The song is really cool on paper, but in its recording Glenn’s vocals always sound awful. I wish it had ended up being re-recorded in some way for the Lost Tracks collection. It starts off with such a nasty riff, but the vocals always come off as if he is singing underwater or with something in his mouth. A sad foreshadowing of an issue that became even more pronounced on later albums.

This album may not be better than their self-titled debut, but it truly captures that unique vibe that seemed to reflect Danzig’s influences more so than the more straightforwardly metal album that the debut was.

Killing Songs :
Girl, Under Her Black Wings, Blood and Tears, I’m the One, Tired of Being Alive
Koeppe quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Danzig that we have reviewed:
Danzig - Deth Red Sabaoth reviewed by Tyler and quoted 69 / 100
Danzig - Danzig reviewed by Phil and quoted CLASSIC
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