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mzi.pajfmxvb.170x170-75The thing about a DANZIG record that happens to be both beautiful, and problematic, is that every Danzig record sounds like a Danzig record. Regardless of which players happen to be in the studio or on the stage with Danzig at any given time, they always seem to have little-to-no influence in the overall sound of the band. On their latest effort, DETH RED SABAOTH (due out June 22 on The End Records), the band – singer/songwriter Glenn Danzig, along with PRONG mainman Tommy Victor once again on guitar, and TYPE O NEGATIVE drummer Johnny Kelly (Glenn played bass on the album) find themselves in traditional territory that’s bound to please longtime fans.
From the opening notes of “Hammer of the Gods”, you pretty much know exactly what to expect for the rest of the album. Dark and brooding, with slow passages leading into epic climaxes, this has been the Danzig formula for years. That’s not to say that DETH RED SABAOTH comes without surprises.

“On a Wicked Night”, tucked mid-point at track #5 is a great song. It came as no surprise when I learned that the track would also become the album’s first single. With an acoustic intro that allows Glenn to sing with an almost uncharacteristic level of melody, “Wicked” simmers and burns before going balls-out with the rock. “Ju Ju Bone” is another song that sticks with me, infusing a heavy dose of guitar solos and more of a “driving” feel.

Glenn has stated openly that he wanted DETH to have “an organic sound,” and that some of the guitar parts were played through vintage “1970’s Kustom tuck ‘n roll bass amps.” In that it succeeds, as DETH sounds like it could’ve easily spawned from the darker end of the disco decade.

The performances on the album are solid, but I can’t help but feel that both Victor and Kelly are underutilized. Both have their signature sound scaled way back, and in the end it doesn’t really matter who laid down the tracks, because it sounds like Danzig.

It’s the consistency of Danzig’s recorded output that tends to keep the diehards coming back – though consistency can also mean stagnation in terms of bringing new ears into the listening circle.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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