Whoa-kay, before we get into this, can we all just take a moment to recognise that Glenn Danzig:
- Created the Misfits – legendary early punk outfit from New Jersey that are recognised as the creators or horror-punk.
- Created Samhain – underground goth rock/horror punk band, formed in the wake of Glenn’s departure from Misfits.
- Created Danzig – heavy rock/metal band responsible for songs ‘Mother’ and ‘She Rides’, that you were more than likely conceived to.
- Endured 30 some years of watching the Misfits, the band he created and writer of their best albums, become a totally unrecognisable version of itself that were still touring the world with only one original member as recently as 2015. Seen those Misfits t shirts in Kmart? Yeah, not Glenn’s idea.
- Wrote the song ‘13’ for Johnny Cash
- Founder of Verotik – horror comics established in 1994
- Brainchild for one of the most anticipated festivals of 2017 – Blackest of the Black
So, now you’ve got all that into your head and you’ve realised you’ve done jack shit with your life, and that you’ve got nothing to complain about, you’ll realise that Black Laden Crown, is just about what you’d expect from a man that is now 61 years old and has endured 40 years of hair metal, glam rock, emo, screamo, crabcore, beach goth and funeral metal and has still managed to remain the same old reliable Glenn Danzig.
I don’t picture this album luring in any new fans for Danzig, but for fans who are aware of the decades of important work that Glenn Danzig provided, all whilst remaining honest and hard about punk and metal, like me, will find the album likable. The album has its flaws, it’s running some pretty wacky Glennisms (if you know of Glenn Danzig, you will know what I mean) and is suffering (somewhat unjustly) in a time where Ed Sheeran is “making it” in the alternative charts.
Understandably, Glenn’s voice has weakened slightly, but his nickname, “Evil Elvis”, still fits. The issue I have with this, is that the album does nothing to attempt to cover or fix this fact, the choice of mix is very strange in parts, and this is obvious on track ‘Devil On Hwy 9’. Guitar on this album is as excellent as it was on the first ever Danzig album and drums are equally as good, in fact, the music structure is about as good as it ever was.
Tracks ‘Black Laden Crown’ and ‘Last Ride’ were the highlights for me, vocals are comfortable and the band sounds like they recorded these tracks in the Lucifuge era. This is the key strength of this album, the way the band sounds. Glenn’s voice may have aged but the band has remained tight, and what more can really be said of that? Do you really want Danzig to stop making music just because Glenn has spent over 40 years whoa-ing his chords out? If so, you are the real enemy here.
His choice of artwork may no longer be relevant, and he’s not letting go of the Grub Girl aesthetic anytime soon, but you know what, he’s Glenn Danzig, and he really does not give a fuck about what you think, what you want or what you like, because let’s face it, you will never be better than Glenn Danzig.
Reviewed by Lauren McAleer