HIS MOST CONSISTENT AND ENDURING WORK...
...And it doesn't even have "Mother". Often misunderstood, especially with most traditional Heavy Metal enthusiasts, Danzig was actually quite proficient in his golden days. He released a string of good albums after exiting THE MISFITS and ending his incongruous explorative project, SAMHAIN. I say he is often misunderstood mainly due to his genre. Most saw him as a strain of classic Heavy Metal. Something intrigung about Danzig's early eponymous career is his complete disregard for typical genres or musical molds.
In this, his second album, "Lucifage", he dabbles in various sounds and styles, tempos, and emotions. While there is an inherent basis set in bluesy Heavy Metal, the album struts confidently from Southern Delta, Gothic Rock, 50's Lounge music, all tied neatly to speedy Metal assaults. Rarely have I found such a versatile vocalist, Danzig holds the spotlight. His Opera howls morph into twangy Blues croons so fluidly. At times it would seem he's doing his best Jim Morrison impression, or a violent cross between Elvis and Satan.
The primary topic is the occult and vague Satanic images, but it is not stereotypical. If anything, this album conjures visions of a tattered Danzig, doing his best to sell his soul to the Devil at some dust strewn crossroads. The first four songs are one sheer explosion of inspired and passionately performed music. "Long Way Back From Hell" rocks pretty damn hard, and "Tired Of Being Alive" is incredibly catchy. Which brings me to a focal point in Danzig's music. He likes melodies, and is never afraid to impliment them. Here, however, he impliments them brilliantly.
The first drop in quality is only seen in the sparse "I'm The One", which, while having a nice vocal melody, lacks the substance and unique writing that marks most everything else present. But, the band refuses to become stuck in a rut, pulling out one of their all time classics in the chugging "Her Black Wings". Their guitarist writes lines that contour so vividly with Danzig's varied singing. The priority is on substance not show. For all its pretentions, "Lucifage" is a humble album. The band definitely showcases material they've mastered.
One minor strike against the disc is the recording quality, which sounds slightly anemic and raw, which doesn't gel perfectly with the musical ideas they want to present. DANZIG isn't trying to be ultra-heavy, nor is the band attempting to alter the Metal landscape. This is still an original and highly inspired album, though. Almost every song has a multitude of wonderful melodies and interplays. Danzig, himself, is the highlight, but everyone comes together nicely.
"Blood And Tears" continues the evil Elvis meets Jim Morrison to grand effect. "Girl" is their most traditional "Rock" song, with a fantastic buildup and motion. Finally, the album closes with "Pain In The World", which is a contemporary revision of BLACK SABBATH worship. The melodies are dark, dreary, and theatrical. I feel they could have chosen a more awe inspiring finale when compared the the album's opening level, but I still enjoy the song.
While later era DANZIG albums would definitely maintain that "hit-or-miss" tag, "Lucifage" defiantly presents numerous classics, all of which own themselves to truly superb melodies and singing. It's Danzig at the top of his game, performing versatile music that doesn't stick to just one style. The guitar shrieks and croons alongside the vocals, and the drums are adequate, if a tad pale. I see "Lucifage" as a theatrically inspired Metal classic.
Best Songs: "Tired Of Being Alive", "Her Black Wings", "Blood And Tears"
Worst Song: "I'm The One"
Guest review by Dustin Tate
(Online May 11, 2010)