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The Ultimate Danzig Song Ranking – Part II

images-240Two days ago we covered the first 40 songs of this countdown. In the span of those 40 songs we mostly covered the truly bad, the less bad, and the mediocre. We’re now into the songs that I think are objectively good, or at least solid, which bodes well since we still have 89 songs to go! If you’re just hopping in and want an explanation for how I arrived at these songs, check out part one, because away we go:

89. Satan’s Child (Satan’s Child) – Our final entry in part 1 was for the song “Unspeakable,” also off of Satan’s Child. This song is practically the same. Very sparse verse with an equally simple chorus that’s stretched out by elongating a syllable or two. They’re so similar it must be why they were pretty far apart on the album. The only real difference for “Satan’s Child” is it has a bridging pre-chorus, the “Turn it up/Turn it loose” part. They’re both effective tracks, I just prefer this one slightly more.

88. But a Nightmare (Black Laden Crown) – “But a Nightmare” relies on a groove to drive it along. Very 70s sounding, it doesn’t attempt to do too much, but what it does it does well. It picks up in intensity as it moves along, and it’s just a solid head-banger.

87. Malefical (Lost Tracks of Danzig) – Another big bottom-end song that ended up on the Last Tracks compilation. “Malefical” started off as “Malefical Bride of Hell” and it doesn’t sound like the song changed much with the name change as the song is essentially about a malefical (sic) bride of Hell. It’s slow, but thunderous, and quite evil sounding. The type of song Glenn has written more than once, but always seems to work on some level.

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Danzig with one of the stars of the “She Rides” video.

86. She Rides (Danzig) – The album that inspired this ranking makes its debut in part II. “She Rides” is possibly most famous for its lurid music video that MTV wouldn’t air. I also hear it’s rather popular in strip clubs. It has a nice groove to it, and while the lyrics are perhaps cartoonishly sexy, they mostly work. It just drags on a little too long and overstays its welcome and might be too on the nose in its approach, but it’s mostly a nice little break on the first album since its tempo is noticeably more deliberate than the other songs on the album.

85. Naked Witch (I Luciferi) – Thematically similar to our last entry, “Naked Witch” is a bit of a jam track only held back by some iffy production, in particular the vocals. It rolls along with nice intensity and drummer Joey Castillo is unleashed in a nice showcase. Really, with better production on the vocals and maybe better lyrics on the outro, this one would leap several spots on this ranking.

84. Pyre of Souls (Deth Red Sabaoth) – If the two halves of “Pyre of Souls” are considered one song, then it’s the longest Danzig song recorded. It basically relies on a  simple melody that is repeated throughout. In part one, that melody is played on an acoustic guitar with some piano flourishes. Part two switches those instruments out for the traditional electric guitar/bass combo while Danzig bellows out his vocals from the back of a flying demon. At least, that’s how I picture him in my head with fire flaring all about. It’s another good groove track that probably didn’t need to be as long as it is, but it mostly works.

83. Lilin (Satan’s Child) – Apparently we’re in the part of the list of slow, brooding, groove tracks because we have another here in “Lilin.” This one separates itself by being more of an industrial rock track, one of the more overtly so from Satan’s Child. It’s another long track too, by Danzig standards, and might also have the best lyrics of any song from this album as they’re very descriptive and work well to conjure an image in one’s mind. Yes, it’s about another sexy snake girl, though with a tragic spin as there’s a slight hint of sorrow in Danzig’s vocals. It’s enough to vault this one up a few pegs, and the chorus is really catchy.

82. Lick the Blood Off My Hands (Lost Tracks of Danzig) – I’m still unclear if this is a Danzig 5 holdover or a Danzig 6 one, either way it probably should have been included on the album it was recorded for. This song is, stop me if you’ve heard me say this before, another groove track that rests in a slow to mid-tempo range. It doesn’t boast much variety, but it works with what it does. I can’t decide if the song should have featured a true crescendo towards the end or if it was better to resist and keep it in its lane.

81. Blackness Falls (Black Laden Crown) – A lot of Black Laden Crown offers solid structuring without much reliance on hooks or even a chorus. “Blackness Falls” is no different in that regard, but it follows the script a bit better than some of the other songs on the album and it has a nice punch to it.

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Johnny Cash was the first to record the song “Thirteen,” even though it was written by Glenn.

80. Thirteen (Satan’s Child) – The only song written and performed by Danzig that was first recorded and released by someone else. That someone being Johnny Cash for his album American Recordings. For his version, Danzig restored a verse Cash omitted and added some atmospheric elements which creates an image of a sullen vagabond roaming through a desert or something. There’s a lot of wind effects which makes me think of dryness, but maybe it was supposed to create a cooling feeling. Director of The Hangover Todd Phillips must agree with me since he used the song over a desert montage to open that film. The song’s placement there lead to a minor renaissance for it and Danzig started playing it live, which was pretty cool. It may have also lead to it being a little overrated since that was the most exposure a Danzig song has received since “Mother.”

79. Girl (Lucifuge) – Maybe the best example of filler from Danzig II, “Girl” is more or less a straight up rock track. It’s trying to be sexual in the same manner as “She Rides,” though its probably less successful. It’s catchier though, but I wish it had more of a chorus as Danzig kind of just wails like he didn’t know what to do. A filler track for Lucifuge is still a pretty good track though.

78. Five Finger Crawl (Satan’s Child) – We’re almost out of tracks from this album, but this one was the lead-off hitter, so to speak. There’s some slight distortion on the vocals, and the omnipresent whisper track is utilized, but it all builds to an excellent outro where Glenn’s vocals are freed from all of that. I kind of wish more of the album sounded like this one, or at least the last 30 seconds of it, but beggar’s can’t be choosers.

77. The Mandrake’s Cry (Lost Tracks of Danzig) – This one is a bit an odd duck as the subject matter, a mandrake, doesn’t strike me as Danzig material. It feels more like Harry Potter, though since this was recorded for Danzig IV I think we can rule out any influence there (plus I very much doubt Danzig partakes in that franchise). It’s a fun little track, and for awhile it was one of my favorites from disc one of this collection. I think I got a little sick of it, but it gets my head bobbing every time I revisit it. It’s also another track that may have necessitated some new vocals before release as Glenn sounds more like 2007 Glenn than 1994 Glenn.

76. The Violet Fire (Thrall-Demonsweatlive) – One of two original tracks from the Thrall EP, I also waver between which of the two I prefer. They’re both kind of quick and dirty songs that probably didn’t spend much time in the cooker. They both work though, and “The Violet Fire” separates itself from its album-mate by having a slower tempo in which Glenn practically purrs his vocals throughout the verse. There’s some nice drum work in the end by Chuck Biscuits which brings the whole thing home.

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A still from the “Black Hell” video that closes out The Legacy TV Taping.

75. Black Hell (The Hangover II Motion Picture Soundtrack) – The only song from a movie soundtrack to appear on our list, “Black Hell” has yet to have an opportunity to jump to a proper Danzig release. It did get a music video as part of The Legacy TV Taping which was trapped on Vimeo, but is now unavailable (I think). It’s similar to “Thirteen” in that it seems to be channelling some Johnny Cash imagery, but it’s a more fully fleshed-out Danzig tune. I wish I could say the rest of the soundtrack was good, but if you’re a Danzig fan I guess it won’t matter. It’s also probably pretty cheap at this point if you’re looking for used copies.

74. Cold Eternal (Satan’s Child) – The last song from Satan’s Child to appear in our list, giving that album a bit of a dubious honor as its the first to be completed. This also means it’s the best song from that album. It’s probably the most unique as it’s very slow, somewhat sorrowful, and features an abundant use of slide guitar. Session guitarist Jeff Chambers apparently used a ginseng bottle to achieve the effect, and it sounds pretty neat as it’s slightly unpleasant which adds to the song’s mood. A solid, though perhaps understated, vocal performance rounds things out. It’s a song that never explodes, and it doesn’t need to.

73. Until You Call on the Dark (Danzig IV) – Another Danzig song, another music video rejected by MTV. This one is notable since it came after “Mother,” and the video wasn’t all that bad. I think it did end up getting shown a few times, but not as much as “Cantspeak” or “I Don’t Mind the Pain.” This is a slow jam with a nice guitar lick. Glenn keeps in time with the drum pattern and the chorus features a simple, but catchy, guitar riff as well. If on a lesser album, it might have stood out more, but on Danzig IV it ends up being one of the lesser tracks.

72. Skulls & Daisies (Black Laden Crown) – Danzig conjures up the mystique of an old story-teller on this one, recounting some tale about a girl picking skulls and daisies. Like a lot of Danzig lyrics, it’s probably inspired by some old folktale or B-movie, but I’m not certain of where it comes from. This is a song that manages to be catchy without having a chorus. It’s reminiscent of “Ju Ju Bone,” though that song is able to place higher because it actually does feature a chorus. Nonetheless, this song was frequently cited by fans as being one of the standout tracks from the most recent Danzig release.

71. Skull Forest (Circle of Snakes) – This haunting little tune from Circle of Snakes was supposedly inspired by a dream Glenn had in which he saw his father’s head imbedded in a tree. Pretty creepy, but perhaps tame compared to his other dreams? This one has Glenn almost talking over the verse rather than singing, but it builds into a trademarked wailing Danzig chorus. Simple and effective.

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Most fans were introduced to “When Death Had No Name” via the band’s home video.

70. When Death Had No Name (Lost Tracks of Danzig) – Originally released on the first Danzig home video, the song was properly released as a B-Side to “Dirty Black Summer” in 92, albeit a different version. Both versions were included on The Lost Tracks of Danzig and of the two I would say the 1992 version is superior. It’s slightly slower, but more methodic. It leans heavy on its main riff for much of the song’s duration before things pick up towards the end. Perhaps a little too long, it’s still a really cool track with some biblical imagery with a neat story to it.

69. Pain in the World (Lucifuge) – This is a song I’ve always wanted to like more than I do. It’s the closing track on Danzig II, and it’s meant to be an epic track with a similar style to “When Death Had No Name.” It’s just never quite clicked for me, and maybe it’s because I think it’s better than it is I’m ranking it this high. As someone who enjoys long compositions, I find myself losing interest in this one about halfway through. It might just a be a case of this being the most overtly Black Sabbath-like of all of the tracks on Lucifuge, when the rest of the album really didn’t sound like a Sabbath inspired release. Maybe it should have been flipped with the closer to How the Gods Kill, the more bluesy “When the Dying Calls,” and it would have felt more at home. Or maybe it’s just a failing in my own personal taste.

68. It’s Coming Down (Thrall-Demonsweatlive) – The other original track from the Thrall EP, “It’s Coming Down” is the more popular of the two because it’s been played live during many tours and also received a rather infamous music video (don’t watch it if you can’t stomach genital mutilation). This one is more up-tempo than “The Violet Fire,” making it a more natural setlist inclusion. It comes in, blows off the doors, and exits fairly quickly before you can get tired of the formula. A quick and dirty piece of early 90s metal.

67. Black Laden Crown (Black Laden Crown) – The title track from what is currently the last Danzig album, “Black Laden Crown” is one part album opener and one part bitching metal track. The first half of the song has a sort of black mass kind of vibe to it (not to be confused with the song of the same name), while the second half is an instrumental head-banger. I love the mood it sets for the album, but I’m not sure the rest of it lives up to the beginning. I also wish there was some sort of vocal pay-off during that last part. Even with the flaws, I think it would have made for an interesting way to start the live shows on that tour, as opposed to sticking with “Skin Carver.”

66. Angel Blake (I Luciferi) – Thematically, this one is a throwback to The Misfits days of song-writing for Glenn as its origins are in some campy movie. Musically it’s not at all like a Misfits track, and even by Danzig standards, it’s fairly unique. There’s a clean guitar tone used on most of it with Glenn’s voice doubled or tripled-up on. It has that ethereal quality I mentioned on “Firemass” because of its lighter tone. The chorus brings in a crunchy bottom-end though, so this one does pack a punch. The recorder solo might also be a first for Danzig.

65. End of Time (Danzig) – This is probably the softest track from the debut album, though the subject matter is hardly fluffy. “End of Time” is about a damned individual and it starts off as a fairly straight-forward rock track which brings in this sweet sounding lyrical bridge before a thunderous chorus. It’s perfectly paced, and in the right spot on the album too. I suppose it would be considered album “filler,” and if so it’s certainly a quality filler track.

R-562567-1131857556.jpeg64. Dirty Black Summer (How the Gods Kill) – This one was probably the first single to get any sort of consistent airplay on MTV. It was hardly a hit, but if you tuned into Headbanger’s Ball around release you probably saw it. It features what I would call a typical Danzig riff, but it dresses it up enough to form something catchy. Glenn does this odd vocal hiccup in between lines during the chorus, which definitely is a unique touch for the song. I know a few who find this one a bit annoying as it might be the most commercial sounding song Glenn has ever released, but I’ve always found it rather catchy.

63. Pull the Sun (Black Laden Crown) – The closing track from Black Laden Crown follows the same general format as a lot of Danzig closers. It’s a slow to mid tempo track with a wailing chorus, though the chorus isn’t leaned on as heavily as it is with “Left Hand Rise Above” or “Without Light, I Am.” The novelty of this song structure has some-what worn off as a result, which is why this one is ranked behind those two tracks. It’s a great song on its own though that is perhaps just missing one special, hard to pin down, ingredient to make it truly exceptional which is how I feel about a lot of the material from this album.

62. Satan’s Crucifiction (Lost Tracks of Danzig) – This one is essentially a joke song, but it’s so heavy and so evil that it actually works. This song is all about the bottom end and it’s particularly brutal. And I think knowing the lyrics were intended as a joke makes them work better than if they seemed sincere. Truly, they’re not all that much more campy than some of the “real” songs Danzig has put out. And in case you need a refresher, this one was recorded after the success of “Mother” when the label requested the new album not be “Satanic.” Supposedly, the joke had the desired effect.

61. Rebel Spirits (Deth Red Sabaoth) – One of the more understated songs from Deth Red Sabaoth, “Rebel Spirits” settles into that mid-tempo groove we know so well but it kicks things up with the chorus. The vocal production could have been better, but it’s not as bad as other Danzig songs out there. It has this apocalyptic quality to the drumming compliments of Johnny Kelly and the subject matter is very appropriate for Danzig.

60. I Luciferi (I Luciferi) – This is one of Danzig’s shortest songs, but it does all that it needs to in its brief runtime. “I Luciferi” takes a fun guitar riff and dresses it up with cartoonishly Satanic imagery that morphs into a hard-hitting chorus complete with a nice, dense, crunchy, guitar riff. I’ve always enjoyed this rockin’ little number and it makes for a good title track.

59. Possession (Danzig) – Originally recorded with Samhain, “Possession” might be known more for featuring guest backing vocals by Metallica’s James Hetfield. The version from Danzig is much better than what was included in the Samhain Box Set. It has that simple blues-rock base to it featured prominently on the debut album with a rolling, thunderous chorus. The subject matter may border on misogyny, but it’s more of a power fantasy than anything. It definitely was more effective at captivating me as a teenager than as an adult.

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The video for “Crawl Across Your Killing Floor” featured a rather interesting concept, but the execution was pretty lackluster.

58. Crawl Across Your Killing Floor (Lost Tracks of Danzig) – Guitarist Todd Youth dazzles on this piece of atmospheric, vagabond, music. It’s the best song to come out of the Danzig 6 sessions, and yet I kind of understand why it was left off the album. It doesn’t fit well with the rest of the album. I suppose they could have bumped “Thirteen” for it and it would have made for a similar closer, but at least it finally saw the light of day with The Lost Tracks of Danzig.

57. Liberskull (I Luciferi) – Another kind of “off its era” cut from I Luciferi, “Liberskull” relies on a “Korn” riff to hum along and leans heavy on its catchy chorus. The chorus is similar in structure to “Satan’s Child” in that it relies on a long wail, but it’s arguably what Glenn Danzig does best. The very nu-metal sound to this one used to lead to me referring to it as a guilty pleasure, but now I feel I’ve grown beyond such silly notions and it’s just a song I like.

56. The Revengeful (Deth Red Sabaoth) – Pinch harmonics city! If you dislike Danzig’s reliance on that guitar technique, then “The Revengeful” might grate on you a bit. I have neither a strong dislike nor a particular fondness for them, and “The Revengeful” straddles the line of practical taste. It’s a good fist-pumper that really helps sustain the momentum of Deth Red Sabaoth following the rocking opener “Hammer of the Gods.” It was also the B-Side to the album’s first single though surprisingly it never became a concert staple where it feels like a role it was born to play.

55. NetherBound (Circle of Snakes) – “NetherBound” is often cited as a favorite from Circle of Snakes. It has a somber tone and enjoys existing in the mid-tempo range. It’s very simple with a dry production sound that gives it an older texture, which fits the song’s mood. The melody is pleasant, and Danzig’s vocals are almost sweet sounding, a good penultimate track for the album.

54. Stalker Song (Danzig IV) – One of Danzig’s creepier songs, the title basically lets you know what it’s about. Glenn lets his vocals take center stage, something it feels he was more willing to do during this era of the band, and it’s what helps carry the song. It’s fairly simple in its execution, but those Danzig wails that sustain the closing moments are what puts it all together. I liked this song more as a teen when the subject matter felt more risqué, but as an adult I still start belting out the lines with Glenn when I’m driving in my car (alone).

53. When the Dying Calls (How the Gods Kill) – A little southern sludge closes out Danzig’s third album, and if it weren’t for the inconsistent production, it possibly could have rated higher. Danzig’s vocals have an almost R&B flow to them throughout the verse that gives the song a very playful quality and it courses along to a big finish. It’s during that big finish where the vocal production sounds off, as if Danzig is going louder than the master intended. I suppose it’s not surprising this album had some issues in that department since it was the first Rick Rubin supposedly had little involvement with. It’s a minor thing though as the song still rocks.

52. Black Candy (Deth Red Sabaoth) – The title may seem off-putting and silly, but this is one heavy-ass track. Glenn handles the drumming, and it’s like he had something to prove. It’s not a complex drum pattern utilized, but it is loud and powerful. He really beats the Hell out of the skins and relies a lot on the double bass and it’s what gives the song its character. Danzig’s voice is able to keep up with it too and manages to not get drowned out. Glenn must have really admired Chuck Biscuits when he was with the band as his style is a little similar with a no fills approach. The rest of the song is appropriately dense and this one is almost a sonic overload which makes up for its lack of true hooks.

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A band shot from the video for “Dirty Black Summer” during the How the Gods Kill era.

51. Do You Wear the Mark? (How the Gods Kill) – Almost a straight rip-off of Sabbath’s “Into the Void,” “Do You Wear the Mark?” at least does well by that old riff in crafting another dangerously dark Danzig tune. It’s so blatant though which is why I’ve never had much sympathy for Glenn anytime he mentions someone ripping him off (most notably Stone Temple Pilots). This one has always worked really well as a concert song, and the finish is great. I don’t know why, but I love the inclusion of the word “darling” amongst the song title’s question. Maybe because it subconsciously reminds me of “Die, Die, My Darling” or maybe because it just works. I’ll always associate this song with my first Danzig show in 2000 when an old guy probably in his sixties strutted into the show late. Wearing his white hair in a ponytail and clad in a beaten up leather jacket, he stood stoically as the band went through its set. When this song hit though that man opened up and just started going off. I hope he’s still rocking out to Danzig somewhere.

50. Not of this World (Danzig) – One of the band’s old concert staples that usually closed out shows, this one is the second track off the band’s debut album and it still kicks a lot of ass today. The production on the studio version is almost a bit too simple and bare bones. It has its tempo and it works well with it, but live the band plays it faster and that’s where it really comes alive. If they could have captured that intensity for the studio it probably would have vaulted the song higher, but it’s still a great track no matter how you experience it.

 

We’re going to cut this one off here. We’ve got 49 songs left to get through and I anticipate that being split into two parts. Check back tomorrow for Part III as we continue our sonic exploration of every Danzig song ever.


The Ultimate Danzig Song Ranking – Part I

danzig_bannerThis day marks the 30th anniversary of the self-titled debut album of Danzig. It was thirty years ago that the album was unleashed by then label Def American alongside Geffen Records. So shaken up by the imagery and subject matter of the group was executive David Geffen that Geffen’s logo didn’t appear on the release. Which is kind of amusing as the album isn’t what many would consider controversial in this day and age featuring no profanity or overly violent lyrics, but this was a different time.

The album has gone on to be the best-selling record released by the group and the only LP to go platinum. It did not happen overnight and most of its success is attributed to a surge in popularity for the song “Mother” which was re-released as a single in 1993 to promote the EP Thrall-Demonsweatlive. As my favorite band, this blog tends to celebrate all things Danzig related, so marking this milestone makes sense. You may recall I ranked all of the albums Glenn Danzig was involved with back in April to mark the 400th post on this blog. Last Halloween, a similar ranking for all of the songs recorded by The Misfits was also done. The Misfits, with Glenn Danzig at the helm, lasted approximately six years spanning from 1977 to 1983. As a result, I only had to rank 50 or so songs. Danzig has understandably output more since it has existed five times as long. I count 129 unique songs that need to be ranked making this largely an exercise in futility, but that’s never stopped me before!

How did I arrive at that total, you may be wondering. Well, I’m not considering live recordings since that would be silly and duplicative. I am also not counting remixes and only considering the original version of a given song. This mostly affects Danzig 5 era tracks which largely aren’t that great to begin with. I also decided to exclude covers. While you may argue that some of Danzig’s covers offer a unique take on an old song, they’re still not exactly Danzig songs. This eliminates the entire Skeletons album and also disqualifies the following:  The Hunter, Trouble, Hand of Doom: Version, Buick McKane, Cat People, Caught in my Eye. I’m also not counting the song credited to Glenn Danzig and the Power and Fury Orchestra, which was “You and Me (Less than Zero)” from the Less Than Zero motion picture soundtrack. While the orchestra was basically the band Danzig, minus bassist Eerie Von, it wasn’t credited to the band so I won’t rank it (even though it’s a fantastic track). And lastly, I’m not going to rank the instrumental intro songs that appear on I Luciferi and Circle of Snakes and I’m also counting “Pyre of Souls: Incanticle” and “Pyre of Souls:  Seasons of Pain” as one song. Hopefully these ground rules are not too complicated or controversial. With each ranking I’ll include the easiest way to find the song, not necessarily the first. Some songs debuted on singles, but were eventually released on a re-issue or as part of The Lost Tracks of Danzig. With that all out of the way though, let’s get to the music:

129. Don’t Be Afraid (Blackacidevil 2000 re-issue) – The dubious one. The one that is considered the absolute worst. “Don’t Be Afraid” was originally released on a promotional sampler for Danzig 5 and later included on the E-Magine re-issue. It’s basically a noise track, with a simple electronic beat and instrumentation moving things along as Danzig sings over it with vocals so distorted they’re basically unintelligible (aside from when he repeats the song’s title over and over). If you were excited to hear this one for the first time after getting that 2000 re-issue then boy were you disappointed.

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Danzig enjoys seductive snake girls.

128. Serpentia (Blackacidevil) – The worst track from Danzig’s worst album, as originally released. “Serpentia” is mostly just annoying, an attempt to be sexually charged with snake imagery. Danzig’s vocals are not distorted, but they’re also not very good. The song is poorly paced and feels half-baked. Somehow, the various remixes that followed are even worse.

127. Sadistikal (Danzig IV) – This one is less a song and more an intermission for Danzig IV. It’s largely industrial, serving I suppose as a preview of sorts for Danzig 5, and it offers little value aside from the mood it attempts to create. Danzig’s lyrics come across as corny and cliche, so it’s debatable if it really works as an intermission. The worst track on the best album.

126. Lady Lucifera (The Lost Tracks of Danzig) – A holdover from Circle of Snakes, “Lady Lucifera” is a song Danzig claims to love and I’ve encountered a few fans that seem to enjoy it, but I find it repulsive. Muddy, plodding, instrumentation with a weird vocal delivery. The song just meanders round and round without going anywhere. It sounds more like a concept than a fully realized song.

125. East Indian Devil (Kali’s Song)(Satan’s Child) – The most industrial track of Danzig’s sixth album is also its worst. The vocals are largely indecipherable and there’s no real hooks or chorus present. Not sure why it made the album over better songs.

124. Blackacidevil (Blackacidevil) – There’s some disagreement over how this song title is pronounced. Some read is as “Black as a devil” and others as “Black acid evil.” The pronunciation of it in the actual song sounds to me like it is “Black acid devil.” I just call it crap. The only compliment I can pay it is the song has a build to it and increases with intensity the longer it goes, but it lacks a true crescendo to really pay it off. Otherwise, just more Danzig 5 fuzz junk with camp lyrics.

123. White Devil Rise (Lost Tracks of Danzig) – Banal and simple, “White Devil Rise” sounds like an alt-right anthem these days. The less said the better.

122. Into the Mouth of Abandonment (Satan’s Child) – This one is similar to “Sadistikal” in that it feels more like an intermission track than a true song. This one tries a bit harder and since it’s past the midway point of the record it probably wouldn’t qualify as an intermission anyway. It’s simple and mostly understated, slightly notable for being the rare Danzig cut to actually contain the word “fuck.” We’re gradually moving away from the songs that are truly poor to the ones that just aren’t particularly noteworthy.

121. Hint of Her Blood (Blackacidevil) – A slow, brooding song. The lyrics are less camp and more traditional Danzig. It’s sort of like our previous entry, “Into the Mouth of Abandonment,” but without the explosive moments, so maybe I should have actually ranked that one ahead of this one. I guess I like the subject matter here a little more, both songs are rather boring in the end.

120. Bleedangel (Blackacidevil 2000 reissue) – The other original track added to the reissue of Blackacidevil, “Bleedangel” is better than “Don’t Be Afraid,” though it’s another song that kind of goes no where. It’s rather atmospheric and at least it doesn’t feature heavily distorted vocals, but what’s there also isn’t all that exciting. The most interesting thing about this song is that at one point in time it was supposed to be released as a single, and according to then bassist Josh Lazie, that single was going to include a cover of The Misfits classic “Bloodfeast.” It never happened, and many doubt that cover actually exists anywhere since no one else has been able to confirm its existence.

119. Power of Darkness (Blackacidevil) – Disco Danzig! This song is straight-up techno garbage. I guess if you like techno maybe you would like this song. I suppose it’s rather danceable. I personally never needed to hear Danzig tackle this genre.

118. You Should be Dying (Lost Tracks of Danzig) – Supposedly left off of Lucifuge, this is one of the tracks from the Lost Tracks compilation that sounds like the vocals were re-recorded for that release. It definitely doesn’t sound like Glenn Danzig circa 1990. Regardless, I don’t think even a vintage vocal performance would save this one. It has a decent, very Sabbath-like riff going for it during the intro, but then it devolves into nothing. Very bland, and the chorus is kind of annoying. A rare clunker on disc 1 of that set.

117. Hellmask (Circle of Snakes) – “Hellmask” marks the return of Glenn Danzig’s “Cookie Monster” vocals. Lots of screaming, and the mix makes it sound like Glenn is battling with the guitar and drums for audio supremacy on the track, and losing. He hasn’t really revisited that sound since.

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Danzig also enjoys six foot cat women. I’m not kink-shaming, I swear!

116. Wicked Pussycat (I Luciferi) – “Wicked Pussycat” contains a very modern, nu-metal sound for 2002. The subject matter is cartoonish even by Danzig’s standards, and the rap-rock chorus is kind of embarrassing. There is a catchiness to it, I suppose, but it’s not something I return to often.

115. Invocation/Demon’s Call (Danzig IV) – The title of this one is confusing. For years it was referred to as “Invocation,” though I’m not sure if Glenn himself ever confirmed it. When mp3 distribution showed up, Apple listed it as “Demon’s Call” in iTunes and I have no idea where they got that title. It’s all confusing because this is an unlabeled bonus track from Danzig IV, track 66. It’s a classic bonus track in that it’s experimental and kind of weird, which is on purpose. Those were kind of the best bonus tracks as they were a fun little treat for those who left their CD player on after the last song. This one is basically a hymn, and it’s about a demon that seduces its victims. It’s basically just Danzig’s heavily layered vocals and an electric organ. Pretty cool, a little creepy, and mostly fun though it’s also not likely to be anyone’s favorite song due to its unique nature.

114. I Know Your Lie (Lost Tracks of Danzig) – Another leftover from Danzig 6, this one was probably left off of the final release because it sounds very similar to “Five Finger Crawl.” Had it been on the album it would have been a filler track, neither good nor bad, which is what it is on The Lost Tracks of Danzig.

113. My Darkness (Circle of Snakes) – So I kind of hate this one, but also kind of love it. I never seem to enjoy hearing it, but it gets stuck in my head. It’s also really annoying, but also fairly catchy. I didn’t know where to rank this and honestly considered it more towards the back, but it’s fine right here.

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A band still from the “Circle of Snakes” video. It’s mostly the band posing menacingly while snake girls do their thing.

112. Circle of Snakes (Circle of Snakes) – This is like a sludge version of “Twist of Cain.” Riffs and song structure are similar, though it lacks that bridging second chorus. I mostly hate the guitar tone on this album, and this song in particular.

111. 7th House (Blackacidevil) – This song may have been okay if it wasn’t so distorted. It’s basically like “Brand New God” if that song just stayed with the up-tempo, thrash sound it starts with. The lyrics are pretty stupid though, so maybe the distortion helps there. It’s one of the songs from Danzig V that works a lot better live than it does on the album.

110. God of Light (I Luciferi) – I dislike this song less now than I did in 2002. It used to annoy me, and it still possesses a rather weak chorus, but when I listen to it now I appreciate the odd time signature of it because it’s very different from basically every other Danzig song. I’m ranking it as high as I am because of that uniqueness, though it’s still one of the weaker tracks on Danzig 7.

109. Apokalips (Satan’s Child) – This song has a good structure to it. It starts slow, slightly quiet, and then ratchets that up when the chorus kicks in. There’s a dense bottom-end, and the production helps add to the apocalyptic atmosphere the lyrics are going for. The problem then? The vocals. They’re oddly pitched and Glenn’s voice is borderline annoying at times. There was supposedly a lot of post-production nonsense done on Glenn’s voice, as he stated at the time he tried to achieve a sound closer to how he hears himself, so maybe that’s what is going on here. Whatever the case, it doesn’t work.

108. Skin Carver (Circle of Snakes) – Frustratingly, the song that has been opening every Danzig show since 2004. It’s a head-banger, and most concert openers are designed to fire up the crowd and set the tone, there’s just so many other songs in the Danzig catalog that work better. The silly whisper first chorus does nothing for the song’s mood, and the shouting version that follows is just kind of dull. It’s just the song’s title, over and over. I do like Tommy Victor’s guitar work on this one, and the bass is thunderous, it’s the other parts that lag.

107. Night Star Hel (Deth Red Sabaoth) – Our first song from 2010’s Deth Red Sabaoth is that album’s most boring song. It’s not terrible, but it’s very reminiscent of the lower points from the preceding albums. A nothing chorus with a slow, brooding verse with iffy production.

106. Deep (Lost Tracks of Danzig) – This one was originally released on an X-Files compilation album of songs, Songs in the Key of X. They were supposed to be inspired by the show, but I think it was just David Duchovny reaching out to artists he liked for music to fill an album with. “Deep” was not written for the album and was basically a holdover from Danzig 5. Interestingly, it would have been one of the better tracks on that record (the reissue included a remix of this one called “Deeper”) instead of being one of the lesser tracks on disc one of The Lost Tracks of Danzig. It’s a bit slow, with imagery reminiscent of “Sadistikal” that tries to build towards a big chorus, but it doesn’t deliver.

105. Dead Inside (I Luciferi) – This is a song undone by its chorus. The verse is simple with some sweet Danzig crooning. It builds into a faster verse following the first chorus that’s really satisfying, but that damn chorus. It’s just screaming with machine-gun drumming that doesn’t suit the song. It almost betrays the verse which is very melodious by being so simple. A missed opportunity.

104. Cult w/o a Name (Satan’s Child) – This song might be Danzig’s worst written when it comes to nonsense lyrics. “I am teeth of fire/taste a thousand shames,” – what? Teeth don’t taste, Glenn, but I guess tongue doesn’t sound very menacing. The song has a solid groove to it, it suffers some of the same vocal shortcomings as “Apokalips,” but it’s not a bad song. Just flawed.

103. Devil on Hwy 9 (Black Laden Crown) – Okay, maybe this one has dumber lyrics than “Cult w/o a Name.” Driving on an evil highway? Sure, whatever, as long as it sounds good. And the music mostly delivers, but the vocal production is wretched. I was shocked the first time I heard it that it was released like this. This one definitely was let down by its production. Every time I listen to it that opening piece tricks me into thinking maybe this song isn’t so bad, but those vocals bring me back down to earth. Still, as the first song to show up from Black Laden Crown, I’d say that’s a pretty good showing from the most recent Danzig albums, though we’re about to start a little run on songs from this album.

102. Eyes Ripping Fire (Black Laden Crown) – The song that immediately follows “Devil on Hwy 9” is this one, and it’s title seems to imply something more like the previous song, but it’s rather muted. It’s just a song I want to find another gear, but it just meanders. It has kind of a meaningless existence.

101. Night, BeSodom (Circle of Snakes) – This is another song that finds a nice groove, but it’s all it has. It gets what it can out of that groove though, and then quickly ends so that it doesn’t overstay its welcome. If it had an actual chorus it might have been able to climb higher.

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Danzig contemplating what it means to feel all sacrificed.

100. Sacrifice (Blackacidevil) – The lead single from Danzig 5 was kind of a red herring. This one is very Nine Inch Nails-like, and some of that Trent Reznor’s remixes of “Closer” really drive that point home. It’s simple, has an electronic base to it, but the vocals are mostly clean and the chorus explosive. It has kind of a cheapness to it though, like it’s relying on the most basic hooks for success. At least it has hooks though, something a lot of the other songs from this album are sorely lacking in. I’ve picked on Danzig 5 a lot so far, but we’re actually going to leave that album alone for a good while now as it’s surprisingly top heavy relative to other Danzig releases.

99. The Witching Hour (Black Laden Crown) – Another brooder from Black Laden Crown, “The Witching Hour” is an unremarkable track. Not particularly great, but far from bad. It’s the definition of filler.

98. Kiss the Skull (I Luciferi) – This one was originally going to be the title track for Danzig 7, but it lost out to a better song. It’s also inspired by Gary Glitter, he of “Rock n’ Roll Part 2” fame, as well as a noted child molester. It’s kind of a goofy track, but it does possess some catchy qualities and it’s also fun hearing Glenn dust off his “Whoa oh” he so frequently resorted to with The Misfits.

97. Soul Eater (Lost Tracks of Danzig) – If “Kiss the Skull” is goofy, the this one is positively ridiculous. “Soul Eater” is one of the catchiest songs Danzig has ever recorded, but the lyrics are so stupid and silly, which makes them strangely endearing. Even though I consider it only the 97th best Danzig song, I’d love to hear a live version. I even think it was written with that in mind as it references “Blackest of the Black,” the lyric that leads off “Her Black Wings” and is also the namesake of Glenn Danzig’s festival of extreme music, which was in the planning stages during the recording of this song.

96. Firemass (Satan’s Child) – This one is part of the easy listening middle section of Danzig 6. It has a very effervescent guitar tone and there’s an ethereal quality to Danzig’s vocals on the chorus. It was one of my favorite songs on this album when it first came out, and maybe I listened to it too much then because I find it a tad unremarkable now. It’s almost too understated to really stand-out.

95. Belly of the Beast (Satan’s Child) – This is yet another decent song somewhat undone by the lyrics from Danzig 6. This was definitely a creative low point for Danzig, and a lot of the songs show. The song is perfectly catchy, simply but logically constructed, it’s just got this annoying rhyme scheme to the verse. It just sounds like amateur hour, but I’ve always liked the vocal melody on the chorus.

94. When We Were Dead (Circle of Snakes) – An interesting song title that doesn’t really lead to an equally interesting song. The lyrics are actually a strong part to this one as they’re morbidly descriptive. The time signature is a bit interesting, but I feel like the song is building to a conclusion it never reaches, it just devolves into Glenn repeating the song’s title over and over.

93. 777 (Lucifuge) – We’ve kind of reached the first song from the original four. The first four albums are widely considered the band’s best. How much that had to do with Rick Rubin or it containing the original lineup is anyone’s guess. We had picked on Danzig IV’s “Sadistikal” earlier, but like I said, that one feels less like a song and more like an intermission and “Invocation” is just a weird little nugget of a track. “777” sits right in the middle of what many consider the band’s best album. Its twangy acoustic elements overlaying traditional blues rock makes it stand out, but I hate this song’s chorus. The lyrics are just really stupid to me, and I’m not particularly crazy about the verse either. I know a lot of people who like this song a lot, but for me it’s never clicked.

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Just jamming to “Bodies.”

92. Bodies (How the Gods Kill) – If you’re worried I’m about to start ripping on those first four albums, don’t worry. We have a few more tracks to cull before we really get into those albums, but “Bodies” is an especially notable track for being not great. It’s very bluesy, so it has its admirers, but the over-the-top “Cookie Monster” vocals nearly ruin the experience. I often wonder if anyone ever asked Glenn why he chose this approach, it sounds brutal for one’s vocal chords. Rick Rubin had less involvement with this album than the first two, leading to Glenn himself receiving a producer credit on it, and I do wonder if Rubin would have steered him away from this sound had he been around more.

91. Who Claims the Soulless (Lost Tracks of Danzig) – A Danzig 7 reject, “Who Claims the Soulless” is a perfectly forgettable track. There is some merit to the notion that it deserved to make the album over something like “Dead Inside,” but there are also better tracks left off of that release. It doesn’t quite fit with the other material on that record, so there’s an equally valid reason for leaving it off. Is it better than “Kiss the Skull”? Maybe, but does it fit within that album as well? Probably not.

90. Unspeakable (Satan’s Child) – While “Five Finger Crawl” received the first (and only) video from Danzig 6, “Unspeakable” was the lead single sent to radio. It’s not really traditional rock or metal, nor is it really nu-metal. It’s kind of an odd song, and like a lot of that album, it’s not easy to shoe-horn into one of the many sub-genres of rock that were dominating the airwaves. The verse is very simple, and the chorus is really catchy. It’s a straight-forward track that serves its purpose, though it could use some more flourish with either the verse or guitar licks.

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“Unspeakable” was the lead single for Danzig 6:66 Satan’s Child.

I’m going to cut this post off right here as we’re nearing 4,000 words which is just too long for a blog entry. Tomorrow is this blog’s usual Batman Day, so check back on Saturday for Part 2 of this massive entry. And if you have a copy of the first Danzig record laying around, turn that sum-bitch on real loud in honor of its 30th birthday.


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