Danzig just released the first song from his new upcoming album, Black Laden Crown, which is due out in late May.
The new Danzig song, “Devil on HWY 9” starts off with a dry, crunching guitar lick that screams from ear to ear with some major harmonics. When Glenn Danzig’s voice comes in, for the first time on a Danzig record, you can start to hear his age. Danzig’s ominous baritone has taken on a bit of a hoarse quality, which isn’t to say that it’s deteriorating. In fact, as Danzig sings the chorus to “Devil on HWY 9,” it feels as if Glenn is actually embracing his age. At 61-years-old, Danzig is still raging like a 21-year-old.
Already, the comment section for “Devil on HWY 9” has fans shouting for a better song mix. It’s true that many fans and critics alike thought that Danzig’s last release, Skeletons, a release of cover songs, was poorly mixed as well. The poor mix was too bad, because Danzig fans had waited a long time for a great album of covers. As poorly mixed as Skeletons was, however, the first track from Black Laden Crown doesn’t seem to be bad, just… different. There is clearly no Autotune on Danzig’s voice. It is extremely raw and in your face, right along with ultra-dry guitar.
The first release from Black Laden Crown, “Devil on HWY 9” has the signature timing of many Danzig songs, being that it is difficult to listen to without tapping your foot or nodding your head. Add a catchy riff to Glenn’s slightly southern drawl (which is strange in that he’s originally from New Jersey), and it adds up to a fun road song.
Danzig has yet to match the mastery of his last, really good album, Deth Red Sabaoth, released in 2010. That album was thought to be a true return to form for the man and the band. Prior to that, The Lost Tracks of Danzig was released in 2007. The Lost Tracks of Danzig was a remastering of 26 tracks that didn’t quite make it on earlier Danzig albums for a variety of reasons. Usually when an artist puts out something like this, it means that they’ve exhausted their creativity and are looking for an easy way to get something else on the shelves. That really wasn’t the case with that album. There were several Danzig tunes on The Lost Tracks of Danzig that not only rivaled, but in some cases topped the tracks from the albums they might have been on. There are songs that hearken back to those laid back harmonics, driving drums, killer crunch, and baritone growls that made tunes like “Am I Demon,” “Her Black Wings,” and “Long Way Back From Hell” such classics.
Danzig is coinciding the release of his new album, Black Laden Crown, with the Blackest of the Black music festival next month. The Blackest of the Black festival will be a two-day event (May 26 and 27) in Long Beach, California. Danzig will be headlining, of course, and other bands on the bill include Suicidal Tendencies, Ministry, Atreyu, and Corrosion of Conformity.
Little has been released concerning Black Laden Crown, which will be released on May 26, (the same day as the start of the Blackest of the Black festival). Danzig announced the imminent release of the new album last month via his website. However, via Amazon’s pre-order information, the track list is as follows.
- “Black Laden Crown”
- “Eyes Ripping Fire”
- “Devil on Hwy 9”
- “Last Ride”
- “The Witching Hour”
- “But a Nightmare”
- “Skulls & Daisies”
- “Blackness Falls”
- “Pull the Sun”
Danzig’s Black Laden Crown will come in at just under 46 minutes long and be released by Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
[Featured Image by Scott Gries/Getty Images]