DANZIG — Danzig

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DANZIG - Danzig cover
4.23 | 21 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1988

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Twist of Cain (4:18)
2. Not of This World (3:42)
3. She Rides (5:10)
4. Soul on Fire (4:37)
5. Am I Demon (4:57)
6. Mother (3:24)
7. Possession (3:56)
8. End of Time (4:02)
9. The Hunter (3:31)
10. Evil Thing (3:16)

Total Time: 40:56


- Glenn Danzig / Vocals
- Eerie Von / Bass
- Chuck Biscuits / Drums
- John Christ / Guitars

- James Hetfield / Vocals (backing) (tracks 1, 7)

About this release

Def American Recordings, August 30th, 1988

According to Danzig members at the time, James Hetfield of Metallica fame provides backing vocals for "Twist of Cain" and "Possession". However, due to Hetfield's contractual obligations to Elektra Records, he does not appear on the album's credits.

"The Hunter", a well known blues standard mostly known for being covered by Blue Cheer, was not written by Glenn Danzig, as is claimed in the liner notes.

The hit single "Mother" featured a special live music video on MTV in 1993 making this album and Danzig II (Lucifuge) skyrocket in sales contributing to the rise in original Danzig bands: The Misfits (1977-1983) and Samhain (1983-1987).

Recorded at Atlantic Recording Studios and Chung King Metal, N.Y.C.
Mixed at Smoke Tree and Village, L.A.
Mastered by Howie Weinburg (name printing error !)
CD mastering at Barry Diament Audio, N.Y.C.

Thanks to UMUR for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Danzig's self-titled album perfectly combines the groovy energetic and gloomy mood sides of early metal, with Danzig's Elvis meets Jim Morrison vocals backed by the sounds of Black Sabbath and Buffalo. His first three albums are all fantastic and perfect that sound, and while Danzig II is pretty close, Danzig's debut has always been my favorite (though tied with November Coming Fire as favorite Danzig relate album in general). Punchy opener Twist of Cain, Am I Demon, classic Mother, and swaggering Evil Thing are some particular favorites, but She Rides takes the stage as the best. The slow lumbering drums and beautifully melancholy mood makes this blues metal perfection.

Danzig's songwriting style and atmosphere is like no other band, and this is its best display.
"Danzig" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by US heavy rock act Danzig. The album was released through Def American Recordings in August 1988 (it was the first release on the then new Rick Rubin owned label). Danzig was formed in 1987 by lead vocalist Glenn Danzig after his former act Samhain disbanded. Before Samhain, Glenn Danzig was the vocalist in horror punk act The Misfits. Samhain bassist Eerie Von is also a member of Danzig. The remaining part of the lineup consists of guitarist John Christ and drummer Chuck Biscuits.

"Danzig" has a pretty interesting release history, as it was initially relatively commercially successful, but 5 years after it´s release sold even more copies due to a live version of the track "Mother" being included on the "Thrall: Demonsweatlive (1993)" EP and a video version of the track receiving heavy rotation on MTV.

Stylistically the music on the 10 track, 40:56 minutes long album is a departure from both the sound of The Misfits and Samhain as all punk/hardcore influences are shed and instead a blues based hard/heavy rock sound is introduced. Glenn Danzig more than ever before sounds like a combination of Elvis and Jim Morrison and his voice and singing approach suits the music perfectly. The music is dark, heavy, and hard rocking and the often occult subject lyrics provide the album with an even more gloomy atmosphere.

No less than four videos were shot for the tracks "Twist of Cain", "She Rides", "Am I Demon", and "Mother", which probably make those tracks the most known tracks off the album, but there are several other quality tracks featured on this debut album like "Not of This World", "End of Time", "Possession", and the cover of the blues standard "The Hunter". The tracks are relatively simple vers/chorus structured songs with a few riffs, a powerful catchy chorus, and a guitar solo. So there are few revolutionary ideas here, but the combination of the basic elements including the occult subject matter and the generally dark atmosphere of the album are what makes the difference.

The musicianship are also on a high level. Glenn Danzig´s distinct sounding vocals are defining for the band´s sound, but the powerful organic drumming by Chuck Biscuits and the skilled and inventive guitar playing by John Christ are also worth a mention. The latter´s guitar solos are for example absolutely killer. Eerie Von is a bit more anonymous in the soundscape, but he gets the job done. Rick Rubin´s organic and stripped down production job is another great asset, which makes the album shine, and upon conclusion it´s a high quality release of dark heavy rock and considering that it´s a debut album it´s a very strong first statement by the band. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.
Danzig's debut album is darker and more sinister than much of the hard rock and blues that informs it, and substantially more minimalistic than a lot of heavy metal. It's a difficult beast to categorise, but the unique sound created by producer Rick Rubin is good for one thing: shining a spotlight on Glenn Danzig's voice. Danzig's vocal performances were, of course, a highlight of the classic Misfits lineup, and his Samhain project continued to refine his goth Elvis/undead Jim Morrison style, so it's only appropriate that the project that bears his name sinks or swims on the strength of his lungs. And with rants like Mother to deliver, Danzig shouts up a storm.

Members reviews

The first Danzig album. How does one speak of something that is so ingrained that their psyche actually doesn't exist in any universe where this album didn't happen? How does one speak of perfection? Danzig I, as I call it, is a perfect album. Dry. Disgusting. Hard Rock. Sort of Metal. Metal. There's Glenn belting out obtuse weird lyrics about Satan and chicks and mothers and fathers and demon sex as though he really were riding the backs of those demons, clinging to their scaly bodies as their wide spanned leathern wings beat the flaming heat down there in hell, where of course Glenn would be king as soon as his mortal coil gave in and threw his soul down into the demonic waste that was his birthright (especially if you believe the crap he bellows out on the Samhain albums!) And yet, I only give this album, this perfect piece of music that begins with the guttural rumble of "Yeahaw!" as "Twist of Cain" begins and winds up Forty-odd minutes later with the wailing bellows at the end of "Evil Thing" having taken the listener through the lowest underbelly of Satan's underground. How could it not have five stars? Well, that's simple really. I can't give it five and give "II-Lucifuge" five stars, too. So this album will always be a first stab, an attempt at true perfection that manages to be perfect, but like the difference between a flawless ruby and a flawless emerald, as a guy who prefers rubies to emeralds, or maybe onyx, I can only say, "For as good as this record is, which is about as good as records can get, the next one is better." I'll call it four and a half, but know that it's really five if you want it to be. Why shouldn't it be five, it is, after all, perfect.

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