"5 - Blackacidevil" is the 5th full-length studio album by American hard rock/metal act Danzig. The album was released through E-Magine Entertainment Inc in October 1996. After four consecutively high quality albums featuring a stable lineup and quite a bit of commercial and artistic success, things changed drastically before the recording of "5 - Blackacidevil". Lead vocalist/band leader Glenn Danzig decided to carry on without Eerie Von (bass), John Christ (guitars) and Chuck Biscuits (drums). Around the same time Glenn Danzig also fell out with Rick Rubin and left American Recordings. But maybe even more importantly Glenn Danzig made an intentional change to the band´s signature dark heavy rock/metal style.
The music on "5 - Blackacidevil" is for the most part industrial rock/metal in the vein of Nine Inch Nails, Stabbing Westward and similar acts. It´s a major departure from the dark heavy rock/metal style of the four predecessors and while the last album "4p (1994)" was more experimental in style than the three albums that preceeded it, it´s nothing compared to what´s in store for the listener on "5 - Blackacidevil".
The most significant change is that Glenn Danzig´s distinct warm Jim Morrisson/Elvis croon is mostly buried in layers of effects and distortion. There are next to no memorable and powerful guitar riffs on the album which have always been an important part of Danzig´s sound. The instrumentation on "5 - Blackacidevil" is mostly made up of noisy industrial sounds, programmed drumming (There´re some real drumming here too, but it doesn´t necessarily sound like that) and Glenn Danzig yelling and howling over the non-melodic industrial attack with his distorted effect laden vocals. It sounds so bad I can barely take it. It´s not until the 4th track on the album titled "Sacrifice", that the distortion comes off. "Sacrifice" is one of the few decent tracks on the album although it´s not really great. The next track "Hint of Her Blood" is pretty good actually and one of the very few standouts on the album. THE highlight of the album is arguably "Come to Silver" though. Glenn Danzig had originally written the track for Johnny Cash but because of Danzig´s split with American Recordings, Johnny Cash never recorded it and Glenn Danzig opted to record it himself and include it on "5 - Blackacidevil". The closing track "Ashes" is somewhat acceptable too but the remaining tracks sound like watered down Nine Inch Nails imitations.
I´ve given "5 - Blackacidevil" several chances in the years between the release of the album and now and if anything it´s become even worse and less relevant with time. I usually have great respect for musicians who experiment with their sound but when it works as bad as it does here, I find myself wishing that Glenn Danzig would have stuck to his guns. To my ears "5 - Blackacidevil" is an artistic failure and it didn´t fare well commercially either. While there are a couple of redeeming tracks on the album it´s overall a very weak album and a 1.5 star (30%) rating is warranted.