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The Lost Samhain Album - 73%

Superchard, April 4th, 2018

In many ways, Danzig's debut album is like a Samhain album that never was. Stylistically, this is a much more focused and heavier sound, but comparing Danzig's 1988 debut with Samhain's 1990 "Final Descent", Samhain was heading into a heavier direction anyway, with the final lineup of the band being the exact same members of this album. And look! The front cover of the album is the Samhain skull. The lineup on this album and the three that follow it is considered the best lineup for Danzig's discography, and for good reason, they are each talented members in their own right, but on this release, most, if not all of the original music on the album was crafted by Glenn. It's pretty apparent especially when comparing this debut album with it's follow up albums where John Christ was allowed some freedom with the guitar work.

I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of this album. While it's usually held in high regards, I've always considered it slightly overrated and honestly, sounds like a watered down Samhain release. While the performance on this album is much more focused and professional than the Samhain albums that preceded it, Danzig's debut is just somewhat boring half the time. Throw a dart and pick any song on the album, it's all standard stuff a single guitar riff dictates the direction of each song, not much different from AC/DC. There's little work in the way of leads, and while John Christ's guitar tone is suitable for the blues rock played out on this album, it's always sounded paper thin to me. Sure there's a guitar there, but it's not making much of an impression on me bar the solo from "Mother" or the main riff to "Twist of Cain". Chuck Biscuits and Eerie Von both do a pretty half-assed job as well. Still though, they manage to play it safe throughout most of the record and at the end of the day, Danzig is a competent release, albeit the entire album just feels like a rush job.

I think the thing I dislike most about this album is the fact that "The Hunter" is not credited to Albert King. For the longest time I listened to this album thinking it was Glenn's own original material until I listened to Blue Cheer's sophomore release "Outsideinside". Then I went on to think this was a Blue Cheer cover until finally discovering that it is actually an old blues song. You wouldn't know this by looking through the album's liner notes or the track listing on the back cover though, this really is Led Zeppelin levels of musical thievery, and why? What purpose does it serve when The Hunter is one of the worst songs on the album, second only to "Possession". Speaking of Possession, it's terrible. It's one of two songs featuring unaccredited guest vocals from James Hetfield, the other being "Twist of Cain" and I hate everything about the song from the way the main guitar riff makes me want to vomit to Glenn and Danzig both yelling "Possession" in unison. The whole song just sounds like a punk rock fever dream, it wasn't good when it was a Samhain song, and it's not good on this album either.

Those are the only "weak" songs on the album though. "She Rides" is a very bluesy honky tonk heavy metal waltz that I always remember being better than it actually is, but it probably is the most iconic song in terms of the blues metal style that Danzig was known for. Everyone seems to know this album for the classics Mother, Twist of Cain and Am I Demon, but I have to say that "Not of this World" does not get enough credit and should be lumped in there with them. It has all the punk rock energy of Mother and more technical prowess in the guitar work featuring three separate guitar solos, and it's easily the best song to play guitar along to. "Soul on Fire" is another fine tune starting off with some Roy Orbison style crooning, quickly picking up into a bouncy and catchy blues rock anthem.

I just don't see what most other's see in Danzig's debut album, I never have really. Out of the first four albums in his discography featuring this legendary lineup, I have to say, this is the weakest one of the bunch. It's still by all means a good album, but it just reeks of a heavy metal album that was put together by one guy. Sure, it's raw, and at times captures that punk rock spirit of Samhain or Misfits, but most of the time the album is spinning, it's not making much of an impression on me. This is a little too minimalist in the songwriting department for my taste. Still though, this is a promising taste of what was to come, and you can hear the potential from a mile away.

Superchard gets super hard for:
Twist of Cain
Not of this World

An underrated heavy metal classic - 100%

Iron Wizard, December 29th, 2015

Danzig's self titled debut album is a very underrated album. While I do prefer albums from more notable bands like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest, I think that this album should be listed along with albums by the bands mentioned above.

Stylistically, Danzig is a cross between the very dark, bluesy, and doomy heavy metal of Black Sabbath and the faster, rawer NWOBHM of bands such as Iron Maiden. It definitely has more bluesy leanings than any heavy metal album of the late 80s, as this was at the peak of happy glam metal, when darker stuff was only found with even more underground bands such as Bathory. It is a surprising album for its time, for sure.

To start the album, we have the extremely catchy opener, "Twist of Cain". Despite being a rather catch song, it has the same dark feel to it as the rest of the album. It is one of the best songs on the album. "She Rides" is a very heavy song, with sexual lyrics. It is probably the reason the album earned the dreaded "Parental Advisory" label.

Speaking of "Parental Advisory", "Mother", which is definitely Danzig's most well known song, is an attack on the PMRC and censorship in general. It starts out slow, in an almost power ballad-esque way, but it begins to pick up speed, complexity, and heaviness, and it becomes a nice midtempo rocker. It has a very dark sound to it.

The best thing about this album is the vocals. Glenn Danzig has a very dark toned, low voice. He sounds almost bluesy in a way. These dark sounding vocals are very fitting for the album.

The production on the album is very good as well. It is very heavy. The guitars aren't extremely distorted, but the tone and general production causes the "AC/DC effect" of increased heaviness. The entire album sounds very dark in production. I don't know what to compare it to exactly, but I would say that it is somewhere along the line of early Black Sabbath. Maybe like Paranoid, but slightly fuller.

This is an album that can suit pretty much every metalhead. There is heavy metal, doom metal, gothic metal, and even a bit of speed metal in "Soul on Fire" and "Am I Demon". It's a well rounded heavy metal album that is guaranteed to please the listener.

Danzig - Danzig - 100%

Orbitball, July 19th, 2015
Written based on this version: 1988, CD, Def American Recordings

Classic heavy metal with a distinguished blues feel to it, if you're a fan of the 70's era of The Misfits, you'll know what to expect out of the vocals put to metal music. This album and the follow-up 'Lucifuge' are by far my favorite Danzig releases. What's so grasping is the originality in songwriting basically the music and vocals just kill! It has a slight raw production quality, but not over-the-top raw. Distorted guitars spewing out slow riffs that are catchy, unique and heavy muted conglomerations, but these riffs are groove laden mostly, nothing too fast.

Danzig's vocals are sung with passion and candidly felt, it's as though he sings with his whole heart and soul. The drums go along very well with the guitars. There aren't THAT many lead parts though there are some at least with a hard-core blues tint to them. 40+ minutes of distinct and gripping metal music that's played so well it's one that you cannot really get sick of. I remember getting the cassette tape of this back in 1989 and what I thought of it. Scary album cover for a 13 year old kid but I embraced this one. 25 years later here I am writing about it!

This album has unique guitar and original voice by Glenn. It's really altogether a sheer triumph. It also isn't very repetitive it's music is laid out exquisitely. Dark, blasphemous lyrics, atmospheric, and an abundance of pure soul filled! The band put together songwriting that was totally unlike any band that I've heard from the 80's in heavy metal except for the classic bands. It seems as though this era (80's) was notorious for bands making great metal as well. I won't list them here, my focus is on this self-titled release and what a triumph!

I suppose the reason for the dark lyrics has to do with Glenn's concept of keeping the metal underground. The heavy blues riffing is apparent on the rhythms/leads. Totally thick though, the solos shine in pure feel and poise. I really admire John Christ's efforts here not only on the great leads, but the guitars on the rhythm aspect are so well put-together that they're utterly amazing. Simple, but so catchy. This band made a huge impact in the heavy metal world back 25 years ago and yet this one you can still hear and admire!

The main songs that I thought to be my favorites are "Twist of Cain", "She Rides" and "Mother." After 'Lucifuge', I lost interest in the band. Danzig is to have another release this year though hearing Danzig interviewed as he is 60 now it sounds like he has no voice left! Anyway, what steals you from anything away from your own consciousness into this album because of its utmost originality. It can be heavy, but slow riffs, some whispered vocals, more soul-entwined voice and the drums hit home here. Very well execution and feel by all members!

So damn cool. - 90%

Empyreal, January 7th, 2010

You know, more bands should play this style of bluesy, drugged out Heavy Metal. I really don’t know why it hasn’t caught on more. It’s just about the coolest fucking thing in the world; I mean it. I just really dig the style in general, and Danzig, straight out of his career with horror punk rockers The Misfits, put out a really thoroughly enjoyable debut of it in the early 90s. I love the heavy grooves and the Southern home-cooked riffs and every cool nuance in the rhythms, as well as the great gruff, tuneful hollering of the hillbilly from Hell himself, Glen Danzig, It all sort of coalesces into a melting pot of good ideas that proves a really enjoyable listen.

This owes as much to rock as it does metal. Comparisons can be made to Savatage, as the groovy, rhythmic pounding of the drums and guitars together is about as close as twins separated at birth. It all shows a shared lineage in Black Sabbath and a lot of blues and older rock bands even before that. This is very organic, stripped down music. There’s nothing dishonest or deceitful about Danzig. What you see is what you get – hard-edged, down-and-dirty metal with deep rock and roll linings and a certain aroma to it that reminds one of reedy, booze-soaked Louisiana back-streets and swamps where occult rituals might take place. Like the movie Angel Heart.

Danzig’s voice is kind of like Elvis if Elvis had lived long enough to see metal come to fruition. His bittersweet hollering is charming and surely kept me listening. He has a charisma to his voice that makes you want to hear everything he sings, not just the choruses or the higher notes or whatever. It’s all good. This is obviously a guy who really loves his music, as his voice just sounds perfect for what he’s singing over on here – loud, raucous, nifty as hell.

If there are any flaws on here, it’s probably that no one song here is really a standout – but then, there doesn’t have to be. This is an album I can just throw on any time and love from beginning to end. “Twist of Cain” has this great funky groove to it, with a catchy chorus and jagged rhythms I can really dig. “She Rides” is a slow burn that ends up being one of the most initially memorable. “Soul on Fire” has an organ backing up the guitars that makes the whole thing sound absolutely awesome - one of the album's best tracks. Toward the end we sort of streamline out into a gaggle of heavy, driving blues rockers like “Am I Demon,” the psychotic “Mother,” the hyper-catchy “Possession” and the epic “End of Days” that just rock out.

This is just a really solid, enjoyable album. It is exciting, endearing and consistently spirited in delivery, always constantly replayable. If you have a hungering for some great rock music, turn to no other but Danzig and his eponymous debut album. Fuck, this is cool. Now I have to go listen to it again…

Originally written for

Metallica, take notes - 92%

MercyfulSatyr, August 1st, 2009

This is how blues metal should be done. Unlike the crap that infests Load and its similarly flawed sequel, this is actually quality stuff. It’s very oppressive, somewhat occult, and ridiculously charismatic. Danzig wasn’t the original blues metal band (that would be Black Sabbath) but they definitely put their own twisted mark on the genre.

Sporting stage names like Eerie Von and Chuck Biscuits, they make it crystal clear that they’re not exactly the most politically – or religiously – correct band there is, and they further prove that point through demonic riffs coupled with Glenn Danzig’s powerful vocals. The lyrical subject of choice is shock-infested evil, from depictions of incubi and Biblical murder to sexual escapades. This album was marked explicit without a trace of profanity, and that’s saying something.

The musicians are incredible, especially John Christ and Glenn Danzig. The former unearths monstrous riffs from the abyss of Hell, manifesting in such classic compositions as the opening riff to “Twist of Cain” and the immortal “Mother.” The guitar tone is the perfect blend of dark and inspiring, granting power to the riffs as well as the remarkable solos. Meanwhile, the nefarious Danzig runs with the malevolent instrumentation and croons some of the most ingeniously evil lyrics of the eighties. He is the centerpiece of the album, taking the eerie tendencies of the rest of the band and implementing his own immoral capabilities. The rhythm section is capable, but doesn’t really do much but serve its, well, rhythmic purposes.

Among the phenomenal music here, two songs stand head and shoulders above the rest. The opening track is the first of these. “Twist of Cain” describes the murder of Abel in a much more uncouth fashion than the Bible ever dared to. While the actual mythological Cain took his brother’s life out of jealousy and self-induced shame, Danzig prefers to depict him as a Satan-sent instrument of sin, out to shed the blood of the innocent for the brutish pleasure of it. Of course, the latter account leaves a greater impression on the mind, one that overpowers the futile resistance of the listener with morbid curiosity. The song is backed with several amazing riffs, including the intro and chorus line as well as the bridge riff, both of which exude incredible levels of malevolence – and all in all, “Twist of Cain” is probably the most evil track on Danzig’s debut.

The other particularly awesome song is “Mother,” the Danzig piece most people have heard, aware or otherwise. Its instantly recognizable introduction leads into one of Glenn Danzig’s most dramatic performances, where he utilizes moans, low screams, and other vocal techniques to influence the listener into mercilessly banging their head while frightening the impressionable into hiding themselves from the waiting world. “Mother” serves as more of a showcase of Danzig’s vocal prowess – but honestly, even without a band to complement him, he could still capture attention with his voice alone.

Danzig’s debut is an incredible step up from the Misfits and Samhain, the latter especially. His former bands were coldhearted at times, but this album took all the demonic aspects of Glenn Danzig’s older work and stepped it up to a new level. This band would turn to crap by the middle of the next decade, namely when the band’s name ceased to be in the album titles, but even the questionable quality of Danzig’s newer material cannot dull the impact this debut had on the music world.

We all ride at night - 90%

J_Bobao, March 7th, 2009

I first listened to Danzig back in 1999, in my college days… I was already a big metal/heavy rock fan, but have never listened to Danzig. Actually, the final years of the nineties and the beginning of the 21st century weren’t a very pleasant time to be a heavy metal fan. Those days were the days when all the nu/rap metal shit arose to the mainstream. The only “heavy rock” music that you would hear consisted of Korn, Limp Bizkit, and other bands of the genre. It was pathetic listening to some music critics saying that nu-metal was the salvation and future of heavy rock/metal… alongside, other facts contributed to this kind of feeling: let us not forget that Metallica had recently released Load and Reload (the ultimate “sell out” document of the ex-four horsemen), the metal goddess Rob Halford had quitted Judas Priest (although “Jugulator”, with Tim Owens, was the best album of that time, by far, together with “The Chemical Wedding”); Blaze Bailey was the singer for The Maiden; the future of Pantera was pretty uncertain… summarizing, that days were obscure…

In this scenario I decide to look for some old stuff that I had never listened, to regain some confidence in rock ‘n roll, and, for my delightful surprise, I found Danzig… man, what the fuck was that!!!? An ex-punk rocker singer doing what people would generally denominate as “Blues Metal”? Could it be any good in this kind of madness? And the answer is YES my friend! So, fast your seat belts and relax in your sits, because now comes a solid load of heavy rock!

To begin with, I never really liked the “blues metal” term, but, whatever, it doesn’t make any difference. You can try to define Danzig riffs as a kind of “groovier/bluesy Black Sabbath” riffs, but they are not quite that. There’s a moisture of hard/heavy rock, blues, doom, and a little bit of “Manowar attitude” in Danzig songs that make them really hard to categorize within the heavy metal realm. But the essential thing here is that “Danzig I” is gonna blow your fucking head off your mind! It’s a simple, plain and straight king of heavy rock that had never been heard before. The riffs are simple, but heavy and catchy, and very good to bang your head with. The drums and bass lines aren’t complex either, they seem to be made in a way to simple fit in with the guitar riffs. The guitar solos are pretty good too. They’re not extraordinarily technical, fast or anything like that. On the contraire: they’re short, straight, but with a very defined style, that suits perfectly the songs. And, on top of all that, you have Glenn’s vocals… well, you may love them, you may hate them, but you gotta recognize: they’re unique. And, when you wanna make something different from everything that’s been done before, you must be unique. And this “uniqueness” is very present in Glenn’s vocals.

As for the songs considered individually, well, the whole album is a goddamn blast of awesome heavy music. They’re all pretty damn good, no exceptions. You can say that the highlights are “Am I Demon?” (my favourite!), and, of course, Danzig’s universal hit “Mother”. But, said that, there’s only one thing to really be considered: this is an album you gotta absorb in its entirely…

The critics, and a certain number of metalheads, try to diminish the value of Danzig’s music, saying that he’s nothing but a failed tentative of a metallic version of Johnny Cash. Well, FUCK THAT, hahahahaha! In fact, I love heavy metal, and I really like Johnny Cash, so, everyday I thank the devil for blessing us with this “failed tentative”, hehehehe.

After all, “Danzig I” is THE album that gave me the will to rediscover heavy rock/metal. It’s THE album that made me regain my faith in rock 'n roll. So, this put, I can only say: AM I DEMON? NEED TO KNOOOOOOOOWWWW!!!

Danzig Presents: The Ultimate Sex Album! - 92%

Wacke, May 14th, 2008

I've been listening to Danzig for about 2 years now and I gotta say that I totally love the first 4 albums. This one is the best and I think they went down for every album but on the first 4 it only was a little from album to album. I'm also glad that Danzig began to play some heavier music instead of the horror punk he did with The Misfits and Samhain. That's not really my bag...

Anyway, this album features some excellent pieces of "blues metal" as I like to call it. "Twist Of Cain" is an old Samhain song and this version beats the shit out of the original. "Am I Demon" which is my favorite song on this album is driven by a nice guitar riff and has 2 great solos by the excellent guitarist John Christ. "Soul On Fire" and "Mother" are two other great songs and the latter one would eventually become Danzig's biggest hit ever. "End Of Time" is also worth mentioning since it's epic with it's acoustic intro is really nice.

The production could have been better but it was 1988 and it's still good and most of all, it fits the music perfectly. I like the tones that's used for the guitar solos (I'm a freak of guitar solos) and the drums sounds great too.

The cast are doing a great job and Glenn has a great band here that unfortunately left him to rot in the mid 90's. John Christ on guitar and Eerie Von on bass are two hip dudes that can play for real. Chuck Biscuits on drums is an excellent drummer. He's drumming is hard and heavy as fuck! Glenn has, as usual, done a great job with the vocals which sounds like a mix of Elvis Pressley and Jim Morrison.

So finally to my last comments on "Danzig"...

This is an excellent album and pretty revolutionary as well. I've never heard anything like this "Blues Metal". The only song that lacks a little in my opinion is "Possession". It's just not too good.

Oh, another thing too... I wanna score with some sexy babes to this album! I think Glenn knew what he did when he wrote "She Rides"... He did the ultimate sex song and included it on the ultimate sex album!

You Don't Need To Be Heavy To Be Good - 93%

metal_lover123, July 10th, 2007

Nowadays, blues-metal is a hard breed of music to come across, and if you do find it, it's done really, really bad( *ahem, Metallica). But after a while, if your digging that kind of music, your going to come back to Danzig's first album.

Ah, who are we kidding. No one likes blues-metal, mainly because in the very punk-dominated metal scene of today, there's no limit of how heavy you can be. So blues-metallists are basically considered big pussies in the biz today. There, I said it. And while I'm not hating on mathcore or metalcore bands (Miss Machine by The Dillinger Escape Plan is one of my favorite albums), it's good to have some simple METAL. And that's what Danzig brings to the table, or does with their first album, before Glenn Danzig searched for his inner Nine Inch Nails in later albums. But never mind that: this album rocks. And this is where the review really, I guess, begins.

The songs are not diverse. You're not going to here epic violins, flute solos, or brief breaks of jazz-influenced drum soloing. This is rock'n'roll as it was meant to be played: hard, fast, riff-y, and powerful. Most of the time you can't even tell the difference between the ten tracks here, and the riffs are as simple as they get. "Mother", the big MTV hit back in the day and mainly the largest reason why anyone gives a damn about Danzig anymore (besides the fact he was in one of the greatest hardcore bands ever, but that's besides the point. No one say Samhain inspired them to play music, do they?) is the only track not completely driven by the same bluesy riff the entire album, but it's also the best song on the album. "Am I Demon" and "Twist of Cain" are good, solid songs as well, but the best real example of blues and metal mixed correctly is in the track "Evil Thing". It's driving and has the same sonic heaviness and satanic darkness that the rest of the album has, but also has great blues guitar riffs, there just simply detuned.

So while Danzig may not have the most blast beats (it has none, by the way) the most screamed vocals, or the most satanic lyrics, but it's definitely more kickass than most of the overblown theatricity in black metal music today. It just shows that you don't need to scream to be really heavy. Oh, and if you want to make a blues-metal album? Just listen closely to this album. Maybe Metallica should of done some research before they made Load.

Bluesy. Doomy. Good. - 86%

DawnoftheShred, June 2nd, 2007

Long have I boycotted Danzig's solo material. I never liked his Misfits output (primarily because of his vocals) and I've always found "Mother" entirely overrated. But I'd never sat and listened to a full album of his, so imagine my surprise when I found myself wrecking my neck within the first minutes of his eponymous debut. The guitar tone isn't heavily overdriven, the drums and bass are fairly simple, and the music has much more in common with classic rock than with classic metal, so why does this sound so fucking heavy?

I'll tell you why. It's because guitarist John Christ is one of those killer players that have found a perfectly vicious way to channel the minimalistic riff effectiveness and uncompromisingly heavy tone of Tony Iommi. His playing has that old-school bluesy vibe, but with an equally present doomy vibe that propels this album just out of the rock 'n' roll realm and into the metal one. This is metal with true groove, quite unlike those washed-up Pantera wannabes. No saturated distortion, no double bass pedals, no tough-guy screaming. Just pure metal and all that is holy (or rather, un-holy, considering the devilish lyrics). Oh, and Christ's guitar solos are fantastic, when he chooses to grace us with them of course.

So as for Danzig himself, he's actually quite good. He's got a Rob Zombie-ish thing going for him occasionally, but most of the time he's the metal equivalent of Elvis. And heavy metal Elvis pulls his weight, taking every note he sings and running with it, never sounding off or out of tune for a single moment. Take "She Rides" for example. Man, he really goes all out on that one. His vocals are so good here that it's made "Mother" a listenable song for me. Additional kudos to the drumming on here. So purposely simple, yet so damned effective. Love the bells on "End of Time" too.

So check this thing out if you haven't already. It has made me a believer, so I confidently pass on my knowledge of its ownage. It's the least I can do after so many years of Danzig bashing.

Highlights: "Twist of Cain," "Am I Demon," "End of Time," "Evil Thing"

Certainly Not the Band's Best, but Enjoyable. - 80%

woeoftyrants, February 18th, 2007

After leaving The Misfits in the early 80's, Glenn Danzig struck out on his own to push himself into darker, heavier musical territory. A collaborative 4 years or so of writing efforts leave us with the debut album: A brooding, primitive hard rock/metal hybrid that took accessible music into more obscure territory.

Danzig's first album takes a basic hard rock formula injected chock full of old school rock'n'roll leanings and twists the songs into something so unbelievably sinister. Glenn's bellowing vocals, significantly stronger and clearer than his days in The Misfits, power the songs through the subdued verses and balls-out choruses of the famous opener "Twist of Cain," which utilizes vocal layering in a tasteful way. The hit song "Mother" stands as a rock/metal classic, and with good reason; the fearless chorus shines as one of Glenn's best vocal performances.

However, this album is by no means clear cut the whole way through; some room is left for slight experimentation. "Possession," one of the more obscure cuts, slows things down in a very eerie way by starting off with a mix of dissonant piano notes and sound effects before launching full-force into a verse with a supremely evil riff, followed by many key changes throughout the chorus and thereafter. Danzig and the band twist through a myriad of layered vocal tracks, subtle keyboards, and quieter, darker passages on songs like
"She Rides" and "End of Time"; something that would later become a staple of the Danzig sound. The more progressive touches only accentuate the bravado force that drive the song structures.

John Christ's guitar work propels the album's power, even with a questionable, seemingly underdone guitar distortion. The aforementioned "Possession" features riffs so evil that even some black metal can't stand to it, and the memorability of songs like "Am I Demon" and the shuffling "She Rides" is something that ranks along the best of Danzig's
later works. Most of the playing techniques are quite simplistic and use power chords to the highest extent. I think, though, that the general background role of the guitars helps to add power to Glenn's performance, and helps to put more emphasis on the vocal patterns and the risque, evil lyrics. However, John has never been one to stay in the background. Shredding solos come through on rippers like "Mother", and the majority of album's other leads are packed to the brim with bravado and old-school rock
rebellion. Some moments are altogether different, such as the whisper-like beginning of "End of Time."

Chuck's drum work is bare-boned and minimalistic, and serve only the purpose of moving the songs from one phase to the next. There are not many fills or outrageous things seen here, and his playing skills would later improve upon subsequent Danzig releases. The drum sound itself kind of falters the album; the bass drum, while audible, has only a flat thud to push the rhythms. The snare drum has a boxy sound to it, almost like it wasn't tuned properly. When this comes together with the guitars, it almost sounds
amateur; but the band somehow manage to pull through the whole album without sounding that way, probably due to the ambitious songwriting and sheer power of the compositions.

While certainly not Danzig's most progressive or best album, the self-titled debut still stands as a wholly enjoyable listen. Although the seemingly limp production holds a few things back, the band's knack for solid musicianship, great songwriting, and for making some of the darkest hard rock you've ever heard makes this album stand the test of time.

Highlights: "Twist of Cain", "Am I Demon", "Mother", "End of Time."

One solid chunk of Heavy Blues. - 82%

erickg13, November 17th, 2006

Glenn Danzig, he’s a bit of a musical madman. From his punk roots with the Misfits, and his transition metal band Samhain, he has always drummed to his own beat. So it was no surprise for him to storm into the metal spectrum at some point of his career.

So what’s his interpretation of metal? Simple, take his Jim Morrison on steroids voice and put them over AC/DC-esque heavy blues riffs. That formula is used throughout the whole album, to a surprisingly good result.

Backing Glenn Danzig is the all-star backing band (albeit a bit of a b-level one), all being notable members in either notable punk bands or previous bands fronted by Danzig. Despite some of the punk credentials the band sounds through and through a hard rock band. Also the production, done by Rick Rubin, is top notch. The production is centered around Danzig’s voice, but it doesn’t mean that the guitar, bass, and drums were passed over. John Christ’s guitar work is solid, but nothing special and reminded me of the style of AC/DC’s axe-man Angus Young. The bass by Eerie Von, is heavy but is not a driving force and is more to complete the sound. Last but not least, Chuck Biscuits work on the drums is very reminiscent of the style of AC/DC’s classic drummer Phil Rudd.

Besides the hit in “Mother”, this album has a lot of simple but solid songs. My favorites being the opener “Twist of Cain”, ”She Rides”, “Am I Demon”, “Possession”, and of course the hit in “Mother”. Though its good enough were you could listen the whole way through, the albums lack of musical change from the straight ahead blues, it becomes tedious and bit boring at parts.

Overall, this is a solid, but not great debut album by Danzig. Fans of Danzig will like this album, and there’s a lot to like about this album. Fans of blues driven rock will enjoy this especially AC/DC and Black Sabbath fans.

Quick Aside that has nothing to do with the review overall: If the lyrics listed all the grunts and moans (“ooh”, “woooah”, “yeaaa”) made by Danzig, they might need at least two extra pages for the lyrics.

A Total Departure For Glenn - 70%

corviderrant, September 25th, 2004

At the time this came out in 1989, I didn't know what to expect when I bought this, but it's a pretty decent solo debut, musically. The production and packaging is absolute shite, though--looks and sounds more like a demo than anything else with its low-budget approach, and for a a big-budget label like Def American (what American Recordings was called at the time), it's disappointing in that respect. The guitar and drum sounds are thin, weak, and cardboardy, and the bass is nonexistent, all in a very 70s sort of way, indulging Rick Rubin's production fetish of "everything as dry as possible, no ambience". This is what made "South of Heaven" awful for me, the fact that Rubin killed their sound and how.

Everybody knows "Twist of Cain" by now, and of course "Mother", but there are some other good tunes on here too, "She Rides" has a dark, slinky/sexy feel (popular with strippers, this one is, I'm told) with some nice vocal harmonies on the bridge, for example. "Am I Demon" is a chunky little number that is sabotaged by the non-production job (the guitar is totally castrated, and renders what might have been a powerful riff into tripe), but still has great guitar playing from John Christ and a particularly powerful vocal performance from Glenn. "Soul on Fire" has a creepy, hair-raising intro, but goes from there into a pretty standard bluesy rock tune. Everything else ranges from decent to 'meh', and as we all know, Glenn has this obsession with writing these terribly cheesy lyrics that have gotten worse since the days of the Misfits and Samhain (back then they were at least decent). Yes, Glenn, we know you're eviller than evil...wonder what Vivian Campbell has to say about that, eh? (For those who don't know, the North Side Kings' singer was not the first to deck Danzig's pint-sized arse; Def Leppard/former Dio guitarist Vivian Campbell did it first years ago--he may be in a shitty band, but he's still an Irishman, folks!)

This is good for completists more than anything else, as while it's good, it's far from as great as some would have you believe. Glenn has done better before this and since, and those are the albums worth listening to. This one, ehhh...good but not great.

Vocal Showcase; boring and unfulfilling - 60%

OlympicSharpshooter, August 6th, 2004

It's really amazing how Glenn manages to make songs that are five minutes max seem about four minutes too long. 'm a huge fan of Glenn's voice, and when he hits he hits hard. Man though, when he doesn't he misses by lightyears here. I'll say flat out I'm not overfond of the blues, but I am very fond of Billy Idol... err, Glenn Danzig's voice and I remain very much enamoured with classics like "Going Down to Die", "Twist of Cain", and of course "Mother". However, a lot of these album tracks are too lame for their own good.

Furthermore, the man is a rip-off artist. "The Hunter" is a traditional blues song that Glenn apparently wrote at the age of four as he claims to have composed everything here. He changed one word in the first verse, and the second follows the same vocal melody. It's amazing how you're allowed to blatantly steal in the blues, yet in other genres you get crucified for it. Glenn makes great use of this by just out and out pillaging throughout the album, at times even resembling Led Zeppelin, something that is a capital crime in my book.

Glenn does possess an amazing voice in spite, this dark romantic quality that is shared by few outside of perhaps Nick Cave. He manages to imbue these songs with a sense of tragedy and frustrated lust, elevating horribly pedestrian lyrics and dead-identical songs beyond the abyss most of them deserve. I mean, it's hard to conceive of a more faceless backing band, their sheer generic playing (forced by Glenn's self-serving style) making it almost like lounge metal or olden days rock, back when you had a singer and a half writhing about front and center while the band just provides a soundtrack to his exhortations.

There's a smokey swing to songs like "She Rides" that gives you a taste of what Danzig might've accomplished (and hell, maybe he eventually did, I haven't heard the other records) had he had made better songs and been granted a more dynamic production. I recall Danzig mentioning that Rick Rubin purposely didn't produce it much which is what he was looking for, but all it accomplishes is making a drab, black album full to the brim of Glenn's unique character and little else.

Glenn is a world class singer, the only metal crooner in existence, a man gifted with a sorrowful moan that automatically makes you take this ghoulish pap a little more seriously, to imagine that it has a bit more to it, that there is a real dark philosophy to it. So, it's even more disappointing when you realize their ain't much to it. This album goes down better if it's taken not as a metal album but as a classic bar band soundtrack with evil window-dressing, because very little of it rocks that hard and even less of it in a way that could be considered headbanging.

Stand-Outs: "Twist of Cain", "Mother", "Soul on Fire"

The One That Started It All - 95%

Metal_Scythe, April 26th, 2003

The debut of Glenn Danzig's 3rd and current band, very dark, melodic bluesy type sound. This is the essential Danzig album, if you don't like this one you won't like any of his other albums. This album never gets old, John Christ's guitar brilliance is in full force here. Tracks like the epic Twist of Cain (the guitar solo here never ceases to amaze me), Not Of This World, Not Of This World, and Am I Demon are just a few of the tracks that showcase John's talent. Glenn's vocal diversity is clearly evident on just about every track, the combination of Glenn and John is truely amazing. If you are a new fan of Danzig this should be the first album you purchase, and don't fuckin buy this album just because you like "Mother", in fact Mother is my least favorite track on this album, its got energy, but it just bores me. Stand out tracks are, Twist of Cain, Am I Demon, Possession, Not of This World, and The Evil Thing. Danzig are one of the most underated bands of the 90's, defiantly check them out if you liked the Misfits, Samhain, or anything with dark but melodic feel to it.