Glenn "Mother"fucking DANZIG; what the hell are you doing behind that mixing table? 5 years […]
By Julius "Dreadheart" Mikkelä
December 20, 2015
Danzig - Skeletons album cover

Glenn "Mother"fucking DANZIG; what the hell are you doing behind that mixing table?

5 years following the release of the solid but not spectacular "Deth Red Sabaoth", arguably the stupidest spelled album name of all time, DANZIG returns with a passion project in form of a full-length album filled exclusively with covers. And while the heart's in all the right places for these obscure treasures from old school heavy-lifters like BLACK SABBATH, ELVIS PRESLEY and ZZ TOP, the sound just isn't.

So first off, if you - for some inexplicable reason - have no idea who or what DANZIG is, let me give you the rundown: Glenn Danzig, the obvious soul, spine and front of this band, was the lead singer in the legendary MISFITS before departing and forming SAMHAIN, a Metallic Deathrock-inspired Horror Punk band, which evolved into the Bluesy Doom-esque band you're reading about now, DANZIG, after the legendary Rick Rubin (you know, the guy who's been called "the most important producer of the last 20 years") all but forced it to happen back in '87. And thank Lucifer he did, because if you've somehow missed it, DANZIG's debut album is one of the greatest Heavy Metal albums of all time.

And on that note, if you haven't heard DANZIG before: Do NOT listen to this album, under any circumstance! I'll get to why in a bit, but first off just do what you should've been doing the last 20 years and go listen to the first 3 DANZIG albums and come back once you have. You'll thank me once you have, because this.. Is not on-par with this band's previous full-lengths.

Initially, before actually listening to it, one might suspect it to be the fault of the original songs, or at the very least, how they're interpreted on this album. But the opposite's actually true: The songs are what "saves" this album from damnation. Glenn, true to his word on interviews regarding this album, really fuels all his love into these strong, borderline-legendary songs and manage to interpret them in a very strong and enjoyable DANZIG-esque fashion - so much in fact that you could mistake them for original songs; a feat not many acts can pull off.

Rather, as my initial line gave away, what brings this album down is the mixing: It's quite frankly horrendous. And while some songs are distinctly better off than others, like "Satan" and "Let Yourself Go", even at its best the mixing of this album is lacking to say the least, with the otherwise excellent vocals sounding like they were recorded separately in a basement, and the guitars are so distorted (in a bad way) that you can barely get anything from them. Recordings like these are of the like you expect from demo recordings, independent debut EPs, and - and here's the reason for this whole mess - underground Punk music.

Yup, you heard me: Staying "true" to his origins, Danzig has produced this album without the help of Rick Rubin (who admittedly was starting to get pushed aside on "Deth Red Sabaoth", to that album's clear loss) and ventured back to his MISFITS and SAMHAIN roots of distortion, lack of equalizing, and excessive noise hiding otherwise fantastic music.

And while fans of this style of (lack of) producing music will surely rejoice at this, the remaining vast majority of us who like our music well-produced are left standing shaking our heads at an album with a solid core, great songs, a great performance - but a sound mixing so bad it all flatlines to painfully average.

5 / 10


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"Skeletons" Track-listing:

1. Devil's Angels (Davie Allan & The Arrows)
2. Satan (Paul Wibier)
3. Let Yourself Go (Elvis Presley)
4. N.I.B. (Black Sabbath)
5. Lord of the Thighs (Aerosmith)
6. Action Woman (The Litter)
7. Rough Boy (ZZ Top)
8. With a Girl Like You (The Troggs)
9. Find Somebody (The Young Rascals)
10. Crying in the Rain (The Everly Brothers)

Danzig Lineup:

Glenn Danzig - Vocals, Piano, Guitars; Bass, Drums, Producer, Mix Engineer
Tommy Victor - Lead Guitar, Bass
Johnny Kelly - Drums

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