In October, 1994, Danzig followed up ‘Danzig III : How The Gods Kill’ with their last album featuring Rick Rubin as producer.
Between these two albums Glenn Danzig released a surprisingly strong classical solo album Black Aria and the succesful E.P. Thrall : DemonSweatLive. Why the E.P. was relatively so well selling I cannot figure out as it is far from being the bands strongest release.
Chuck Biscuits was fed up of Rick Rubin’s ultra clean sound and the band had been drifting into a dirgier sound since their debut album.
Glenn Danzig co-produced the album and one senses the band were reaching a conclusion of sorts. It was to be the last Danzig album featuring Eerie Von, John Christ and Chuck Biscuits. The band were clearly getting more experimental whilst continuing music of raw power and veiled threat.
Brand New God continues the formula of Danzig III. A rougher sound is apparent and the track has a lot of power, drive and those great vocals.
Little Whip with its doom laden intro is evocative and moody. After almost two full minutes the build explodes into a swirling heavy sound. Quite glorious.
Cantspeak is a Danzig classic. Backwards guitar loops take the sound to a new place for the outfit. Lyrically the song attacks censorship, all of their previous albums had parental advisory stickers enforced despite no profanity at all.
Going Down To Die is another robust song. Dipping and thrusting it angles off with guitar solos and fills its 5 minute span well.
Until You Call On The Dark is a move away from the ‘Rick Rubin’ sound. The guitar and drums are muddier than ever before merging in a heavy sound.
Dominion starts soft and builds to what is a very accessible rock sound.
Bringer Of Death with its war and death imagery offers shades of punk past. Winding guitar launches what becomes a full on sonic attack. Lulls offer near chants from Glenn Danzig before the speed racks right up with accompanying punk hollars.
Sadistikal takes the band into new territory altogether. Sadistic sounds of real menace and threat now bleed out of the speakers – no profanity but the song drips with real evil. The song could sit on a Samhain album comfortably and indicates the industrial sound they would offer on the next album proper. The video, below, was never given an official release and it’s easy to see why (Merry Christmas by the way!). It’s a total lost classic.
Son Of The Morning Star returns to a strong formulaic format. Minimal and raw the song showcases the singers great vocals.
I Don’t Mind The Pain builds to a crescendo and fits well even if it does not really stand out.
Stalker Song carries not as much threat as the title suggests. Musically standard it is no better and no worse than other Danzig slightly lesser songs. In its final moments John Christ almost challenges Glenn Danzig with his guitar almost taking centre stage – almost.
Let It Be Captured features the guitar, forwards, from one of the albums real stand out songs ‘Cantspeak’. The slow burning build erupts and the album is over.
Danzig 4 marked the end of an era for the band. Tension is almost palpable between the group (and producer) and maybe this is to do with the surprise success if their preceeding E.P. Glenn Danzig wanted the album to have no words on the sleeve, commercial suicide maybe but a mark of an artist that has never really got the credit he deserves…