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Tony C. (fireheart) from SN BERNRDNO, CA
Reviewed on 2/16/2008...
This a lot diffirent then the previous Danzig albums. Rather then a heavy dark hard rock style with blues influence, this is a heavy dark moody industrial tinged album. Great album and my favorite by Danzig.
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The Danzig you don't know
A. Schroeder | Columbus, OH | 07/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is not the Danzig you know and love/hate.
All the original members were on board for this one, but the results were the most progressive sound the band had prior to the electronica days. Yes, there are still Meatloaf Morrison vocal moments, and Devil Girl laments...But the flavor is a far more mature, almost Johnny Cash like somberness.
Glenn's singing ranges from near whispers, to what could be called "pretty," and back to the familiar power we all know. This is also the first time I can remember him using vocal distortion; a very un-Danzig concept for those familiar with his older stuff.
The band also seems committed to a somewhat different style on this outing. Backwards tracks and an almost acoustic flavor peppers the most diverse guitar work found in the band's catalogue. Chuck Biscuits must have finally been given free rein to drum as intricately and creatively as he wished. The result is almost tonal. Drummers take note.
Fans of the old style need not fear though, if there's anything Glenn Danzig knows how to do, it's make a rocker. Mixed in with slower songs sung from the perspective of a stalker, masochist, and Satanist, there's still plenty of the classic thundering action to be had. But it's those "other" type tracks that stand out. I tested my judgment by sneaking one of them onto a mix cd for my (normally eye-rolling) wife, and she didn't even know it was a Glenn production. Score one for the big guy.
This cd is definitely worth a spin if you want to hear something a little left of Danzig central.
The Best Danzig album you aren't listening to
Joseph P. Hodgson | 01/27/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The great thing about mp3 players is that everything you own is in your pocket, which allows you to get re-acquainted with old friends. Danzig 4p has been that for me for a couple of weeks now. Mind you, I always enjoyed the record but while listening to it on the train, or just riding in the car, I seem to pick up on the things I overlooked. It is a remarkably textured and atmospheric record. It's really quite bold when one considers the circumstances surrounding its release. This was the first album following the success of "Mother" and the record executives were hoping to cash in. Danzig records sold pretty well and no one was going hungry, but they were hardly mainstream. Some artists would be content to ride the wave, but Glenn Danzig wasn't satisfied to just re-make another "Mother."
All of the Danzig records are unique, but 4p was definitely the black sheep. Danzig III gave the band a more sinister, dark edge that was unmistakably heavy metal in its origins. Danzig 4p is even more dark, more dense, and more bleak which was not typical for Danzig. There are lots of low notes and quiet moments on the record and the band doesn't play it safe. It would be hard for someone to appreciate without listening to all the works that preceded it, but I personally experienced it as raw as possible. You see, Danzig 4p was my first Danzig record. I was a fan of The Misfits going in and knowing that band was long since broken-up, wanted to see what Glenn Danzig was up to. I was completely turned-off at first, but kept coming back. I eventually bought up the rest of the Danzig catalog hoping to find that fast-paced punk rock attitude of The Misfits but never quite did. I ended up really getting into Danzig of course, but 4p still took some time to come around.
The album opens up with the fastest, heavyest Danzig song composed. It opens with just a ringing, slightly distorted, open guitar note with Danzig talking over it ("I am a walking, screaming Hell/A thing of torture to behold...") before exploding into a pure speed metal, blast beat induced madness to breaks down into a slow, Sabbath-like interlude before reverting back to the manic pace to close out. Its harsh, gritty, and bold. The only song really similar to it in the Glenn Danzig back catalog would be The Misfits song Earth A.D. Danzig, the band, had done heavy before, but usually with melody. This song, "Brand New God," almost abandons all notion of melody and stands up to punch you in the face. And its also the ultimate red herring. The album does have more heavy moments (particularly in the song "Bringer of Death") but not much. The song runs over into track two, "Little Whip," which begins with Danzig singing over a slowly thumping bass drum detailing a relationship that clearly consists of bondage, before it explodes into a wailing chorus and maintains a fast tempo for the remainder. The texture of the song is thick, and during the quiet intro pops and static can be heard simulating vinyl. The guitar playing is loose and the drumming ruthless. Drummer Chick Biscuits really shines for the whole record, but this song may be the best showcase for his talents.
Its with track three that the album begins to get more honest, more experimental. The track, "Cantspeak," contains no natural guitar track. The guitar is actually the album's closing track, "Let it be Captured," played backwards and looped. Danzig uses his softest singing voice for the whole song, it never gets too loud, which is like velvet. Danzig is a crooner often compared with Jim Morrison. When he yells, particularly on this record, he'll often employ what is called the chainsaw effect which comes from deep within the throat (some fans affectionately refer to this voice as Danzig's "Cookie Monster" voice). The chorus on "Cantspeak" is sung through an old-fashioned microphone giving it a thick coat of distortion. The song is about feeling depressed and helpless in the face of the world's problems (the video contains numerous political clips and images) and touches on suicide, a strong departure for subject matter on a Danzig song (which often project strength, anger). Danzig had done some ballads previous exposing a softer side, but this one just feels different. It carries on into the next song "Going Down to Die," perhaps Danzig's most powerful vocal performance up to this point (at least until track 12). The song is slow with a big chorus and somber verse. It contains images of one man's journey into Hell, leaving all behind.
I don't want to go track by track which is why I'll skip ahead to track six, "Dominion," perhaps Danzig's most underrated. Its another slow starter and we have some piano strikes splashed in for color. The chorus borders on pop in its catchiness, but is only used twice in the song, giving the listener just a taste of its appeal. It presents an interesting parallel to the song's subject matter, which is basically the protagonist turning his back on a doomed lover.
One of the my favorite tracks appears on the second act, the single "I Don't Mind the Pain." It has a plucky sounding guitar in the opening part of the song with a tribal kind of drum beat with Danzig crooning over it. The drums kick it into a higher gear after the first verse as the vocals become appropriately louder, defiant even. The song throws a surprise second chorus at the listener that is effectively catchy. It clashes with the rest of the song, but in a good way, which is the best way I can explain it. The album's closing track is a thing of beauty, the power ballad "Let it be Captured." It starts off as a quiet piano-driven ballad with a gentle guitar riff. It's almost a typical Danzig ballad, until the second act where the power comes in. Yes, this album relies o a lot of quiet to loud contrasts within many songs, but this one erupts but still maintains its soft tone. Danzig cuts lose on vocals, wailing "Let it be captured - in my heart!" until it all just stops and allows your heart rate to settle down. It is his best vocal performance to date. In fact, the whole album features Glenn Danzig's most dynamic vocals and really places added emphasis on them. His vocals were always the main attraction for the band, there just isn't anyone comparable in the metal genre, but with this album its emphasized. Which is impressive, considering this album is probably guitarist John Christ's best work, as well as the aforementioned drumming of Biscuits. The album actually has one more track, the hidden track "Invocation," sometimes referred to as "Demon's Call." The only instrument used is an old organ. Danzig's vocals are heavily layered and off-timed to give them an echo and chant quality. The song is actually a hymn. It's not the type of song most people would want to listen to over and over, but it is pretty cool and a classic example of the hidden bonus track, something all but extinct in today's music.
Well there it is, my thorough yet not thorough enough, examination of Danzig 4p. I find the album to be a great ride, beginning to end. Yes the tone of the album is quite gloomy, but I don't mind gloom if its done well and doesn't feel forced. It helps that the subject matter is never whiney or feels trivial. The bleak tracks just sound like someone's bad day while others convey perhaps a hidden desperation or longing for something more. Only Glenn Danzig could confirm this, but it does seem like its his most personal work to date, and to use the word again, vulnerable. There isn't a bad song on the album (the track "Sadistikal" is not really a song, more like an intermission) and there's enough variety that it never drags on. Without the bonus track, the album's run time eclipses the fifty minute mark which to me is the perfect album length. Just a great album."