Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Danzig Blackacidevil (1996): 25%

Today I learned about a phenomenon called the “Streisand effect.” It means that whenever some juicy piece of gossip or controversial happening is intentionally downplayed by the person it concerns, that action usually results in the media and public at large wanting to know more about it. In simpler economic terms, when the supply of details are taken away or are few to begin with, the demand for knowledge about it increases. And I’m guessing what lured you here in the first place is the prominent display of this album’s incredibly low percentage. I also just realized that in my attempt to discourage you, the audience, from pursuing this album, I may be inadvertently arousing your curiosity for just how bad it is. The reason this review totals over 1000 words is so that I will cover the entire spectrum of this album so you won’t have any desire to listen to it. Ultimately, can I prove the Streisand effect wrong?

After the dissolution of his old band that featured talented musicians, Glenn Danzig sought a different musical direction with his next album after the somewhat ho-hum heavy metal songs of 4p. But when I put this in my CD player and started listening to Danzig’s attempt at an industrial metal album, 4p now sounds like a god-given swan song to the good times that was the old Danzig band.

On Blackacidevil, Danzig is reinventing himself in the most literal sense; so much so that it doesn’t sound like a Danzig album at all. Metalheads the world over can recognize his voice in an instant, but Danzig’s distinct vocal style hardly rises at all, and is instead drowned down below the swamp of viscous industrial fuzz that coats the album. In fact, it would make more sense to have a band called Blackacidevil release a tribute album titled Danzig. At least then we’d have an explanation as to why this album sounds so underdeveloped and poorly executed. You also know this album is in trouble when the tracks are about two minutes too long a piece, and most of them begin with the same electronic stuttering.

I’m not sure why Disney (ironically, the parent company of Hollywood Records, who financed and distributed this album) bothered putting up a stink with Danzig’s liking towards satanic imagery and other death-related themes in the first place. It’s not as if we can understand what Danzig is saying on this album anyway, but it doesn’t help that we have a lyric sheet to guide us through the songs anyway (lyrical detail later). This is another classic case of the Streisand effect where if Disney didn’t lift a finger to publically denounce it and drop Danzig from the Hollywood Records label, I’m sure it would have gone totally unnoticed to the point where even Wikipedia wouldn’t know about this album. From there, I wouldn’t know about the album, and you wouldn’t know about the album either. See how this works?

As we skim through the credits, we can be assured that this is all Danzig’s fault. He is credited as the sole producer of the album as well as the performer for most of the so-called instruments that are featured within. As always, the lyrics detail Danzig’s ongoing obsession with the occult and all of the death, demons, sex and satanic allegories that come with it. This time, it would have been for the best if Danzig decided to not include a lyric sheet. Here’s why:

“Girl I’m gonna make you come/ Free your body with my gun” (repeated about 5 times throughout “7th House”)

“Your heart stops dead/ you have no pulse” (Yep, that’s how the heart works, all right)

“Like your floating on a river of pain” (Apparently people were making these grammatical errors long before the advent of texting)

“Rape the garden of infernal delights/ Wrap the snake in between your legs” (I can’t tell if this is a biblical criticism or another one of Danzig’s fantasies about the eating of the forbidden fruit with sexual overtones).

And it just goes on from there.

However, if there is one note of praise I have to offer this album is that at least Danzig himself is willing to defend it. Too many awesome bands and artists have released works that even they aren’t proud of, and when they go on record acknowledging just that, then the public removes all doubt that it’s a crappy album or decreases their sentimental value for it. From what I understand of the information I’ve read on this album, Danzig created it mostly to test who his core audience is. But to take some of that praise away, he shrugged off the “Mother” fans who would rather hear more heavy metal from Danzig than an album like this. Even at the lowest points of the first era of the Danzig band, they had actual songs and structure working for them. Here, everything seems slapped together in the most careless sense. Of course the best track here is the Black Sabbath cover of “Hand of Doom,” where we can actually hear Jerry Cantrell’s guitar contributions (he’s featured on two other tracks, but where his signature guitar sounds come in, I do not know).

My musical weakness has always been for industrial music, mostly because I have always expressed interest whenever musicians and machines compete with each other to make inhuman sounding records that have human qualities shining through the cracks. Now, my interest in this genre has been shaken thanks to this lowly piece of “art.” Hopefully by now you have resisted the Streisand effect, and will forget you even read this review.

Music: 2
Lyrics: 3
Length: 2
Meaning: 2
Significance: 3
Overall Impression: 3 

No comments:

Post a Comment