(5/10) The announcement of a new Danzig album always leads to some excitement. Glenn Danzig has a proven record, having been part of Misfits as well as releasing brilliant solo albums. Songs like “Sistinas” and “Dirty Black Summer” are classics in metal and inspiration for many bands. Over the last years the quality of songs unfortunately couldn't handle a comparison with the earlier days even though “Deth Red Sabaoth” included again some better material.
"Black Laden Crown" is Danzig 11th album and what catches your eye first is the artwork. It looks very simple and is the weakest one that ever found the way on a Danzig release. But let's not focus too much on the visuals, it's the songs that count.
Unfortunately I have to say, that "Black Laden Crown" doesn't belong to the masterpieces in Danzig's discography either when it comes to music. The first two songs, the title track and "Eyes Ripping Fire", miss any excitement. It feels like driving in third gear with the hand-breaks still on. And if this would not be enough the tunes sound very basic when it comes to production.
After becoming a bit sleepy after these two tracks it's Tommy Victor's guitar that wakes you up with a Metallica-like riff on "Devil on Hwy 9". As said, the riff was taken almost one on one from Metallica, but the song itself belongs to the better ones on this longplayer.
You could get the impression that things get better the deeper you get into the track list. The grooving "Last Ride" proves that Danzig has this old spirit and also "The Witching Hour" slowly finds its way right into ears and mind.
It's a pity that the following songs can't keep the level up high. Songs like "Skulls and Daisies" feel bloodless and uninspired.
I really like the band, the earlier releases and Danzig's great voice, but this longplayer is the first real disappointment this year. It comes with some tunes that are OK, songs in which the early Danzig days shimmer through. But all in all the album contains too much average tracks and the few good ones don't compensate for it.
- Black Laden Crown
- Eyes Ripping Fire
- Devil on Hwy 9
- Last Ride
- The Witching Hour
- But a Nightmare
- Skulls & Daisies
- Blackness Falls
- Pull the Sun
Label: AFM Records
Genre: Dark Metal
Release Date EU: May 26th, 2017