Danzig - Circle Of Snakes review


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Band: Danzig
Album: Circle Of Snakes
Release date: August 2004

01. Wotans Procession
02. Skincarver
03. Circle Of Snakes
04. 1000 Devils Reign
05. Skull Forrest
06. Hellmask
07. When We Were Dead
08. Night, Besodom
09. My Darkness
10. Netherbound
11. Black Angel, White Angel

Listening to this album made me think: "Has the great Danzig discovered feng shui or something, and with his stereotypical brusque machismo failed to quite grasp what its all about"? It really seems like it. Danzig discovered yin and yang and tried to use this idea in his latest album ie. he made a record that is half utter crap and half almost perfect music.

The Danzig Yin:
The first half of the album is extremely poor. With the exception of "Skincarver", which sounds like Danzig singing to Prong's "Broken Peace", the first 5 songs we hear represent the same, appalingly low level of "I, Luciferi" - rather inane vocals and inappropriate vocal effects, forced melodies and generally drab songwriting. First off, there is the obligatory disposable and pointless album intro. The title track and "1000 Devils Reign" wouldnt be so bad actually, if only Danzig didnt sing like a drunken hooligan cheering for his favorite team in them. "Skull Forrest is possibly the worst song Danzig has recorded so far, attempting to sound atmospheric and sinister but managing only to sound lame.

The Danzig Yang:
Nonetheless, the moment "Hellmask" kicks in, the quality suddenly jumps up very significantly. It is a very good, thrashy number, quite fast and brutal, especially for Danzig. "When We Were Dead" is basically the same song as "Skull Forrest"; however, it actually succeeds where the other song failed so miserably. "Night, Besodom" is the best song on the album, but its no secret that Danzig is at his best when he does the stripped down blues. "Netherbound" has a superb Helmet'esque riff and a great melody in the refrain. Finally, "Black Angel, While Angel" is sang by Danzig in his most convincing croon and is yet another song with a suberb riff and melody in the refrain. Truly, if only there were more songs like this on the album...

Something must also be said about the performance levels on this album. You can definitely hear that Danzig's age is getting to him and although his vocals on the second part of the album are consistently good/excellent, one can hear that he has to force himself. Tommy Victor is an unbelievable guitar player and his guitar tone is the only thing that actually prevents me from skipping the 'yin part' of the album althogether when listening to it. The rhythm section is very apt and definitely more into it than on Danzig's last album.

Now then, yin and yang isnt actually about making an album that is half crap and half great - its about harmony and not highlighting the differences. For this reason, Danzig gets a rather low score for this album, even though half of it really is quite phenomenal. I am not sure if this album should be recommended or not. After all, paying good money for only half an album worth of good music is not something that everyone would want to do....


Written on 28.11.2004 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.

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