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by Martin Popoff

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Fresh Metal

Danzig - 777: I Luciferi

Despite a growing cadre of naysayers (saying nay mainly to Glenn's increasingly surly attitude with and through the press like a lance), Danzig continues to confront metal with sounds that are engagingly traditional while simultaneously wholly the domain of Glenn. Very weird, but through that claustrophobic defino, Danzig have also managed to make very different albums each time out, this one, if comparatives be ventured, a cross between the compact heaviness of 6 and the organic slap of 4p, far and away my favourite of the catalogue, one accurately and perceptively considered more of a "vocals" album by estranged guitarist John Christ. The beauty of the album is its tones, all of which can be heard on cloak of darkness ballad Dead Inside, the guitars sounding homemade, the drums sounding punk rock and doom at once, dead and oh so lively. And then of course there's Glenn, who has turned in a chilling batch of lyrics, despite the camp graphics and playful typestyles. Danzig is one angry dude, and one gets the creepy back-chill that once this album's tour is over, he will use those big gardening gloves to render bite-size his expendable, anonymous, and frankly doomed doom band. And if you haven't enjoyed the inky blackness of the thing enough yet, there is of course the fact that you are being force-fed all this kaleidoscopic all colours evil by an incredibly talented and blessed vocalist, Danzig using his Golem-given skills to sardonic, laconic, perhaps occasionally comic effect, over a bunch of immediate songs that are right there fast and steadfast in the front row.
Rating 8

Dead Meadow - Howls From The Hills

Man, I so want to like these guys. That band shot is worth the price of admission alone, and then value vaults with the otherworldly nature lyrics, a set of poems that wander disquieted through er, dead meadows of all sorts in all sorts of weather. But this is a band that wants to anger with submerged tones, lethargic beats, an obstinate lack of power, buried, nasal, catatonic vocals, you know, hard alternative sludge grunge that is difficult for the sake of alienating all but those truly down on their dumb luck... which I guess makes a sort of aimless sense given the long last lolligag of the frankly fascinating lyrics. Ergo, the music is a mere soundtrack to the look, feel and read of a captivating headspace of tripping images, and by no means a shining piece of stand-up rock 'n' roll on its lonesome.
Rating 5.5

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