Circle of Snakes
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"Circle Of Snakes," encompasses the essence of the super charged, yet foreboding poetic lyrics known solely to Danzig. The self-titled-single slammed the airwaves with a blazing force proving that the band has continued to create challenging, powerful & ruthless albums without sucking into the corporate machine. Maintaining a black flow of musical mayhem & evil guitar rock,"1000 Devils Reign" & "When We Were Dead," are two additional cuts to be reckoned with. After gaining notoriety through the legendary punk charge's of his pre-Danzig days with 'The Misfits' & 'Samhain' Danzig was birthed into a new era as the next century's man in black. Danzig mercilessly unleashed a multi-media onslaught that caused disciples to once again study the master. The band consists of Glenn Danzig (vocals/keyboards), Tommy Victor (Guitars), Jerry Montano (bass) & Bevan Davies (drums). Infusing the listeners to the very black soul of hard rock with quietly sinister, yet darkly seductive atmospheric music, "Circle Of Snakes" is this year's dark masterpiece.
Top Customer Reviews
I highly recommend you pick up this album if you are a fan of any of his previous work, you will not be sorry.
Quinten T. Mandryk
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The album is heavy, no doubt helped out by Tommy Victor, and sometimes, as others have mentioned, Glenn's vocals are lost in the maelstrom. I noticed others have stated that John Christ's guitar played suited him but, but remember the Samhain albums, and several of the Misfits albums (Earth A.D.) were mixed the same way. I think the main problem is the absence of Rick Rubin, who seemed to know Glenn's vocal strengths well. Think, we went from Samhain to You and Me from the Less Than Zero soundtrack - did you ever hear Glenn's voice as powerful as that. Since Danzig's split with American, the voice has never sounded the same. Glenn does tend to sing more here than on the last couple, but his voice isn't nearly as strong. Most likely that's just age catching up.
I don't consider this as good as 1-4, and right now, maybe not as good as 7, which I enjoyed alot of the Misfits-like wo-oh's. Circle of Snakes definitely brings back an older style of song structurings, and the vocal melodies are reminiscent of 1-4, but the guitars are as heavy as can be. I like the album and I think it will copntinue to grow on me.
That is generally the tone of this album. Danzig claims it doesn't have a theme, but the theme seems to be an updated nostalgia. Not that all the songs sound like things he has done before, just a general feel. There is something from almost every stage of his songwriting career.
At different points while listening to this, I felt a twinge of Samhain, or a little bit of Misfits - not really the song structure or the sound, but a general feel. Skull Forrest, done with a more punky delivery could have been a Misfits song for it's message. It's like the collection has grown since "Skulls" and now there's a whole forrest of them. In style and feel certain songs have an almost elegiac tone to them (Netherbound, When We Were Dead)
I only have two complaints with this cd. Some of the lyrics seem a bit "bottom of the barrell". "I want to creepy-crawl across your town" and "Come down and lay in the danger"....and then the "Blackrock, spirals down this reptile highway..." = Honestly, if any other singer besides Danzig was delivering some of these lines, I wouldn't be able to tolerate it too long. My other complaint is the length of this cd, but that complaint rides for most of his stuff. Danzig 1 only had ten tracks, and Lucifuge only had 11...I guess I was a bit spoiled by I Luciferi's track count.
All the songs are well put together, and Glenn's voice sounds alot stronger then it has for a while. Hellmask stands out for me, because I've wanted a song like that for a while. Something with riffs you would expect to hear a some stereotypical metal grunting and growling over, but instead getting to hear Danzig going all out. The whispered part in the middle is one of my favorite parts of the whole disc.
Bottom line, not once was I really dissapointed with this CD. Personally this one has a higher replay value for me then 6 or 7 because the main draw for me is Danzig's voice, which sounds so much better here. Yes, it reminds me of some of his older stuff in places but there is more then enough "new" here. Buy it, and unless you absolutely hate the way Danzig sings, or you hate heavy guitar rock/metal you'll get more then your money's worth out of it.
Despite my strong opinion that this album is weak compared to the mans legendary back catalog, it doesn't mean that it's entirely devoid of value. "Black Angel, White Angel" may be one of the catchiest songs the man has ever done, "Hellmask" shows Danzig hammering through with a certain speed-metal vibe we've never heard before and "1,000 Devils Reign" has a certain old-school vibe. Other tracks such as "Circle of Snakes" have interesting moments/riffs but don't gell as well as the above mentioned numbers. Danzig still has some great songs in him, he just needs to be careful about the old "filler" problem that seems to be plagueing him as of late.
Danzig needs to take some time off, develop a REAL band and find a producer that can bring the best out of his vocals and his music. "Hellmask" and "Black Angel, White Angel" show that he can still get the job done...but he NEEDS to focus his energies on making entire albums that are strong and not the three-hit wonders he's been shoving to the market as of late. The man still has his strengths...but his weaknesses as a producer (and executive producer) are glaring on this record and this makes it less than stellar in a way that is rather disconcerting and poses the big question "is Danzig just too old to keep up".
Time will tell...
I've only listened to it 2 times so far but right now the songs "1000 devils reign", "Hellmask", "When we were dead", and "Black angel, White Angel" really stand out for me.
"Black Angel, White Angel" sounds like classic Danzig and is probably the best on the album,
there were no songs that I didn't like, some were better than others, The Lyrics are FINE, despite what others say. and I read some people saying that the pictures in the booklet were stupid, well to me there is nothing wrong with half-naked chicks, especially on a Danzig album.
The only thing I have a problem with is some of the production and mixing, on one hand its great because its raw, and unpolished, but on the other hand theres too much bass in the mix, when I crank it up the lows just rumble a little too much and take away from the songs, like some of the double-bass parts of the drums and especially the guitar solos could use some more definition, or just be clearer, they kind of get lost in the mix, and the vocals on "Hellmask" sound like they could have been mixed better. BUT those aren't that big of a deal, the album still rocks.
If you like 7, you will definetly like this one, take it from a real Danzig fan, don't listen to the people who say "1-3 are the only good albums", those are the same people that say 4 is techno, when anybody who's ever heard 4 could tell you that its not one bit techno. don't listen to them. this is a good album and any fan of Danzig will not be disapointed.