Given the streak of four solid, successive records I was expecting a downturn at some point along the line in the Danzig legacy, however this drastic shift in style was not anticipated. With vague echos of their former identity lurking in the shadows, the group choose to reinvent their sound in a different vein. Released the same year as Antichrist Superstar, they move into the currently exploding Industrial Metal scene. Vocally this performance sounds very akin to Nine Inch Nails on one track, Danzig himself ditching the voice that made the project dazzle in favor softly sung, half spoken verses in the same fashion as Trent Reznor. Mostly though he adopts another familiar approach, the distant yet channeled shout, that of Ministry's Al Jourgensen.
Initially all of this was a bit much to stomach, a harsh and rigid tone fronts the listener as its chiseling, roaring guitars drone under a dense layers of sampled drum loops and the drummer churning out steady grooves to keep the tempo. An unsurprising compliment of machine like synths whirl and buzz out half melodies on Industrial sounding noises to thicken a lifeless texture. It all forms into a clatter of noise which mostly has little charm. A lack of groove, energy or purpose dominates the dull vibes as the songs mull through simple song structures with the odd mustering of unusual sounds within breaks. It really comes off like an imitation game of sorts, with Danzig missing the mark.
With familiarity a couple of better songs emerge but mostly for being more tolerable in a string of unexciting, tedious Industrial drones. Although the production style initially seemed a stiff and harsh it turned out the lack of melody and texture to the songwriting gave it a rough entry point. As my ears adjusted across several listens it become apparent the music itself was the real problem. Their racket of a cover of Black Sabbath's "Hand Of Doom" another low point on a record that only produced two good songs at best, their attempt to follow in the footsteps of others a disappointing one. They threw away a golden sound, I can only hope the sixth chapter gets back to what they are great at doing.
Favorite Track: Sacrifice