Arriving at the sixth chapter in the Danzig series we have a refinement of sound, vastly improving upon the disappointment of Blackacidevil which tried and failed at its own unique take on the Industrial Metal sound of that era. Satans Child follows suit in the same genre but takes no risks with erratic experimentation and nauseating drum sampling. Instead the band forge a leaner sound with a rounded, brighter production. They give its guitars a weighty metal punch that unfortunately doesn't manifest the same magic from Danzig, II, III or IV, however we do hear strong echos of that time on songs like Into The Mouth Of Abandonment but the record is a mixed bag.
The biggest sell of this record is front man Glenn Danzig himself who returns firmly to his bluesy style, rising to the center of attention, the double tracking of his vocals has some real oomph that's a nice touch and his emotional burdens find their theater again. With a firm sound and the return of the singer it is the obvious influences that initially took my attention away. In the wake of the Nu Metal scene one may initially hear the syncopated stop start grooves that play thick distortion guitars against their absence and focus on the altered approach to groove however its not really not in that vein. They do sound strikingly akin to other bands on some songs though, the Unspeakable main riff sounds lifted from a classic Helmet record and Apokalips sounds uncannily alike to Swans. For the most part they sound like Danzig experimenting with the Industrial Metal style other bands had mastered at this point.
Once over these humps I could hear somewhat of a slow start to this record, its first tracks roll out and the tone is cramp, the guitar work stiff but as it grows the slow crushing guitars of Doom Metal start to revere its demonic head. Further down the road the welcome sound of pinch harmonics starts to bounce of the guitar riffs in true Danzig style. Cult Without A Name is the first instance but its not until Cold Eternal and the last five songs that the record really blossoms, the closer being a real gem. Its a strange journey that ends well, the music is enjoyable but the infection is only to be found in a handful of songs at the end. I think the band find themselves again here but have a hard time getting the best from Glenn and themselves when they are stepping away from the fundamentals of their roots and sound together. A fair record.
Favorite Tracks: Into The Mouth Of Abandonment, Apokalips, Thirteen