Having been asked to review the latest Danzig album Black Laden Crown by Sentinel Daily editor Scott Adams, and being a huge Glenn Danzig fan – of all of his work, but especially the first four Danzig albums – I was intrigued to hear what path Glenn had taken with his latest release.

The signs weren’t looking good. This album was recorded over four years with four different drummers. The first song to be leaked was Devil on Highway 9. On first listen the production wasn’t up to much with Glenn’s voice being way too low in the mix and the overall sound being very murky. Since the albums since Danzig IV have been patchy at best and for me personally always a disappointment, I didn’t hold out much hope for BLC.

But, I am really glad to report Black Laden Crown is a real return to form . Lost is the industrial sound that hindered many of the later albums and Danzig has brought the sound back to basics. This has really paid off, the production is also a return to the sound of the first few albums sounding like a band playing together in a studio together and having fun. Tommy Victor seems to have finally found his place in the band, his playing sounding looser and adding to the song dynamics.

The songs themselves are strong with catchy choruses and great sing along backing vocals. Just what has been missing in recent times.

The opening track Black Laden Crown creeps in like a long lost brother of something from  How the Gods Kill – a great introduction to draw you in. Eyes Ripping Fire and Devil on Highway 9 are both upbeat foot stompers keeping the album moving along nicely, Glenn’s voice sounding better than ever.

Last Ride is a personal favourite of mine, sounding as it does like a song left over from Lucifuge, whilst Witching Hour lets Glenn release the croon that all fans of Danzig love.

Skull and Daises is a slow, brooding number with a fantastic grooving riff. It’s sure to go down as a classic amongst fans as they get used to the album.

The last two numbers Blackness Fails and Pull the Sun could have been pulled from the first Danzig release, with Glenn giving it his all on Pull the sun, which features a great ending fading guitar solo.

In fact I would say there isn’t a bad song on this album – it’s a very strong release. Maybe the short lived Misfits reunion has made Mr Danzig re evaluate what the fans wanted from a Danzig release? Who knows? Whatever it is Black Laden Crown is certainly a great record and will be on my stereo for many weeks to come!

Black Laden Crown is out on May 26th on AFM Records