The Lost Tracks Of Danzig
Well rounded essential collection
When Glenn Danzig first mentioned his intentions of putting together a compilation of previously unreleased studio tracks back in 1999 (After winning the rights back to everything previous unreleased from Rick Rubin's label American Recordings), it quickly became amongst fans one of the most highly anticipated and talked about upcoming Danzig projects. Although the said compilation was due to be completed some time ago, touring schedules, deteriorating master tapes (Most of the original tapes needed to be baked due to their age and their poor storage throughout the years), other projects (Verotik comics, animated movies and his various recorded output) and missing recordings (Some known recordings that were due to be handed over by Rubin have yet been located, while others have been recorded over by studio engineers) have continually prolonged the projects completion.
But finally, after an eight long years, the long overdue The Lost Tracks Of Danzig is finally upon us! Comprising a massive twenty-six tracks, the double album compilation draws together unreleased material from Danzig's entire career in chronological form, with the first two tracks coming from the 1988 recording sessions for Danzig's self titled debut with the classic line-up (Vocalist Danzig, guitarist John Christ, bassist Eerie Von and drummer Chuck Biscuits). Both Pain Is Like An Animal and the slower paced (Original version of) When Death Had No Name feature Danzig's trademark dry recording sound and the heavy blues influence that featured on the band's debut, and are as every bit as essential as the album they were intended for.
The classics continue to be dished out with the rocking Angel Of The Seventh Dawn (The original name of Danzig's fan club years ago) and the driving You Should Be Dying, but it's Danzig's Elvis like crooning on the organ drenched Cold, Cold Rain that provides an absolute classic from the 1990 sessions for II: Lucifuge. From 1992 (Which produced III: How The Gods Kill), there's a reworked T. Rex cover of Buick McKane (Biscuits' stunning percussion work really gives this song its kick) and a second (Not to mention stronger) version of When Death Had No Name (Which appeared on the b-side of the Dirty Black Summer single), while the final recordings from the classic line-up from 1994 (For their final album together 4p) emerge with the demonic sounding Satans Crucifiction, the sharp and abrasive recording of The Mandrake's Cry and the controversial White Devil Rise. Finishing up the first disc are three recordings from Danzig's post American Recordings/classic line-up album 5 - Blackacidevil (From 1996), which surprisingly enough provide some of the more interesting cuts on this compilation. The alternate take of Deep will only interest those who don't have a copy of Songs In The Key Of X - Music Inspired And From The X-Files, but the hypnotic Warlok and the stunning acoustic version of Come To Silver (The song originally written for Johnny Cash, and featuring Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell) more than make up for former.
The second disc begins with four tracks from the 1999 6:66 - Satan's Child recording sessions. The sparse and simplistic Lick The Blood Off My Hands is a definite stand out with a sound that reverts back to Danzig's earlier sound, as does the heavier Crawl Across Your Killing Floor (The first promotional video clip filmed from the album), while The Germs cover Caught In My Eye and I Know Your Lie are heavily layered and sadly sound more latter day Danzig like. By far, Danzig's most prolific period was around the recording of 7:77 - I Luciferi in 2002, producing no less than six extra tracks, beginning with an unexpected (But truly savage version) of David Bowie's Cat People. The slow and powerful Bound By Blood and muscular AC/DC influenced Soul Eater are absolute classics that should have earned their place on the respective album, while Who Claims The Soulless, the doom influenced/demonic sounding Malefical and the dramatic Dying Seraph (Which features a great vocal performance from Danzig) are solid (If a little underdeveloped sounding) songs.
Unfortunately, the distorted and dreadfully uninspired Lady Lucifera from 2004's Circle Of Snakes (This track could have easily slotted on the said album), and remixes of Belly Of The Beast (Under Belly Of The Beast, which originally appeared on 2000's The Crow: Salvation soundtrack) and Unspeakable (The previously unreleased Shango Mix, which featured in the 2005 film Grub Girl) from 6:66 - Satan's Child finish off the album in a weak manner.
Aside from the final three disappointing tracks, The Lost Tracks Of Danzig is a diverse collection of songs covering practically every facet of Danzig's wide career, and comes across as a true unreleased retrospective collection rather than simply a bunch of unfished songs. Overall, The Lost Tracks Of Danzig is an absolute must for Danzig fans (Irrespective of any particular era of his takes your interest, with something for everyone.