Glenn Danzig has never received much attention from the rock media, which is rather strange, considering that he has fathered 3 bands in his lifetime that maintain a strong cult following to this day. Like most people, I first became aware of his existence through the phenomenal amount of merchandise produced for his first band, The Misfits. They were the original horror punks, hiding great pop hooks in chaotic 1-2 minute blasts of noise, with lyrics populated by brain-eating zombies and aliens from another dimension. When The Misfits disbanded in 1983, Glenn went on to found Samhain, during which time he began a transition from full throttle punk to slower, more gothic material.
By 1988, and the release of his third band's eponymous debut album, the transition was complete. Danzig embraced grinding blues-boogie metal grooves, and supernatural themes of damnation, transmogrification, and sins of the flesh. Perhaps the biggest revelation was Glenn's smouldering baritone vocals, for the first time given time and space to showcase a dynamic, deeply distinctive singing style. When the album peaks, on 'Am I Demon' and 'She Rides', both band and singer are on excellent form. However, as only a couple of the 10 tracks can be considered uptempo, and every song is 4-5 minutes long, the album can be monotonous when played from start to finish. Also, Rick Rubin's thin, hollow production has not dated well. On the plus side, Danzig's signature tune 'Mother' is also present here (although it is not quite as exciting as the "live" version captured in a 1993 Danzig promo).
'Danzig (Volume I)' certainly has its flaws, but crucially, it is compelling enough to leave you wanting more - Glenn is a fantastically charismatic frontman, instinctively provoking fascination with every performance. Danzig's next album, 1990's 'Lucifuge', would be a richer, more diverse body of work, cementing the band's status as worthy inheritors of Glenn's influential legacy.