Friday, 29 July 2011

CD Review: 4p, by Danzig (1994)

Danzig's fourth and final album with the original line-up finds the band experimenting with a variety of new ideas, mostly involving slowing down and adding emphasis to pacing, build-up and mood rather than raw energy. 4p (also known as just 4) does not veer too far away from the devil worship childishness which appears to be the only topic the band can address, but within the limits of this laughable mission, some of the metal is enjoyable.

Brand New God ploughs forward with confident purpose, John Christ's guitar a mixture of genius and distortion, the pace changing between a brisk gallop and slow sections suitable for pillaging. Bringer Of Death opens with the sound of a chaotic firefight, machine guns overheating, and then settles into a massive groove carved by the bass of Eerie Von.  Son Of The Morning Star is one of Danzig's more experimental tracks, slowing the tempo down to a walking pace as a set-up for a tear-down-the-walls monster riff from Christ.

The final two tracks conclude Danzig's most successful creative period on a reasonably high note, emphasizing thoughtfulness rather than recklessness. Stalker Song is another deliberately paced, controlled song aiming for a gloomy mood with underlying menace. And Danzig scrub all the speed out for album closer Let It Be Captured, a plodding but magnetic track suitable to round-off the depression on really dark and long winter nights.

Although a fair amount of 4p's content is interesting, just as much material is easily dismissible, and the less inspired tracks drag down the value of the album. And for those with a lot of time to kill and a really burning desire to worship Beelzebub, there is a hidden track at number 66 on the CD player track list, but that kind of dedication is best reserved for die-hard fans.

Nothing on 4p will re-write the history of heavy metal music, but as a sign-off from a classic line-up labouring in the weirder corners of the genre, it serves its purpose.


Glenn Danzig - Vocals
Eerie Von - Bass
John Christ - Guitars
Chuck Biscuits - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Brand New God - 9
2. Little Whip - 7
3. Cantspeak - 6
4. Going Down To Die - 7
5. Until You Call On The Dark - 7
6. Dominion - 7
7. Bringer Of Death - 8
8. Sadistikal - 6
9. Son Of The Morning Star - 8
10. I Don't Mind The Pain - 7
11. Stalker Song - 8
12. Let It Be Captured - 8

Average: 7.33

Produced by Glenn Danzig and Rick Rubin.
Engineered by Jim Scott. Mastered by Stephen Marcussen.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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