Trampled, Scratched and Covered in Cobwebs but still it Spins
How the Gods Kill
1992 Def American recordings
How the Gods Kill
Dirty Black Summer
Left Hand Black
Heart of the Devil
Do you Wear the Mark
When the Dying Calls
I am not lucky enough to have a physical copy of this. I am guilty of having given my copy, a cassette (tape) away, amongst a huge box of others it collected dust, in an unplayed state in the garage for a matter of years. Some lucky Joe was able to collect these for free, and all because I do not currently have an operational cassette player. A huge loss for sure.
However I shall “soldier on”. With the aid of my trusty phone and images from the glorious thing known as the “Internet” I shall piece together my opinion. Onwards…
Danzig III has a fantastic cover courtesy of H.R. Giger, the artist famous for the “Alien” creature (sketches and final product realization) that still bears notice and recognition even in today’s Sci-Fi genre rife with unimaginable FX creations and mastery. It is his “The Master and the Margarita” portrait but with a twist by the addition of the Danzig sword (that Glenn proudly wore as a necklace at the time) covering the original’s display of the monster’s penis. For those not familiar, the image depicts the lower half of a female face, the rest is devoured by an organic machinery pseudo mask that Giger’s painting are famous for, as snake like creatures lick at her from all angles. If I was a psychiatrist I may be able to pick this amazing picture apart giving probable reasons for colors, tones, themes and shapes used, but I am not and will not bore you with such. Enough to say it is darn impressive and really does not give anything away in terms of what to expect from the music contained therein.
*A note worthy of mentioning, Glenn Danzig went on to found a comic series/company named Verotik in 1994 aimed at an adult audience showcasing artistic talents of a decidedly ‘darker’ erotic and violent tone.
The album starts off impressively with ‘Godless’. Drums build into a guitar crescendo then into a mid tempo groove that does more than make your foot want to tap. After slowing once more the sultry voice of Mr. Danzig kicks in.
The track has a very hard rock gothic air about it, and after a quite unexpected sermon like message at 5:30 it fades out (slowly). The drums, at times, feel very ritualistic. In my opinion, it is a quite unforgettable and powerful track.
I’ll try not to liken Glenn’s style of vocals to Elvis’ as I have heard rumor that it’s not fully appreciated but it’s worth mentioning he does have a very formidable set of pipes that fits the music perfectly. He does not growl, grunt, scream or yell, but rather “Croon”, sing if you will. I have heard the term ‘Evil Elvis’ thrown around (couldn’t resist- sorry Ren [No worries – Ed.]) and I must admit, it fits quite nicely.
The second track, I hasten to say, seems very much like a proposal/love song of sorts. This being said ‘Anything’ is one of my favorite tracks on the album, it showcases both Glenn’s voice and John Christ’s and Eerie Von’s fantastic guitar abilities. Starting slow with a fantastic chilling riff it builds to mid tempo a third way through it is about then that Danzig’s voice hits the ball out of the park, waaay outta the park!
“Bodies” the third track would fit nicely in the movie “From Dusk to Dawn”.
It has the same feel as the band in the bar, who midway through the movie utilizes body parts as instruments (brilliant!). The way Glenn sings the word “Bodies” at times is truly impressive, again I will state he has quite the voice.
I would love to able to not mention every track on this album, but dang! I’m third way through and haven’t heard a generic song yet.
What can I possibly say about ‘How the Gods Kill’ that hasn’t been said before? Probably not much! It is a stand out track for sure, and contains riffs an air guitarist would salivate over. Yet another high point in an album that barely dips below amazing at any given moment.
The distortion pedal is used to good effect in ‘Sistinas’. One might make comparisons to ‘Chris Isaak’ from a listen, I did, though it is most definitely a Danzig track containing Glenn’s unique vocal stylings. John Christ the guitarist apparently recalls wanting a ‘Roy Orbison’ type vibe for this track. It works, yet another fantastic track.
The pace is picked up somewhat in ‘Left Hand Black’. The vocals here are heavier than normal and build to a near crescendo with the chorus. ”I wanna stand of top of the world and…stare up to heaven..”
A virtual storm (of thunder and the deluge of rain) starts “Dirty Black Summer” to great effect. I turned my device’s volume waaa-y up for the beginning of this one. I rather though my audio device was broken as the introduction is very quiet, I instantly regretted the decision, and so did my neighbors, when the guitar tore it ways in. This is one of the more energetic songs on this CD and a track you won’t soon forget, I know when I mention this album to my circle of friends this is the track they instantly mention and for very good reason.
In conclusion, I’m trying my hardest not to list every song though I want to, this is hardly a “metal” album. However it reeks of eroticism and themes of a gothic nature. Personally I would class it as ‘Gothic Hard Rock’ (whatever that means these days!) although at times I detect a shade of NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal), recognizing a mid tempo Diamond Head riff. Every once in a while the term “Garage” comes to mind. I can imagine newer bands attempting covers, of many a song on this album, primarily because of pace, song structure, and overall catchiness.
Who doesn’t want to sing aloud and nod their head to this chunk of brilliance, I’m trying my hardest not to, and not succeeding in the slightest.
I only wish I owned a convertible. I would never be happier than to blast this from the speakers on a long road trip, it would work double fold keeping you awake as well as make you smile.
Strange that! A lyrically dark themed album that makes you smile, its just that impressive! Enough said. I highly recommend a listen. I’m of the belief that my CD player has taken it hostage which I don’t mind…at all!