May 21, 2002
Spitfire Records
Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal

Album Review

Thankfully, I Luciferi finds Glenn Danzig rediscovering his bloody rock & roll cojones after two lackluster pseudo-industrial artistic stumbles, 6:66 Satan's Child and Blackacidevil. So yes, I Luciferi is a throwback of sorts to Danzig's heyday, when Danzig, Danzig II: Lucifuge, and Danzig III: How the Gods Kill (and maybe Danzig 4) were staples in any self-respecting punter's CD changer. So the album kicks off with mid-tempo ripper "Black Mass" sounding impressively sinister, if a bit ham-fisted in the riff department, with Danzig's howling vocals clean and creepy and the lyrics as black as Satan's pupils. Balls-out bombastic rocker "Liberskull" and dirge-like album-closer "Without Light, I Am" are the best Danzig cuts to tickle the devil's undercarriage since the widely underrated, richly textured Danzig 4, which boasted Glenn Danzig's most accomplished and varied songwriting -- before his top-notch backing unit (guitarist John Christ, bassist Eerie Von, and drummer Chuck Biscuits) bailed, presumably preferring career oblivion over Danzig's ego. And that's precisely where I Luciferi is lacking; without a truly blistering unit behind the Jim Morrison-emulated, Evil Elvis singer, "Halo Goddess Bone," "God of Light," and "The Coldest Sun" lack the spark that forces riffs into nasty black underground nether-regions. Instead, the guitars chug Rob Zombie-style during the verses and drone atmospherically during the choruses, the songs left needing a wicked John Christ-like virtuoso touch. Still, the leathered biker swagger of the title track and "Naked Witch" are worthy listens, although "Kiss the Skull" cranks a Dumbo-eared Marilyn Manson arrangement and "Wicked Pussycat" is depressingly obvious and quite embarrassing, too comic book-like and tongue-in-cheek for its own good. Uneven as I Luciferi is, it's a quite listenable and welcome return to truly metallic form for Glenn Danzig, who, for the most part, successfully aims for the gray area between truly menacing evil and nudge-nudge wink-wink dark humor -- something conveyed best on early Danzig material. Sure, his best years are most likely behind him at this point, but I Luciferi proves that this old snake still has some venom left in his fangs.
John Serba, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Unendlich
  2. Black Mass
  3. Wicked Pussycat
  4. God of Light
  5. Liberskull
  6. Dead Inside
  7. Kiss the Skull
  8. I Luciferi
  9. Naked Witch
  10. Angel Blake
  11. The Coldest Sun
  12. Halo Goddess Bone
  13. Without Light, I Am