Album Of The Week – October 24, 2022

For this week I’m going back to the early 90’s and the practical genesis of the brief yet powerful “alt-metal” movement. This album was the second in a line of four that served as one alt-metal figurehead’s impressive body of work. And while every music artist is divisive to some degree, this dude really gets opinions flowing and tempers flaring.

Danzig – II: Lucifuge

Released June 26, 1990 via Def American Records

My Favorite Tracks – Snakes Of Christ, Her Black Wings, Tired Of Being Alive

Glenn Danzig had entered the scene as vocalist of punk group The Misfits, then entered metal territory with Samhain before evolving into his own-named outfit. The band took up a blues-based metal sound that explored the various facets of evil, a template still very much in place on Lucifuge.

And while the debut album would hit platinum, we aren’t quite there yet. Danzig was on a major label but was still an emerging concern in 1990. It would be a few years before the hit would climb the charts, even though that hit had already been recorded and released.

The original CD packaging was also interesting – the booklet insert folded out into a huge upside-down cross. There are also a few versions of the album cover – the one I posted is the US CD version, while other variations feature headshot photos of the band. To my knowledge, the songs are the same across all versions.

Our album today weighs in with 11 songs over the course of 50 minutes. Several music videos were filmed for tracks, though nothing was technically “released” as a single. Note that some of the videos are not hosted on official channels for whatever reason and might not hang around for too long, I don’t know.

Long Way Back From Hell

The album opens with an epic riff fest that establishes the tone for the album. It is dirty blues straight out of a Louisiana swamp, and the opening lyrics place the song right there. The nasty riffs of John Christ meld with the distinct “Evil Elvis” bellow of Glenn Danzig to offer up some truly wicked metal. The song’s premise is simple – don’t do something you aren’t prepared to face the consequences for, it truly is a long way back from Hell.

Snakes Of Christ

Something super cool happens here, there is an abrupt transition between tracks 1 and 2. This is something almost obsolete now in the digital age, but it’s pretty cool to go from one banger straight into another. A very signature riff opens Snakes Of Christ, and the song moves on into a critical examination of how religious teachings have been perverted over the centuries.

On the subject of the song’s main riff – Danzig has stated in the past that he feels Stone Temple Pilots ripped off this song’s riff for their single Sex Type Thing. This 1997 interview, provided via archive, outlines his argument. The STP camp doesn’t seem to have ever addressed the issue.

Killer Wolf

This is a slower, very blues-based number that is really just about some old horn dog going out on the prowl for women. The song features Danzig’s vocal inflections to such a degree that Danzig detractors might call this song “Exhibit A.” I think it’s a pretty cool track, myself.

Tired Of Being Alive

Another banging tune with a monster riff. The title might indicate the same kind of desperate, crushing depression found in doom metal, but this song retains the “I am badass and evil” vibe while still expressing a similar feeling of being done with it all. Everyone gets sick of it all at some point.

I’m The One

An acoustic blues track about a little boy who discovers he’s the “one,” likely being the Antichrist or some other evil dude. The song was originally cut during sessions for the debut album but was saved for this one.

Her Black Wings

Often viewed as the signature song from the record, Her Black Wings goes beyond the “dark blues” and gets straight into heavy metal. The song is about some hot, powerful demon woman who shows up and does her thing. This song perfectly sums up the Danzig experience.

Devil’s Plaything

A bit of a departure from the blues here, this track offers up a preview for what the next album would sound like. This veers more into the gothic realm and offers a more quiet experience through a fair bit of the song before opening up in a powerful surge a bit later. Danzig did not always have to be loud, something that would come into play after this record.


It’s straight back into the bayou with this dark blues track. The song is apparently about apocalypse, though it’s expressed in vague terms. No matter, it is a powerful song and another highlight of the record.

Blood And Tears

It’s ballad time, this being a dark tune that explores someone coming out of a failed relationship. The song departs from the pure evil explored in other places and presents a more realistic version of things.


A very rocking tune with not many lyrics to it – “Girl, let’s fly too high” is about all you really need to know. The song works very well even without a great deal of exposition to it.

Pain In The World

The album ends with a heavy song that gets into the origin of evil and its arrival on the planet. While it’s more of a deep cut from the Danzig catalog, it is still a signature Danzig tune.

Lucifuge did not see massive mainstream success, but did initially chart on the US Billboard 200. It was well-received critically, with many writers calling it a huge leap forward from the debut. The album did spread through the metal network and Danzig became a more visible force, with a mainstream breakout a few years away.

In retrospect, Lucifuge has been hailed as one of the best albums of the band’s career. The evil blues sound wouldn’t be found on any future Danzig records and it stands out among the other releases. I haven’t entirely answered the question for myself yet, but this is a true contender for my favorite Danzig release.

Of course, with Glenn Danzig comes a lot of discussion. While he’s had his fans over the years, he’s also had plenty of haters. His singing style has been roundly dismissed and he has often been portrayed as an asshole. And maybe he is, I don’t really know.

It doesn’t affect my listening habits if people don’t like someone I do like, so it’s no huge deal. But it has been funny over the years to hear the outcry over Danzig, bringing up his name at all can lead to some interesting conversations.

But at the end of the day it’s the music that matters, and Lucifuge was a triumphant statement from Danzig. It came along at the right time for my young, impressionable self and it helped set the tone for the music of the early 1990’s. No amount of hang-wringing over what kind of person Glenn Danzig is can change that.

2 thoughts on “Album Of The Week – October 24, 2022

  1. This was my favorite Danzig album for a long time. It’s not any longer not because of same grand, critical, re-examination, I think I just got a little sick of it because I would listen to it so often. And even so, it’s probably number 2 behind only 4p. It’s just a terrific rock/metal record that didn’t have any direct comps when it debuted, and it still doesn’t have very many in the 90s. Some of the outtakes taken from it, later released on the compilation The Lost Tracks of Danzig, were pretty damn terrific too. The band just seemed to be firing on all cylinders after the somewhat restrained debut album.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can totally understand that, it’s not hard to play something too much and get tired of it. I had a long layoff from Danzig for almost a decade, so when I went back to this stuff I had a renewed interest in it. It really is a unique album.

      Liked by 1 person

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