Danzig is an American heavy metal band from Lodi, New Jersey, formed in 1987, morphing out of the goth/punk/metal band Samhain. The band was conceived after vocalist Glenn Danzig was introduced to producer Rick Rubin following a Samhain show. Rubin was interested in working with Glenn but not Samhain so the duo set about forming a new group. Glenn insisted upon retaining the services of Samhain bassist Eerie Von. Guitarist John Christ, who had briefly served as Samhain's final guitarist, was also brought on board and, at Danzig's request, Rubin secured the services of veteran punk rock drummer Chuck Biscuits.
The first three Danzig albums displayed a heavy, blues-influenced heavy metal sound and were well-received by fans and critics. In 1993, the band scored a major hit with the release of the single for the song "Mother", which initially appeared their 1988 debut. The band's fourth release, 1994's "4p", showed the band moving away from their bluesier roots and adding more electronic elements. Biscuits left the band prior to its release and Von and Christ departed after the tour for the album. Danzig later claimed that it had been his intent from the beginning to work with different musicians in a style similar to Ozzy Osbourne, although some of the other original members have contended that Danzig was started as a band and not a solo vehicle for Glenn. Now also at odds with Rubin and his label, Danzig departed for Hollywood Records. With a new band and a new label, Danzig released "Danzig 5: Blackaciddevil" in 1996. The album featured a heavy industrial sound that was not received well by fans or critics. The situation was further complicated as Hollywood's parent company, Disney, was uncomfortable with their association with Danzig and pulled all support for the release. The label and band severed ties shortly afterwards.
Danzig continued with a revolving door of backing players joining Glenn. After the release of "Danzig 6:66 Satan's Child" in 1999, the band abandoned the industrial influences and began to return to a more hard rock/heavy metal sound, although they have not recaptured the same commercial and critical acclaim that the early Danzig records have had. In recent years, Glenn has voiced his dissatisfaction with long tours and has mentioned the possibility of retiring the Danzig band if he cannot pursue music the way he wants to. In 1996, Glenn Danzig created the Evilive label to distribute his music.
Initiate is a SoCal-based that cooks up hardcore that has a lot to love about it. It's moshy, fast, angry-sounding, and just when you least expect it to be, melodic. "The band’s sound is honestly difficult to sum up in simply one description," guitarist Alec tells No Echo. "I think there are many differing a aspects of music that embody Initiate, but I guess the one underlying theme is that there’s always a sense of melody despite whether it’s fast or heavy. We all love lots of different varied music that I think adds to an interesting conglomerate for our sound."
Lavender is the newest release from the band, and it's easily their strongest batch of material to date. As I stated in the intro to this piece, the California group check off many of the boxes you want out of this kind of music, but they've clearly spent focused time on making everything flow in a powerful way: "The inspiration for the new record stemmed from a lot of different things," Alec explains. "The band was evolving musically as a whole therefore it felt right for the next release to be congruent with that. I drew inspiration from a lot of different things for the record, a lot of them being early '90s NYHC bands and also CAHC staples like Carry On. There’s also a big metal influence as well with the idea of the instrumental break near the end of the record as well as different riffs that pay homage to old '80s/'90s metal, which I love.
I ask Initiate vocalist Crystal about some of the lyrics on the new EP. "The record's title track, 'Lavender,' was inspired by Alice Walker’s book, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens," the singer reveals. "There’s some other play on words in that song that I’ll leave for people to find on their own. I was introduced to the book by my professor, Dr. Anne Marie Mingo. She encouraged the class to make most of our academic sources by works of women. Read about the authors of our books and articles. Pay attention to what they’re doing. I had never intentionally taken my academics to that level and I became so in love with learning in a way I had never done so (*Review by No Echo ).
Hailing from the Lonestar state, PROTEST is known for one thing; an unrelenting, no bullshit metal onslaught. The band effortlessly blends it's thrash roots with a modern twist of hardcore and denim shredding old school metal attitude. Formed in 2003, the band has shared the stage with such acts as Superjoint, Kreator, Overkill, Obituary, Prong, Goatwhore, Soulfly, Caverlera Brothers, D.R.I.
They call themselves a crust punk band, but Depopulation Department actually isn't as harsh nor burning as that would suggest. There's a lot of speed metal in the riffwork, there isn't a massive amount of slams, and the vocals hold the occasional melody here and there. Life Kills only comes right in under twenty minutes, and is a digestible ride that isn't anything outside the box, but also didn't leave me wanting more. The vocals actually surprised me at times with how high up they would get. See "Collateral Damage" or "Wounds Of War" to get a taste of what the bands finest tunes are. Anybody into the likes of Discharge or The Exploited should enjoy.