In the mid 90’s when I was just out of High School I remember a conversation with a fellow hardcore kid about the lack of real metal available. Death metal had been great, but by 1995 it had hit a layover valley on its way to a more technical and stronger future. It was a tough time for metal in general (a transition period in hindsight), and most metalcore being played in VFW halls by sxe kids just wasn’t cutting it. Mercyful Fate had reformed, but that was more of a touring thrill than an excitement about new material. King Diamond had started to drift. Iron Maiden didn’t have Bruce anymore. Michale Graves was fronting some band. Times were tough. We both knew it would swing again to greater heights as unknown records would someday be released by bands more brutal and heavier than we could ever imagine. It would work itself out, but we sadly acknowledged that at that moment we stood in a desert of sorts. At that same moment we took a great deal of comfort in agreeing that Danzig proudly and solely was metal’s standard bearer. In the good times, bad times, and in between times, Glenn was there, man. Every 2-3 years another Danzig record would come out and it would be good. It was a gimme. We both talked about many records that evening but I always remember agreeing easily on the strength of the Killer Wolf upon parting.
Well, within a short year or so that BlackAcidDevil record was released. What a heart breaker. Glenn had let us all down. Granted, good metal soon came back around in numerous new splintered variations so it all worked out, though it was tough to take considering the throne we had placed Glenn’s output on. The subsequent records were better, but still horribly mediocre compared to what the Misfits, Samhain, and first 4 Danzig records showed us we could expect. I saw the Satan’s Child/Samhain Reunion tour and loved it -- completely satisfying and impressive. I had calmly given up on the possibility of any impressive studio output while still knowing that the live shows would deliver, kind of like Slayer.
All of this chatter leads me to just how impressive the Lost Tracks of Danzig is -- two discs of chronologically organized B-sides and unreleased tracks that are easily up to the quality of the first 4 records. Disc 1 is stellar and disc 2 is closer to lukewarm, though still highly listenable. I still doubt that Danzig has any brand new material worth getting excited about, but this is a killer release. Hey, the Killer Wolf is in his 50’s after all. Time is marching on for all of us.