"Black Aria" (Plan 9; 1993)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

One of the basic rules of Rough Edge is that the music has to have "loud guitars." I would like to break a rule here (aren't we the rebellious type?) to take a look at an interesting CD worthy of review. Glenn Danzig's "Black Aria" does not have loud guitars, but it is a frightening look at the mind of one of heavy metal's revered creative forces.

Glenn Danzig is never one to shy away from experimentation in any of his bands (The Misfits, Samhain, Danzig), but "Black Aria" is unlike anything he's ever done. "Black Aria" uses classical music and opera as its foundations to create a tapestry of somber ruminations of the conflict of good and evil - not an entirely original concept, but a concept that seems to stir convictions in most of us one way or the other. 

Given Glenn Danzig's efforts in the cartoon-ish Misfits one might think "Black Aria" would be a sophomoric attempt at creating a movie soundtrack for a bad B-grade horror flick. However, that is not the case; "Black Aria" has a seriously dark undertone to gothic melodies and atmospheric fear that bleeds through every swirling echo and haunting whisper.

"Black Aria" focuses more on moods rather than melody; think of "Black Aria" as a lullaby for those who live in the shadows of night afraid to see the sun for the scars it might leave. The nine tracks, although short, do a great job of depicting the crucial conflict of good and evil with tension and resolution. 

"Black Aria" is perfect for those adventurous enough to let down their guard to soak in an acid bath of terror. 

"Black Aria" was produced by Glenn Danzig. Engineering provided by Nick DiDia (Gorky Park, Stone Temple Pilots, Cinderella), Martin Schmelze (The Four Horsemen, Masters Of Reality), and Bob Alecca. 

Glenn Danzig played all the instruments on "Black Aria"; female voices provided by Janna Brown and Renee Rubach. 

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Nov 2020 20:51:45 -0500 .