Unknown Source, Spring 1991 --------------------------- He who doesn't know his heavy metal history is doomed to repeat it, an axiom that has been taken to heart by the music's fringe elements. Not wishing to follow innovators like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin down the road of self-indulgence, newer bands like Soundgarden, Danzig and Trouble walk a carefully trod line between reverence and dirrespect for the traditions of the past. In doing so, they manage to honoor the original intentions of the music far more than a band like Whitesnake, while at the same time making sure that heavy metal will evolve. Sometimes it seems more like mutation rather than merely evolution but after the fall-out, it is bands like these that are determinedto survive. Multi-headed musical monsters they may be, but if all heavy metal sounded like this, it just might get the respect it is beginning to deserve. Danzig's music had roots both in his hardcore beginnings with the Misfits and the dark poetics of the Doors, and when it comes to the occult, the band makes Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden conpletely irrelevant. Because when he gets down to creating an aural counterpart to the thoughts raging in his head, one thing becomes immediately apparent: Glenn Danzig is one serious dude. Perhaps the finest songwriter ever to emerge from the depths of the hardcore underground, Danzig takes a literary approach to the art of songwriting that makes him unique among heavy metal musicians, but his greatest strength is his ability to do this without sacrificing the visceral appeal of the music. Beginning with his first band, the legendary Misfits, over a decade ago, Danzig has pursued the darker side of heavy metal, acknowledging the traditional but but always searching for something more. With his second band, Samhain, serving somethingof an intermediary role on the way to the sepulchral preoccupations of the band that carries his name, the man continued to create a legacy that while eluding the upper reaches of the music charts, made him a presence not to be trifled with in the metal underworld. Rick Rubin, whose name comes repeatedly when discussing the bands that are shaping heavy metal's future, helped Glenn make the changes necessary to transform Samhain into Danzig, a band that is finally able to deliver on the promise of Glenn's songs. Tracks like "Twist of Cain," and "Am I Demon," as heard on the band's Def American Records debut and seen on the band's shocking video memorial, are a cut above the average heavy metal fare. With an able-bodied line-up of similarly inclined musicians - drummer Chuck Biscuits, who seems to have played with every hardcore band that ever mattered including Circle Jerks, Black Flag, and DOA, bass player Eerie Von Stehlman, and guitarist John Christ - he may finally be able to wake the unthinking masses from the dead.