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POP MUSIC REVIEWS : Danzig's Heavy Metal Is a Little Too 'Lite'

November 03, 1994|MIKE BOEHM

IRVINE — Glenn Danzig has wondered in print lately why he isn't a first-magnitude star in the heavy metal firmament.

Playing to about 10,000 believers on Monday at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, the would-be dark lord, whose band goes by his last name, answered his own question with an inconsistent performance that had its persuasive moments but lacked vocal power and the aura of diabolical, titanic potency that he hopes to sell.

Danzig's singing reconstitutes Jim Morrison's style in much the same way that Dr. Frankenstein reanimated used body parts: It breathes new life into the dead but leaves the revived entity shambling about rather awkwardly, scars and stitch marks showing. Danzig's collection of Morrisonian moans, bellows and bluesy howls often wavered or fell flat under the Black Sabbath-influenced stampede of his three concise and emphatic bandmates.

The show offered plenty of catchy, shout-along choruses in a traditional metal mode, and they came with a good mix of tempos and moods. But Danzig's inflated, cosmic-scale depictions of rebellion, destruction and erotic unions require a stage Prometheus if the writer's ideas are to be amplified along with his music. Energetic as it was, the muscular bandleader's performance fell far short of Promethean.

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