Call me a blasphemer, not punk, whatever you may, but I think Danzig’s best contribution in life was getting punched in the grill by the singer of the North Side Kings. I was never really into the Misfits, or Danzig’s solo career that followed, and while I know that both spawned some terrific songs, I could just never get as into them as some others. Coliseum and Doomriders apparently have no such problem.
Each contributing a Danzig cover to this 5-song split CD, the bands put their own unique musical spin onto the songs of one of the most unique men to be a part of punk rock music. Coliseum tries their hand first with “Am I Demon,” and makes it a significantly louder and more aggressive track than it ever was before. Coliseum’s vocalist’s deep, scruffy scream is a perfect fit to roar over the sludge heavy distortion and melodic shredding that comes over the top of it all. Better than even that, though, are the two new songs that Louisville’s finest bring to the table. “American Machine” begins with some speedy drum rolls and faster riffing, and doesn’t relent at all throughout; the energy increases with the duration, and there’s enough variation to keep things interesting. ‘Ride on Death Riders” isn’t quite as strong, or memorable of a track, but it’s got its moments as well. A bit slower and more vocal-oriented than the song that proceeded it, the thick, sludgy riffing is simply brutal, accented to a tee by the throaty screams.
Let us not forget the second band, however, and that band is Dooooooomriders.
Bringing a bit faster, and a bit more melodic of a new song in “Hell Roaring,” Doomriders' raspy frontman rips his vocal chords over the combination of clean and distorted riffing wailing away underneath him, all backed by some fevered drumming and thick bass lines. The focus of their half, however, is the Danzig cover, and this time it’s “Possession.” It’s a much longer song than Coliseum attempted, and subsequently, Doomriders went with a much slower and more methodical pace. The recreation is a solid one, albeit not a huge departure from the original rendition. The thick fuzz of the guitars sound great with the slowed down and unintesified vocals of Doomriders' singer.
Coliseum definitely present the stronger side of this split, but both bands put an interesting spin on the Danzig originals and provide some real solid new material at the very same time.