When the topic of experimenting comes into play, most bands usually tap into atypical influences without overriding their natural origins, at least on an instrumental level. Glenn Danzig’s “Black Aria” however, firmly invades something on opposite poles rather than his everyday material: symphonic music. Now I’d be lying if I said there was glory to be expected from such a bewildering attempt at first listen, yet after all criticisms have subsided, it’s actually not that grueling; in fact, “Black Aria” really has a lot to offer, especially when reflected upon other releases pushing toward new horizons. Calling this a masterpiece would be a grave error, but not by chance is Danzig’s symphonic debut enjoyable, even by the expectations of his fiercest enemies.
Musically, we have a strange soup of symphonic instruments clashing with trippy keyboards and uncharacteristic gothic influences all used for a gloomy atmosphere unlike anything you’ve ever heard. Depressive operatic vocals echo over the twisted ambience while violins clash like angels and demons fighting a war in the sky; however, these tracks often steer away from keyboards. Toward the end of “Black Aria” pianos and electronic touches come into play, typically surpassing other orchestral influences. As for content, this effort demonstrates a few well-executed anthems like “Overture of The Rebel Angels” which goes above and beyond the expectations of what someone like Glenn Danzig could create when trending into different musical categories. But on the other hand, quite a handful of these instrumentals sound withdrawn, misplaced, and somewhat repetitive considering how thin-layered “Black Aria” is at its dark core. Then again, this whole release only absorbs twenty minutes of time, so it’s not like the horse received multiple rib-breaking kicks after entering the deceased stage.
Danzig’s little orchestra-based experiment is often divided both conceptually and musically between heightening gracefulness and bland boredom, yet I wouldn’t call this bad or disdainful when Lucifer finally hits the ground; despite occasional flaws, it’s not too shabby overall. I guess Danzig thought it would be nice to bulk up other influences instead of those menacing rockers, and doing so was certainly bold, but in no way should this record ever be considered his brightest star. Do NOT even think about looking here if you cannot swallow an observation venturing into another musical world, but otherwise, make an attempt to pursue “Black Aria” for it might become something you’ll cherish forevermore.