Best-known for incredibly catchy punk songs about murder and monsters, Misfits-Samhain mastermind Glenn Danzig is the only alumnus from hardcore's old-school scene to land an album at number one on Billboard
's classical album chart, with 1993's Black Aria
. More sophisticated and eclectic, Black Aria II
is without lyrics, but the auteur has never written anything as wonderfully eerie. Inspired by the apocryphal tale of Lilith (Adam's pre-Eve first wife, whose fierce will led to her expulsion into the primeval wastelands (where she became a demon), Black Aria II
is the sound of evil things committing wicked acts in darkness. Danzig wrote and performed the majority of the album himself, breathing deep like a demon and using keyboards to overlap classical, tribal, and Eastern themes, simulating sounds from deep strings to kettle drums. The result is Philip Glass-style minimalism, with a Wagner-worthy leitmotif that floats through the album like a giant vampire bat. Vocalist Tania Themmen joins the dark maestro on album closer "Lamenta Lilith," wailing like Enya reborn as a succubus. Eternal doom never sounded so beautiful.