Much like their debut album Walk Among Us, The Misfits return once again with their skull shaking, foot stomping brand of punk music to rattle the bones of all within earshot. With this release however, the main difference from their previous album is that their aggressiveness is intensified and the group moves into more of a hardcore punk territory. Glenn Danzig delivers a much more intense vocal performance and many of the songs on Earth A.D. have darker lyrics and tone than on Walk Among Us. If the two albums were horror movies, Walk Among Us would be a “Child’s Play” movie. It’s a horror movie that’s fun but really isn’t going to scare or make anyone jump. Earth A.D/Wolfs Blood, on the other hand is more like a “Halloween” type movie. Everything about it is well designed, iconic to its genre, and ahead of the competition. Basically what I’m trying to say is those who enjoyed The Misfits debut album and also enjoy a louder and angrier brand of punk rock will undoubtedly love this album. Welcome to the angrier and more violent world of The Misfits.
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This album is best described as a whole by the opening track, as well as title track, “Earth A.D”. This song depicts a hellish environment complete with bloody sacrifices, severed heads on display, and constant fighting. The lyrics don’t stray too far away from Walk Among Us in terms of subject matter, but they are told in a more grisly manner. Danzig is probably the biggest change for the better/worse, depending on personal preference, due to his completely different vocal delivery. Short and angry shouts lace this track with rhythmic shouting making appearances during the chorus. Glenn’s lyrics may be a little difficult to understand at first, but this is only a minor complaint and become decipherable after a few listens. Buckle up, because the album’s intensity does not let up after the first track either.
“LOOK UPON ME, I AM THE BEAST!” These lines begin the song “Demonomania,” one of the album’s thrashy werewolf themed songs about killing humans and being sent to Hell. While the subject doesn’t sound dark or menacing, the real beauty of the song lies within the rage and malice in Glenn’s vocals. This track features one of the angriest performances I have heard by him and the energy he displays during the song is an adrenaline rush in itself. In another werewolf-related song (the album IS titled Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood anyway), “Wolf’s Blood” is written in a similar fashion as “Demonomania” and in all likelihood is its companion track. “Wolf’s Blood” precedes “Demonomania” and is sung from the perspective of a man losing control of his body and transforming into a wolf. Bones expanding and veins pumping with rage, the man emerges as a beast to attack and kill a bystander near the song’s end. This song once again is carried by Danzig’s maniacal vocals and makes both of these songs enjoyable little outbursts of anger.
Treading back to familiar Misfits territory, the song “Die, Die My Darling” is the album’s strongest song (in my opinion) and is written much like the track “Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight?” from Walk Among Us. On the CD version of Earth A.D./Wolf’s Blood, “Mommy…” is included on the album which I feel strengthens the two aforementioned songs. I think of “Mommy…” as the first part of a longer song with “Die, Die My Darling” as the second piece. This time, instead of a nerd getting revenge on others, “Die, Die My Darling” focuses on a man (maybe the same character) who murders his significant other. With lyrics such as “your future’s in an oblong box,” “now your life drains on the floor,” and “shut your pretty mouth/I’ll be seeing you again, in Hell!” it is clear The Misfits have adopted a darker image and style with this album. This song is one of The Misfits most popular songs and should not be skipped over on this album.
However, as I mentioned at the beginning of my review, this album does have a much darker feel to it. Two songs originally created for Danzig’s side project known as Samhain, specifically come to mind. “Death Comes Ripping” is as dark as anything the group has performed and is written about being killed by gunfire (shotgun blasts). This song embodies the nervous tension experienced in a gunfight and describes the heat felt as bullets tear apart flesh. Songs like this, being violent in nature but not solely based on horror movies, really bolster the overall song catalogue that The Misfits have developed. It stays disturbing while not completely relying on being cheesy and campy by describing events that could really happen. I feel this is a big step forward for the group. The second song is “Bloodfeast” and graphically describes the demolition of a human face. Tongues, eyes, and mouths are all defiled as Danzig sings of human heads, torture and is incredible thirst for blood. This song is also one of the slower songs on the album featuring Danzig singing rather than screaming in a hardcore manner. Danzig’s decision to include these two songs on Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood is one of the main reasons this record has a nastier edge than any of the group’s other releases. They are without a doubt two of the better songs from this album.
Overall if you liked The Misfits debut Walk Among Us, Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood is at least worth the time to listen to. Clocking in at 21 minutes in total length, this album is a short but explosive collection of songs. This record is generally a polarizing amongst fans, but I personally love the hardcore feel to it. This album features the band at their darkest point in terms of lyrics and image, even introducing their now infamous “devil lock” hair style during this era. Even the album cover art exudes the new dark and artistic direction that the band has chosen with this album. While this record may not be for everyone, it is a punk gem that should at least be listened to once or twice before passing it off as another shock-rock gimmick. The Misfits let their energy and talent shine through on their wild ride of an album Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood.
Track listing: 1. Earth A.D., 2. Queen Wasp, 3. Devilock, 4. Death Comes Ripping, 5. Green Hell, 6. Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight?, 7. Wolf’s Blood, 8. Demonomania, 9. Bloodfeast, 10. Hell Hound, 11. Die, Die My Darling, 12. We Bite
Personnel: Glenn Danzig – Vocals, Jerry Only – Bass, Doyle –Guitars, Robo – Drums
Favorite Songs: Die, Die My Darling, Earth A.D., Death Comes Ripping, Wolf’s Blood
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Great Music to Play While: Exercising