Best known for incredibly catchy punk songs about murder and monsters, Misfits/Samhain mastermind Glenn Danzig is the only alumnus from hardcore's original old-school scene to land an album at No. 1 on Billboard's classical album chart, with 1993's Black Aria. More sophisticated and eclectic, Black Aria II is instrumental, but the auteur has never written anything as wonderfully eerie. Inspired by the Apocrypha 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), Aria II is the sound of evil things committing wicked acts in darkness.
Danzig wrote and performed the majority of the album himself, breathing deeply 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 Wagnerian leitmotif that floats through the album like a giant vampire bat. Vocalist Tania Themmen joins the dark maestro on the closer, "Lamemta Lilith," wailing like Enya reborn as a succubus. Eternal doom never sounded so beautiful. D.X. Ferris