Best known for incredibly catchy punk songs about murder and monsters, Misfits mastermind Glenn Danzig landed a No. 1 album on Billboard
's classical album chart with 1992's Black Aria
. More sophisticated and eclectic, the sequel's instrumentals surpass the wonderful eeriness of anything the auteur has ever written. Inspired by the tale of Lilith Adam's first wife, whose fierce spirit 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 most 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 rivals Philip Glass-style minimalism, with a Wagner-worthy leitmotif floating like a giant vampire bat. Vocalist Tania Themmen joins the dark maestro on the album's closer, "Lamenta Lilith," wailing like Enya reborn as a succubus. Eternal doom never sounded so beautiful.