Lodi’s original son, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, got his start back in 1980 with the original Misfits. Known for his trademark makeup, hairstyle, and raucous guitar playing, Doyle wasn’t always as he appears today and began his journey starting out as a roadie. Glenn Danzig and Doyle’s brother Jerry Only taught him how to play guitar and put him into the lineup. Doyle just happened to be the band’s third guitarist and came on the heels of Bobby Steele.
After the breakup of the Misfits in late 1983, Doyle went on to play with Kryst – The Conqueror with brother Jerry and drummer “The Murp.” The band played metal and was together from around 1987-1989 before Doyle and Only reformed the Misfits (without Danzig) and playing from 1995-2000.
He then went on to form Gorgeous Frankenstein in 2005, pulling up Jersey roots and heading to Las Vegas where he used his time sharing the stage with Glenn Danzig’s band. 2007 saw the addition of Gorgeous Frankenstein joining Danzig on tour. This line up included Argyle Goolsby of Blitzkid, Dr. Chud, and Gorgeous George. Doyle has since joined them on several occasions to play 30-minute-long sets of classic Misfits songs.
During the latter quarter of 2011, former vocalist Danzig and guitarist Doyle performed Misfits songs on four different occasions as part of the “Danzig Legacy” tour. The first of the four shows, which took place on Oct. 7 in Chicago as one of the headlining acts at Riot Fest, saw a sold-out crowd of 5,000+. The last true “Legacy” show took place on Halloween at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles with an oversold crowd of over 7,000.
It was shortly after this time that Doyle came to be. Around 2013 the band released their debut album, Abominator, was released digitally through INgrooves/Fontana Distribution on July 30, 2013, through iTunes, Google Play, and other streaming services, like Deezer. It was distributed by Altavoz (USA), Nippon Columbia (Japan) and Cargo Records (Europe).
Doyle set out on the 2015 Abominator Tour in March, hitting the road as an opening act for Mushroomhead through April, with headlining dates continuing after into May. Dr. Chud left the band shortly before the band’s first tour, Annihilate America, in 2014, and was replaced by Anthony “Tiny” Biuso Midway through the 2015 tour. Shortly after, “Tiny” stated that he would no longer be playing with the band, and would not continue the remainder of the tour. A replacement was found immediately: Brandon Pertzborn, the latest tour drummer of Black Flag. “Left Hand” Graham was replaced for the 2015 tour, and the band was featuring DieTrich Thrall on bass instead.
Doyle came out with his second record in the summer of 2017, and that’s what we’re looking at now. As We Die has been the ongoing moniker of the tour and Doyle is out on the road supporting this second record as we speak. As We Die was released on Doyle’s own Monsterman Records and has a total of 13-songs. This record is also a celebration of sorts, as a live show will be taking place at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ on Wednesday, Feb. 21.
The Dingbatz show will also feature opening acts Deadtide, After The Burn, War for the Crown and Deadly Nights.
I took a listen to some of the songs on As We Die, the biting follow-up to Abominator and wanted to mention them here ahead of the show which looks to be a complete knockout.
The disc opens with the wildly Black Sabbath meets Megadeth sounds of “Kiss Me As We Die.” There’s nothing small or thin-sounding on this song and Doyle’s band is a seething mass of talent and style. Opening guitar riffs slam you over the head with their evil and technically proficient lead line charges. Vocals are clear and powerful, going from straight out roar to focused and melodic choruses complete with backing vocals. Bass and drums pump vicious blood through the piece at a non-stop rate and support Doyle well. Verse intros are heavy downstrokes of guitar god power as drums and bass accentuate the riffs. The delivery on “Kiss Me As We Die” is lethal and powerful, hitting the listener right in the mouth with raw, emotional fury and substantial rhythmic power. Lead guitars scream over the bridge, singing in harmony as bass, drums, and rhythm guitars churn and crank hot, sizzling washes of compositional rage over the back and into the end. The song also features the darkly urgent pleas supplied by Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy. I’m not sure what Doyle is playing in the studio, but his massive, thick style comes across in spades, and it’s a non-stop journey from beginning to end.
Another great song is called “Run For Your Life.” Guitar riffs stretch and smoke the beginning before a quick drum solo and into the intro and verse. The chorus in “Run For Your Life” is intense and addictive. If you’re a fan of old-school metal sounds, you’re going to love this song. I love how the guitar riffs twirl between drum hits and heavy bass passages as vocals tear the roof off this sucker. Doyle plays a lot as Tony Iommi used to when he was right. Dark, foreboding riffs mix with melodic and harmony-laden lead passages. Verses work themselves into large bridges that take you back to that killer chorus before Doyle screeches into the middle-eight solo break that gets him in and out in four short measures before the band is back at the chorus. There is no time-wasting theatrics here, and the group gets right to the point and keeps the listener with them all the way through until the end.
Another great song is “Witchcraft.” The band gets off on some weirdly cool riffage as vocals come out smooth and clean to extoll their message to the masses. Bass and drums are simple and effective, nailing this behemoth to the tarmac as Doyle riffs up a storm before the 1950s styled chorus hits you. Once again, simple and melodic, Doyle and company get in and get out while the chorus is hot and that’s the way to get this done. Doyle’s middle-eight combines blistering harmony lines, mad riffs and Octave sounds that melt your ears right off your head before reaching back to that hooky chorus that blends all forms of rock ‘n’ roll from the start to now in a wild presentation.
While I don’t have space to focus on the entire record, I did want to mention a few songs that caught me right away and let you know that you’ll be able to hear much of the album when they play Dingbatz tonight in Clifton. Doyle II As We Die is a high energy record with the taste for lovers of old-school metal as well as the music being released now, and it’s a must to have for any Doyle fan out there today.
This performance is an all-ages show and starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the door, if you’re lucky, costing $18/$20. For more information on Doyle head over to officialdoyle.com and for show info hit up Dingbatz at dingbatznj.com.