Unholy Passion EP: Samhain

Rating: 90%

Samhain_Passion.jpgOver the weekend, I was able to pick up a copy on vinyl, this little treasure by one of my favorite bands, Samhain. The vinyl is splattered orange and is a reissue, but…at least I have a copy of it on vinyl now. I remember purchasing the 1990 version of this EP under the “Final Descent” album on cassette. Then the box set came in 2000, and I was able to get a copy on CD.

1985, saw the release “Unholy Passion” by Samhain. This was the second album to be released by the band. You have the one and only Glenn Danzig on vocals, keyboards, as well the guitar. Eerie Von on bass, Steve Zing on drums, and Damien on guitar.

Musically, this record sounds amazing on vinyl. The overall sound of the band is fantastic. The entire band sounds much tighter. It’s got a very rich guitar sound that doesn’t take away from the bass. The riffs are present as well as the structures themselves. You hear less of the Punk structure with the band moving more into the direction of Rock and Heavy Metal. Lyrically, it’s much darker than the “Initium” debut. Glenn’s vocal style is more of what he has been known in the band Danzig. 

Overall, if you a fan of anything that Danzig has ever done, then this is a great addition to the collection. I have been a fan ever since 1988, and it didn’t take long before I discovered the other bands that Danzig was with. Even though, Samhain more or less changed it’s name to Danzig, so, one might say the other band Glenn was with.

Track listing:

Side A
1. “Unholy Passion” 3:10
2. “All Hell” 2:19
Side B
1. “Moribund” 1:43
2. “The Hungry End” 3:06
3. “I Am Misery” 3:40

Black Hell: Danzig

Rating: 95%

DanzigBlackHell12Web.jpg“Black Hell” was released on the sound track for the 2011 movie “The Hangover Part II.”  It opens on a lone almost out of tune and heavily distorted guitar. Then Glenn’s classic low vocal style, almost to the point of a spoken word, comes in. Between the vocal and the guitar, the song becomes a very dark, eerie, and evil to listen to.

The lyrics are very dark. The music and song structure is also very dark. The song itself has a great slow and mid level tempo. The chorus has some outstanding harmony between the vocals and the music itself. This is classic Danzig at it’s best.

Box Set: Samhain

Rating: 100%

SamhainboxIn 2000, Glenn Danzig released the box set for his formal band, Samhain. Although, not much in the way of unreleased material, the box set basically released the Samhain catalog that had been out of print for several years. Although, I had three of the five albums in this box set on cassette, this was an awesome release for me to grab the day this was package as a box set. I paid $40 for this the day it came out, and now, you can’t buy this box set for under $100 and most of the CDs are again, out of print.

Let’s break down the box set. The VHS live recording it comes with, the sound and video quality sucks. But you do get a chance to see this band on stage in their prime. The comic book that came with the box set is pretty cool too! Other than that, the rest is CDs.

The quality of the CDs is pretty good. Some of them were remastered, such as “Unholy Passion” due to Glenn laying out new guitar tracks. It also contains some material that went over to the actual Danzig band. Such songs as “Twist of Cain”, “Trouble”, and “Possession.” Now, with that being said, there is a good amount of Samhain material floating around out there, that is not part of the box set, including a very early version of “Archangel.” I had to download that.

What makes this box set so special is the fact that you finally got a chance to covert your cassettes for CDs. That is what made me happy about this box set. My old tapes were so chewed up and beaten up to the point, that I wasn’t able to enjoy the music. That’s why I rated this as 100%. Samhain wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but this box set bridges the gap of the glorious Misfits and the actual Danzig band.

Track listing:

Initium (Disc One)
“Initium” / “Samhain”
“Black Dream”
“All Murder, All Guts, All Fun”
“Macabre”
“He-Who-Can-Not-Be-Named”
“Horror Biz”
“The Shift”
“The Howl”
“Archangel”

Unholy Passion (Disc Two)
“Unholy Passion”
“All Hell”
“Moribund”
“The Hungry End”
“Misery Tomb”
“I Am Misery”

Samhain III: November-Coming-Fire (Disc Three)
“Diabolos ’88”
“In My Grip”
“Mother of Mercy”
“Birthright”
“To Walk the Night”
“Let the Day Begin”
“Halloween II”
“November’s Fire”
“Kiss of Steel”
“Unbridled”
“Human Pony Girl”

Final Descent (Disc Four)
“Night Chill”
“Descent”
“Death…In Its Arms”
“Lords of the Left Hand”
“The Birthing”
“Twist of Cain”
“Possession”
“Trouble”
“Lords of the Left Hand: 2nd Version”

Samhain Live ’85-’86 (Disc Five)
“All Hell”
“Samhain”
“The Shift”
“The Howl”
“Unholy Passion”
“All Murder, All Guts, All Fun”
“I Am Misery”
“The Hungry End”
“Horror Biz”
“He-Who-Can-Not-Be-Named”
“Black Dream”
“Death Comes Ripping”
“Mother of Mercy”
“To Walk the Night”
“Halloween II”
“In My Grip”
“London Dungeon”
“Archangel”

Live VHS
“All Murder, All Guts, All Fun”
“The Shift”
“Unholy Passion”
“Black Dream”
“The Hungry End”
“I Am Misery”
“Horror Biz”
“Moribund”
“All Hell”
“London Dungeon”
“Archangel”
“Mother of Mercy”
“To Walk the Night”
“Samhain”
“Moribund”
“Black Dream”

Deth Red Sabaoth: Danzig

Rating: 90%

Deth_Red_Sabaoth.jpgIn 2010, Danzig released this interesting gem. This album has a lot of catchy lyrics, great beats, and sounds pretty good. The material mixture is somewhat carried over from “Circle of Snakes” which isn’t a bad thing. This album seems to go a bit beyond the material of the previous album. It features a lot of solos and leads. Think of the basics and that there makes this a good album. Besides, this album has some really interesting song titles, such as “Black Candy” in which Glenn plays all instrumentation, and “JuJu Bone.”

John Kelly is a nice added bonus to the drumming spot. Recording in the studio is Tommy Victor on both the guitar and bass. Mixing seems to be pretty even keeled as far as the final product. Glenn’s vocals are decent and not strained. There’s a lot of good tempos, riffs, and leads. Overall, this is another good album with lots of harmony and melody.

Track listing:

“Hammer of the Gods” – 5:20
“The Revengeful” – 4:10
“Rebel Spirits” – 3:58
“Black Candy” – 4:08
“On a Wicked Night” – 4:02
“Deth Red Moon” – 3:58
“Ju Ju Bone” – 4:45
“Night Star Hel” – 6:42
“Pyre of Souls: Incanticle” – 3:18
“Pyre of Souls: Seasons of Pain” – 7:17
“Left Hand Rise Above” – 4:22

Circle of Snakes: Danzig

Rating: 85%

CircleofSnakesIn 2004, Danzig returned with his eighth release “Circle of Snakes.” This album has a really good vibe to it. It’s eerie, heavy, evil, and well written out. The sound is a return to what may have come after Danzig4 if you can imagine that. Basically, releasing his band mates from the previous album, Glenn is achieving a fresh new sound and new ideas.

Glenn’s vocals are more balanced and less strained. I feel that he is within the range that his voice is now in. Tommy Victor’s guitar work is top notch from his leads to the riffs. His sound is such a good match for what Danzig is trying accomplish with this album. Bevan Davies’s drumming is a welcome to this album as is Jerry Montano’s bass which is clearly heard. Listen to “Night, BeSodom.”

What we have here is an album with new ideas, a fresh sound, and more complex song writing. The production is very good. The album is a throwback to when Danzig did just Heavy Metal music, loosing most if not all of the Industrial Metal and experimentation with electronics.

Track listing:

“Wotans Procession” – 2:23
“SkinCarver” – 3:57
“Circle of Snakes” – 3:07
“1000 Devils Reign” – 3:47
“Skull Forrest” – 5:06
“HellMask” – 3:14
“When We Were Dead” – 4:46
“Night, BeSodom” – 3:28
“My Darkness” – 4:21
“NetherBound” – 3:41
“Black Angel, White Angel” – 4:23

Danzig 777: I Luciferi : Danzig

Rating: 75%

Danzig_I_LuciferiRebuilding and rediscovering the music the music you once released is sometimes hard to do. In 2002, Danzig did exactly that or at least tried. There is a lot of really good material on this album. Then there is the material just to me is nothing more than filler. Sounds wise, the guitar has an amazing deep and heavy sound to it.

Let’s start with the musicianship of the album. Glenn’s vocals are much clearer than the two previous albums, but you can tell he isn’t a young pup anymore. Also, I wish his vocals would turned up a bit during the final stages of production. Joey Castillo’s drumming is more straight forward instead of the electronic stuff. There are some really good drums lines throughout this entire album. Todd Youth’s guitar is really decent. He can throw out these complex riffs as well as leads. The bass is there, but I wish Howie Pyro would have done a bit more.

Even though there are some good songs, what you have here is a basic Danzig album that is about average. High points to this album: These songs offer a good balance between the classic era and the post original line up.

  • “Black Mass”
  • “Wicked Pussycat”
  • “Dead Inside”
  • “Kiss the Skull”
  • “Angel Blake”
  • “Halo Goddess Bone”
  • “Without Light, I Am”

Track listing:

“Unendlich” – 1:51
“Black Mass” – 4:58
“Wicked Pussycat” – 4:03
“God of Light” – 3:39
“Liberskull” – 5:45
“Dead Inside” – 5:16
“Kiss the Skull” – 4:11
“I Luciferi” – 3:15
“Naked Witch” – 3:55
“Angel Blake” – 3:35
“The Coldest Sun” – 3:59
“Halo Goddess Bone” – 4:29
“Without Light, I Am” – 5:32

6:66 Satan’s Child: Danzig

Rating: 85%

danzig_666In 1999, Danzig released his 6th record. This album compared to his previous album “Blackaciddevil”, Danzig toned down the technical part. The end result is an album that is still very dark in nature, but heavier with focus on more traditional sounds of Heavy Metal. Now he does keep certain elements of the Industrial Metal in this, but it’s more balanced and polished.

Musically, this is a solid record. While it still has some of the electrical and technical aspects, Danzig here, creates a good way for the two worlds to exists. Does this album have the vocal style that Glenn is known for? Well, yes and no. His vocals are more mid range and on some songs soft. Musicianship of the band is pretty tight and thick. Tighter than “Blackaciddevil.” Josh Lazie’s bass sound pretty good on these tracks. Jeff Chambers does produce some really tight riffs and there are some decent leads. Most of the guitar work features that drop D tuning which gives it that deeper and darker tone to the music. Joey Castillo produces some very complex tempos on the drums. Pretty solid comeback. Highlights on this album are “Five Finger Crawl”, “Unspeakable”, “Firemass” and “Cold Eternal.”

Track listing:

1. “Five Finger Crawl” 3:38
2. “Belly of the Beast” 4:28
3. “Lilin” 6:31
4. “Unspeakable” 4:12
5. “Cult Without a Name” 4:39
6. “East Indian Devil (Kali’s Song)” 4:03
7. “Firemass” 3:52
8. “Cold Eternal” 4:41
9. “Satan’s Child” 3:30
10. “Into the Mouth of Abandonement” 4:37
11. “Apokalips” 4:45
12. “Thirteen” 4:12