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

Live At The Whiskey-A-Go-Go: Misfits

Rating: 85%

th.jpgReleased more or less as a bootleg in 1982, this Misfits live album is another look into the last moments of the Glenn Danzig era. To me, it’s important piece of Danzig and Misfits history. The band sounds pretty good, with lots of energy, and the audience itself seems to be having fun.

The sound is very raw and intense, with Glenn’s vocals thrown forward of the music. The music itself is on steroids for as fast as they are playing with lots of feedback. It’s heavy! For me, I am hearing the Misfits for who they really were. Henry Rollins of Black Flag appears on the song Bullet.

Track listing:

  1. Halloween
  2. I Turned Into a Martian
  3. Horror Business
  4. Mommy, Can I go out and Kill Tonight
  5. We bite
  6. London Dungeon
  7. All Hell
  8. Halloween
  9. Skulls
  10. We are 138
  11. Astro Zombies
  12. Brain Eaters
  13. Bullet

Box Set: The Misfits

Rating: 100%

Misfits_-_box_set_cover.jpgIn 1996, the Misfits coffin shaped box set was released. I was there, the day it was released. I managed to grab one of the 50,000 first pressings that included ‘Fiend Club’ pin/badge and a special case for the Static Age CD as well as the 28 page booklet with liner notes, photos, and lyrics. Now, I had all of the Misfits on cassette, so when the box set was released, this was my chance to own an upgraded version on CD.

The collection contained both, released and unreleased material going back as far as 1977. It was worth the $50 that I dished out. Lot’s of great material, even though, many of the songs repeat, but they are different versions. The quality was amazing, even the earlier sessions on Disc Three. It’s neat to hear a very young Glenn Danzig compared to the much older Glenn Danzig today. This was a must have for any Misfits, Samhain, or Danzig fan. 

Track listing:

Collection I
1-01 She 1:21
1-02 Hollywood Babylon 2:17
1-03 Horror Business 2:42
1-04 Teenagers From Mars 2:33
1-05 Night Of The Living Dead 1:51
1-06 Where Eagles Dare 2:06
1-07 Vampira 1:19
1-08 I Turned Into A Martian 1:41
1-09 Skulls 1:56
1-10 London Dungeon 2:33
1-11 Ghouls Night Out 1:56
1-12 Astro Zombies 2:09
1-13 Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight? 1:58
1-14 Die Die My Darling 3:07

Collection II
1-15 Cough / Cool 2:14
1-16 Children In Heat 2:05
1-17 Horror Hotel 1:25
1-18 Halloween 1:50
1-19 Halloween II 2:11
1-20 Hate Breeders 2:43
1-21 Braineaters 0:57
1-22 Nike A Go Go 2:13
1-23 Devils Whorehouse 1:47
1-24 Mephisto Waltz 1:43
1-25 Rat Fink 1:50
1-26 We Bite 1:13

Legacy Of Brutality
2-01 Static Age 1:45
2-02 TV Casualty 2:33
2-03 Hybrid Moments 1:38
2-04 Spinal Remains 1:23
2-05 Come Back 4:59
2-06 Some Kinda Hate 2:04
2-07 Theme For A Jackal 2:36
2-08 Angelfuck 1:34
2-09 Who Killed Marilyn? 1:55
2-10 Where Eagles Dare 1:57
2-11 She 1:21
2-12 Halloween 1:46
2-13 American Nightmare 1:42

2-14 20 Eyes (Live) 1:55
2-15 Night Of The Living Dead (Live) 1:43
2-16 Astro Zombies (Live) 2:03
2-17 Horror Business (Live) 2:05
2-18 London Dungeon (Live) 2:14
2-19 Nike A Go Go (Live) 3:22
2-20 Hate Breeders (Live) 2:39
2-21 Devils Whorehouse (Live) 1:40
2-22 All Hell Breaks Loose (Live) 1:33
2-23 Horror Hotel (Live) 1:12
2-24 Ghouls Night Out (Live) 1:42
2-25 We Are 138 (Live) Guest, Vocals [Guest Screams] – Henry Rollins

Earth AD
2-26 Earth A.D. 2:08
2-27 Queen Wasp 1:30
2-28 Devilock 1:25
2-29 Death Comes Ripping 1:53
2-30 Green Hell 1:52
2-31 Wolfs Blood 1:11
2-32 Demonomania 0:43
2-33 Bloodfeast 2:28
2-34 Hellhound 1:13

3-01 Cough / Cool 2:06
3-02 She 1:15
(Date Unknown. No Studio)
3-03 Who Killed Marilyn? 1:58
3-04 Where Eagles Dare 2:00
3-05 Horror Business 2:42
3-06 Teenagers From Mars 2:32
3-07 Children In Heat 2:05
(Date Unknown. Songshop)
3-08 Night Of The Living Dead 2:02
3-09 Where Eagles Dare 1:51
3-10 Vampira 1:36
3-11 Violent World 1:50
3-12 Who Killed Marilyn? 1:50
3-13 Spook City U.S.A. 2:13
3-14 Horror Business 2:32
(9/5/80. Master Sound Productions)
3-15 I Turned Into A Martian 1:49
3-16 Skulls 1:52
3-17 Night Of The Living Dead 1:51
3-18 Astro Zombies 2:13
3-19 Where Eagles Dare 1:37
3-20 Violent World 1:34
3-21 Halloween II 2:28
(8/81 Reel Platinum)
3-22 20 Eyes 2:07
3-23 I Turned Into A Martian 1:57
3-24 Astro Zombies 2:13
3-25 Vampira 1:19
3-26 Devils Whorehouse 1:44
(Date Unknown. Mix-O-Lydian Or Newsoundland)
3-27 Nike A Go Go 2:38
(Date Unknown. Studio Unknown)
3-28 Hate Breeders 3:07
(Date Unknown. Reel Platinum)
3-29 20 Eyes 1:45
3-30 Violent World 1:36

Static Age
4-01 Untitled 0:06
4-02 Static Age 1:46
4-03 TV Casualty 2:23
4-04 Some Kinda Hate 1:59
4-05 Last Caress 1:55
4-06 Return Of The Fly 1:34
4-07 Hybrid Moments 1:40
4-08 We Are 138 1:40
4-09 Teenagers From Mars 2:48
4-10 Come Back 4:57
4-11 Angelfuck 1:36
4-12 Hollywood Babylon 2:17
4-13 Attitude 1:28
4-14 Bullet 1:36
4-15 Theme For A Jackal 2:35
4-16 Untitled 0:08

Hell, Sweet Hell: The Hellfreaks

Rating: 80%

r-3639021-1338405574-1039-jpegIn 2010, Hungarian band the Hellfreaks released their debut record called “Hell, Sweet Hell.” This is their attempt at Psychobilly and Horror Punk. For the most part, their aim is pretty good. The music is enjoyable and sounds like the HorrorPops meets Hank III and Rev. Horton Heat.

The album credits as far as the musicians are concern, you have vocalist Shakey Sue, guitarist Freaky Tiki, bassist Bloody Holly, stand up bassist Kevin Crime, and drummers Willy Cruel and Sick Rick.  The musicianship is very good.

Musically, there’s lot’s of harmony, lot’s of great melodies. The stand up bass is excellent. I love hearing the rap-pa-tap- of the bass. With regards to the guitars, there’s lot’s of fast riffs, and some good lead solos. There’s a lot of good tempos being set by the drummer and I love hearing that double bass. The female vocals are OK. For Punk music they are right on. Shakey Sue’s voice is very whiny and Pop sounding. Their evil sounding and that balances things out.

3714d51964b8453db5ef75e2b90fbc73Highlights on this album include, “Queen Of The Psycho Scene”, “Boogieman” and “Psycho Wrecking Tonight.”


Track listing:

Go Go Hellfreaks
Hell Sweet Hell
If I Die Today
Living Dead Cat
Mr Dead Kiss
Sick Soul
Queen Of The Psycho Scene
Psycho Wrecking Tonight
We Prefer

Into the Night: Son of Sam

Rating: 90%

Son_of_Sam_-_Into_the_Night_cover.jpgIn 2008, Son of Sam was resurrected with a new line up for their second official release “Into the Night.” The new line up consisted of vocalist Ian Thorne and drummer Karl Rosqvist. Returning members was guitarist Todd Youth and bassist Steve Zing.

Musically, it still contains that strong Samhain sound and Misfits style of vocals. It also contains that eeriness sound while maintaining that Punk style. There are plenty of great guitar riffs and fantastic leads. The songs themselves do not get bogged down, in fact there are many fast paced tempos and up beat bass and drum lines. Several good melodies and a sound that isn’t polished. Vocally, it’s pretty good.  Lyrically, it contains those darker themes. Highlights include “Twisted Soul”, “Into The Night”, and “The Bleeding.”

Track listing:

“The Bleeding” – 4:19
“Suffer” – 3:20
“Dark Life” – 3:15
“Into The Night” – 3:18
“Twisted Soul” – 4:00
“Death Baby” – 4:32
“They Have Risen” – 1:38
“Sons Of New” – 3:46
“Darkness Calls (Pure Evil II)” – 4:38

Songs From the Earth: Son of Sam

Rating: 90%

Son_of_Sam_-_Songs_from_the_Earth_cover.jpgIn 2000, some of the formal members of Samhain and those with Danzig formed Son of Sam. This was a side project started by then Danzig guitarist Todd Youth. Upon completion, the line up for this band consisted of vocalist Davey Havok, guitarist Todd Youth and formal Samhain members London May on drums and bassist Steve Zing. Other guest musicians included Glenn Danzig, Joey C., Howie Pyro all part of the Danzig line up and Ricky Mahler along with Nick 13.

Musically, if you like Samhain, then this album is a good one to try. Many compare it to the Misfits or Sonic Youth, but I hear more Samhain influences than anything. Unless they are describing the backing vocals, well then I do hear the Misfits. The chorus lines are in tune with harmonizing backing vocals.

The instrumentation is top notch. There are several kick ass riffs, leads, bass lines and drumming. There is a certain eeriness to the music that is dark, cold, and deep, while maintaining that Punk feel. Besides the Punk influences, there is a certain heaviness to the music itself, that places this album into the realms of Heavy Metal.

This album screams all of the classics we all love with Danzig. It has the dark lyrical themes, and sound to it. So, if you’re into Danzig or Samhain with a touch of the Misfits, then this is a good choice. When I first heard this, I thought that Samhain had a reunion and no one told me about it.  This is a great record from a great side project that I wish would have done more than two albums.

Track listing:

“Of Power” – 3:31
“Stray” – 2:53
“Evernight” – 3:12
“In the Hills” – 2:25
“Songs from the Earth” – 4:12
“Satiate” – 2:40
“Of Man” – 2:46
“Michael” – 3:14
“Purevil” – 3:07
“Invocation” – 2:16

Sleep In Safety: 45 Grave

Rating: 85%

45_Grave_-_Sleep_in_Safety.jpgThis is a Punk band that I rediscovered a few years ago. Come to find out, they are still around playing, even though, their records are far and few in between. In fact, they only released two studio albums, a several EPs.

Who were 45 Grave? Well, they were one of the front runners of the California Punk scene that helped to continue the Horror Punk genre. They’re not the Misfits or the Undead, but their brand of Horror Punk is truly something different for the time. I love early 1980’s Punk as there were so many styles of Punk music for the era.

In 1983, 45 Grave released their debut record “Sleep In Safety.” It’s Horror Punk that is raw and unique for the time. The style of the music isn’t heavy, and it did contain some of the Pop or New Wave element, but it also contains some of the eeriness one would expect from this genre. The vocals are just as evil sounding and when you mixed the two with the enchantment of the keyboards, it’s just down right scary. Well, maybe not in today’s terms, but back in the 1980’s, this evilness of horror and cuteness, would make anyone run away.

7949042e1f9e3dc4dd4e3f4fdc84266aThe musicianship on this record is pretty standard. Drummer Don Bolles hit, smacks, and pounds the skins. His work on this album is very good and is pretty tight. Then you have the riffs and lead solos being conducted by Paul Cutler. Then you have bassist Rob Graves and keyboardist Paul Roessler. Rounding out the front and on vocals is the one and only Dinah Cancer. Her vocals are very thick and full of grit. I really admire her vocal work and her range.

Musically, this album is very dark and eerie. The subject matter of the lyrics are just as dark, chilling and cold. They deal with all aspects of society from religion to violence. This album produced 45 Grave’s most known song “Partytime.” But this song isn’t about partying. As awful as the subject of the lyrics, they do rise awareness to child abuse.  It deals with a five year old girl who was brutally murdered and we’ll leave it at that. “Evil” deals with misconception through lies. “Evil” is another song that is well know by the band. It also has a really riff.

Track listing:

Side A
1. “Insurance from God” 5:03
2. “Evil” 2:52
3. “Partytime” 3:16
4. “Dream Hits II” 1:48
5. “Slice o’ Life” 6:08
Side B
1. “45 Grave” 3:30
2. “Phantoms” 3:55
3. “Violent World” 2:05
4. “Bad Love” 2:45
5. “Surf Bat”1:17
6. “Procession” 5:16