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”

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November Coming Fire: Samhain

Rating: 90%

Samhain_NovComFireIn 1986, Samhain III, “:November Coming Fire” was released. This album was a complete masterpiece and one of my favorite albums featuring vocalist Glenn Danzig. The band also consisted of future Danzig bassist Eerie Von. On guitars was Pete Marshall and London May on drums.  Danzig too, played drums on half of the album during the recording sessions.

Production on this album was so much better than “Initium.” There is a lack of background noise that was heard throughout the “Initium” recording. Musically, this album is just as good as anything with Danzig’s name to it. Lyrically, it is what one would expect from Danzig. The lyrics deal with pain, region and sex.  It also features the re-recording of “Halloween II” sung in Latin as it was during the Misfits years.

Structurally, this is a damn good album. I enjoyed every song on this album. It’s a mix of punk, but, it does contain elements of metal. It also features the creepy slow song called “To Walk the Night” where Danzig begins to establish himself as a vocalist rather than an ordinary punk singer. Tempos change dramatically from song to song. This album really is the build up to the future super band that will be called Danzig.

Although, this album lacks lead guitar, it does have many riffs that are heavily distorted. The drumming by both Danzig and May are superb. Eerie Von is establishing himself as a very talented bass player. This album is a very important piece of music history as it bridges the gap between punk and thrash metal as influences of both worlds are clearly heard throughout the record. If you never heard of this album, you should go out and try to find it.

Track listing:

1. “Diabolos ’88” 1:24
2. “In My Grip” 2:44
3. “Mother of Mercy” 3:09
4. “Birthright” 2:10
5. “To Walk the Night” 2:11
6. “Let the Day Begin” 2:36
7. “Halloween II” 3:15
8. “November’s Fire” 2:47
9. “Kiss of Steel” 1:29
10. “Unbridled” 1:48
11. “Human Pony Girl” 4:57

Initium: Samhain

Rating: 95%

Samhain_InitiumAfter leaving the Misfits, Glenn Danzig began a new band called Samhain. This band would move away from the Horror Punk sound to more of a Deathrock/heavier sound, more in a metal direction. Samhain will retain some of the punk sound early on and this will lead into the sound that Danzig would take with him when the band was renamed. I have always been a fan of Samhain and I love listening to them.

Initium was released in 1984 and is the debut record for Samhain. This record features Eerie Von on bass, Steve Zing on drums with the exception on the tracks “Archangel” and “Initium.” Lyle Preslar plays guitar on several tracks. Not only is Glenn Danzig the vocalist, but he to plays several instruments on this record.

Production wise, there is a good bit of background noise, but, don’t let that discourage you from enjoying the record. Glenn Danzig’s vocals are as strong on this record as they were when he was in the Misfits. He still is writing lyrics about horror as far as what could be real life, but, he is also writing about biblical themes. The lyrics are definitely darker than what he previous wrote about in the Misfits. The songs, although, are a bit gory or morbid, you do find yourself singing along with the chorus line.

Musically, this record is very good. The quality of the music is outstanding. You can tell that Glenn Danzig wanted to do something different, something darker and this record shows that. Structurally, the band is very solid. I enjoyed every aspect of this record.  “Horror Biz” is the only song on this record that Glenn brought over from his Misfits days.

Track listing:

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

American Psycho: The Misfits

Rating 90%

Misfits_-_American_Psycho_cover.jpgIn 1997, the Misfits reformed without Glenn Danzig as their front man.  The rebirth of the Misfits (which I call Generation 2) features Doyle on guitars, Jerry Only on bass, Michale Graves on vocals and Dr. Chud on drums. I know, if it doesn’t have Glenn Danzig, then it’s not the Misfits. Well…then you would be right. However, generation 2 Misfits is a band that is just as good as the line up that had Glenn Danzig. But if you are not willing to separate the two, the old from the new group, then don’t talk about the album.

Musically, this album is as good as the classic line up. The production is better due to the technology of the times. The Misfits still write lyrics that deal with horror movies and horror related themes. Some of it is what I call “child friendly”, but that’s because the band members have matured and moved on since the early 1980’s. But let’s look at what this record has compared to the 1982 “Walk Among Us” There is plenty of fast paced riffs that the Misfits were known for. There is a good structure and that the songs aren’t what I would call recycled or repeaters. Plenty of eerie sounding guitar work that Doyle was known for. Michale Graves, I think is very talented on this record. His voice, is not like Danzig, but it’s just as good. “Dig Up Her Bones” is a testament to that.

With that being said, this is a good album and it is worth the time to give it a listen without being biased. I remember, when I was at work, and a friend told me that the Misfits were reforming under a new singer. I remember me saying that this project would completely suck. Well, it didn’t.

Track listing:

1. “Abominable Dr. Phibes” 1:41
2. “American Psycho” 2:06
3. “Speak of the Devil” 1:47
4. “Walk Among Us” 1:23
5. “The Hunger” 1:43
6. “From Hell They Came” 2:16
7. “Dig Up Her Bones” 3:01
8. “Blacklight” 1:27
9. “Resurrection” 1:29
10. “This Island Earth” 2:15
11. “Crimson Ghost” 2:01
12. “Day of the Dead” 1:49
13. “The Haunting” 1:25
14. “Mars Attacks” 2:28
15. “Hate the Living, Love the Dead” 1:36
16. “Shining” 2:59
17. “Don’t Open ‘Til Doomsday” 7:58 (There is also a hidden track which is why this song is so long.)