Samhain – “Initium” (1984)

Samhain - InitiumShort in stature but long on ambition, Glenn Danzig had a do-it-yourself attitude and a unique artistic vision.  With his unstoppable will and twisted creative mind, Danzig made the Misfits an iconic band — even if their “success” wasn’t fully realized until years after their (initial) demise.  The Misfits legend has grown with time while Glenn’s other famous band, simply called Danzig, achieved success in real time (peaking in popularity with 1993’s Thrall-Demonsweatlive EP).  Between the two iconic periods in Glenn Danzig’s career he fronted the lesser-known Samhain.  As you might expect, Samhain’s sound was somewhere between the band Glenn left behind (Misfits) and the band that Samhain would eventually evolve in to (Danzig).

Initium was released in 1984 on Glenn Danzig’s Plan 9 record label.  The cover features the infamous skull logo (lifted from a Marvel comic) — one that Glenn would carry forward through his Danzig years.  Initium retains some Misfits residue with songs such as All Murder, All Guts, All Fun and Horror Biz (a re-working of the old Misfits tune Horror Business).  But on whole, Initium finds Danzig in a less campy mood as he travails into darker and more “gothic” territory.  The recording itself is rather murky.  While the low production values seemed to have complimented the B-grade horror lyrics of the Misfits, I think we should expect a little more from the more “serious” Samhain.  But during this transitional phase in his career, Danzig didn’t have the financial means nor backing band capable of making a totally convincing go of the Samhain concept.  Faves include Horror Biz and Archangel.  My score: B-

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