Samhain - Samhain III - November Coming Fire

Samhain - Samhain III - November Coming Fire

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(1986, Plan 9)

There is a lot of discussion about nowadays’ Deathrock / horror Punk bands that pop up like mushrooms after the rain, originating from countries of Southern Europe and of course the queen of this genre, UK, but lets be frank here; everyone of us has listened to Glenn Danzig’s earlier works, after he had left MISFITS (at least once) or, even worst, danced to one of those out-of-the-blue student party (yup, there were lots of them back in the late 80s/early 90s). So, let’s don’t pretend that we, the genuine metalheads, hate this scene that offered some of the most aggressive moments of that kind of Punk Rock that many described as the precursor to Gothic Punk with the extra occult-like aesthetics.

“Samhain III - November Coming Fire” is SAMHAIN’s third release, after the debut “Initium” and the EP “Unholy Passion”, released in 1984 and 1985 respectively, but perhaps you already know the encyclopedia stuff. To my ears, this album is the best Deathrock / horror Punk work ever made (a truly horror Punk monument really), and even a crude prophet about what Glenn had to offer with his next named-by-his-name band, that was actually SAMHAIN but under a different name, after Rick Rubin’s proposal (yup, I know, that Rick again!). First of all, during the listening sessions of “Samhain III - November Coming Fire” you’ll instantly recognize intense, aggression and even anger, despite of the thin production that was the main characteristic of many Gothic Rock albums of that era, in the other side of Atlantic (meaning, the UK). “Diabolos ‘88” is an instrumental piece and the perfect host that will lead the listener to the super aggressive “In My Grip”; of course the MISFITS’ days for Glenn were only a glimpse away (do not forget the 3-track “Die, Die My Darling” single of 1984), so the influences (and his personal touch after all) are scattered everywhere. His baritone, powerful vocals haven’t actually changed, but the guitars are heavily treated with a chorus effect, that seems to be a constant siren of sonorous feedback in the background. Yes, SAMHAIN’s musical and lyrical style is much darker in tone than the MISFITS material.

Glenn had just created an eerie satanic mood and gave us a lot of catchy songs that sounded like absolutely nothing we’ve heard before (or since); Rozz Williams’ early CHRISTIAN DEATH probably come the closest to SAMHAIN, but it doesn’t sound that they tried so hard to be that evil. Definitely, this sound was SAMHAIN’s fingerprint, and most likely came from Danzig’s interest of artists like Peter MurphysBAUHAUS who had raked the dancefloors of the UK’s pubs in the early 80s. Listening to “Birthright” or “Let The Day Begin”, you’ll get a serious dose of UK Goth Rock mixed with sweat, blood and Glenn’s creepy vocals, and despite of the raw sound, you are going to agree with me that you can shout the chorus lines all day long (especially of the later one). Plus, the MISFITS’ re-recorded version in “Halloween II” is super creepy and bone-crushing (it’s kind of like Danzig covers Danzig, how cool is that?). And how long is the duration of this album? 28 minutes and 30 seconds! Yes, we surely deal with an 80s’ record, and back then, it was the ideal length, without the nowadays’ convenience of pushing buttons and produce music just like that (snapping fingers).

Today, almost 27 years of this album’s release, “Samhain III - November Coming Fire” sounds still fresh and unique, no matter the clones that came afterwards, trying hard to copy it and make it their own. You see, in this album’s case, all the songs run through a variety of dark textures and moods, with the bass player hardly ever playing the same thing the guitarist is playing, which makes a big difference on the intelligent-sounding scale. And do not forget:

“We all want our time in Hell

We all want our time in Hell”


Tracklist

01. Diabolos ‘88
02. In My Grip
03. Mother Of Mercy
04. Birthright
05. To Walk The Night
06. Let The Day Begin
07. Halloween II
08. November’s Fire
09. Kiss Of Steel
10. Unbridled
11. Human Pony Girl


Lineup

Glenn Danzig - Vocals, Keyboards, Drums (tracks 1, 4, 6, 8, 11)
Eerie Von - Bass, backing Vocals
Pete “Damien” Marshall - Guitar, backing Vocals
London May - Drums (tracks 2, 3, 5, 7, 9), backing Vocals