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Samhain – Live 1984 (Starland Ballroom)

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Is there anyone out there that is going to deny the influence and power that Samhain had on the underground punk/metal scene back in the early 80s? I doubt it. Long before Glenn Danzig became the master of evil with his solo career, he was the key figure that created the huge underground swell of excitement around Samhain.

Teamed with Eerie Von, Damien and Zing, this classic 1984 concert and the now demolished Starland Ballroom in Hollywood captures all the frenetic energy and fury of a band that should have been much more than they ended up being. Rollicking anthems like “The Shift” or “Unholy Passion” fill this CD. This is one very dirty, dark recording that features no overdubs or “enhancements” from the band. It is what it is – an evil underground band venting their frustrations into their craft. While the band sounds great, this DVD is really a showcase of Danzig and what he was at the time. He was a brooding, dark maniac who left it all on the table each and every time he played. STARLAND was just one example of that, but having seen him several times, this has been how he’s conducted his whole career. It’s also interesting to hear their take on “Die Die My Darling”, a tune that most of today’s world think Metallica did. In reality, Metallica’s version is just a poor version of the original, and the live version captured here clearly demonstrates how it was supposed to be played.

RATING – 8/10 – Danzig may be more famous now for the ass-whipping he took at the hands of the North Side Kings than he is for his work in Samhain, but after watching LIVE 1984: STARLAND BALLROOM, there is little doubt that he and this band were legendary in their own way. Well worth the fairly low pricetag attached to this one.

Chris Akin

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