Sunday, July 3, 2011
Worth the Effort: November Coming Fire - Samhain - 1986
November Coming Fire is a transitional record for a transitional band. Not quite the high-sheen gloss of American Records' Danzig, but certainly leaps and bounds ahead of the homemade sound of the Misfits, November Coming Fire found Samhain, and Danzig, at their peak. From the opening instrumental of "Diabolos '88," the listener knows they're in for an incredible, dark ride. The band tears through your speakers with the one-two punch of "In My Grip" and "Mother of Mercy" before unveiling what can now be viewed in retrospect as the first hint of the "Danzig" sound, "To Walk the Night." Featuring sweeping vocals and crashing guitars, this track nonetheless maintains the darkness unique to Samhain and stands as one of the highlights of this, their finest moment. But the record's only halfway through. "Let the Day Begin" feels like the unexpected second drop on the roller coaster and the listener is treated to another torrent of incredible tracks: the best yet of the Misfits updates, "Halloween II," the quintessential "Novembers Fire," and the hilarious twisted "Human Pony Girl," a sort of deformed sister to the Misfits' "Angelfuck."
November Coming Fire represents all that is Halloween, and more importantly, the best that Samhain has to offer. And that's saying a lot.
Depending upon the pressing you're seeking, November Coming Fire may demand as little as $20 and could extend into triple digits for a new, sealed copy. E-Magine Records most recently pressed the CD in 2001 but, for my money, one of the Caroline versions pressed through the mid-'90s is preferable if only for the less sloppily prepared artwork. E-Magine reissued the entire Samhain catalogue at the turn of the millennium and, frankly, did a pretty shitty job in terms of attention to detail. Still, it's the music that matters most and if you can get a copy, grab one.