Samhain Tribute Track Premiere: Midnight- “Mother of Mercy”

Among punks and metalheads alike, Glenn Danzig’s legacy as the frontman of the Misfits and the band that bears his name is undeniable. But somewhere between the horror punk lore of Walk Among Us and the blistering blues-infused metal of How the Gods Kill lies an often overlooked part of Danzig’s history: Samhain. Samhain had originally begun as a side project between Glenn and bassist Eerie Von. After the Misfits split up in 1983, Samhain became Glenn’s main priority. The band would put out a few albums before evolving into simply Danzig in 1987 (fun fact: “Twist of Cain” was originally recorded by Samhain), building up a small but dedicated cult following along the way.

Their sound strikes the listener as a transitional entity that straddles the punk of the Misfits, with Glenn’s unmistakable voice providing a similar feeling, along with a different edge that took Earth A.D.‘s metal influences and simply kept running with them. There’s also some atmospheric death rock elements mixed in as well, thus broadening their potential appeal even further. Although the band was short-lived, they have returned from time-to-time for live performances. When I saw Danzig in 2011, he played a set of Samhain songs with some former members, along with a Misfits set with Doyle (in addition to an already amazing Danzig set). Unfortunately, albums like Initium and Samhain III: November-Coming-Fire still tend to go unrecognized when compared to the Misfits and Danzig.

But Corpse Flower Records is here to change all of that with a tribute album called We All Want Our Time in Hell, featuring Midnight, Ringworm, Ghoul, Acid Witch, Child Bite and other musician fans. Shawn Knight from Child Bite helped put the project together and even did the artwork as well. He told me that the idea came from Samhain being “the mysterious underdog” and “That mystique stuck with me. At some point a dozen or so years ago I came to the realization that they could be the perfect band for a tribute record; enough of a cult following to be worth doing yet not so popular that people are sick of the songs.”

In gathering this group of bands together, he says he “initially reached out to artists who I’ve had involvement with in the past. Some were bands that I know from putting on Berserker; others I had met from touring with Child Bite. Interestingly enough, the majority of responses received were either of extreme enthusiasm or complete disdain. Ha! I guess Danzig is kinda polarizing in that way.”As is often true about anyone worth talking about.

He mentions that “it’s a nice mix of genres; I didn’t want this thing to be all just one type of music. Samhain seems to have made the biggest impression with really heavy bands, and luckily many of these tracks feature some melodic vocals here and there from bands that don’t usually do that. It would’ve been a shame to not incorporate the vocal melodies.”

Check out Midnight’s cover of “Mother of Mercy” below, along with a pic of them with Danzig himself above. I couldn’t think of a better band to put a filthy and crushing spin on an old classic! The full album comes out on May 4th, but pre-orders are available here as well.