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Studio album by Samhain
Released 1984
Recorded 1981, 1983-1984
Genre Horror punk, deathrock
Length 29:01
Label Plan 9
Producer Glenn Danzig
Samhain chronology
Unholy Passion (EP)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1] 5/5 stars[2]

Initium is the 1984 debut album of Samhain, released on lead singer Glenn Danzig's independent record label, Plan 9. In various interviews Danzig states that the album's title, which translates from Latin to English as "beginning", represents his new start after disbanding his prior band, The Misfits, in 1983. Most of the final track, "Archangel", was actually recorded in March 1981, and was originally meant to either be a Misfits song featuring Dave Vanian (who never did vocals for the song) or a track for the band The Damned. The track Horror Biz likewise dates to Danzig's Misfits era, as it is a new version of "Horror Business" with different musical arrangements. The album was recorded at Reel Platinum studio in Lodi, New Jersey, excluding the introduction which was recorded at Eerie Von's home on a four track cassette.[3]

Also appearing on this recording are Lyle Preslar, guitarist for the influential D.C. band Minor Threat (CD tracks 2, 4, 6, and 7), and Al Pike, bassist for Reagan Youth, (CD track 9).

Different versions[edit]

The 1986 cassette release features 'Initium' plus the entire original version of the band's follow-up record, the 'Unholy Passion EP', and is highly prized by collectors. Also much sought is the initial 1987 CD release of 'Initium', which featured the album plus the re-recorded/remixed version of the EP. (In 1989, these extra tracks were removed from all future CD pressings, and were instead included on the original 1990 Final Descent album). A very rare pressing exists, however, which contains the full 'Initium' album and only the remixed title track from the EP. Likewise, some copies of the 2001 'Initium' reissue also feature the song "Unholy Passion" as an unlisted bonus track.

The Samhain live DVD mentions a single for "All Murder, All Guts, All Fun", but no information on said single has surfaced.

Track listing (orig. 1984 LP and most CD/cassette releases)[edit]


  1. "Initium" / "Samhain" * -- 3:39
  2. "Black Dream" -- 2:00
  3. "All Murder All Guts All Fun" -- 2:44
  4. "Macabre" -- 2:12
  5. "He-Who-Can-Not-Be-Named" -- 1:38


  1. "Horror Biz" -- 2:41
  2. "The Shift" -- 3:08
  3. "The Howl" -- 2:50
  4. "Archangel" -- 5:12
  1. "Unholy Passion" ** unlisted bonus track only on 1989 2nd press CD and on some copies of 2001 reissue

Track listing (1986 cassette, 1987 CD)[edit]

  1. "Initium" / "Samhain" *
  2. "Black Dream"
  3. "All Murder All Guts All Fun"
  4. "Macabre"
  5. "He-Who-Can-Not-Be-Named"
  6. "Horror Biz"
  7. "The Shift"
  8. "The Howl"
  9. "Archangel"
  10. "Unholy Passion"
  11. "All Hell"
  12. "Moribund"
  13. "The Hungry End"
  14. "Misery Tomb"
  15. "I Am Misery"
  • - *The first two songs are a single track on all CD releases of the album.

All songs written and composed by Glenn Danzig.


Tracks 1-9[edit]

  • Glenn Danzig- Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Drums on "Archangel"
  • Eerie Von - Bass
  • Steve Zing - Drums on all songs except "Archangel", ambience on "Initium"
  • Lyle Preslar - Guitar on tracks 2, 4, 6 & 7
  • Mike Gutilla - Keyboard chimes on tracks 6 & 7
  • Al Pike - 2nd Bass on "Archangel"

Tracks 10-15[edit]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^
  3. ^ Byron Coley and Jimmy Johnson (October 27, 1984). "Samhain Interview". Forced Exposure. Retrieved 2009-10-03.