Aug 032023

Our subject today is The Courier, Emanzipation Production‘s forthcoming deluxe vinyl reissue of demo tapes first released by the Danish band Samhain in the mid-’80s, now remastered by Tue Madsen. The advertising for this special album-length release (and the extensive liner notes accompanying it) refer to is as “a piece of metal history“. It further includes these quotes:

Samhain helped us kickstart our career because they believed in metal! Forever thankful and I‘m happy to see their music being re-released. Hail Samhain!” Mille Petrozza, Kreator

“This is the kind of riffs bands like Obituary have made a career out of touring with for 30 years. Samhain played those riffs way earlier. And Obituary fucking rules!” Tue Madsen, producer, Antfarm Studio

“Way better musicianship and production than on the first Hellhammer demos. You guys were already way ahead of them. This shit is heavy as shit. In a primitive, good way!” Monte Conner, metal industry legend

All of this is entirely appropriate, but let’s be real: There are vast numbers of metal fans out there, old as well as young, who will greet this kind of prose with a shrug. There’s a musty smell to history, and a question about why people who aren’t history buffs, collectors, or folks trying to re-live a vital time in their own past, should pay attention to music created by teenagers 40 years ago, given that we’re already drowning on a daily basis in non-stop typhoons of music that’s brand new.

For people like that, we say: Forget about everything you’ve just read above. Pretend that Samhain is a brand new band who is just now releasing The Courier for the first time, and listen to what they’ve done. It will make you forget about history right damned fast. Continue reading »