Various samhain

The Celts called it Samhain, which means “summer’s end”, according to their ancient twofold division of the year, when summer ran from Beltane to Samhain and winter ran from Samhain to Beltane. (Some modern covens echo this structure by letting the high priest “rule” the coven beginning on Samhain, with rulership returned to the high priestess at Beltane.) According to the later fourfold division of the year, Samhain is seen as “autumn’s end” and the beginning of winter. Samhain is pronounced (depending on where you’re from) as “sow-in” (in Ireland), or “sow-een” (in Wales), or “sav-en” (in Scotland), or (inevitably) “sam-hane” (in the ., where we don’t speak Gaelic).

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.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

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