- Product Code: NB 2322-2
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- Price in bonus-scraps: 109
The eighth full-length album by the legendary Swiss Industrial Death/Black Metal band.
After two years of silence, legendary band Samael is back! Expect a harsh dissonance to the catchy and electronica-meets-Metal approach of the predecessor "Solar Soul". Harking back to the good old Black Metal days of Samael, the band`s ninth effort combines the extreme sounds of the era 1994 – 1996 with sophisticated songwriting and unearthly grooves.
Earlier in 2009 the band began promoting a virtual Death Metal band from their Myspace profile. The band was called "Above" and featured computer-designed band members in a virtual world, whose lyrics and songs were written by Samael. Later through Myspace, the band announced that they would be taking their side-project Above and turning it into their newest Samael album.
Commenting on the album, Vorph said: "After 20 years, we've tried to do an album that would represent what Samael is all about and we did "Solar Soul". We feel now it is the right time to remind the people where we come from and that's exactly what "Above" will do. It is like an enhanced version of our three or four first albums, maybe the missing link between "Ceremony of Opposites" and "Passage". With the "Era One" project we've tried to work on different influences; with "Above" we stripped everything down."
Produced by the band and mixed by the one and only Mr. Fredrik Nordström (In Flames, Opeth, Arch Enemy), "Above" surely is the most surprising and aggressive in the whole Samael discography! Musically “Above” embedded a lot of memorable influences: Bathory, Slayer, Iron Maiden… to name just a few bands that shaped the sound of Samael in the first place. The lyrical content is also reminiscent of the band approach until the album “Eternal”. It’s not a “one song one topic” type of lyrics, but that was never really the case with Samael. Some of the themes tackled throughout the album are: change, personal quest, sex and ambition… something that has been part of entire Samael history.
While “Above” seems to lack the originality of the standard Samael album the first time through it quickly becomes apparent on subsequent listens why the album is every bit as good as any of the other titles in the band’s discography. With the new direction present on the album, it should appeal to people who enjoy their earlier work as well as those who were put off by the heavy emphasis on Electronica. This modern take on the band’s Black Metal roots is so focused on that sound that it almost ends up being their downfall, but with repeated listens that concern slowly fades away. The album is easily accessible while offering many benefits in the long run. Samael has done well in incorporating a modern twist to things. A decent listen, and finally a record that should show at least some of the potential that this quartet possesses. Grace the marriage of era, and distinguish how Samael make the concept of Black Metal seem complete with Industrial Metal!
Nuclear Blast GmbH, 2009 (NB 2322-2). Made in Germany. First press.
1. Under One Flag 03:43
2. Virtual War 04:04
3. Polygames 03:55
4. Earth Country 03:55
5. Illumination 03:31
6. Black Hole 03:38
7. In There 04:01
8. Dark Side 03:30
9. God's Snake 04:07
10. On the Top of It All 04:42
Total playing time: 39:06