SAMAEL
Black Metal / Industrial Metal • Switzerland

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Samael are a long-running Swiss black metal band formed in 1987 in Sion, Switzerland.

Although much of their music from the mid-1990s onwards has incorporated electronic sounds which would best define their genre as industrial metal, they are an early 2nd Wave black metal band and an innovator for post-black metal styles.

Their first demos presented a slow, doomy style of thrash metal with raw vocals, similar to that of Celtic Frost. Some of the songs would be included on Worship Him (1991) and Blood Ritual (1992).

Around the time of Ceremony of Opposites (1994), the band started using industrial-styled song techniques, employed by the use of keyboards and (minimalist) acoustic percussion. By this time, they had also left French record label Osmose Productions and signed with Century Media Records.

Their album Passage (1996) saw them gather a larger audience, with the music video for the song "Jupiterian Vibe" getting
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SAMAEL Discography

SAMAEL albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.46 | 7 ratings
Worship Him
Black Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 4.71 | 10 ratings
Blood Ritual
Black Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 3.92 | 12 ratings
Ceremony of Opposites
Black Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.23 | 9 ratings
Passage
Black Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.99 | 7 ratings
Eternal
Industrial Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 2.68 | 6 ratings
Reign of Light
Industrial Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 2.80 | 5 ratings
Era One
Industrial Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 4.29 | 7 ratings
Solar Soul
Industrial Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 3.71 | 7 ratings
Above
Black Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.01 | 8 ratings
Lux Mundi
Industrial Metal 2011

SAMAEL EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Medieval Prophecy
Black Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
After the Sepulture
Black Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.59 | 3 ratings
Rebellion
Black Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Exodus
Black Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Antigod
Industrial Metal 2010

SAMAEL live albums

SAMAEL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Into the Infernal Storm of Evil
Black Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Macabre Operetta
Black Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Recordings '88 - '89
Black Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
From Dark to Black
Black Metal 1989

SAMAEL boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1987–1992
Black Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Aeonics: An Anthology
Black Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Decade in Hell
Black Metal 2010

SAMAEL singles (2)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Telepath
Black Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
On Earth
Black Metal 2005

SAMAEL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.00 | 1 ratings
Black Trip
Black Metal 2003

SAMAEL Reviews

SAMAEL Lux Mundi

Album · 2011 · Industrial Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Samael briefly returned to their black metal roots - or, rather, a somewhat sterile but still reasonably entertaining approximation thereof - on the preceding Above, but on Lux Mundi they go right back to the extremely middle-of-the-road and derivative industrial metal with symphonic black metal sprinkles they've been trading in for a while. As with the extremely similar Reign of Light, they do a competent job technically speaking but seem to lack all passion, and musically they aren't really doing anything that isn't being done with far more flair by people who actually are able to display something resembling passion for this type of music.

SAMAEL Above

Album · 2009 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
If completely changing your band's sound - like Samael did when they went from being pioneers of the 1990s black metal boom to a slick, occult-tinged industrial metal outfit - is a brave, risky move, then reversing that shift is an even riskier proposal. This is what Samael attempt on Above, a sudden and surprising gear change back to black metal (with occasional bits of more traditional metal and industrial influences here and there to add a little spice). It certainly succeeds at temporarily refreshing their sound, though it feels rather bland and generic compared to the startlingly original doomy black metal of their early albums.

SAMAEL Reign of Light

Album · 2004 · Industrial Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
The good news about Reign of Light is that Samael take the opportunity to spice up their industrial metal sound, which was in danger of becoming bland on the preceding Eternal, with some world music influences. The bad news is that this isn't quite enough to cover up just how generic and boring the industrial metal side of their sound has become here. Five years and one shelved album (only released later as Era One) down the line from the previous release should really have yielded a more interesting musical evolution than this, particularly in a band which had previously shown such skill in changing and updating its sound.

SAMAEL Eternal

Album · 1999 · Industrial Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Samael's Eternal marks the point where the ghosts of doom metal and black metal are exorcised from their sound forever, leaving only competent if somewhat generic industrial metal in their wake. It's perfectly listenable stuff, mind, but it feels like a shame that after three years the band produce something which is so much less ambitious than Passage, which wasn't content to be merely listenable. Still, if you like the industrial metal sound at all - particularly in its more danceable incarnations - you'll probably find something to like about Eternal, even if it isn't an album you come back to very regularly.

SAMAEL Passage

Album · 1996 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
After the disappointing and tired-sounding Ceremony of Opposites, Samael utterly transformed their sound with this impressive release. At first I thought their new approach was a rather bland and generic industrial metal sound, but on closer listening I found more and more hidden depths; in effect, it's a blend of industrial metal with symphonic black metal (and specifically symphonic black metal of the sort which Arcturus would produce later in their career). It's an album with plenty of hidden depths and a modern sound which still feels ahead of its time to this day - there's blackened symphonic industrial outfits working today who don't come close to this one.

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Saturn wrote:
1237 days ago
The First 3 LP's are flawless. Highly suggest picking them up.

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