Samael
Solar Soul

I’ll admit, the only Samael record I really enjoyed was Passage, as I found the bands early black metal offering a tad overrated, and their last two efforts no more than a commercial foray into electronic/Industrial, Rammstein territory. Well, here’s a second Samael album for me to enjoy, as Solar Soul basically takes the elements that made Passage so good, repeats them andarguably improves on them with dashes of even further into the past.

So that means, chunky, catchy mechanical riffs over a sort of cosmic yet cybernetic and futuristic synths and Vorph’s increasingly harsh robotic rasps (I’m reminded of more relazed version of Thyrane’s Hypnotic). This time things are a bit less industrial and more symphonic and guitar/riff based and more importantly, chorus based/memorable and thus more akin with my favorite track from Passage, “Moonskin”, as heard on the excellent “Promised land”, “Western Ground”, and “Suspended Time”.

There’s even a smidgeon of increased intensity for tracks like “On The Rise” and “Valkyrie’s Ride” and “Alliance”, resulting in an album that seems to cull a little from each of Samael’ visages, though most notably Passage. “Ave!” is a slower, more symphonic and epic take on their deliberate Sci-Fi tones, while “Quasar Waves” features a Sitar amid the plodding riffage.

Solar Soul can’t really be termed a return to form, as Samael have been one of the most formless bands of our era. What is it though is an album that serves as a musical roadmap for Samael past and future, and an album that shows a band continuing to grow and evolve rather than stagnate and rely on trends.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 6th, 2007

Comments

  1. Commented by: Old Pick Axe

    The album’s pretty damn good, with “Slavocracy” and “Valkyries’ New Ride” being stand outs.


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