Samael
Solar Soul


3.5
great

Review

by Kalle J. USER (37 Reviews)
July 5th, 2007 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cheesy lyrics, a clash of centuries, but hey, you can't complain.

May I first state that it is in my hopes that this review will suffice in itself. For many of you reading this, the name may not ring any bells, and even I myself wouldn't have found this album if it hadn't been stacked by the hundreds in my nearest CD store. However, if I were to blame their inpopularity on anything, it would either be the nationality they hail from, or their mediocrity in songwriting. These lightweights, arising from Switzerland, play industrial metal, forging the melody from Black Metal with Electronic effects. I would only pinpoint them as Neo-Black Metal, with a style that is rather incomparable but possessing an experimentalism of bands such as "Sigh". Perhaps. For the record, I wouldn't care if they were as original as sunset, that's just bonus points.

Yet, they manage to create a great compilation with their latest record, Solar Soul. Samael has a pretty consistent discography, and they should, and will appeal to many people. I find one downside in particular. Samael is about as constipated as you can get. Let me elaborate; when Vorph utters out his vocals, it sounds pretty much as cheesy as, well, fermented Swiss milk. Quite frankly, I would've expected worse from the genre, but Vorph's grunt doesn't go all the way through to an actual growl from the diaphragm, but stays in between with an almost "just-woke-up" voice. In the aggregate, Solar Soul features a wide range of electronic synth effects, and keyboard melodies to conform to Black Metal. Add that, a lead and rhythm guitar, and, insert onomatopoeia, you have metal with a contemporary vibe, at times showcasing a pop-esque groove. The intention is not only to put the melody of our forefathers in practice, but to inject catchiness and harmony of vocals vis-a-vis leads.

Almost all songs consist of what I mentioned afore, and the album is easily accessible while offering many benefits in the long run. Maybe initially you will find yourself working along the tracks, and helping yourself to this uncanny buffet, but time should remedy. The opening track, Solar Soul sounds like a Nokia commercial; "One Nation - Generation / Connecting people in a collective mind", not to mention the emphasis on the word "push" which makes you feel like your in a labor room undergoing contractions. When all is said and done, this is maybe one of the most catchiest songs on the album, and definately a key opener to the rest of the album. Song 2, Promised Land has an equally catchy hook and is probably a bit less bland. It sails through to the third song on the album, Slavocracy, a final good effort of a more than decent Black Metal sequence. Nonetheless, the song most reminiscent of a real BM single would have to be On The Rise which features a fill elating in key. It's nothing that makes you jump out of your chair, but even Valkyries New Ride helps float the boat.

Samael has done well in incorporating a modern twist to things, but there is nothing which absolutelty amazes me with this album, nor are there any technicalities which show any virtuosities on the bands part. 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. However good it may sound, the fact remains that the group falls short of a defining opus.

Key Tracks

- Solar Soul
- Slavocracy
- Valkyries New Ride




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user ratings (91)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Cravinov13
July 5th 2007


3854 Comments


Good review. Love this band, don't have this CD.

kalkal50
July 5th 2007


2386 Comments


:o, I haven't heard any of their earlier stuff

BallsToTheWall
July 5th 2007


48093 Comments


from what i heard from this cd is pretty interesting.

Digging: Root - The Book

TheHamburgerman
July 5th 2007


1443 Comments


black metal review. is nice!

jrowa001
July 5th 2007


8752 Comments


i heard this album once but didnt really like it, maybe ill give it another shot

rattlehead42147
July 6th 2007


1345 Comments


good work kal, i've heard of samael but never checked them out

ValiumMan
July 6th 2007


493 Comments


Hmm.... good review, you use phrases like "succeeds in" and "has done well", etc. a tad too often though. Also, the "recommedation to any music lover" at the end didn't seem very convincing, since, judging from your review, this doesn't seem like an instant classic everyone can enjoy.

kalkal50
July 6th 2007


2386 Comments


thank you, finally someone who gives me suggestions

rattlehead42147
July 6th 2007


1345 Comments


well kal finally got approved! i dont know how long it will take me.
as hard as i tried to nitpick, the only thing i could find was the closing sentence is not very strong.This Message Edited On 07.06.07

kalkal50
July 6th 2007


2386 Comments


Thank you rattlehead, I edited that out so I hope it's better.

Wizard
July 7th 2007


20114 Comments


What an impressive review. I was so impressed, I went to their myspace page to check them out. I must say, these guys sound very pleasing to these ears. Good use of melody over the harsh industrial groove.

kalkal50
July 9th 2007


2386 Comments


Wow thanks man, if that wasn't sarcasm. I'm glad you liked my review and the album :D

robin2220
August 19th 2007


569 Comments


I bought this based on all the reviews I read in magazines and websites and thought it was pretty bad.

kalkal50
August 27th 2007


2386 Comments


i shouldve added that this gets pretty boring

Willie
Moderator
August 27th 2007


17288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I've had this since release day, and I love it... no boredom at all from me... although their album, Passage, is still their peak.

Digging: Samael - Hegemony

kalkal50
August 27th 2007


2386 Comments


glad you enjoy it, i'm gonna peruse their discography pretty time soon

Willie
Moderator
August 27th 2007


17288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

As I mentioned above, I'd reccomend starting with Passage.

BallsToTheWall
January 14th 2008


48093 Comments


Which is the track that features Vikebe Stene?

Zoo
January 14th 2008


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This album is pretty meh. It's decent for a listen or two but it becomes quite monotonous thereafter.

FR33L0RD
April 16th 2008


1472 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

very uneven album, some high moments but some very low also.



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