After a three year pause, Samael has returned with their new album ‘Solar Soul’ released in collaboration with Nuclear Blast. I haven’t exactly followed Samael for about 10 years or so, but I know for sure that this band has released superb material. First and foremost one should mention ‘Ceremony of the Opposites’ as a black metal classic everyone should own (!) but also the electronic black metal blend presented on ‘Passage’. The latter genre hybrid has become Samaels trademark and the trend is followed to the letter on ‘Solar Soul’.
The music is completely dominated by keyboards and samples, a cocktail normally distasteful for one such as me, but Samael manages to pull it of as they once did on ‘Passage’. Many of the songs are incredibly catchy and the vocals are simply exquisite. Black metal vocals as they should be!
I have to admit, I feel entertained throughout the entire album, the dynamics are in order and I can’t seem to find a song that doesn’t live up to the standards. I had a long fling with the earlier material, so I might even reacquaint myself with Samael after this listen. One thing to comment on, though, is that the songs are very similar to each other, which does degrade the overall impression. Even though this is an alright album, it doesn’t reach the heels of ‘Ceremony of the Opposites’, unfortunately. I’ll definitely give this a listen and hopefully it’ll grow on me, but as so many other albums it’ll probably end up as an unused section of my hard disc.