Samael - Ceremony Of Opposites


8.6 | 274 votes |
Release date: 28 February 1994
Style: Black metal

Owners:

365 have it
31 want it


01. Black Trip
02. Celebration Of The Fourth
03. Son Of Earth
04. Til We Meet Again
05. The Mask Of The Red Death
06. Baphomet's Throne
07. Flagellation
08. Crown
09. To Our Martyrs
10. Ceremony Of Opposites

Top 20 albums of 1994: 16

Line-up
Rodolphe H. - keyboards, samples
Vorph - guitars, vocals
Xytras - drums, keyboards, samples
Masmiseim - bass

Additional info
Label: Century Media

Recorded at Woodhouse Studios, Germany, January 1994.
Recorded, engineered and mixed by Waldemar Sorychta.
Advisor engineer: Siggi Bemm.
Produced by Waldemar Sorychta.
All lyrics by Vorphalack.
All music by Xytras except "To Our Martyrs" by Vorphalack and Xytras.

Guest review by
Allen
Rating:
10
In my opinion, Samael's first two albums - Worship Him and Blood Ritual were fairly standard and unremarkable works. Of course, there was an increased level of conviction and delivery from the first to the second, but the haunting, occultic darkness the band were trying to portray ultimately failed to fulfill its intentions, with only a moment here or there hinting that this band were to become something truly special in the underground metal scene.

Read more ››
published 19.09.2003 | Comments (6)

Found in 14 lists
Top lists



Comments

Comments: 21   Visited by: 509 users
28.07.2011 - 14:55
Rating: 10
steelminion01
This album is so dark, crown has one of the best outros ever
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07.10.2011 - 17:30
Rating: 10
Vonpire
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Beware the Shadows of Dusk
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11.06.2015 - 18:21
Rating: 10
indexqwest
A F*****g masterpiece!
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21.08.2015 - 18:14
Rating: 10
metalfan1999
Amazing
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29.03.2017 - 23:16
Rating: 9
Redel
A classic this. Clearly best Samael. I wonder why it is not to be found in the Top 200 (as of today). Only downside for me is that it suffers from a serious letdown after the first half of the album. Highlights: Son of earth, Til we meet again.
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21.10.2017 - 10:14
BetulaObscura
Written by Redel on 29.03.2017 at 23:16

A classic this. Clearly best Samael. I wonder why it is not to be found in the Top 200 (as of today). Only downside for me is that it suffers from a serious letdown after the first half of the album. Highlights: Son of earth, Til we meet again.



I do not agree that album is getting worse after first half!
Far from it!
Take last two tracks: "To Our Martyrs". dark, blasphemous, furious... What about last the song "Ceremony Of Opposites"? Slower but even more evil sound, It goes like Satan's road roller - it crush and smash! And final, ending up synthesisers - wow! Certainly last songs are not a downside of this album!

One of the best Black Metal album of all time. Quite underrated and unknown in my opinion. It has perfect dark atmosphere that many so called BM bands are unable to create and even come close to it!
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04.11.2017 - 21:36
terroriser
Very true.

All this bullshit with painted faces and spitting fire and yet one of the best black metal albums comes without such a nonsense.

Imo best bm album ever recorded, perfect in every aspect. All this Norwegian burn-the-church-bath-in-a-blood-of-virgin-I-want-satan-to-fuck-my-ass-szatan-siara-wiecej-ognia crap would not happen without Ceremony of opposites
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05.11.2017 - 20:10
BetulaObscura
Written by terroriser on 04.11.2017 at 21:36

Very true.

All this bullshit with painted faces and spitting fire and yet one of the best black metal albums comes without such a nonsense.

Imo best bm album ever recorded, perfect in every aspect. All this Norwegian burn-the-church-bath-in-a-blood-of-virgin-I-want-satan-to-fuck-my-ass-szatan-siara-wiecej-ognia crap would not happen without Ceremony of opposites


Very true, indeed!
I would say it is very elegant and sharp album which perfectly mix dark atmosphere, blasphemous approach, significant lyrics, super massive sound and many more into BM monolith. Milestone!
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11.11.2017 - 05:49
Rating: 9
DeathMetal
Great album from start to finish.
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25.02.2019 - 23:21
Rating: 6
Starvynth
i c deaf people
I guess I'm all alone here but I can't help it: I never understood all the praise this album gained at the time of its release and I don't get it now - 25 years later - either.

The oh so typical 90's Sorychta production is okay, the title track's melody is quite nice, some okayish ideas here and there... But apart from that, I can spot nothing of the pure excellence one would expect reading all those positive, overwhelming comments.
For me, this is truly the epitome of deadly dullness. I wished Vorph and Xy had left the secure path of dovish mid-tempo compositions at least once, but instead, they sticked to the same formula for 36 long minutes: mediocre songwriting abilities, bland song structures without the slightest attempt to surprise, inflationary usage of uninspiring keyboards and powerless drumming any moderately gifted programmer could easily outperform.
Vorph's vocals are - as always - flawless, this is one of the rare brownie points this classic has to offer. Too bad he uses his comprehensible voice to phrase some of the most clichéd lyrics I've ever heard:

I spit at your god's face
I piss on the cross
I vomit on the holy bible
I shit on the blessed whore and her bastard son


Black metal?
No folks, this is nothing but embarrassing, pre-adolescent crap.

6/10
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26.02.2019 - 11:02
nikarg
Mod
Written by Starvynth on 25.02.2019 at 23:21

I guess I'm all alone here but I can't help it: I never understood all the praise this album gained at the time of its release and I don't get it now - 25 years later - either.

It's a good album, maybe not the masterpiece that most people make it out to be but still good. The atmosphere is great and the title track sums it up nicely. Also "Black Trip" is absolutely fantastic; a bunch of Rotting Christ songs are nothing more than different versions of it.

Written by Starvynth on 25.02.2019 at 23:21

this is nothing but embarrassing, pre-adolescent crap.

Okay, you're being way too harsh now. But I can see why you're exaggerating.
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26.02.2019 - 15:19
Rating: 6
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by nikarg on 26.02.2019 at 11:02

It's a good album, maybe not the masterpiece that most people make it out to be but still good.

On MetalStorm, it's just a narrow ridge between my rating 'average' (6/10) and 'good' (7/10). Considering its early origin and its influential role, I wouldn't mind at all people calling it 'good' - even 'very good' is still fine to me.
I am just wondering why this has been rewarded full score (10/10) so many times, whereas it's far from any perfection if you ask me.

Written by nikarg on 26.02.2019 at 11:02

Okay, you're being way too harsh now. But I can see why you're exaggerating.

Maybe I'm a bit too harsh, okay. But I am not exaggerating in regard to the lyrics.
Vorph was aged 25 when Ceremony... got released and he and his band mates had full backup from a major label, then. They had all the support that most other BM bands of that time could only dream of.
I just find it very inconsistent to (musically) cut most black metal roots by covering everything under keyboard layers but on the other hand, trying to preserve approval of their old school BM fanbase by presenting overdone stereotype lyrics à la "I vomit on the holy bible". If you write something like that at the age of 25, you are either mentally disordered (and end up in jail after stabbing someone) or you are just pretending and showing off.

Please don't get my wrong, I am not here to bash the band or the album just for the fun of it. After all and generally speaking, Samael is one of those very few good and still active bands that survived the 90's. I spent quite a lot of money through the years, seeing them live and buying their albums, even Ceremony... is in my collection (again).
But I just don't think this particular album derserved abundant, unreserved praise only - that's all.
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26.02.2019 - 23:29
Rating: 9
Redel
Written by Starvynth on 25.02.2019 at 23:21

I guess I'm all alone here but I can't help it: I never understood all the praise this album gained at the time of its release and I don't get it now - 25 years later - either.

The oh so typical 90's Sorychta production is okay, the title track's melody is quite nice, some okayish ideas here and there... But apart from that, I can spot nothing of the pure excellence one would expect reading all those positive, overwhelming comments.
For me, this is truly the epitome of deadly dullness. I wished Vorph and Xy had left the secure path of dovish mid-tempo compositions at least once, but instead, they sticked to the same formula for 36 long minutes: mediocre songwriting abilities, bland song structures without the slightest attempt to surprise, inflationary usage of uninspiring keyboards and powerless drumming any moderately gifted programmer could easily outperform.
Vorph's vocals are - as always - flawless, this is one of the rare brownie points this classic has to offer. Too bad he uses his comprehensible voice to phrase some of the most clichéd lyrics I've ever heard:

I spit at your god's face
I piss on the cross
I vomit on the holy bible
I shit on the blessed whore and her bastard son


Black metal?
No folks, this is nothing but embarrassing, pre-adolescent crap.

6/10

He he, someone got upset with good music. I feel obliged to respond.

The path of dovish mid-tempo compositions is nothing but secure here, it is rather pretty dangerous as it could easily lead to dullness.
However, this album is free from dullness in my eyes, it is full of excellent ideas in songwriting. This holds in particular for the first five songs, Son of Earth and Till we meet again being my favourite among them.
I also like all the songs on the second half of the album, though here I do indeed detect a couple of moments where they tend to get a bit repetitive.
The mid tempo is what makes the album for me, it fits the atmosphere, the keyboards just perfectly. And there are variations in tempo throughout the entire album, well not into high speed of course.
And the drumming, I like it a lot. Also fits perfectly the mid tempo and the songwriting. I dont care if it could be easily reproduced by a drum computer. I like it how it is performed on this particular album.
Inflationary usage of uninspiring keyboards -- no, I disagree. I find the keyboards pretty inspiring, again in particular in the first half of the album. And what do you mean by "inflationary use"? The album is not full of use of keyboards all over the place, just for the sake of it, is it?
Well, the lyrics, yeah, here I agree, they are not very inspiring. But, honestly, for most of my music I do not care a lot about lyrics (with several exceptions though).
8.9 overall -- and I do care about the first digit.
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27.02.2019 - 01:15
Rating: 6
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by Redel on 26.02.2019 at 23:29

Written by Starvynth on 25.02.2019 at 23:21

6/10

8.9 overall -- and I do care about the first digit.


If there's something to rely on in this forum, then it's Redel's urge of defending his opinion...
But we agree far too often anyway and it's already getting a bit boring lately, so your reaction is more than welcome.

Actually, my initial post falls under your responsibility. Yes, it's solely and exclusively your fault and I'm promptly going to explain why...
I bought this album in the 90's since I liked Samael's performance on the 1993 tour, supporting Unleashed and Tiamat. But it didn't click with me, I just couldn't get into it. Luckily, a friend of mine liked it much more than I did and after a couple of weeks, I exchanged the album with one of his CDs.

Back to the present, I stumbled upon your post and my thoughts were like 'Well, even Redel likes it... What if I've been terribly wrong for the last 25 years?'
To make a long story short: I found a second hand CD somewhere, ordered it, spinned it in my car's stereo for a while - and still couldn't get into it.

So, dear Mr. Redel - it's up to you now. You either give me those 4,78 Euro I spent for the CD or you just have to life with my rating and with my reaction to this sleeping pill of an album.

As a sign of goodwill: 6.5 overall ( but I'm not going to round it up )
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27.02.2019 - 23:51
Rating: 9
Redel
Written by Starvynth on 27.02.2019 at 01:15

I bought this album in the 90's since I liked Samael's performance on the 1993 tour, supporting Unleashed and Tiamat. But it didn't click with me, I just couldn't get into it. Luckily, a friend of mine liked it much more than I did and after a couple of weeks, I exchanged the album with one of his CDs.


Honestly, now putting myself into your scenario, had I not learned to love this album back in 1994 or so (might be that I found out about it not before 1995, dont remember) and would try to like it today, after having ignored it for the last 25 years, I dont know.... would I love it that much...? Really unclear.
I mean, my point is, with this album it is a lot about how this style was quite unique for me and my friends back at the time. And, once having fallen in love with it .... (well, you know my theory on this one, we have discussed it before.)

Written by Starvynth on 27.02.2019 at 01:15

So, dear Mr. Redel - it's up to you now. You either give me those 4,78 Euro I spent for the CD or you just have to life with my rating and with my reaction to this sleeping pill of an album.

Oh, so your opinion is for sale then, interesting.
But since -- as you know from the other thread on the ratings in reviews -- I dont give that much about ratings, I happily decline that offer.

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28.02.2019 - 11:49
Rating: 6
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by Redel on 27.02.2019 at 23:51

Honestly, now putting myself into your scenario, had I not learned to love this album back in 1994 or so (might be that I found out about it not before 1995, dont remember) and would try to like it today, after having ignored it for the last 25 years, I dont know.... would I love it that much...? Really unclear.
I mean, my point is, with this album it is a lot about how this style was quite unique for me and my friends back at the time. And, once having fallen in love with it .... (well, you know my theory on this one, we have discussed it before.)

We will never know for sure but I seriously doubt you'd still love it that much.
After all, too many brilliant albums from new bands have seen the light of day ever since and some of them used Samael's formula and refined it. Even if Ceremony... gave the initial impetus - you'd have to compare it with the best albums of the genre now and I believe it just won't stand the comparison.

Talking about comparison...
When I heard Ceremony... for the first time, I already knew and loved Tiamat's The Astral Sleep, Clouds and Wildhoney, Hypocrisy's The Fourth Dimension, Paradise Lost's Lost Paradise and Gothic, Bathory's Hammerheart and Twilight Of The Gods, Unanimated's Ancient God Of Evil, My Dying Bride's Turn Loose The Swans, Katatonia's Dance Of December Souls, Edge Of Sanity's The Spectral Sorrows, Amorphis' Tales From The Thousand Lakes, Cemetary's Godless Beauty, Carcass' Heartwork, Anathema's Serenades and At The Gates' first three albums.

Seriously, in comparison to these true classics Samael's attempt was doomed to fail and - at least in my eyes - nothing special at all. I favored all of the aforementioned albums back then and my opinion didn't change.

Written by Redel on 27.02.2019 at 23:51

Oh, so your opinion is for sale then, interesting.

Not at all. But Ceremony... is for sale.
See, I don't rate albums that I don't have in my collection (anymore), so you can get the bundle - the CD and my rating as a side effect. I think that's a fair and unique offer.

Written by Redel on 27.02.2019 at 23:51

But since -- as you know from the other thread on the ratings in reviews -- I dont give that much about ratings, I happily decline that offer.

I don't give that much about ratings, either. I'd even say that Metalstorm's 10 point scale is antiquated and ineffecitve.
I just know 'very bad', 'bad', 'average', 'good', 'very good' and 'stellar' - any rating below 'very bad' is just an invitation for rating abuse if you ask me.

But I find it quite amusing that you mention the other thread.
Didn't someone say something like "ratings can provide impetus for discussion" over there?
Now see what happened: by now, just four users have voted for 'Nah, I can read and don't need a number'.
And guess what, two of these four users did already react to my post for Ceremony....

So, what if I only amended a striking '6/10' at the end of my initial post to prove that I am right?
Sure, I'd never do something as perfidious and calculating like that...

But... ...what if?

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28.02.2019 - 23:39
Rating: 9
Redel
Written by Starvynth on 28.02.2019 at 11:49


Not at all. But Ceremony... is for sale.
See, I don't rate albums that I don't have in my collection (anymore), so you can get the bundle - the CD and my rating as a side effect. I think that's a fair and unique offer.

Ok, I understand your point now.
And we would immediatealy have a deal if I had not already bought my copy many years ago.
Plus, a rating on MS is not worth 4.8 euros to me, not even on Ceremony, and not even your vote.
However, we would immediately have a deal with another album from the list you posted (and you know exactly which one). But I guess here you are going to decline now.

Written by Starvynth on 28.02.2019 at 11:49

But I find it quite amusing that you mention the other thread.
Didn't someone say something like "ratings can provide impetus for discussion" over there?
Now see what happened: by now, just four users have voted for 'Nah, I can read and don't need a number'.
And guess what, two of these four users did already react to my post for Ceremony....

So, what if I only amended a striking '6/10' at the end of my initial post to prove that I am right?
Sure, I'd never do something as perfidious and calculating like that...


I guess I dont quite get your point here.
So, yes, I voted against the obligation to put a rating on reviews.
And yes, I reacted to your comment on Ceremony.
And yes, I detected you have a rate of 6 on this album.
But what are you implying?
I claim I would have reacted to your comment any way, had you put your rating or not.
Or am I misinterpreting your line of argumentation now...?
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20.10.2019 - 16:28
BetulaObscura
Written by Starvynth on 25.02.2019 at 23:21

I guess I'm all alone here but I can't help it: I never understood all the praise this album gained at the time of its release and I don't get it now - 25 years later - either.

The oh so typical 90's Sorychta production is okay, the title track's melody is quite nice, some okayish ideas here and there... But apart from that, I can spot nothing of the pure excellence one would expect reading all those positive, overwhelming comments.
For me, this is truly the epitome of deadly dullness. I wished Vorph and Xy had left the secure path of dovish mid-tempo compositions at least once, but instead, they sticked to the same formula for 36 long minutes: mediocre songwriting abilities, bland song structures without the slightest attempt to surprise, inflationary usage of uninspiring keyboards and powerless drumming any moderately gifted programmer could easily outperform.
Vorph's vocals are - as always - flawless, this is one of the rare brownie points this classic has to offer. Too bad he uses his comprehensible voice to phrase some of the most clichéd lyrics I've ever heard:

I spit at your god's face
I piss on the cross
I vomit on the holy bible
I shit on the blessed whore and her bastard son


Black metal?
No folks, this is nothing but embarrassing, pre-adolescent crap.

6/10


It is nothing to understand. You like something or not. it is not logic process. You may try to logically explain your taste but still it has nothing to do with emotions and primary senses, like fear, pain, love or hate. That's why your arguments about this albums may be true... but only for you!
Hard to discuss with somebody who don't understand such masterpiece like this Samael's LP. You arguments are mostly invalid, like "bland song structures" or "mid tempo", "secure path", "one formula", etc.
Everything on this album is flawless. Even lyrics fits perfectly. Yes! Because true speech is simple, short and cuts like a blade. You may try to make some sophisticated sentences and tricky metaphors. But if you really want to scream about anything from the bottom of your heart you won't put it into polished, sanitized, literary way. You would throw your emotions right away like cannon. Whole BM is raw, rage, uncontrollable, bleak attempt to scream about reality. To describe this reality and to make a new one. This album is no exception. You obviously have no (or just slightly) clue about whole BM and its genre. Sorry to say this. Wrong forum mate!
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20.10.2019 - 16:31
BetulaObscura
Written by nikarg on 26.02.2019 at 11:02


It's a good album, maybe not the masterpiece that most people make it out to be but still good. The atmosphere is great and the title track sums it up nicely. Also "Black Trip" is absolutely fantastic; a bunch of Rotting Christ songs are nothing more than different versions of it.


You use adjectives like: fantastic, great and nice but still you think this album is just "good"?
I wonder what kind of adjectives you would use to describe masterpiece? Godlike, I suppose?
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20.10.2019 - 16:45
nikarg
Mod
Written by BetulaObscura on 20.10.2019 at 16:31

You use adjectives like: fantastic, great and nice but still you think this album is just "good"?

Yes.


Written by BetulaObscura on 20.10.2019 at 16:31

I wonder what kind of adjectives you would use to describe masterpiece? Godlike, I suppose?

If I thought it was a masterpiece, I'd use these the same adjectives to describe more than just the atmosphere of the album and a single song.
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20.10.2019 - 22:05
BetulaObscura
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