Samael - Hegemony review




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Reviewer:
8.5

125 users:
8.11
Band: Samael
Album: Hegemony
Release date: October 2017


01. Hegemony
02. Samael
03. Angel Of Wrath
04. Rite Of Renewal
05. Red Planet
06. Black Supremacy
07. Murder Or Suicide
08. This World
09. Against All Enemies
10. Land Of The Living
11. Dictate Of Transparency
12. Helter Skelter
13. Storm Of Fire [bonus]


I don't mind waiting forever for a new album by a band I like. I'd rather wait 10 years than get an album that disappoints. More frequent output may mean decline in quality. Samael certainly did take their time after Lux Mundi. 6 years is the longest we've had to wait between their albums. How does wait time translate into quality? I'm happy to announce that the ratio is more than satisfactory.

Since 1996's seminal Passage, Samael's output has been pretty consistent, with the exception of Above. So don't expect any dramatic switch in musical direction. What you should expect though, is an increase in song quality. It's been hit-and-miss before, but this time every songs hits the bull's eye. The absolutely best one, "Black Supremacy" is so good that I can't really remember when was the last time that Samael sounded so good. Perhaps on Passage? But it would be unfair to point to a single song. What seems to be a solid mass of Samael's trademark sound reveals plenty of layers upon multiple listens. It's hard to believe how much effort and thought was put in every song. On the surface it's Samael's standard fare, but if you look beneath, you discover a lot of subtle elements that elevate this music to the heights Samael haven't reached in a long time.

The brilliant "Black Supremacy", isn't the only standout track. If there ever is an aural dictionary, the entry "grandiose" should be illustrated with either "Angel of Wrath" or "Red Planet". "Catchiness" would be best described with "Dictate Of Transparency", while "grizzled" is a word that was invented to depict Xy's vocals. I could go on and mention basically every song on the album, but I'll limit myself to mentioning "Helter Skelter". I don't care for covers at all, and I never mention them in reviews, but this one shows how covers should be done - a reworking of a song that shows creativity and thought. It is also worth noting that some songs see Samael abandon their usual mid-tempo range in favour of some speed ("Black Supremacy", again! Is there a compliment that song doesn't deserve?). It adds another layer of variety to this already nuanced release.

Samael's turning point was "Passage". Since then, they've stuck to the sound defined on that album, (minus "Above" of course). 21 years later, they're as strong as in 1996, Hegemony is their best since Passage. Hands down.


 



Written on 22.10.2017 by Writes overly honest and totally subjective reviews when fancy strikes him. Which is not often. Which is probably good, all things considered.


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 206 users
22.10.2017 - 22:05
Metren
Dreadrealm 2.0
Samael... now there's a band I haven't listened to in ages. Discovered them way back alongside bands like The Kovenant, when I was getting into the more industrial side of black(ish) metal. Glad to hear they've put out a great album and I will check this out soon. Thanks for a good review and a reminder of this band's existence ;-)
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Dreadrealm's Bandcamp with free downloads: https://dreadrealm.bandcamp.com/ (200 Free Downloads Every Month is Bandcamp's limit)
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22.10.2017 - 22:48
MvonSutherland
Good review!
I will check this album as soon as possible!
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23.10.2017 - 02:50
sbgmetal
I like samaels other music but im still waiting for another Above personally
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23.10.2017 - 21:29
Kuroboshi
Ooooh, drawls. Samael back to greatness? Count me in! Good review, thanks!
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23.10.2017 - 22:39
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
Well, back to very goodness. or goodness bordering on very goodness.

disagree with Dani P in regards to their post-Passage work .. like Above, Solar Soul was decent, not big on the others... and Era One isn't even a Samael album. Or wasn't supposed to be.

this is their best since Passage, though.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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26.10.2017 - 00:29
VPeter
For me, this album is typical Samael fair: it has its catchy songs but I cannot listen to the entire album through without getting bored.
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26.10.2017 - 00:49
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Listened to this one a couple of times and like everything after Passage... nope just not my thing and mediiocre at best,
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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26.10.2017 - 10:20
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 26.10.2017 at 00:49

Listened to this one a couple of times and like everything after Passage... nope just not my thing and mediiocre at best,

I expected nothing else from you
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Now loving:
Tribulation - The Lament
Tribulation - Nightbound
Tribulation - Subterranea
Tribulation - The World
Tribulation - Here Be Dragons
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02.11.2017 - 03:24
Damned-In-Black
Love the album, but to be honest this band have only ever let me down once (Above - and they get the benefit of the doubt there as it wasn't supposed to be a Samael album).

Best since Passage? If judging in the context of consistent quality from start to finish - then yes, I think so. Other albums have often had a weaker track or two whereas this doesn't appear to. There is a little less diversity on this one but when the quality is so high that is not really a mark to hold against it - and each song does still stand on its own.
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04.11.2017 - 04:18
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
Written by Damned-In-Black on 02.11.2017 at 03:24

Love the album, but to be honest this band have only ever let me down once (Above - and they get the benefit of the doubt there as it wasn't supposed to be a Samael album).



Above was Samael. Era One was supposed to be released as Era One, though Century Media had it go as a Samael record for fear it wouldn't sell as many copies without the name recognition factor. Hinted at here, but I recall reading about it at the time:



You already mentioned it shortly, the "Era One" project. I've read that there is not only one album ready, but actually two?

Vorph - Exactly. What happened is that there was a request from Century Media to deliver new material. And when we delivered "Era One", they did not release it, but they were still asking more to let us go from the contract. So actually Xy did something by himself, electronic music and chill-out things. We did not spend much time on it, and we did not know if it is going to be released or not.

Are you going to release it as Samael or under a different name?

V - Our idea was to release it as "Era One", but it depends on them (Century Media - BVB) at the moment. We are going to discuss it and see if they really want to release it.


http://www.tartareandesire.com/interviews/samael2.html
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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10.11.2017 - 21:54
Damned-In-Black
Written by BitterCOld on 04.11.2017 at 04:18


Above was Samael. Era One was supposed to be released as Era One, though Century Media had it go as a Samael record for fear it wouldn't sell as many copies without the name recognition factor. Hinted at here, but I recall reading about it at the time

I'm aware, but Above was also intended to be released as a side project. It may be a Samael album in the end, but it and Era One will always be the misfits in their discography. I prefer the latter to be honest.
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