|Samael - Solar Soul
1 June 2007
01. Solar Soul
02. Promised Land
04. Western Ground
05. On The Rise
07. Suspended Time
08. Valkyries' New Ride
10. Quasar Waves
11. Architect [bonus]
Switzerland's Samael surprised a lot of people in 1996 when they deviated from their original Black Metal sound to embrace an EBM/Electro Indus sound. Ten years later, Samael is still going strong and Solar Soul is here to prove them right.
As far as it can be granted that the band name lost its significance long ago, Samael is a name to reckon with in the electro/industrial scene. For newcomers, Samael may sound like an exquisite blend of Moonspell and Oomph!. That is actually not far from the mark. The dark melodies features on Solar Soul, coupled with that strange electro sound, create a bizarre atmosphere all the way though the album.
Sure, we are far from their original Black Metal, however, this record has some kind of a hypnotic effect, mostly due to electronica keyboards and direct guitar riffs. With instant-gratification songs like 'Solar Soul', 'Promised Land' and 'Slavocracy' as an opening trio, listeners are immerged into the core of the album in a straightforward way. A sitar, even some female vocals, the elements of surprise are definitely there as the album progresses.
As you gathered by now, Samael is all about atmospheres. A track like 'Alliance' could be a Moonspell single, carrying a lingering and sickening ambiance. While Solar Soul could be easily discarded as another pointless "electro-sounding" record, I find it full of memorable moments. Just listen to the head-banger 'Suspended Time' or the more electro-pop title track.
Obviously not an album for the average Metal crowd, Solar Soul is definitely a worthy release for open-minded listeners. This album could surprise you in more ways than one. Without being groundbreaking or style-defining, Samael's Solar Soul managed to capture my attention effortlessly with a solid album and a couple of marvelous tracks.
Highlights: 'Solar Soul', 'Promised Land', 'Slavocracy', 'Alliance' and 'Suspended Time'