Rating:
N/A
Samael - Above
6 March 2009


01. Under One Flag
02. Virtual War
03. Polygames
04. Earth Country
05. Illumination
06. Black Hole
07. In There
08. Dark Side
09. God's Snake
10. On The Top Of It All


Vorph and Xy are not to be trusted. Samael's latest album Above is one with a history of disinformation, misdirection and outright lies. It all started off as a bloated concept of Gorillaz proportions with a virtual band called "Above" playing songs written for them by the Samael boys. Well, this was a lie. Moving on, Vorph then announced that it would be the missing link between Ceremony Of Opposites and Passage. Again, this was a lie. Finally, the band decided to play one of the new songs on their Winterfest tour and it turned out to sound similar, although a little darker, to Samael's most recent output. Guess what? This was also a lie. If this song does in fact appear on Above, it is completely unrecognizable to me.

This is because Above turned out to be a blindingly fast yet atmospheric black metal album with an industrial edge. Machine gun drums totally dominate this release, drowning behind them every other instrument including the vocals, which are delivered in an ice-cold cybernetic kind of crazy shriek. The bass booms underneath all of this, while the guitars and keyboards play quickly progressing riffs and vague atmospherics in the background, respectively. Unfortunately, all of this is completely unacceptable and totally inappropriate for any fan of the band. For those that enjoy Samael's recent output, this will be far too crazy, dark and fast. For old fans, Above will be too electronic, cleanly produced and fast. What a total misfire of an album this is.

OK, that's enough, now, in the last 4 sentences, I was lying. Above is in actuality a superb album that further cements Samael's position as the key innovators on the scene for the past 2 decades or so. It is completely inconsequential that upon first listen this album will most likely totally shatter your expectations since it will do so with such immense power and consistency that it is unlikely to be a disappointment. In fact, describing separate songs here is utterly pointless, they work well as single entities and even better as an album. This kind of fluid interplay between memorable melodic black metal riffs and blitzkrieg chaingun rhythmic intensity is rarely achieved.

Although they are a bunch of liars, with their latest release Samael proves that it still has what it takes to be the kind of band that convinces impressionable metalheads to come up with silly cosmos-themed Internet forum user names ending with the letters '-ack' or even '-as'...


Band profile: Samael
Album: Above


 



Written on 14.04.2009 by
jupitreas
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. Privately not actually an asshole, he lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he runs his small graphic and web design business.
More reviews by jupitreas ››



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K†ulu - 14.04.2009 at 08:18  
This is totally confusing: "Awake," "I lied..." and then maybe you lied again, and those who haven't heard the album won't even know what to expect; a bit funny though
BitterCOld - 14.04.2009 at 09:23  
Jupitreas pulled a Samael and lied about the album name to throw us off the scent.

enjoyable album - best since "Passage" - review took a couple reads to fully process because of all of Jupe's trickery. I approve.
Elio - 14.04.2009 at 10:50  
I think jupitreas lied about the value of this album IMO. Not a good album at all.
frankeli - 14.04.2009 at 11:24  
I do agree that the album is not worth listening, but, hey man, jupitreas, calling someone aliar and using very heavy accusations ... that's a bit too much. Do not forget their past. And than again, do you personaly know them to call them with such names??? I don't believe (although I may be mistaken)

Let us all hope that the Samael guys will think before they act.

Thanx
jupitreas - 14.04.2009 at 12:26  
Sorry about the "awake" thing, it was a Freudian slip considering I was writing that review in the middle of the night. All fixed now.
K†ulu - 14.04.2009 at 13:16  
Written by jupitreas on 14.04.2009 at 12:26

Sorry about the "awake" thing, it was a Freudian slip considering I was writing that review in the middle of the night. All fixed now.

Oh, the awake thing was not made on purpose? I thought it was a part of the "lie." Now, it's even funnier.
Marcel Hubregtse - 14.04.2009 at 13:31  
By far their best album since Passage.
Hamird - 14.04.2009 at 13:55  
I didn't like the album, because I expected to listened to an Industrial Black Metal music like Aborym do, but as it's written in the review "This is because Above turned out to be a blindingly fast yet atmospheric black metal album with an industrial edge".. Not only it's true about Above, but for their previous album also it's true. Still Solar Soul sounds better than Above in my opinion.
S.K.Ø.M - 14.04.2009 at 16:14  
Its not bad album...but i guess Solar Soul still more fresh than this one, with more creativity than this one

there will never be such thing as "Ceremony Of Opposites"....
muska - 15.04.2009 at 00:23  
"OK, that's enough, now, in the last 4 sentences, I was lying." - actually you were not, it was very close to what i thought of the album, biggest disappointment so far this year, and you should delete the word melodic from your review, cause melody is non existent here. for some bands its good to go back to their roots, but Samael were caught somewhere in the middle of nowhere. nevertheless i'll be looking for them to bounce back with something more original
Lokomotiv - 01.05.2009 at 22:42  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 14.04.2009 at 13:31

By far their best album since Passage.


I agree... I have to say I never expected Samael to release such a good album, as all their last cds were mediocre at best.
Uirapuru - 20.06.2009 at 19:03  
Good album. ''Black hole' is awesome. Even the remix version.
Koen Smits - 26.06.2009 at 10:16  
I like it better then Solar Soul. It's far more agressive an powerfull. I'll give it an 8 at this moment.
Dominus - 25.09.2009 at 19:43  
Solar Soul is much better.

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