Samael - Reign Of Light

posted by Greg, Tuesday February 8, 2005 @ 04:05:25 PM

Artist: Samael (
Album: Reign Of Light
Release Date: February 8th, 2005
Label: Nuclear Blast

Rating: 2.5/10

Recommended Tracks: none, sadly

What the fuck happened to Samael? When did they turn from a pretty killer black/industrial hybrid into a pretty-boy watered-down version of Rammstein gay-raping the fucking Pet Shop Boys? If you have the distinct misfortune of hearing this new album, these same thoughts will be swarming around through your head, as well as a wish for a bullet from a .44 Magnum to be in there somewhere as well.

Despite hailing from the all-things-neutral territory of Switzerland, Samael have strayed far from their roots in making an album you'll feel anything but neutral about, churning out one quirky dance/synth-pop track after another that sound more at home in a European disco than a dark, smoke-filled concert stage. It's as if listening to this album requires a bunch of flashing rainbow lights and oiled-up party boys with waxed chests in cutoff bluejean shorts to be around. This shouldn't be too much of a shock to longtime Samael fans, as they have gotten progressively more mellow, poppy, and techno-ish with each album since their raw 1991 debut Worship Him. They hit their peak with 1994's excellent Ceremony Of Opposites, which successfully blended ambient/keyboard excursions in the background with pounding riffs and an overall evil, oppressive mood. This album, however, successfully blends crap with more crap now that all the keyboard and synthesizer foreplay from earlier albums is thrust into the limelight, while anything remotely heavy languishes far, far in the back of the sound.

Speaking of sound, the album is well produced and each and every sound is painfully crystal clear, but as the immortal music critic Beavis once famously said: "you can't polish a turd". There are a few bits of songs here and there that play around with interesting harmonies or synthesizer effects, but for the most part this is pure and utter auditory torture put on plastic. There are fucking hand claps with the drum beat on the last song for fuck's sake! Is nothing sacred for former metal bands anymore?

If you like crappy dance music or Rammstein then you'll probably like this album I guess, but the bottom line is this album is pretty much devoid of anything heavy or metal. I mean, I'd like to think I have a pretty diverse taste in music and there's a lot of stuff I dig that isn't heavy metal, but this album is just awful and derivative of other bands in the goth pop/synth genre who do this type of thing a lot better. Thus I feel it is my civic duty to inform you this album sucks, and you'd be much better off dusting off your old Samael albums and giving them a spin instead.

- Greg

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