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Samael - Solar Soul
1 June 2007

01. Solar Soul
02. Promised Land
03. Slavocracy
04. Western Ground
05. On The Rise
06. Alliance
07. Suspended Time
08. Valkyries' New Ride
09. Ave!
10. Quasar Waves
11. Architect [bonus]
12. Olympus

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'

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9

Band profile: Samael
Album: Solar Soul


Written on 29.09.2007 by
Demonic Tutor
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Comments: 3  
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Hamird - 29.11.2008 at 21:06  
Wait, I listened to this album recently.. That's a nice album. But am I the only one who thinks Slavocracy's keyboards is very similar to Walking on Glass (Pain's song from 2007 album) guitars? Interesting is that both albums has been released in a same year.
un/heart/ed - 30.01.2009 at 03:14  
Yeah I realized the same thing too. the two songs are very similar indeed! but I think "walking on glass" is better.
Uirapuru - 11.06.2009 at 12:32  
Great review and album. One of the best from Samael. It has the atmosphere created by the eletronic effects added to more heaviness than the two previous albums. Just the thing I expect from them.

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