[Century Media]

On this release Samael exiled many of their past listeners, leaving behind their blackened past almost entirely, mixing equal part industrial, (un)equal part of their past sound, and a large part experimental keyboard orchestrations. Incorporate a drum machine and you have a cold, industrialized technicality, with keyboard soundscapes creating both incredible orchestrations and chaos.

Vorphalack, now known as just Vorph, has lowered his vocals to a blackened whisper, the drum machine takes a back seat to the keyboards which wreak great havoc through most of the album, the psychotic musical passages created through them once again put Samael into a league of their own. Also experimenting further with a 'ballad' entitled ~Moonskin~, the piano interludes on this song are excellently used and some of the best I have heard. At first listen this album didn't appeal to me at all and I mourned for the loss of the Samael of old, although with time, I rediscovered this album, and have since then thoroughly enjoyed it and have looked forward for more like it from Samael, with their 'peak' reached on Ceremony (arguably), it would seem natural that they take a new path to discover and conquer, I have no doubts of their ability to do so.

For those who enjoy experimental, ambient, or even industrial music, this will be a dream come true, although those who enjoyed their past work may be disappointed and resentful, as I was at first. This album didn't grow on me, more like it was given a 'second chance' and my ears were opened to it's greatness. Brilliant, although not without it's flaws.

"You know my friend / I've been walking on a really strange path lately" ~Shining Kingdom

No kidding.

2000 alasdor