Samael - Blood Ritual

Production: Flat and dry, meaning there is little living sound to the guitars but they are starched and distant behind a smoothly mixed wall of sound.

Review: The slowest of the Samael albums Blood Ritual uses repetition technique to program its listeners with simple riffs and shifting rhythms which are carefully orchestrated through strumming and guitar/drum interaction. Vocals chant in dark priestlike desperation over asymmetrical riffs derived from the greats of older black and speed metal yet simplified and broken rhythmically to allow counterpoint phrasing and emphatic harmonic reversal and inversion to put hooks into the material.

These doomy long-repetition-phase works do not move as decisively as the similar but more intricate material of the first album. New direction is found in doomy bass heavy resonance and the corralling passages of cavernous narrative abrasion. Its chugging progress is meant to bow the head into a nodding rhythmic harmony. Where the blackest moments of "Worship Him" rested in dark cadence, on this release the rhythms become fluid and yet hopelessly recombinant and recyclic.


1. Epilogue (:39)
2. Beyond the Nothingness (4:31)
3. Poison Infiltration (3:58)
4. After the Sepulture (4:35)
5. Macabre Operetta (6:41)
6. Blood Ritual (3:25)
7. Since the Creation... (:34)
8. With the Gleam of the Torches (6:26)
9. Total Consecration (2:40)
10. Bestial Devotion (4:49)
11. ...Until the Chaos (3:26)

Length: 41:46

Samael - Blood Ritual: Black Metal 1992 Samael

Copyright © 1992 Century Media

As an influence inevitably countrymen Celtic Frost are called to mind, as is Cathedral for the repetitive riff stylings (although it would be tough competition to find who "invented" various rock styles of repetition) but neither distinctly or consistently enough to disturb momentum, which rises like a leaping whale and descends in slow avulsion of harmonic texture. An uncommon dark ambience which drives periodically spectacular moments into your mind alight with contrast distinguishes this band and album.