Samael - Ceremony of Opposites

Production: Crystal clear and bangy; almost digitally hard edged.

Review: Potent European style black metal with hints of commercial rock creeping into their style make an atmospheric but rigid and defiant album which in combining those antithetical traits finds a place for its misanthropy, like the tug of a lover in the night a promise of sweetness and hints of death. This album thrives on rawness and musicality.

Samael have always put an odd musical aesthetic into the influences behind their creation, from their first "Worship Him" with its penchant for creating requiem music out of well-played, diverse, harmonic black metal with a clear European heritage, to "Blood Ritual" which slowed the music down considerably, added a new drummer, Xytras (other band members: Vorphalack wielding guitar, and Masmiseim on bass - go figure)and developed some new tonalities for black metal. Here the emphasis on rock tempo is back, and while that is similar to the first album, the refined and sparse riffing accompanied by demented ambient keyboards is a new characteristic for this band as of this work.


1. Black Trip (3:19)
2. Celebration of the Fourth (2:54)
3. Son of Earth (3:58)
4. 'Till We Meet Again (4:12)
5. Mask of the Red Death (3:04)
6. Baphomet's Throne (3:31)
7. Flagellation (3:42)
8. Crown (4:06)
9. To Our Martyrs (2:37)
10. Ceremony of Opposites (4:40)

Length: 36:05

Samael - Ceremony of Opposites: Black Metal 1994 Samael

Copyright © 1994 Century Media

"Ceremony of Opposites" goes further into a more conventional musical sound but maintains the black metal core of powerfully designed and well-rendered structure depicted through an aesthetic of obscure, shifting and dark reactivity. While instrumentation is cleanly defined and exact in its placement it is not the focus of this art, nor is wholly the aesthetic, yet seemingly these parts conspire to suggest a communication to the listener far less evident than its fragments might imply.