Necrotic war metal and black metal hybrid band Sammath bring inner melody to battering relentless martial metal, and now premiere the first track from their latest album, Grebbeberg:
Let us revisit the career of this band that, while others ran to trends and ancient tropes of shoebox heavy metal, compelled themselves to push further on a journey of artistic destiny:
Sammath – Strijd (1999)
Distinguishing itself with explosive violence flowing into elegant sweeping melody with a strong sense of medieval sensibility and an architectual complement to the shorter riffs in the song, this album was transportive like Graveland meeting Terrorizer. For many this represented the peak of later black metal: aware of all the techniques of the classics, it developed its own voice within the same spirit, avoiding all the tangents taken by other bands that seemed to lead right back to rock or emo.
Sammath – Verwoesting Devastation (2002)
With this release, the band took off in its new direction, abandoning keyboards entirely and aiming for raw blasting black metal like Asphyx crossed with Impaled Nazarene, focusing on angular and chromatic grinding riffs which conveyed virulent rhythms. The change from a 30,000-foot view to ground soldier dynamics brought out the death metal and grindcore influences on Sammath.
Sammath – Dodengang (2006)
As the new path refined itself through practice, the band took more of a simplified Morbid Angel approach that emphasized short flowing riffs colliding with abrupt battering violence, taking focus away from the black metal sense of atmosphere and more into storytelling about combat. This refined the techniques and outlook of previous albums and set the stage for a detour.
Sammath – Triumph in Hatred (2009)
Venturing into more of a quasi-progressive atmosphere, Sammath brought in new personnel and new musical chops, making the raging chaos of previous albums fit more into songs even if some of the wonderful seemingly random rabbit trails that led to serendipity were toned down as well. The increased precision brought a harder-hitting album, and new lead guitars added more dynamics and space to the recording.
Sammath – Godless Arrogance (2014)
The band returned to its roots in both death metal and black metal with this highly melodic album that nonetheless evokes visceral sensations of conquest and retribution with compelling rhythms that rise out of the soaring backdrop of harmony to provide an instant of confrontation with reality. Evoking the essence of black metal, it created an otherworldly visitation out of power chords racing to military rhythms at the speed of demonic incarnations consuming a dying world.
Sammath – Across the Rhine is only death (2019)
Continuing along the path of the previous album, the band turned up the power rhythm riffs and grinding chromaticism, returning to the first album where the elegant held gritty realism at bay until the two could find common ground, evoking the early works of Celtic Frost and Sinister. Faster, more precise riffs let the band pull off more subtle variety in songs, both streamlining and expanding song structure.
Sammath – Grebbeberg (2023)
With this album, the subtle melodies of the first album take on a simplified and shorter form and work themselves into the pounding chaos of Verwoesting Devastation, but now the violence has become precise like a martial art and the first album Morbid Angel or Pestilence emerges with intense variety within a direct focus.
Tags: Black Metal, sammath, War Metal
62 thoughts on “Sammath Premieres “Reichswald” From Grebbeberg”
Looking forward to hear it but will wait for the full album experience when the CD gets out.
A great band with no bad releases. The last two have been stellar so I imagine this new one is not going to disappoint.
The last few have guts, brains, and soul. A lot of the earlier stuff is crushing too. Also thank Satan none of it is “progressive” like whatever Bud Light level swill the big labels are churning these days.
The turbo just kicked in and now we can really feel the acceleration in Bud Lightism et al. Perfect timing for an A-list metal release.
I am impressed after multiple listens. It sounds like Godless Arrogance crossed with Dodengang but with more precision, very Morbid Angel meets middle period Asphyx.
So few of the bands after the Norwegians have stayed on my playlist that it is not funny. Remember when Abyssic Hate and Deathspell Omega were trending? Nowhere near the endurance that first five Immortal albums had for me.
Finally, some real metal! With actual riffs. No emo. No lite jazz. No alt-rock. Can’t wait to score the album on real vinyl, not some bullshit streaming service.
What broke in the 2000s that suddenly playing lite jazz on guitars counted as “progressive”? It feels like numetal brought in the funk, and so then the lowest common denominator took over, because metal now sounds like alt-rock with a few speed metal riffs and a Motown fetish.
The record industry recycles its tropes just like the movies do. In movies, Jack Daniels = serious drinking and motorcycles = rebel, in pop music, jazz = deep and randomness = profound.
After the last album, I thought Godless Arrogance might have been a fluke. This is promising though. The tinge of melody makes for a more enjoyable, expressive track.
Last album was great, they just have a hard-on for Asphyx’s The Rack so they really like those grinding five-fret riffs.
Seems to me like the band completed an arc with Godless Arrogance and are now refining it. It is a welcome change from the Deathspell Omega and Incantation clones littering the review queue.
Look at all the trends that have fallen. Does anyone remember Depressive Suicidal Black Metal (DSMB)? What about blackgaze? Stoner doom? All the Blasphemy clones?
This sort of mini-review career overview is really neat. Would love to see this format again sometime, maybe even as revisits of now-defunct bands.
Now we know what this site should’ve been doing for the last twenty years.
It has potential. Here I think it was necessary to see this album in context, and see what this band has been trying to do for a long time, which is to smoothly meld death metal and atmospheric black metal.
I have that Centurian tee. Even second-tier DM used to be manly and grrrr. Now we have Blood Incantation.
The Dimmu Burger bands came in, then the underground decided to become droning two-note drivel that only basement incels spend their minimum wage slavery salary on after kissing mom and having a paper plate of tendies fresh from the microwave.
That’s what your Mom said when I plowed your Dad in the ass.
4chan lingo is faggot shit and everyone who uses it will be executed
4chan is a typical moron reactionary project, “be the opposite of Reddit and Twitter.” They take it too far, of course. Only forums are true!
Homosexual feces is the most flavorful because it is streaked with cum, blood, pus, and the shattered dreams of dominating parents.
Did they rip off Mother North?
Who listens to that swill anyway? Riff theft is permissible if done by a better band.
I think a great lot of people listen to Satyricon. Whats your point? If you have steal then better make it some lesses know stuff.
It’s shit music for Marilyn Manson kids who wandered into Black Metal after finding a Darkthrone tshirt half off at Haute Topic.
Only the weak and lowly listen to Satyricon. Do not admit that you do this on a public forum or the FBI will recruit you as an informant.
I listened to Ulver once, now I’m a double agent for the FSB and MOSSAD.
Most metalheads listen to some garbage, some classics, and a bunch of normy rock they hide in their porn folders. Satyricon was always second tier at best.
Second tier? Ass tier.
Craft philosophy for conservative artistry in a nuttshelllllll
Conservative “art” means Christian metal. No thank u
Christian metal ain’t metal. Neither is liberal metal. Nor really rock-metal, jazz-metal, or any of the other hybrids (Pestilence and Atheist were the last to do this sanely). Metal is war, death, hatred, violence, sodomy, occult gods, dismemberment, fisting, adventure, conquest, and war, not pegging, soy, good intentions, upscale restaurant conversation, Christianity, equality, Islam, pacifism, pluralism, relativism, happiness, and buying mechnical keyboards with pink keycaps. If you are a false donut entry. Die!
Good music in general has nothing to do with the latter mentioned bores but I agree metal usually sucks when it strays from the minimalist aesthetic
I dunno if it is the minimalist aesthetic. It is focus on something that is the spirit of metal: embrace natural amorality and cause-effect logic over human moralism and optics. Adding in a bunch of random stuff dilutes any genre and gradually turns it into K-Pop.
Certainly the form is subservient to the spirit. I think great metal aims to be the ultimate expression of the masculine principle so any mixing from other genres fucks that up conceptually and I suppose then incidentally betrays the particularly limited palette of what constitutes the classics
In my view, metal has both masculine and feminine to it. It is nature-worship, and its masculine is the amoral but its feminine is a deep sensitivity to the immeasurable.
i was just thinking that earlier, good point. both are taken to extremes, the only way to transcendence.
“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”
What would young men in the 80`s and 90’s have done without metal?! We would’ve been stuck with Barry Manilow and The Doobie Brothers and Metallica.
It was funny how …And Justice for All spurred bands to be like, “we do not want to be that.”
The first order of business after we return to sanity will be to criminalize gripping one’s pillow tight.
I used the term conservative here aiming the approach that Sammath (and KAECK, also others) has regarding metal craft, not some relativistic political modern stance (that is what indeed conservatorism represents, together with other trends)
Conservatism at its core means people who want the pre-modern order. You might describe metal as naturalism: a desire to emulate and explain natural structures in searching for the transcendent, not replace them with human structures like Christianity, liberalism, modernity, consumerism, pornography, and so on do.
I kind of acknowledge your views for some years now and indeed it works when explaining a metal philosophy as generated from the artistic manifestation. I think Nietzsche would approve. More so I see it right there into his esthetic approach towards existence. Nevertheless, some questions arise,… if the naturalistic examples in history are aware of their naturalistic stance, or would naturalism be possible without modernity to make us aware of its possibility as a philosophy.
Thinking maybe a new term for those reactionaries that make art is in order since a lot of the creative impulses are captured nowadays (last 100 years maybe?) by the left.
Naturalism is almost by definition unselfconscious. It answers the question of the meaning of life with a tautology by simply living life and pursuing all the good and wonderful things in it, including the scary ones like wars, conquest, cannibalism, and sodomy. The thing about conservative art is that it will never be an ideological pulpit like Leftist art, so it limits itself to the relatively small audience that can understand art, subtlety, and nuance. Leftist art is folk rockers screaming about how they will not eat donuts until the gay Negroes have donuts too because in Russia there are children starving because of the military-industrial complex and the capitalist patriarchy. At the end of the day, Leftism is just human narcissism using ideological scapegoating and guilt grifting to con its way through life, leaving a trail of collateral damage.
NP: Obituary Cause of Death.
Conservatives cannot make art. Only a few reactionaries every generation have that talent. The rest just want to run orderly shops. Ingrate bourgeois humanist moral hamsters.
Not trying to be a cunt but I’ve heard these riffs in a billion songs before, they do play them really aggressive and fast, the vocals are a MASSIVE improvement over the chicken screeching on the last one, or one before that can’t remember. One thing is I always end up liking albums recommended by this site and this is the only review site whose opinion I care about.
Thank you, Blazing Ass Fungus! Also this wins username of the day award.
“conservative art is…”
“Conservatives cannot make art”
This is confusing.
Most of the real conservatives — people who want to preserve civilization — act nothing like “conservatives.” If you understand nature, you want a dynamic world of struggle, not everyone obeying some set of rules and going to church after a full week of working hard at their jobs. This is why metalheads start out hating conservatives, namely that what conservatives say in public is utterly moronic and toolish. But in the end, metalheads are conservators of nature, meaning that they appreciate the dark side of life as well as the light happy cotton candy crap that most people think is life, and so they like enduring civilizations, ancient things, eternal truths, and things meaningful enough to inspire battles, just with loud music, beer, dope, leather, Satan, cannibalism, necrophilia, and spikes as well. The best art has a conservative basis, but it is not branded conservative, nor do most conservatives recognize it. Generally it makes them drop their prayer books and account books, clutch pearls, and REEEE in response. But Leftist “art” is always just propaganda. Sometimes they accidentally make something good by getting drunk and writing riffs, like Napalm Death, but when they have enough power to make the music they want, it all turns into a new version of the 1960s fat lady with a dulcimer singing songs about peace, sharing, and racial unity.
artists acutely feel this tug of war between indulgence and excellence. its kind of about doing both at the same time. lots of young artists get carried away with well intentioned ideals because they value freedom, but as they mature and lose interest in things they cannot change, they get better at touching life and express themselves from that perspective. as long as they continue to follow their instincts for adventure and honesty, and then experience inevitable adversity, they will not get too comfortable as emotional agitation is key to the non-redundant creative process.
Indulgence and excellence? Perhaps: I see individualism versus order, which implicates naturalism and realism, which has a necessary quality component. Young artists tend to be reacting to the few things they know, where over time, they are more interested in making the trains run on time.
There’s a bit too much nutriding on Kruitwagen going on here. Sammath was always somewhere between decent and randomly awkward. Like some citrus fruit; good taste with an awfully bitter aftertaste (God must have a sick sense of humor here).
But some fecal-ness is always expected if you touch the AIDS called War Metal.
Kaeck is at least better and more consistent though, but the fucking dutch spoken language still sounds weird – like deformed german – can’t stand it.
I disagree (obviously). Strijd and Godless Arrogance at the very least belong in the top tier of the genre. Other albums are solid as well, although some of the earlier ones are more experimental and exploring sounds that took a few albums to nail. I agree that war metal beyond Blasphemy and Zyklon-B is generally ass however.
True War Metal is the rape of shemales. It is getting behind a transsexual and using the anal cavity to violently masturbate your penis until you ejaculate on poop. Rape the trannies! War metal war!
I am half-hippie, and I really do not care if people are gay or transsexual. I think it is time to purge the weak however.
the only one that holds my attention is godless
I would re-listen to Strijd if you get a chance. It is a pretty amazing black metal detour, sort of like a winding road through forested mountains.
Sammoth rules. Fuck modern country music. Fuck new country music. Death metal forevski.
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