The fourth EP by the legendary Swiss Symphonic Industrial/Electro Black/Dark Metal band.
Samael have definitely had a polarizing career. They began as a mid-paced Black Metal band that specialized in creating a rhythmic groove that the genre wasn’t really known for. They eventually found that they could enhance that groove by including Industrial elements (most notably a drum machine). This actually led to one of their most revered albums, "Passage". Instead of just sticking to their unique style, though, they pushed further into the Industrial genre; alienating a large amount of their fans in the process. In 2009 Samael surprised everybody by releasing the most aggressive album of their careers – an album that mixed the speed and atmosphere of Black Metal with the rhythmic pulse of Industrial Metal. This lead to the obvious question: was "Above" a one-time deal or were Samael back in the Metal genre for good? Almost year and a half after the release of “Above”, Samael are back with “Antigod”. While Samael’s new EP can’t really answer that question definitively, it’s at least a good tentative “yes”.
The new song, “Antigod,” sounds like it could have been lifted directly from "Passage". It is the kind of rhythmic, Industrialized Black Metal that the band used to do so well. It features the pounding percussion, thick orchestral synths, and Vorph’s long-missed growl that made "Passage" so great. That song is followed up by the band’s second re-creation of the song “Into the Pentagram”. That song was originally found on the band’s debut and subsequently re-done on their "Rebellion" EP. This version of the song has been given the band’s Industrial treatment – replacing the live drums of the first two versions with a drum machine and additional synths – and while it is great, it lacks the dark atmosphere of the "Rebellion" version. The EP is rounded out by two live tracks, a remix, and an all-synth finale. The live tracks are both taken from the band’s Industrial era, but they’re much more powerful live. The remix of “Antigod” isn’t terrible. It lacks the power and heaviness of the original, and is actually a bit grating due to the thin drum sound and distorted vocals. The all-synth new track, “Ten Thousand Years”, is an instrumental composition, sounding more as a soundtrack for a movie. It is a nice pompous track.
"Antigod" is a great surprise since it truly does provide the back-to-roots feel that we were initially promised with "Above". The live tracks show that the band is still pretty kick-ass and heavy in a live situation. Overall, whether you choose to listen to this EP or not, know that “Antigod” is a great return to the band’s roots and hopefully it is a sign of things to come!!
Nuclear Blast GmbH, 2010 (NB 2672-2). Made in Germany. First press.
1. Antigod 4:04
2. Into The Pentagram (2010) 4:44
3. Reign Of Light 3:47
4. Slavocracy 4:16
5. Antigod (Dark Night Remix) 3:50
6. Ten Thousand Years 4:44
Total playing time: 25:25