SAMAEL – Solar Soul

SAMAEL is one band in recent times that is dedicated to the continuing evolution and progression of its sound. With a career spanning from the origins of black metal to a kind of avant-garde electro-rock, SAMAEL refuse to be pinned down to any particular genre for very long. The newest release, Solar Soul, demonstrates the band’s unrelenting fervor in pushing its sound to new heights while maintaining a natural progression musically. Although the previous album, Reign of Light, had a stronger emphasis on world music and cultural influences, the new album focuses primarily on stronger songwriting and composition. Fans of Eternal should be pleased with this release as there are many similarities. The production value is top notch as expected, and each member of the band contributes a stellar performance. Every song is unique in its own right similar to the band’s prior outing, but the most memorable songs are probably “Slavocracy” and “Western Ground.” Both of those tracks have pounding rhythms and lyrics catchy enough to remain stuck in your head for days to come. The politically charged lyrics, which have become almost commonplace in all areas of metal these days, may be the only real point of contention fans may have with Solar Soul. While fans are not likely to question the nature of the lyrics themselves, it is unfortunate that the tracks are laden with political perspectives at a time when fans are beginning to pine for a different subject matter. Regardless, Solar Soul is a solid release that showcases improvement over the previous album and a drive for musical experimentation and progression beyond that of your average metal band. (Nuclear Blast Records)

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