SAMAEL: Above and Beyond

Switzerland is not a country that exports many metal bands, but the few that it does, stand out as influential and innovative. SAMAEL is one of those bands. Their history stretches back to the beginnings of extreme metal; they were there at the onset of the second wave of black metal and produced landmark albums like Blood Ritual and Ceremony of Opposites.

The band’s rapid evolution, however, outpaced that of their fans and peers. Incorporating industrial and electronic influences, SAMAEL shed their organic origins in favor of something more mechanical. But the band’s artistic vision never wavered and they continued to grow their creative direction in the face of label struggles and confusion amongst fans. SAMAEL‘s latest album, Above, finally brings back elements of the band’s early days–speed and loud guitars–resulting in a meaty black metal album that still incorporates their industrial and orchestral side.

APESHIT spoke with drummer/keyboardist and chief songwriter, Xy, about Above and SAMAEL‘s past, present, and future. Continue reading

MOONSPELL and SAMAEL Team Up for North American Tour

Portugal’s MOONSPELL and Switzerland’s SAMAEL will be uniting for the Night Eternal Above America tour. The tour, pairing veteran heavyweights, takes place this fall and features support from BOOK OF BLACK EARTH and SECRETS OF THE MOON.

MOONSPELL frontman, Fernando Ribeiro, commented: “Call me emotional, but as a southern dark fuck I have the gut feeling that this will be the best and most important tour we have ever done in America! First and foremost, the music from all the bands is great, lively and emotional and sharing the stage with SAMAEL again is an honor we highly regard. And no more 25 minutes sets!!! For sure, we’ll party less than on the great Blackest of the Black with DANZIG and DIMMU BORGIR, but we’ll spend more time in the altar celebrating with you guys and that’s what counts! Last, we fear not to be a headliner in a country where we know we are still giving baby steps, and we’ll do our best, musically and visually to deliver upon you the Night Eternal, the solar and the lunar, in our songs and bodies. Be there for the full moon madness!”

Vorph of SAMAEL also commented: “When we first released Above we weren’t sure we would tour for that album, but we’re thrilled this is happening and we’re glad this time America will be the first. We already gave a taste of it in March when we toured with CARCASS but on this upcoming tour it will be the chance to experiment Above on a larger scale and see how it meshed with the older material. The billing is totally to our liking and sharing the stage once again with MOONSPELL will be great fun for us and for the people attending those shows. See you back on the road.”

Confirmed dates are as follows:
10/14/09 Czar – Tampa, FL
10/15/09 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
10/16/09 Jaxx – Springfield, VA
10/17/09 The Sterling Hotel – Allentown, PA
10/18/09 B.B. Kings Blues Club – New York, NY
10/19/09 Les Foufounes Electriques – Montreal, QC – CANADA
10/20/09 The Mod Club Theater – Toronto, ON – CANADA
10/21/09 Peabodys – Cleveland, OH
10/22/09 Blondie’s – Detroit, MI
10/23/09 The Pearl Room – Mokena, IL
10/24/09 Beaumont Club – Kansas City, MO
10/25/09 Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom – Denver, CO
10/27/09 The Venue – Vancouver, BC – CANADA
10/28/09 Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
10/29/09 Satyricon – Portland, OR
10/30/09 Thee Parkside – San Francisco, CA
10/31/09 The Jumping Turtle – San Marcos, CA
11/01/09 The Knitting Factory – Hollywood, CA
11/02/09 The Sets – Tempe, AZ
11/03/09 Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
11/04/09 Marquee – Tulsa, OK
11/05/09 Ridglea Theater – Dallas, TX
11/06/09 Warehouse Music Venue – San Antonio, TX

CARCASS Add Two Shows to Exhumed to Consume II Tour in March

Two additional U.S. shows have been added to CARCASS’s recently announced Exhumed to Consume II tour.  The tour, also featuring SUICIDE SILENCE, SAMAEL, ARSIS, and PSYCROPTIC, will now be making stops at the following cities:

18 Mar 2009: Pop’s – St. Louis (Sauget IL)
20 Mar 2009: Flytrap – Tulsa (OK)

For all the other dates, go here or visit CARCASS‘ MySpace page.

CARCASS to Tour U.S. Again in March

CARCASS have announced that they will be returning to the United States this March for the Exhumed to Consume II tour. The follow up to last year’s highly successful reunion tour, Exhume to Consume, will feature SUICIDE SILENCE, SAMAEL, ARSIS and PSYCROPTIC plus a few special guests on select dates. Vocalist/bassist and all around optimistic person Jeff Walker commented:

“Well, I’m pleased to announce that CARCASS is gonna settle it’s unresolved scores in the U.S.! There was some slight whimpers of discontent that we didn’t hit some cities such as Chicago and Denver last time round – places that were always hot spots of enthusiasm for us. So we’re coming back in March to finish off our unsettled business! We seemed to have had a profound influence on your economy and gas prices have gotten cheaper haha! That’s doesn’t mean we’re not gonna come through and provide some value for your buck with some old (and new) school friends and comrades such as SUFFOCATION, SAMAEL, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, EXODUS, SUICIDE SILENCE, etc. – check out locally as for who is on the bill where! And hey, I couldn’t think of anywhere better to be on my 40th birthday than the Sunshine Theatre in Albuquerque, New Mexico! We promise this will be the last time we darken your shores (I said that with my fingers crossed behind my back)!”

03/13/09 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
03/14/09 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH (w/ ABIGAIL WILLIAMS)
03/15/09 The Pearl Room – Mokena, IL (w/ THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER)
03/16/09 Majestic Theater – Detroit, MI (w/ THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER)
03/17/09 Headliner’s – Louisville, KY
03/21/09 Ridglea Theater – Ft. Worth, TX (w/ SUFFOCATION)
03/22/09 Meridian – Houston, TX
03/24/09 Gothic Theatre – Denver, CO
03/25/09 Sunshine Theatre – Albuquerque, NM
03/26/09 The Grand Ballroom – San Francisco, CA (THE FACELESS, TOXIC HOLOCAUST)
03/27/09 The Marquee Theatre – Phoenix, AZ (w/ SUFFOCATION)
03/28/09 The Grove – Anaheim, CA (California Metal Fest w/ SUFFOCATION, EXODUS etc.)

CARCASS, EXODUS, SAMAEL, More to Play 3rd Annual California Metalfest

The third annual California Metalfest, presented by Nederlander Concerts and Headbang For The Highway, is confirmed for March 28th at The Grove of Anaheim.  Confirmed talent thus far includes CARCASS, EXODUS, SUFFOCATION, THE FACELESS, WHITECHAPEL, SAMAEL, ARSIS, DECREPIT BIRTH, VEIL OF MAYA, PSYCROPTIC, and others to be announced in the coming weeks.

The first California Metalfest in 2006 featured headliner NECROPHAGIST in their first Southern California appearance. 2007’s edition was headlined by TESTAMENT.

Visit the official MySpace page for all the latest show info: http://www.myspace.com/californiametalfest

SAMAEL Post New Song from Above

A new SAMAEL track entitled “Illumination” is currently being streamed on the Swiss metal veterans’ MySpace page (www.myspace.com/samael). The song comes off the band’s new album, Above, which is said to be “a pure black metal album that is more than just a nod in the direction of old SAMAEL masterpieces such as Ceremony of Opposites and Passage!” Check out the new track and decide for yourself!

Above track listing:

01. “Under One Flag
02. “Virtual War
03. “Polygames
04. “Earth Country
05. “Illumination
06. “Black Hole
07. “In There
08. “Dark Side
09. “God’s Snake
10. “On The Top Of It All

AMORPHIS, SAMAEL, LEAVES EYES, VIRGIN BLACK to Tour This Fall

SAMAEL is proud to announce their first US tour in nearly five years in support of their latest Solar Soul release! The band will be making the trek with headliners/labelmates AMORPHIS as well as LEAVES EYES and VIRGIN BLACK. Co-founder, Xy, had this to say about SAMAEL’s return to US shores:

“We haven’t played in the US since our last tour for ‘Eternal’ back in 2003. It has been far too long and the wait is over! We are happy to announce we’ll be back in September to present material from not one but two albums, namely ‘Reign Of Light’ and ‘Solar Soul,’ as well as songs off our other records. We’re excited about this tour and are looking forward to connecting with our American audience once again!”

The complete schedule is as follows:
Sep. 27 – Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
Sep. 28 – West Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
Sep. 29 – New York City, NY @ BB Kings
Sep. 30 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero Theater
Oct. 01 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance Theater
Oct. 02 – Worcester, MA @ Palladium
Oct. 03 – Montreal, QC @ Foufounes Electriques
Oct. 04 – Toronto, ON @ Opera House
Oct. 05 – Cleveland, OH @ Peabody’s
Oct. 06 – Mokena, IL @ The Pearl Room
Oct. 07 – St Paul, MN @ Station 4
Oct. 09 – Spokane, WA @ Big Easy Concert House
Oct. 10 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
Oct. 11 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
Oct. 12 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
Oct. 13 – West Hollywood, Ca @ House of Blues
Oct. 14 – Phoenix, AZ @ Brickhouse
Oct. 16 – Ft Worth, TX @ Ridglea Theater
Oct. 17 – San Antonio, TX @ Scout Bar
Oct. 18 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar

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)