SAMAEL – Reign Of Light

Once standing tall with enormous relevance, SAMAEL have since settled into a more comfortable industrial-heavy sound with each passing release (like THE KOVENANT). Now with relevance dissipated by a gradual genre shift and ridiculous contractual difficulties (now hopefully behind them), the Swiss industrial-metallers can finally (attempt to) get their groove back. A lot can change over the course of six years since their last album, 1999’s epic Eternal, but Reign of Light is musically continuous that one would be hard pressed to find that more than two years separate the releases. Whether or not that’s a good or bad thing is up to you to decide. But what is clear is that Reign of Light is mostly the same (compared to Eternal)–an industrial-tinged album fronted by Vorph‘s Euro-cyborg bark and backed by their now-signature thunder-stomp. Minor developments include added electronic instrumentation and slightly more worldly (lyrically too, check out “On Earth“) soundscapes which contribute to a less grandiose and more inorganic sound. To compare Reign of Light to Ceremony of Opposites would be unfair but metal fans may still consider SAMAEL-of-today music to twirl glowsticks to. Metal or not, SAMAEL have always possessed a gem of promise, and while that may not be all that apparent with Reign of Light, let’s hope to see a flicker of that should they continue to operate as SAMAEL. (Nuclear Blast Records)

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