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