Listen to SAMAEL's just released new album ‘Lux Mundi’ at this location until May 6th, 2011 (at the band's Facebook page). The album has hit European stores today, April 29th, 2011, via Nuclear Blast Records. American fans will have to wait until July 12th, 2011 to get their copy of the album via Season Of Mist Records. ‘Lux Mundi’ (“light of the world”) was pre-produced by Waldemar Sorychta and mixed by Russ Russell. Album's artwork was created by Patrick Pidoux. ‘Lux Mundi’ was three years in the making: “We’ve stuffed this album with so many things that it feels like we’ve created a black hole. We might have come full circle after ‘Solar Soul’ and ‘Above’ and the option for us was to leave SAMAEL behind or to add a new layer to our legacy; we went for the second option. With ‘Lux Mundi’ we’ve put tar on our path and now we’ll be able to move further,” explained the band's guitarist and vocalist Vorph.
SAMAEL was formed in 1987 in Sion, Switzerland, by by brothers Vorph(alack) – vocals and guitar and Xy(tras) – drums (programming and keyboards). Along with bassist Mas(miseim), the band was first influenced by first-generation black metal bands (such as VENOM and BATHORY) but has with time evolved from a black metal band into “one of the most daring and eclectic sonic explorers of their generation” (E. Rivadavia, AllMusic) that introduced industrial, electronic, and gothic music elements into their formative black and death metal foundations. First full-length, raw and primitive black metal album entitled ‘Worship Him’, was released through Osmose Productions. ‘Blood Ritual’ came out a year later on Century Media Records: “Sparked by the bandmembers' improving musicianship and a diminishing need to prove themselves through wanton teenage savagery, this album sacrificed aggression and, even more notably, speed, for much more interesting arrangements, while obviously maintaining their allegiance with the great horned one,” commented Mr. Rivadavia in his review. SAMAEL's first collaboration with producer Waldemar Sorychta came in shape of their third album, ‘Ceremony Of Opposites’, released in 1994: “[The band] arguably achieved the rarefied air that comes with finding a unique and original style. And with the perfect balance between extreme metal fury, disciplined technology, and eerie atmospherics, the group had effectively struck upon the veritable blueprint for its next and perhaps greatest album,” wrote aforementioned music critic. For 1996's ‘Passage’, the band opted for even more intensive use of keyboards and industrial sounds as drummer Xy took over keyboard duties as well as the task of programming. ‘Passage’ was described as “groundbreaking” by many and as SAMAEL's “crowning triumph” and “one of the most important heavy metal albums of the 1990s, bar none” by Eduardo Rivadavia. The group's next offering, 1999's ‘Eternal’ was received with much less enthusiasm than its predecessor. SAMAEL would not renew their contract with Century Media (or vice versa) and released the next album, ‘Reign Of Light’, in 2004 via Galactical Records (and kept alienating their fan base with increasing obsession with electronic genres like house and trip-hop on 2007's ‘Solar Soul’). But come 2009 and SAMAEL finally remembered their roots with their debut for Nuclear Blast Records, the eight album entitled ‘Above’: “SAMAEL's career comes full circle with their surprising return to categorical heavy metal extremism,” mused E. Rivadavia and continued, “And there’s little doubt that SAMAEL will continue to explore new musical landscapes as their career progresses.”
“But even though reminders of the roads SAMAEL have since traveled are indeed few and far between (e.g. the rave-ready ‘Soul Invictus’ and the odd groove or vocal style borrowed from RAMMSTEIN), to expect another brush with perfection is obviously wishful thinking. Instead, ‘Lux Mundi’ just gets pretty damn close, and that’ll certainly be close enough for most SAMAEL followers, who can finally find something else to gripe about and start placing bets on which musical direction the band will embark on next,” [expressed his own relief as well Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]
SAMAEL features: Vorph – vocals and guitar, Xy - programming, keyboards and percussion, Mas - bass and Mak – guitar