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Album Reviews : Samael – Hegemony

By on January 22, 2018

Samael is a band that I personally have never been able to get into very well. Their earlier more traditional Black Metal sound, such as Blood Ritual has always sounded somewhat mediocre to me, and their later Industrial Black Metal is a complete no go from me (nothing against the band themselves, Industrial Metal is something I just cannot get into to, even mixed in with something like Black Metal.).

This is why I am thankful to say that their latest album Hegemony, released on Napalm Records is actually a Symphonic Black Metal release, in the vein of bands such as Dimmu Borgir. While Symphonic Metal is generally not my favourite subgenre in the world, when it is done right it can be quite enjoyable. When it is done wrong, it can sound quite overproduced and not so enjoyable to me.

Hegemony is an album that is done right. The symphonic elements fit well into the songs, in the background of the instruments while still fitting into the overall atmosphere of the album. This is in contrast with bad Symphonic Black Metal which tries to make the symphonic elements the main forefront in the album.

I do have a small problem with this album. The track, Black Supremacy, it tries to add a quiet noticeable techno overlay which really does not need to be added in. This is by far my unfavorite song of the album because I’m not a big fan of the techno genre. Thankfully, this is the only song in which this sound is prevalent. Against All Enemies adds in spaced inspired ambient effects to the intro, yet quickly leaps into the core of the track.

The really good songs on this album are the ones where the instruments and the overall production really mix together perfectly for me. These include Samael, This World, and Dictate of Transparency. If you haven’t yet gotten into Symphonic Black Metal or Samael, these three songs I would highly recommend you check out.

Overall, this is by far the best album I have heard from Samael. It doesn’t sound as bland to me as their earlier works do, and it doesn’t sound completely awful compared to their Industrial albums. If you haven’t completely given up on this band after their industrial period or are looking for something a little more Dimmu Borgir inspired, make sure to check this album out!

Band: Samael
Album: Hegemony
Year: 2017
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Label: Napalm Records
Origin: Switzerland