Exodus (Century Media)
Enslain Magazine Issue #5
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This latest effort from black metal musicians Samael (Is this even black metal? Not as though I care much for labels, for music such as this defies this sort of pigeonholing) is an EP, yet its well to see this, as this writer assumed the days of EP's were no more. However, this work is not very far-removed from their previous effort, the full length "Passage." The tones are almost exactly the same, as if this album and "Passage" were done at the same time. What is different between the two is that in this work, the rhythm expands in a, dare I say, techno sort of direction. Perhaps this EP is intended to soften the blow of a drastic change in rhythmic aspect, or then again, perhaps not. 'Tis still dark and ominous sounding, this much shall never change as far as these gentlemen are concerned. Samael are one the very few bands, to my awareness, that employ drum programming as a a complete substitute for acoustic drums. The result is a a mathematically precise pulse, the only snare of which, is that one may lose dynamic variations within the context of a single composition. The work is still human, whilst it focuses beyond that which is human.
Samael have reached a plateau, and anything is possible from this point onward. "Exodus" may be considered as a modification of previous work, or an indication of what is to follow. All things considered, "Exodus" is still a decent effort, that is worthy of attention. -- Rich