I was beginning to think that we had heard the last of SAMAEL after the release of “Eternal” despite there being rumors of several recorded albums, it just didn’t seem like any of them would ever be released (in fact, I believe two of them are still missing). Of course, then there was the question of whether or not a new album would be relevant in any way at all.
Well, SAMAEL’s relevance is a debatable issue, as it’s hard to say what kind of an impact “Reign Of Light” will have in their new scene (and it will undoubtedly have no impact in their former scene) but, regardless, for some odd reason, “Reign Of Light” is a great album. For all of its danceable beats and rave like atmosphere, something about this album just sucks you in. When I first got it, I played it on repeat for about four hours, but I wasn’t sure if I just loved the album, especially since I hated the single, or if I was just happy to have a new SAMAEL CD. Well, after a couple days of continuous spins, it’s obvious that it’s more than initial excitement that keeps me coming back.
As one could expect from SAMAEL, “Reign Of Light” isn’t like any other album they’ve recorded, but it’s closer to “Eternal” than “Eternal” was to “Passage” except in this case it isn’t quite as dark. I guess you could say that “Eternal” was to Industrial Metal as “Reign Of Light” is to Rave music. It’s filled with copious amounts of poppy, accessible electronic sounds, with a light sprinkle of Metal here and there.
Of course I can imagine most people loathing this album, even fans of “Eternal” but as for me, I’m one satisfied SAMAEL fan.
P.S. The CD gets a bonus .5 for mentioning Montreal in the lyrics of “On Earth”! (Online March 13, 2005)