SAMAEL

Swiss band Samael can be undoubtedly called one of the most outstanding, interesting and distinctive phenomenon on modern metal stage. One of the first European black metal bands, having their first album "Worship Him" being released in 1990, they evolved through years and in 1996 recorded legendary disc "Passage", which became a real leap in black metal. Mix of atmospheric keyboards, black and industrial guitar riffs since that time has become the distinguishing mark of the band, whose style now can be called "atmospheric industrial space dark metal". In 2004 the band released brilliant masterpiece album "Reign Of Light", which became a new top in band's biography and got many highest marks from critics, including appreciation of our site. Here is an interview with Vorph, vocalist and author of the texts.

 

MetalKings.com: There was a large time gap between "Eternal" and "Reign Of Light": about five years…What was happening inside the band during that period?

Vorph: We did work on a different project called "Era One" which was delivered to our previous record company in 2002 but didn't get released to this date. On the Samael's matter, we did tour for "Eternal" twice in America and once in Europe and played festivals almost every summer. That kept us busy 'till the recording of "Reign Of Light" in early 2004.

MetalKings.com: Every next Samael album doesn't sound like a previous one, you are constantly changing and developing. Are you always in creative seeking of something new?

Vorph: We always record a new album once we feel we've done what was possible with the last one. So in a sense we always start fresh, without preconception of any kind apart from the experience and "legacy" we're carrying.

MetalKings.com: 15 years have passed since the release of your first LP Worship Him. Modern Samael and Samael of those times are two different bands. How do you estimate that old Samael from the height of passed years? What do you feel thinking about those times?

Vorph: Each of our albums are pictures of these time. There's a lot of memories bounded to every one of our release, they're like seeds we've sown and they remember us from where we come from. Every album we release includes its predecessors, at least that's the way I perceive our evolution.

MetalKings.com: What bands and musicians influenced Samael when you were starting and are there any bands that influence you nowadays?

Vorph: More than bands it was musical genre that influences us. Heavy Metal is the foundation of our sound, we started up with it's darker and most simple side to evolve through the time. Today we try to incorporate as many different elements as possible to our music to make it alive and interesting.

MetalKings.com: Samael is considered to be one of the most philosophical modern metal bands because of your texts. Do you think about yourself as a philosopher? Are you interested in philosophy, do you read philosophical books?

Vorph: Once you start to question life you become some kind of philosopher. You can develop a thought from almost anything, a sentence, a word, a movie, a painting... I wouldn't call myself a philosopher though, as I feel the term is hackneyed and presumptuous but there is one thing I believe, our mind is the promise land.

MetalKings.com: Is Reign Of Light a conceptual album? Were some of your previous releases conceptual albums?

Vorph: We never did a conceptual album in a conscious way but retrospectively, some of our release can appear to be so. From the inside every song seems detached from the rest and we don't always see the red line between them. But as time goes, looking from a distant point, albums like "Ceremony Of Opposites" or even "Passage" are pretty compact and they can be reduce to a concept mainly referring to their title.

MetalKings.com: Question about religion. There were many satanic places in Samael's texts when you were starting. Nowadays in the song "Inch'Allah" we can find such words as "link your current thoughts / with the basis of your dogma" and "be aware of what you need / be a temple of your own". Does it mean that Samael is no more connected with satanic faith or any other dark religions; that you are against any type of religious submission (in my view Satanism is also a dogma)? Or may be I misunderstood the message of the text?

Vorph: Satanism is an anti-religion and therefore a religion. I used to think that in order to move from the mental stagnation of religion, you should fight against it; I later discover that it will only made it stronger. Spirituality take an important place in my life, I've build my believe upon the ruined of my past. Life can be a good teacher sometime.

MetalKings.com: In the song "On Earth" you touch the topic of similarity of people in every place of the world. Connecting with that, I want to ask you a question about globalization and global problems. Are you concerned about them? Are you concerned about world politics?

Vorph: I like to think our music has got something for everyone and it can connect people together, with no other purpose than the connection itself. I'm not into politics, it is either to evident or to complex for me but either way I can't relate to it.

MetalKings.com: "Nothing is impossible / nothing is unreachable". Are you optimists? Does this motto mean really much for you?

Vorph: It means everything, if you believe that, you are unstoppable and I do believe it.

MetalKings.com: What is music for you? Do you feel you have some kind of mission in creating music and bringing it to people?

Vorph: All our life is bounded to music, the parallel between our evolution as musicians and as persons is undeniable. We're lucky to be creative and motivated enough, not to have to invent ourselves a mission to keep the flame alive.

MetalKings.com: You are rather famous and popular in Russia. Your albums have been officially licensed in our country. Do you plan to come to Russia with gigs?

Vorph: We are on discussion at the moment about one or more gigs in Russia before the summer. The first and last time we played Moscow was in 1991 so it's about time for a "come back"...

MetalKings.com: Thank you very much. And finally a few words to the readers of MetalKings.com...

Vorph: Thanks for your support and we sincerely hope to see you very soon.

Nikita Oddfish
MetalKings.com
(February, 2005)

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