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Samael, "Ceremony of Opposites" Album Review

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Ceremony of Opposites Isn't Really Industrial Metal But Much More

Samael is a black metal band from Switzerland that I have just gotten into in 2022. Some of you will be glad that you did start listening to the music of these guys because their 3rd studio album Ceremony of Opposites is said to have more of an industrial influence to it. Ceremony of Opposites is actually one of those Samael albums that is a hybrid of at least a few different sub-genres such as doom metal, death metal, and “death rock.” You might be wondering what is meant by that term. It essentially is rock and roll with a death metal feel.

How Does This Samael Album Compare To a Few Of Their Other Albums?

As of this writing in 2022 given my somewhat limited listening experience with the discography of Samael, Blood Ritual may be their strongest release. Listening to Ceremony of Opposites again, I get the sense that this is even better than Eternal. That’s because this 1994 album has better riffs, better songwriting and just feels like it is an album you can sit through and enjoy. Listening to this album fully on YouTube while analyzing it as well, I am reminded of one comment a viewer made saying basically that albums like this represent bright spots in the dark days.

"Ceremony of Opposites" Song Only

Ceremony of Opposites Is Still Better Than the Album That Would Follow It

The perspective of this writer is that this album has more of a “death rock” feel to it. The dark rock type of song called “Black Trip” shows that in fact it is a death metal/rock kind of song and this one is lyrically about choosing to go down into the depths of a feeling that is despondent and full of misery. Ceremony of Opposites is still different from Passage because this album does not yet have the techno/industrial metal feeling that Passage does. Black Trip is also a song that sounds like a more modern version of a heavier doom and death metal type of song.

The Songs In "Ceremony of Opposites"

Songs such as “Son of Earth” further show us this sort of heavy death metal rock if that makes any sense. The song has a bass line that transitions into the rest of the song. I would say that for 1994 standards, Ceremony of Opposites may have been a little bit ahead of its time because it wasn’t until around 1999 or so that we had “death rock” bands such as Gandalf make their presence felt. So this third song has a riffing part at the end which certainly shows that there’s a little bit of a groove metal feel to it as well. ‘Til We Meet Again is one of those slower songs that has the sound of a bell. It is noticeable. The song lyrically tells us one aspect of life that is interesting yet logical at the same time. One such example is in the lyrical line that starts with “life is short, but long in the living.” It could just be that the band is trying to point out that this physical lifespan is short, but that what follows after that is eternal.

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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