SAMAEL - Worship Him (CENTURY MEDIA - CD 2005)
Switzerland is a weird country. They don’t have that many worthy metal bands, but when they do spit out some filth then it is often a killer, classic stuff. You have some legendary names there and yes, Samael is one of them! Fuck their disco albums and their gay image from recent years, I don’t care about most of the stuff this band did since maybe “Passage” album (although “Lux Mundi” was a nice surprise, musically at least). And what I care the most are obviously their early recordings, the black metal stuff Samael did from 1988’s demo “Into the Infernal Storm of Evil” to 1994’s “Ceremony of Opposites” (surely their best album in my opinion!). But let’s spend some time and remind people how killer is for example the debut LP of Samael, the almighty “Worship Him”! This is just classic, excellent album, filled with some deadly songs that give me goose skin every time I hear them.
Of course this album will sound unbearably fuckin harsh and raw, terribly obscure and evil to people, who like Samael’s disco crap. They will run away, scared because someone is worshiping Satan on this album and the music is so nasty, dark and cold that it must have been recorded in frozen hell! Yes, and this is why old Samael is the only Samael we should tolerate and listen to. “Worship Him” is ugly, raw black metal, played in usually slow tempos, so you can – if you want – bring comparisons to Celtic Frost or even Venom, but who cares!? Samael did something special out of it, the riffs, arrangements and whole performance on this album are splendid, in my opinion. From the first song – which is “Sleep of Death” – till the last one, it’s like participating in a ritual! “Sleep of Death” is actually one of the more aggressive and kind of faster (in old school black metal way of corpse) songs, but then such “Into the Pentagram” (CLASSIC!!!), “Rite of Cthulhu” or “Knowledge of the Ancient Kingdom” are simply epic, monumental pieces, which will catch your attention for good, once you hear them. “Morbid Metal” will also catch your attention, yes! The music is simple, but it sounds great, riffs are splendid, I also love Vorphalack’s vocals…
And the best thing about this album – and old Samael in general – is that when you listen to such albums like “Worship Him” you can hear how many bands were influenced by them, starting even with Behemoth on their demos haha! Yes, this is why I call them cult band (Samael, not Behemoth haha)!
I actually have a Century Media 2005 CD reissue here with me (never owned it on vinyl, which is sad!) and it comes with a bunch of enjoyable bonus tracks. I love Venom’s “Manitou” cover the most. I am not a big Venom fan, to be honest, but some of their old tunes are killer and “Manitou” is maybe even my favourite Venom song. Samael played it extremely well, this is just a killer cover! Then there are eight live songs recorded I think in 1991, that are a mix of tracks picked from first two albums. They have surprisingly good sound, so it’s also a pleasure to hear the band playing their satanic anthems live.
Standout tracks: “Into the Pentagram”, “Rite of Cthulhu”, “Worship Him”, “Morbid Metal”… and more!
Final rate: 90/100