SAMAEL - Rebellion (CENTURY MEDIA - CD 1995)
At first I was going to write few words about my favourite Samael record "Ceremony of Opposites", an album that is very important to me and which I love ever since I heard it for the first time back in 1994. But then I realized that no one ever talks about "Rebellion" EP from 1995, so I changed my mind and here's short "Rebellion" review instead.
Definitely the time between 1994, when "Ceremony..." was released and 1996, when "Passage" came out, was a period of great change in Samael sound and style. The band had been drastically walking away from their original style and basically became completely different band. "Rebellion" is like a great bridge between both albums. It combines the darkness and harshness of earlier Samael with symphonic and sort of futuristic sound of what was yet to come with album number four. I have to say that I'm big fan of "Ceremony of Opposites" as well as "Passage". I like both albums a lot, so I obviously love to listen to "Rebellion" as well, because there are some fantastic songs on it.
First there's a title track, which is very much in the vein of songs from "Passage", but yet with the sound and atmosphere closer to "Ceremony...". I love this song, it's so damn catchy and memorable, there are great vocals of in it, some good keyboard parts. It's still quite harsh and aggressive sounding tune and it's probably one of the last such songs in the long Samael career, which I believe can speak to the fans of their older albums.
Some of these fans of old Samael may have problems with new versions of old classics "After the " and "Into the Pentagram". Some people just don't like to hear their favourite songs in new versions, especially from bands, which used to have such a cold and obscure sound like Samael on their debut LP. And which later went through such a (r)evolution. I don't care, I have no such problems at all and I can only say that they are fantastic re-recordings and they didn't loose anything from their original powerful sound and dark aura. The band redone them in great way, they basically match the "Passage" era perfectly, with keyboards having a big influence on them now... but the riffs still sound great and heavy, I like these versions a lot.
A real jewel on the whole EP is definitely Alice Cooper's "I Love the Dead" cover. Wow, just wow! What a killer track! I never knew the original song, only few years ago I played it to check what is it like (and I didn't like it so much ). But damn, Samael did a very good job with it. This song sounds like an instant catchy motherfucker, the chorus, when sings (!) "I Love the Dead" is awesome and you just have to like it. With the keyboards and relatively not-heavy riffs, this song is very easy to listen to and even your mother will like it, I bet .
And everything is completed with two versions of "Static Journey", which is basically an instrumental ambient song. The first version is quite nice orchestral piece, which sounds good as an intro or something. The second version is completely unnecessary in my opinion and I usually skip it. Anyway, I have to say that "Rebellion" is fantastic EP and it is definitely one of my favourite Samael releases.
Standout tracks: almost all of them!
Final rate: 90/100