Steve Markowski of Beyond the Dark Horizon recently conducted an interview with frontman Vorph of Swiss industrial metallers SAMAEL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Beyond The Dark Horizon: You just finished touring the U.S. How did that go for you all?
Vorph: It was definitely great to be back in America, we didn't come for the "Reign of Light" album and we felt we had something to catch up with. Hearing from so many people that they've been waiting ten, twelve or fifteen years to see a SAMAEL show, kind of reminded us we should come more often to the U.S. We're now looking for more touring overseas in 2009...
Beyond the Dark Horizon: Give us more insight into "Above" and your plans on it being a virtual metal band.
Vorph: While we put the last touch on the album, we decided it will be a SAMAEL album. After 20 years we've tried to do an album that would represent what SAMAEL is all about and we did "Solar Soul". We feel now it is the right time to remember the people where we come from, and that's exactly what "Above" will do. It is like an enhanced version of our three or four first albums, maybe the missing link between "Ceremony of Opposites" and "Passage". With the "Era One" project we've tried to work on different influences, [and] with "Above" we stripped everything down. It is a metal album through and through.
Beyond the Dark Horizon: So you feel SAMAEL will be going back to its roots, in a sense?
Vorph: "Above" is a little bit of a tribute to our early years as a band and to our first influences. If you listen to our two last albums, you can tell our roots go beyond that but "Above" is a good résumé of what pushed us to start playing music in the first place.
Beyond the Dark Horizon: As for the upcoming album, what type of topics will be explored?
Vorph: Songs don't deal with specific topics this time, it is closer to the approach we had on "Eternal". But if I'll have to be a bit more specific about it, I'll say change, personal quest, sex and ambition are some of the pillars of the album.
Beyond the Dark Horizon: Was the writing process different on "Above" than previous recordings?
Vorph: Not really. Xy once again composed all the music and I wrote the lyrics.
Beyond the Dark Horizon: SAMAEL album covers are very thought provoking. Is the album cover for the "Above" album set?
Vorph: I cannot tell anything right now. We had different ideas and I just saw the first sketch of it yesterday night. We are working with the same guy who did the "Solar Soul" cover and for what I've seen it might be our best front cover so far.
Read the entire interview from Beyond the Dark Horizon.
SAMAEL will embark on the "Solar Soul Balkans Tour 2009" in January/February. The trek will consist of 14 shows and will include support from Norway's KEEP OF KALESSIN and Slovenia's NOCTIFERIA.
In October 1988, SAMAEL released its self-produced seven-inch EP "Medieval Prophecy". 20 years later an official and strictly limited edition is now available on CD. It contains all the demos and rehearsal recordings prior to "Worship Him". Fully re-mastered and limited to 1,200 numbered copies, it comes as a deluxe digipack with rare graphics and liner notes and is only available through the SAMAEL online shop.
SAMAEL's eighth album, "Solar Soul", was released in June 2007 via Nuclear Blast Records.