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Black Metal (early), Electronic, Industrial Metal (later)


1987, Sion, Valais

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Vorph (Michael Locher) - Vocals, Guitars (1987-)
Xytras (Alexandre Locher) - Drums, Percussion, Keyboards, Programming (1988- )
Makro - Guitars (2002-) (Sludge (Che), Noma)
Masmiseim (Christophe Mermod) - Bass (1991-) (Alastis, Fourth Reich)


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Samael are a long-running Swiss black metal band formed in 1987 in Sion, Switzerland.

Although much of their music from the mid-1990s onwards has incorporated electronic sounds which would best define their genre as industrial metal, they are an early 2nd Wave black metal band and an innovator for post-black metal styles.

Their first demos presented a slow, doomy style of thrash metal with raw vocals, similar to that of Celtic Frost. Some of the songs would be included on Worship Him (1991) and Blood Ritual (1992).

Around the time of Ceremony of Opposites (1994), the band started using industrial-styled song techniques, employed by the use of keyboards and (minimalist) acoustic percussion. By this time, they had also left French record label Osmose Productions and signed with Century Media Records.

Their album Passage (1996) saw them gather a larger audience, with the music video for the song "Jupiterian Vibe" getting airplay on MTV's Headbanger's Ball.

After the release of Eternal (1999), Samael would not renew their contract with Century Media. In 2004, Reign of Light was released through independent label Galactical Records.

In 2006, their album Era One was released on Century Media Records. It includes a bonus disc, "Lesson in Magic #1," which is entirely instrumental and done solely by keyboardist Xy. The album itself was recorded in 2001, and the bonus disc a year later. Both were rearranged and remixed in 2005.

In June 2007 they released the album Solar Soul, which summed up and combined many of the styles of their previous albums since Passage.

April 2009 sees a new album from Samael, titled "Above". The album is a return to heavier territory for the band and has been labelled "Symphonic" blackmetal by some reviews in popular magazines.

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