Label: MDD Records
Three similar bands: The Kovenant/Moonspell/Dimmu Borgir

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01. Rain
02. Shining Kingdom
03. Angel's Decay
04. My Saviour
05. Jupiterian Vibe
06. The Ones Who Came Before
07. Liquid Soul Dimension
08. Moonskin
09. Born Under Saturn
10. Chosen Race
11. A Man In Your Head

Vorph – vocals, guitar
Kaos – guitar
Masmiseîm – bass
Xy – keyboard, synthesizer, live & programmed drums

Worship Him (1991)
Blood Ritual (1992)
Ceremony of Opposites (1994)
Passage (1996)
Eternal (1999)
Reign of Light (2004)
Solar Soul (2007)
Above (2009)

Lux Mundi (2011)
Hegemony (2017)


Recorded at Woodhouse Studios (Hagen, Germany)
Produced and engineered by Waldemar Sorychta

Released 2021-07-23
Reviewed 2022-04-17


mdd records

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Samael has been around for a while now, over three decades to be precise. Perhaps to celebrate those decades they reissued some old classics, like this one called Passage. It was originally released in 1996, so it has been around for a quarter of a century – that is quite a while. It has the moon on its cover, perhaps taken with a telephoto lens or a telescope, simple yet quite effective. It is a cover that makes me interested, perhaps because I photograph the moon like that every now and then. I didn’t hear the album when it was originally released, and what strikes me now is that it still feels quite fresh despite the eternity since its release. It is an album with a timeless quality to it.

Industrial or extreme metal with very melodic touches, ethereal keys in the background. I think a comparison with Dimmu Borgir is a good way to give a reference. The vocals are mostly growled and the soundscapes a tad dark, but with good depth and nuances. It is an album with good variation and depth, and it is not really audible that it is 25 years and a bit since it was originally released. It is an album with a very timeless quality, something that sets Samael apart from most of their contemporaries.

It is an album that probably was very original and progressive at the time of release, it also establishes a good frame for the sound of Samael. I think that it is a really good album, it has all that you want from an album. It is also a great thing that it doesn’t feel dated despite being released so long ago, it has withstood the test of time really well. And it does feel more relevant than most of the stuff that is being released today, it might not be so great that I want to call it a milestone or anything, but good enough to listen to.

If you don’t already own a previous issue of this album it could be worth getting, it is probably not worth it if you already bought the original issue as this offers nothing that wasn’t already on the previous issue besides perhaps a bit of remastering. I am a bit ambivalent to reissues, but after 25 years I feel it can be okay to reissue an album that probably has been out of print for a while. And it is an album that has me wondering a little bit; why is it that a 25-year-old album sounds fresher and more interesting than most of the stuff released today? That is a good question, is it not? Passage is an exciting looking album that has aged gracefully.