Samael - _Black Trip DVD_
(Century Media, 2003)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
Samael are one of those bands with a patchy career, with material ranging from derivative and repetitive droning through to fresh and exciting innovation. Fortunately, this double DVD set concentrates predominantly on the latter category. The main focus of this DVD are two full concerts, dating from 1996 and 2002, plus a bootleg of an early show from 1994. Also included are several promo videos, interviews and footage from the _Passage_ and _Exodus_ sessions.

The first full concert is that recorded at the Summer Breeze festival in 2002 in support of the _Eternal_ CD. The sound, although pretty good, is marred by the thinness of the pre-programmed drums and keyboards. In comparison, the concert recorded at Krakow, Poland in 1996 sounds much better, as the keyboards and synths have a much fuller sound -- the quality is comparable to the recent Emperor and Dimmu Borgir DVDs. Consisting largely of material from the excellent _Passage_ CD, with a few songs from the only slightly inferior _Ceremony of Opposites_, this concert is the undisputed highlight of _Black Trip_ and is in itself nearly sufficient to justify the purchase of this DVD.

The 1994 show was recorded in the US and was originally a bootleg -- presumably both audio and visual were cleaned up a bit for an official DVD release, but to be brutally honest, it still looks and sounds shit. The drums dominate the mix, overriding everything else. Vorph's vocals are totally indecipherable and the guitar is little more then a wall of noise. The songs are almost exclusively drawn from _CoO_, and unless you are very familiar with the material on that album, it will be impossible to enjoy. On the other hand, there are many who will appreciate the inclusion of older material regardless of quality, and I cannot fault its inclusion -- especially since this DVD is the same price as a single DVD. I was surprised to notice hardly any material from _Worship Him_ and _Blood Ritual_ was included in this concert -- no big loss, as these two CDs pale in comparison to just about anything they have released since then, but surprising nonetheless. In conclusion, this DVD set is highly recommended to any who have more then a passing interest in Samael; but if your favourite Samael album is _Worship Him_, you'll be wasting your time and money here.

(article published 17/1/2004)


ALBUMS
3/24/2009 J Smit 5.5 Samael - Above
6/10/2007 J Smit 6.5 Samael - Solar Soul
10/19/2004 J Smit 8 Samael - Reign of Light
10/12/1999 P Schwarz 8 Samael - Eternal
7/8/1998 P Schwarz 8 Samael - Exodus
10/11/1996 G Filicetti 9 Samael - Passage
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