Samsarra - _The Unbeliever_
(Independent, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (4 out of 10)
This is essentially a compilation album consisting of new studio material, live tracks, a track from a previous EP and two acoustic tracks. Plus, the songs were recorded at different times and locations, resulting in a variable sound quality; "Cursed Are the Weak" sounds particularly, um, weak and insubstantial, although the songwriting calibre is on a par with the other new studio tracks. The same cannot be said of the live tracks, which have a horrid mix, and the acoustic tracks, which are unnecessary and not suited for their traditional heavy metal format. It is on some of the newer songs that Samsarra show some potential within the heavy metal field, with some decent singing and more than a few catchy riffs. This cannot negate that most of this album is filler material, as if these traditional heavy metallers were under pressure to release their debut full-length, when the amount and calibre of material at hand would have been better served by the EP format. A new album, tentatively called _Sealed in Blood_, is due for release later this year and that might showcase Samsarra's true potential, instead of ambiguous hints.


(article published 21/5/2009)

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