Sound — 9
Samael's Eternal album was released in 1999. Five years after, in 2004, Reign Of Light was released. This album is the beginning of a new era for Samael. Let's begin with the sound: it's very modern, a bit electronic, and Vorph's and Makro's (Samael's new guitarist) guitars are powerful. But the real surprise is in the music itself. On this album, we can hear a mix of electronic/industrial metal and oriental music. So on "Moongate" or "Inch'Allah", for example, we hear oriental intruments. But Reign Of Light remains a metal album, and some songs are quite hard ("Reign Of Light", "As The Sun").
Lyrics — 9
On Reign Of Light, Vorph's vocals are more natural than on Eternal. He also sings in several ways, from a metal voice ("Reign Of Light") to a voice which sounds a bit rap ("As The Sun"). Some of songs are about destiny or spirituality ("Moongate", "High Above"), others on different topics: religion ("Inch'Allah"), trip ("On Earth"). Vorph doesn't sing like on Samael's early releases, now his vocals are more melodic, so is the music.
Overall Impression — 9
After five years of silence, Samael came back in 2004 with a very good album which is Reign Of Light. Maybe it's Samael's best release, but it sounds really good. To my mind, the most impressive songs on Reign Of Light are "On Earth", "Reign Of Light" and "As The Sun", but they all rule. Samael will release Solar Soul in 2007, which sounds like Reign Of Light, but is a bit less oriental-influenced. Finally, I think that Reign Of Light won't be enjoyed by Samael's early fans (I want to speak of those who prefer Worship Him or Blood Ritual); but those who don't know this band from Switzerland can easily enjoy this record.