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Sunday, July 24, 2011

REVIEW: Samain (GER) - Vibrations of Doom (1984)



Samain is traditional heavy metal / hard rock band that was formed in Germany at 1982. The band then went on recording "Thunderbolt Giants" demo at 1984 and released their first and only full length album the same year, titled "Vibrations of Doom", under label of Roadrunner Records. Despite releasing a quality album, they never recorded another full length album again. They released two more demos and two VHS tapes after the debut, before fading into nothingness.

Musically, Samain sounds like a rather typical German heavy metal band from the eighties, with slightly rough-edged vocals accompanied by German accent, and hard rock flavored guitar riffs, of which kind we have probably heard several times - but this style never gets old! Samain plays heavy metal which borders hard rock, and would well suit played in a dirty, but oh so homey hard rock pub. The album in general isn't very furious or vicious by it's style, but rather more laid back jam-along type heavy metal / hard rock (slow to mid paced), based on chugging rhythm guitar riffs by the guitar duo Dave Herod and Ralph Veety creating quite thick wall of sound behind lead guitars, playing simple, but effective, and rather groovy lead guitar melodies. The result is effective - like with Accept and Judas Priest. No frills, but certainly enjoyable. There are occasional great guitar solos and leads thrown in, which saves the material from being too monotonous. The singer Peter Ancaster reminds me a bit of Udo Dirkschneider, but being also more laid back and less aggressive with his delivery - more moody, also. Samain remains mellow form of aforementioned mentioned bands, but with some brilliant and really catchy melodies.

"Vibrations of Doom"'s positive quality is, that the album is strong throughout from the beginning to end. The quality of the material brings no big surprises, but never really lets one down, either. Album opens with slightly gloomy ambient keyboard notes in instrumental "Vibrations", which leaves listener to wonder what on Earth is up to come - since at this point one doesn't really know what to expect. This leads to chugging, gloomy, and a bit doomy blaster called "The Metal Breaks My Senses", which is laid back mid paced number, but truly catchy and enjoyable ride - sounding almost epic. Album then continues in veins of same chugging palm muted rhythms with "Straight Hammered Creed" - being just tad more rock'n'rollish. Simple yet effective chorus just nails it with very good guitar solo part. Another strong number by the band! "Seal Of A Jidda" is also quite rocking number, but less gloomy one. It could well be fit in some of the late 70's/early 80's Judas Priest album in terms of riffs. "Thank The Aerosmith" is heavily lead riff driven rock'n'roll blast with it's jingling main riff. You could just imagine cranking this up while riding a bike or driving car on highway at a summer night. "Thor" is your slower pounding heavy hitter with bit more heroic melodies. A bit more NWOBHM'ish sound and elements can be found in "Diamonds and Discgrace", which at least to my ears, sounds reminiscent of Witchfynde's "Cloak And Dagger" album at some parts, while the others just rocks like the rest of the album. "Gonna Swing My Chariot" is a great upbeat track in veins of bands like Saxon and Judas Priest, a bit mainstream but very catchy. The rest non-mentioned songs here are not suckers either.

"Vibrations of Doom" is a good mix between band's more authentic gloomy melodies and atmosphere, versus more mellow hard rocking mainstream sound, mixed with early 80s Priest and Accept-laden straight-forward rhythm guitar riffing. The band's sound is simple and effective, and quite easily approachable - yet catchy, with some tricks under the sleeve with good lead guitar melodies and guitar solos - not forgetting a few of those rare stand out moments with gloomy keyboard interludes, which at times almost bring an "epic" layer on top of the deliberate Accept-laden delivery. A few more surprises, however, would had made this album close to be a classic, since the band seems to like to sail on the "safe waters" in terms of the tempo and changes of it. They never really seem to speed things up, and the guitar patterns may be slightly repetitive, but not overly so. Yet the band plays very tightly overall, the performance is good, and they manage to present pleasant heavy metal number after another in veins of Priest, Accept, and Saxon. I just cannot get enough of this kind of music - whether I've heard similar before or not. "Vibrations of Doom" presents nothing groundbreaking to the genre, or the sub-genre, yet it delivers quality German heavy metal / hard rock worth the full album, and truly deserves a listen by any heavy metal fan who has a respect for eighties heavy metal music. Just another no-frills-but-enjoyable-quality forgotten heavy metal / hard rock album, which raises the bar well above average.

 
85



  • Peter Ancaster - vocals
  • Ralph Veety - lead guitar
  • Dave Herod - lead guitar
  • Bernard Eams - bass & backing vocals
  • Marc Newman - drums


  • 1. Vibrations 00:52
  • 2. Straight Hammered Creed 04:32
  • 3. The Seal of Jidda 03:22
  • 4. Thank the Aerosmith 03:57
  • 5. Seven Tears 03:26
  • 6. Thor 03:29
  • 7. (Tale of a) Giant Man 03:16
  • 8. Diamonds & Disgrace 03:25
  • 9. Gonna Swing my Chariot 04:29
  • 10. The Metal Breaks my Senses 05:40
    • Total running time: 36:28



EDIT: corrected the band member information 3th of September 2015. Check out the band's official website!

Fortunately I found this great LP once at a gig booth (even though it has a small cut). Here's my piece :-)



For Collectors:
(Following prices have raised since ’99 but will give you direction
-
my bet is you can double them up
)
Used album price @ Martin Popoff’s Heavy Metal Record Price Guide (1999):

Label – Roadrunner/RR9836 (Also CAN Roadrunner)
Type – LP/N/84
Near Mint – $20
Very Good+ - $12








www.kultmetal.com | Tane Norther





2 comments:

  1. The album was recorded June 1984 with this line-up: Peter Ancaster (voc), Bernard Eams (b), Dave Herod (g), Marc Newman (dr) and Ralph Veety (g).
    See also: http://samain.weebly.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the correction. I've updated the info accordingly to the official website!

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