Sammath Biography

Well-rooted in the popular tradition of black metal but distinct for an uncannily classicist sense of melody, Sammath continue the black metal spirit in violent but populist tradition. - Dark Legions Archive

Sammath was formed in 1994 by Jan Kruitwagen. Inspired by the new wave of black metal and the speed metal/death metal hybrids of the eighties, Kruitwagen grew up in Australia listening to other acts of a high-intensity caliber. In 1989, he moved to Europe and began to make his mark on the metal scene, working for cult underground magazines such as Violent Moshground and Hell Razor.

Within a year after the band's founding the first promo tape "Visions upon Winter Lands" was recorded. Soon after this tape, Kruitwagen got in contact with M. Gertsen. Gertsen played only a small role within Sammath, dealing with the recording. The following demo "Zwaardbroeders bij de bergengte" (Brothers of the Sword at the Mountain Pass) was released in 1996 and sold over 650 copies, thanks to great help from the underground. From the first demo several tracks appeared on compilation tapes worldwide.

The next year the promo tape "De ruïnes fluisteren" (The Ruins Whisper) was released. The reactions were positive and this finally led to a recording deal with Folter records in 1997. Gertsen left the band from a lack of interest and vision about black metal.

In 1999, Sammath released its first CD Strijd (Battle). The debut CD was recorded on 16 tracks. All lyrics, music and instruments were created by Kruitwagen. Numerous tracks were released on compilation tapes/cds like the Encyclopedia Pestilentia complication.

In 2002, Sammath unleashed its second salvo with the CD Verwoesting/Devastation which exhibited a violent and unconventional way of combining black and death metal. After the recording of the album the Kruitwagen sought additional members of the band. Drummer Koos Bos added his insane drumming to Sammath in 2001. In 2002 Sammath performed at the Under the Black Sun festival and did some gigs in the Netherlands. The live line up was Ruud Nillesen - bass, Cor van Maris - vocals, Koos Bos - drums and Jan Kruitwagen - guitar. In 2002 Macabre Operetta rereleased the first album Strijd on LP under licence from Folter Records.

Sammath unleashed its next barrage in 2006 with Dodengang which turned back toward black metal but incorporated the furious energy of the previous release. To promote the album Sammath played live both in Holland and at the Under the Black Sun festival. Hanna van den Berg joined the live line up.

Later in 2006, Kruitwagen got in contact with madman Magnus from Magnificat and the two decided to combine his lead guitar skills into Sammath. This collaboration resulted in Triumph in Hatred released in 2009 on Folter Records. Keeping the manic energy of past albums, Triumph in Hatred incorporated extensive soloing and harmonic depth evoking the full range of underground metal technique.

While Triumph in Hatred was a technical triumph, Kruitwagen wanted to get back to the two strengths of the band, its frenetic energy and its sublime sense of melody. Stripping down the sound, Kruitwagen and the band worked late into the nights assembling a new album of songs which showcase a new focus and ferocity without losing the same melodies that made Strijd memorable. This album is Godless Arrogance and it will be unleashed worldview via Hammerheart Records on February 5, 2014.

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