Sep 222020
 

 

This makes the third time we’ve done a premiere for the Israeli black metal band Arallu. The first time was about six weeks before the release of their 2017 album Six. The next time, roughly two years later, it was a song from their most recent full-length, En Olam. And today it’s a video for a song that’s… more than 20 years old!

It was 1999 when Arallu released their debut album, The War on the Wailing Wall, following an initial 1997 demo with the same title. In the decades that have followed that release, the band’s music evolved in dramatic ways. As we wrote about their most recent record, “the songs capture archetypes of violence and bloodshed, defiance of orthodoxy and devilish supremacy, but they also become spells,” and, as they had done before, the band augmented the metal “with the tones of ancient instruments, among them Saz, Oud, Kanoon, and Drabukka”, which were used to enhance the strong influence of Middle Eastern melodies.

Turning back the clock to the 1999 debut album, you can perceive the seeds that would grow into what the band has become today. But apart from the historical significance of the record, it turns out to have withstood the test of time very well. And so it’s not surprising that, at last, the album is being reissued on vinyl for the first time, complete with new vinyl mastering by Patrick W. Engel at “Temple of Disharmony”. And it’s one of those 1999 tracks that we’re bringing you today, accompanied by video of Arallu, as they are today, performing the song. Continue reading »

Jun 302019
 

 

En Olam, the Hebrew title of the forthcoming seventh album by the Jerusalem-based band Arallu, means “There Is No World”. As the band explain, “it describes the fear we all live and feel”, and in particular a fear born from the discovery “that we all live inside an illusion, and everything we know does not exist” but is instead “just an imagined picture”. “All that you thought protected you is just a dream and you’re actually hanging between the earth and sky… You realize that nothing ever existed and that there is nothing…”

The terrors of such a nihilistic revelation can be found within En Olam, but they seem to stand side by side with unearthly wonders. The music often seems to channel occult conjurations and the re-emergence of ancient mystical forces. Parting of the veil that passes for reality reveals not the void, but another world far different from what seems to surround us, in which unseen primeval powers still reign. The songs capture archetypes of violence and bloodshed, defiance of orthodoxy and devilish supremacy, but they also become spells. Continue reading »

Aug 032017
 

 

It’s not uncommon to hear wisps of traditional Middle Eastern music in extreme metal — or at least what most of us in the West would identify as Middle Eastern music based on some kind of passing experience (putting to one side that Middle Eastern music spans an enormous breadth of territory and cultures, from Morocco to Iran).

In many instances, the incorporation of such melodies by Western bands seems intended to create an exotic atmosphere (or at least exotic to Western ears), or in some cases a sense of ancient demonic forces looming in the shadows, or a feeling that the listener is in the presence of pagan rituals or arcane forms of mysticism that pre-date today’s dominant forms of monotheism by millennia.

But very few metal bands go as far as Arallu in making Middle Eastern musical traditions the beating heart of their compositions. You will hear the extent of their dedication in the song we’re premiering today, the third track from their new album, Six, a song called “Adonay“. Continue reading »