|Review: Arallu - En Olam|
Label: Satanath Records
Year released: 2019
Review online: October 17, 2020
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (4 Votes)
Arallu (the underworld kingdom ruled by the goddess Ereshkigal and the god Nergal where the dead are judged, in Mesopotamian myth) are an Israeli Black/Death band that have been around since 1997, though their most recent album, En Olam (Google Translate couldn't help me on this one), is my first exposure to them. If this is anything to go by, I need to check out their previous output, because it seems like I've been missing out on some badass Blackened Death Metal with an unsurprising Middle Eastern bent to the songwriting that's reminiscent of Melechesh, albeit less technical and intense. Along with the expected blasting, the band incorporates traditional instruments like the saz and darbuka into their music, and rather than being a gimmick it's an integral part of their sound that gives them an identity all their own. This is helped by some killer performances from the band, particularly the barbaric, Nergal-esque roars from the appropriately named Butcher and the offbeat drumming of Assaf Kassimov who regularly incorporates a freaking cowbell in his performance, and through it somehow adds to the enigmatic nature of their style. The songwriting isn't all golden, particularly on the tedious and uninteresting "Vortex of Emotions", but overall this is an excellent album of alchemical Middle Eastern Black/Death that's well worth checking out.
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