Al-Namrood – Wala’at

Rating: 5/5
Distributor/label: https://shaytanproductions.bandcamp.com/
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://shaytanproductions.bandcamp.com/album/walaat
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/alnamroodofficial/

 

Band line-up:

Mephisto
Ostron
Humbaba

Tracklisting:

1. Al Hirah 01:20
2. Sahra Yaesa 04:13
3. Tabqia 04:10
4. Kail Be Mekialain 04:44
5. Al Shareef Al Muhan 03:40

6. Fasique 03:17
7. Aar Al Estibad 03:12
8. Alhallaj 03:17
9. Wahum Althaat 04:03
10. Alqaum 04:30

 

Review:

Out of one of the most oppressive lands comes a dark and brutal black metal band kicking sand in the face of their oppressors. Al-Namrood is a Saudi Arabian Black metal group now 12 years in the making. They must do everything in secrecy due to the danger of not only producing illegal western metal music but highly anti-establishment and anti-religious music. If found they would face imprisonment and public execution for blasphemy and apostasy. They truly are a voice of rebellion and create an aggressive masterpiece with their 8th album being released by Shaytan Productions from Canada. Wala’at which means Loyalties is a beautiful aggressive folk black metal album that expresses pure anger and hatred for the lack of freedom and the way religion is forced upon the masses. These guys truly have a reason to be pissed off and have something to say about it. I give a lot of respect to metal bands that come from countries where it is dangerous and there are no freedoms of speech. Middle Eastern and Oriental black metal are different and fascinating. It’s brutal and beautiful. It’s something to be said of their culture.

The folk elements of this album really shine. All songs are sung in Arabic and despite not understanding the lyrics I still really enjoy the gruff Arabian vocals. There’s some black metal growling and screams but a lot of it is just really deep aggressive singing. They want their words to be heard. The oriental melodies and drum patterns are mesmerizing. It feels like metal you could dance to as well as headbang. The music is colurful and warm. It really does paint a picture of the culture even when it’s going against a large part of it. I wish I could understand each song though I will have to do the work and get the lyrics translated which I plan to do. I am interested in what they have to say. I have heard of and actually own some music by Al-Namrood. I am a fan of folk black metal from the Middle East and Asia. This album is stronger and more polished. They have to work with what they have when recording as it has to be done in a secret location. They even have to send their instruments outside the country to be repaired. Everything they do has to be meticulously planned with care. They are brave for what they are doing but to continue creating their art it’s in their best interest to stay hidden and anonymous.

The recording and production are rough around the edges and raw but it’s how good black metal is. They likely have to improvise a bit. I can imagine it’s difficult. Though all musical elements flowed well. The percussion was on point. The guitar riffs heavy yet playing delicate oriental melodies and rhythms. The folk instruments bring it all together. Aside from the first track the intro to each song is around 3-4 minutes of brutal beauty. I definitely enjoyed this release and admire what these guys are doing. They are taking risks with their very lives to produce art! That in itself is more black metal and true than you could ask for. I give them a 5 out of 5. Support these guys because hopefully more voices like theirs will help create more change and open more minds. I hope they never get silenced! Hayil alshaytan!!!

Reviewed by Cathrine Wendt
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