Review: Arallu – Desert Battles

Posted: May 23, 2018 in Reviews
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The remastered version of Arallu’s 2009 record ‘Desert Battles’ includes a remastered production, new vocals and new cover art, and it breathes a bit of new life into this sand blasted collection of Mesopotamian black metal. It is due out in June through Raven Music.

After ‘Al Macbara’ draws us in with its delicate, Middle Eastern strums, ‘Old Form of Evil’ creates a primeval, blasting carnage that is only enhanced by the ethnic instrumentation and tones. Like fellow countrymen Melechesh, Arallu weave their clattering black metal within Mesopotamian mythologies and eastern melodies. Each track adapts these elements in subtle ways, from the unusual scales of ‘Possessor of the Code’ to the sandstorm of the winding ‘The Demon Curse’. It is not unusual now in metal for musicians to conjure up inspiration from Middle Eastern cultures, particularly in the music, but to hear a band from the area do it gives Arallu this timeless authenticity that some lack.

‘Desert Battles’ is coming at a good time, while the memory of last year’s ‘Six’ is still fresh in our minds. Hopefully, Arallu can be exposed to a new legion of fans who missed this record the first time around. Black metal fans will appreciate the ferocity, others will slip away beneath the desert into a lost world of mythology and black magicks.


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