Arallu – Six (2017) REVIEW

This Israeli blackened death metal band celebrate their twentieth year as a band with their titular sixth full-length of brilliant thrashing brutality and it is a beast of a record. Arallu’s early sound was often likened to something like Melechesh but all things considered ‘The War on the Wailing Wall’ and ‘Satanic War on Jerusalem’ only really shared relative location and some of the same traditional melodies in their black/thrash attack. It wasn’t until ‘Desert Battles – Descending to the Sands’ that Arallu really took their sound to another level by using Arabic folk and traditional elements to full effect within their steadfast aggressive style. Here they began to resemble the same progression of Rudra, where each band found mid-to-fast paced somewhat melodic black/death metal as the best medium for their unique extreme metal perspective.

I skipped out on ‘Geniewar’ when it was released and had no idea this band was still active beyond 2009, so to hear them in 2017 was very surprising. ‘Six’ is a slight return to the high speed brutality of their first full-length but with their strongest production sound to date. Much of the folk elements are relegated to restful or ominous portions of the songs and aren’t as cluttered into the mix as in ‘Geniewar’. The effect is sort of like Immolation‘s ‘Harnessing Ruin’ and it’s atmospherics but the attack of the band is kept up to speed with groups like Perdition Temple, Rudra, or even the less melodic side of early Arghoslent. They’ve found a way to use the indigenous instrumentation on songs like “Adonay” and “The Universe Secrets (Six)” to heighten the quality of their black/thrash attack rather than slow things down and it is fantastically composed.

Even if the middle-eastern music elements are nothing new to you, the riffs here are enough to keep the record spinning in my head. The standout track here is “Possessed by the Sleep” for it’s almost Incantation style use of harmonics and death metal blasts that rest right up against lush folk instrumentation. The melodic tremolo riffs and vocals of “Oiled Machine of Hate” was something unexpected from this band and did a lot to shift gears towards the end of the album into the raging black/thrash of “Philosophers”. It is a shame that this album has been somewhat overlooked since it’s release and I highly recommend checking this and their first album out, if only to see how the heart of the band has survived so well through twenty years of refinement.

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Artist Arallu
Type Album
Released September 22, 2017
 BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!  Follow Arallu on Facebook
Genres

Graveyard gates opened once again. 3.5/5.0

 

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