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Arallu – En Olam

En Olam
by Gary Hernandez at 11 April 2020, 3:53 PM

ARALLU is a Death Metal band hailing from the West Bank, Israel. They formed in 1997 and have two EPs and seven full-length albums to their credit. Their latest album, “En Olam,” was released in September 2019. Although it has ten tracks, it is a shortish album, timing out at just over thirty-eight minutes. Where it lacks in longevity, however, it makes up in intensity.

Thematically, the band represents their region with lyrics relevant to ongoing socio-political struggles. Musically, they infuse wider Middle Eastern influences into their compositions, creating a unique fusion of brutal riffs and exotic Eastern flourishes. While I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the Middle East, I can’t pretend to be conversant in their concerns or issues except to say that strife is an underlying theme. With that said, aggressive blackened Death Metal seems to be the perfect vehicle to exercise (or exorcise) those demons.

En Olam” is surprisingly not a full-frontal assault. Many of the tracks ease in with thoughtful subtly. This isn’t to say you’ll find any keyboard interludes or choirs on the album, but there are a few undistorted moments which add an unexpected complexity. Most metalheads will likely favor the heavier tracks, but there are several surprises like “Vortex of Emotions,” which is also the longest, and “Achrit Ha'yamim” (trans: end of days), which is the shortest. “Vortex of Emotions” begins with a slow build up before expanding to Doom-level proportions and then washing back out into sea of black. “Achrit Ha'yamim,” on the other hand, features a lecture from someone about something followed by clean Middle Eastern melodies on what I presume is a saz or darbuka — it’s this latter part of the song that’s the most intriguing.

Although the band seems to have switched out one guitarist to bring in a variant of musical instruments, they haven’t lost any of their intestinal fortitude. Whereas there are some explorative compositions, there are plenty enough explosive riffs to go around. For traditional Death Metal enthusiasts, tracks like “The Center of the Unknown,” “Trial by Slaves,” “Spells” will not disappoint. Altogether, “En Olam” is a compelling album with refreshing range. It delivers brutal metal with a regional flare and even offers up some Thrash accented lyrical content.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8


4 Star Rating

1. The Center of the Unknown
2. En Olam
3. Devil's Child
4. Guard of She'ol
5. Vortex of Emotions
6. Achrit Ha'yamim
7. Prophet's Path
8. Unholy Stone
9. Trial by Slaves
10. Spells
Butchered - Bass, Vocals
Gal Pixel - Guitars, Vocals (backing)
Assaf Kassimov - Drums
Eylon Bart - Saz, darbuka, Vocals (backing)
Omri Yagen - Guitars, Vocals (backing)
Record Label: Satanath Records


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