Band – Arallu
Album – Desert Battles (Remastered Version)
Country of Origin – Israel
Genre – Black/Folk Metal
Release Date – June 6, 2018
Label – Raven Music
Author – Hayduke X
We’re back to dissect a new release by the Israeli metal band Arallu…sort of. Originally issued in 2009 and long out of print, the band remastered the album and are re-releasing it through Raven Music. As you may remember from my review of 2017’s masterful Six and subsequent interview of Butchered, the mastermind behind the project, Arallu play a style of black metal owing a debt to the early masters, but infusing their music with traditional middle eastern instruments. Included on this album is an Oud, and a variety of woodwind instruments. The resulting mix of sounds not only works very well, but keeps the hard edge of black metal, unlike too many others who include folk instrumentation.
The first thing that struck me about Desert Battles was the comparative rawness. There has always been a relationship between black metal, hardcore punk, and thrash since the very earliest days. A quick listen to Venom reveals this fact very clearly. While Six is more polished, Desert Battles has that nasty punk edge that I love so much in my music. It’s as if Arallu are spitting forth bile and venom from instruments and vocal chords alike. And, at what is all of this bile and venom directed, you may ask? Well, it seems to me that the omnipresent violence and mayhem caused by religious and ethnic tensions in that part of the world are the target. A quick scan of the lyrics suggests that I’m hitting the nail on the head with that assumption.
The long and short of it is that Desert Battles is a hell of an album. It gallops along, full of malice, with occasional folk highlights, which serve to give a sense of place, rather than softer edges. The album is pissed off, with no target in sight. Woe to the unwary listener.
Also, check out the new video for Old Form Of Evil:
Recommendation – The only reason not to buy this is if you already have it in your collection. Even then, the new mixing and mastering bring the music to new heights of essential viciousness.
Rating – 4/5
Biography: Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for TOmetal.com, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.