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Tuesday, March 16, 2010


HILAL (2008)
320 KBPS

Can you imagine some Tuaregs or Bedouins playing Death Metal? If you can then you will also know ARKAN. This strange band was formed in Paris and has already self-financed and released the MCD "Burning Flesh" back in 2006. If you don’t have a clue why I asked the above question let me give you some linfo on the band’s musical grounds.
ARKAN was formed to bring some oriental sounds from countries like Algeria and Morocco who to my knowledge are absolutely inactive in the Metal scene. Well, the idea of blending ethnic sounds to Metal is nothing new and actually has been quite successful in the past with bands like ORPHANED LAND or even SOULFLY. I think for a strange reason Thrash or even Death Metal fits excellently to these foreign elements making quite an explosive mixture. So, have ARKAN used the right portions for their mixture or did it blow on their faces? Let’s find out; shall we?
The album kicks in with "Groans Of The Abyss" that gets you by the throat! The aggressive vocals bring to mind Max Cavalera while the down tuned guitars build a ton heavy groove. The melodic break welcomed the Eastern oriental atmosphere that flows smoothly taking you over the hot Sahara desert. This break becomes even more interesting with the use of non-Metal instruments and some female vocals. I don’t know but this song earned me from the very beginning and played with my mind with all this Eastern and mystical atmosphere. Don’t be fooled by my references to the oriental sounds because ARKAN brings some brutal stuffs in their songs. The deep Death growls or the down tuned tribal riffs ala SEPULTURA can make your neck snap and your head bang. Some excellent examples of my saying are the mid tempo "Mistress Of The Damned Souls", the groovy in the SOULFLY way "The Seven Gates" and the Death Metal shredder "Chaos Cypher."
I think ARKAN succeeded 100% to create a colorful album by blending some strong "tastes" from different cultures to our Metal aesthetics. If you like the Tribal side of Metal or even something different in your plate then "Halil" is the perfect treat for you!

1. Groans Of The Abyss
2. Lords Decline
3. Mistress Of The Damned Souls
4. Lamma Bada
5. Tied Fates
6. The Seven Gates
7. Athaoura
8 .Chaos Cypher
9. Defying The Idols
10. El Houdou
11. Native Order
12. Amaloun Jadid

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