Arkan - Salam
Label: Season Of Mist
Reviewer: Mujtaba M Badr - 2012-09-05
Highlights: Most of the tracks, especially "Deus Vult"
I remember Arkan back in 2008, when they just released their debut album, Hilal. The Arabic name, the artwork, and knowing that the band members comes from North African backgrounds, all that made me not hesitating to pick up the album and listen to this new band with Oriental theme, and it was a good record, Melodic Death Metal, with some oriental touches here and there, and this wasn’t enough to launch their name into the masses of Melodic Death fans, or even the Oriental Metal followers, it was a standard Melodic Death with nothing new in it, except for the lyrics and intros.
But with their new album, Salam, Arkan developed into a more mature sound with Progressive and Oriental music elements, from your first minutes in Salam, you will sense the band sound had changed, and the shift from making Melodic riffs, into making an exciting blend, between the Oriental instruments and Metal, they became an essential part of the song structure, and not just intros/outros as in the debut album. Even in the vocals, the band surprised us with expanding the role of Sarah Layssac angelic voice, way more than just giving back vocals in the first album, while keeping the roars of Florent blasting our ears.
Some people will start saying the band had become more of an Orphaned Land clone, and with Kobi Farhi guest vocals in “Deus Vult”, their claims seems undeniable, but if you give a fair listen to the album, you will know that even if they are heavily influenced by Orphaned Land in this album, but there are something that keep Arkan having their own identity within their music.
What Arkan did here, is taking a new path, and raising their name from typical Melodic Metal band, into a band with talent of making complex solid progressive music, and the next album will be a bet of a challenge for this young band, cause they need to proof that they have enough jewels in their minds for to keep us waiting for them in the upcoming years.
In short, this album is a beautiful journey in the lands of the Orients, a perfect example to showing the world the beauty of Heavy Metal music, a must listen for the fans of Oriental, Folk and Artistic Metal.