Al Lat - Arabian Myths
Label: Set Productions
Reviewer: Mujtaba M Badr - 2012-09-05
Highlights: Isaf and Na'ilah
Black Metal was always, and will always be, about being “controversial”. Controversial in everything; from the lyrical themes to the instrumentation, and Arabian Black Metal isn't an exception to that, but wait a second, this album isn't a pure Arabic metal band!
Al Lat is a Canadian symphonic Black Metal band, with Arabian mythology as a lyrical theme, and that is not my only reason to count it as an Arabian Black Metal act, it also features some of our scene's musicians; Lord Azmo (from Forgive Me and Chalice of Doom) lent his hellish voice to the band, hence giving our local talent some international experience.
The band as I said above adopted the Arabian mythology as its theme, and claims to have some oriental influences, but after hearing their debut EP Arabian Myths , I started to question where these influences might be going beyond the band's moniker and lyrical content. Yes, The Wrath Of Al-Auzza does start with a nice intro of some oriental instruments, before a cold, blunt Black Metal riffs starts to shatter the atmosphere, but the melody is far from what can be identified as “oriental”, it’s something I heard it before on those Ninja Power Metal acts [Whispered as an example]. It sound like Asian music, but surely not from the Arabian desert's old history.
With the second track, Isaf and Na'ilah, the oriental mood improves a little, with Lord Azmo telling an ancient Arabian story utilizing his clean vocals now. The Heathen Verses , kind of an instrumental track, except some humming and prayers voices, but wait a second, there is something in a background, something like the sound of an church organ.
So far, I hated everything called “oriental” in this record, and lost hope to find a catch “oriental” moment, and with The Resurrection Of Zagut , it seemed like a good pure raw Black Metal song.
Al Lat [Al Lat is a pre-islamic deity worshiped in Mecca and surroundings, Editor] tries to give us something new and original, they succeed in the lyrical part, but they failed musically, both from the pure Black Metal aspect, since they sound like any small underground Black Metal act, and from the oriental part, because they couldn’t reach any level of the “orientalization” that had been reached from the big names of the genre (Orphaned Land and Melechesh for example), not even some of the local Arabian scene (Myrath, Sand Aura and Arkan).
The bottom line is: Al Lat will be a good choice for the Black Metal addicted fan, with its cold bleak production atmosphere and could be an enjoyable band if you look at it just as Symphonic Black Metal.