- 1.Al Hirah01:20
- 2.Sahra Yaesa04:13
- 4.Kali Be Mekialain04:44
- 5.Al Shareef Al Muhan03:40
- 7.Aar Al Estibad03:12
- 9.Wahum Althaat04:03
My last encounter with the guys from Saudi Arabia was in 2014. I refer to Al-Namrood, who have released three albums since then (there is a new one that will be released soon in April 2022), and I have received their latest album called “Wala’at”. This is their sixth full length album, released in the 22nd of June in 2020 in digital, in limited to 500 copies cd and limited to 300 copies lp format by Shaytan Productions. It contains ten songs of overall duration of about thirty-seven minutes. At first glance, I noticed the very different style of their cover. I was used to their older covers reminding of their place of origin, however this one is showing a dungeon with images of torture and rituals, in black and white color. The second difference I noticed is the shorter duration of the tracks, as in previous albums the tracks usually lasted longer than five minutes, whereas here their duration is between three and four minutes. But what about their music?
After a short intro that puts you in the Arabian scenery, the album begins in the familiar way of Al-Namrood. For those of you who haven’t listened to any of their releases before, they play a mixture of Metal with a lot of folklore – middle eastern melodies and epic and majestic atmosphere. The first difference one might notice is that the melodies presented here, have heavier arabic influences than before. So the band seems to have moved even closer to the traditional music of their origin and they present it by a fusion of electronic, modern and acoustic, traditional instruments. All this sets a very thick atmosphere, delivering the listener straight into the unbearable warmth of the arabic scenery. Generally the tracks are rhythmic, medium or slow tempo and rarely they have faster parts. Another difference you may notice is the songwriting. The tracks have a more straightforward structure, shorter duration, the parts of the song have clearer parts and the transition between them is smoother. However, the drowning feeling or the experimentation that the older releases had, it is absent.
The band still consists of Ostron who is responsible for all the arabian instruments heard in the album and Mephisto, the man responsible for the rest. The vocals are performed by Humbaba who was introduced in their ‘حين يظهر الغسق’ album of 2014 and he is with the band since. The guitar is the leading instrument, delivering the melodies, the scenes and the feelings very vividly. The bass is supporting the compositions but it stays mainly in the background. The arabian instruments that can be heard in a lot of parts, inside the compositions, add the traditional element and give a true arabian style to the album. The drums are stable and passionate with a lot of interesting moments and passages, they match the quality of the rest of the instruments. The vocals vary from harsh Black Metal ones, to deep and dirty or screaming ones, depending on the part and the sentiment they want to express. They fit the entire album very well and their performance and variety make the songs more alive and interesting. The production is bassy and fuzzy but that style fits the arabian element. The mixture is balanced, highlighting the guitars and the arabian instruments when needed. The lyrics are written in Arabic and they are not contained in the cd. Actually, there is no booklet, just one page with the cover and a few info about the band in the back and that is quite disappointing.
In conclusion, I believe that this album is one of the best albums of Al-Namrood. It shows the hard work that the band has been doing all these years, as they have managed to maintain and even increase their arabian elements but also improve their songwriting and show potential for the future. The songs I liked most are Sahra Yaesa, Al Shareef Al Muhan and Fasique. If you haven’t already listened to any of their previous albums, this one is the best opportunity to get started with the music of Al-Namrood.