Released: 2014, Shaytan Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Middle-eastern inspired black metal is very popular of late and now it is the turn of Saudi-Arabian trio AlNamrood to show what they can do. The band have been around since 2008 but 'Heen Yadhar Al Ghasq' is the first album of theirs to be released on vinyl; something else which has seen a resurgence.
The band's line-up has changed somewhat drastically throughout the years, with the latest addition being new vocalist Humbaba, who was introduced just last year. Despite the recent alteration, AlNamrood certainly know what they're doing and prove how tight they are as a group. The band use a variety of traditional Arabian instruments which add a folk edge to the music and make this an incredibly interesting album to listen to.
There are so many layers in each track that after each play, you're bound to find something new. 'Heen Yadhar Al Ghasq' doesn't scrimp on the black metal side either; although providing nothing groundbreaking it maintains an element of the underground with distorted guitar and dirty riffs which provide a sense of raw honesty.
The down side is that the drumming and sometimes the vocals hold this album back. Tinny percussion takes away from the majesty of the eastern influences and the vocals are far too quiet, sounding like a live mix where the microphone hasn't been turned up enough.
Ultimately, this is one of the most creative albums I've listened to for a long time. Long-time fans of the band will love this and for newcomers, 'Heen Yadhar Al Ghasq' is a great place to start. I have no idea where they could take this next but AlNamrood have done a stellar job of blending Arabic culture and the gripping darkness of black metal and for that I take my hat off to them.
Review by Beth Avison