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Released: 2015, Independent
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
They have had a bit of a whirlwind experience so far since forming back in 1999 and no wonder being an extreme metal band that hails from the holy city of Jerusalem. Started as a one man mission by Moti "Butchered" Daniel, Arallu has been a mainstay in the Israeli metal scene and have now created 'Geniewar', their fifth full length release. This will be their first full release since Desert Battles-Descending To The Sands-which was released back in 2009-and Arallu will have been looking to keep on the warfront with the newest edition to their catalogue.
The band have always played along a similar vein to some of the early black metal/black thrash outfits of the 80s and early 90s but with an eastern twist which has been prevalent throughout their previous albums. With extraordinary videos that give Immortal's 'Call Of The Wintermoon' a run for its money, Arallu have taken the black metal out of the forest and into the desert. 'Geniewar' continues along with their patented structure and you will notice early on the eastern/oriental elements that flourish throughout their songs. The pairing of blackened metal and these oriental influences has been a staple of Arallu since their formation and this binding of forces has given them a solid platform for exploring the realms of their creativity. Their cover of Iron Maiden's 'Powerslave' is an eyebrow raising tribute that allys these eastern elements in a bold and outlandish style which could only have been conjured by this band.
The other tracks on this album can be quite ferocious with 'Bloodshed Around' and 'Coronation' keeping a fairly rapid pace with the occasional percussion section adding a sense of tribal carnage to the songs. Moti 'Butchered' Daniel can rip through the sound walls with his high pitched wail but I would say this is the most complimentary I could be to his vocal sections. If I had to pick a favourite I would go for 'Metal Troops 666' and not only for the excellent title of the track. It serves as a tasty portion of chaotic thrash with enough potency to carry the album. Arallu have never concentrated on having a polished or technically elaborate album, keeping things fairly simple, embracing the totally barbaric. They have a knack for the wildly imaginative in terms of compositions but I don't think they have the full collective abilities to pull it off perfectly. In ways it comes of as more humorous than serious, but this may be their angle. They do possess an ability to pull some solid riffs out of the bag and some of the outer influences do work extremely well. At times they can sound like an Israeli version of early Sepultura which is more down to the additional percussion and simplistic riffs than anything else, but that does come off well at times.
The end of the album is an oddity itself and my Hebrew is lacking so I can't really surmise what was going on throughout. More of a chant than a song but it doesn't surprise me in the least as the band are quite an oddity themselves. They have had six years and have added a few extra band members to the mix but Arallu haven't created anything monumental for music or metal in general. I love the creative edge but there are outfits that could pull this off better than Arallu. The album is still listenable but does not pair up to some of their earlier works which have been a touch more refined than 'Geniewar'. I would say that they would be a great live act to go and see, and I cannot wait for any future videos produced by this band as they are just excellent, and I recommend anyone to have a watch. They have interesting subject matter but the execution or more their style of expressing this said subject matter has been a bit lacking in this album. It is something different and probably will appeal to a few out there who like their rough around the edges, mesopotamian, ancient battle, monochromatic black thrash but that may just be asking a bit much.
Review By Pete Mutant
2.From The Desert To The Ice
4.PowerSlave (Iron Maiden Cover)
6.Metal Troops 666
Moti "Butchered" Daniel (Genie King)-Bass, Vocals, Guitars
Omri Yagen - guitars
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