A new Arallu album is always worth checking out. Over the years the band have amassed an enviable discography, (don’t miss Geniewar, Six, Desert Battles – Descending to the Sands, or En Olam), so it’s always a pleasure to encounter them once more.
Death Covenant provides 39 minutes of searing black metal with Middle-Eastern atmosphere. This new material is some of the shortest and most concise Arallu have blessed us with when compared to some of their output over the years, and this focus has benefitted the album’s impact. Death Covenant showcases Arallu in top form.
Arallu assault the listener with melodic aggression and blackened intensity. These songs are harsh and malevolent, yet also inviting in their own way; Arallu may scathe and burn with their fiery music, but the listener always wants to go back for more. An important part of their identity, the band’s folk influences and instruments are expertly embedded in the rest of the music by skilled hands. Arallu know exactly what they’re doing with their sound by this point in their existence, and the effects are once more compelling. Elements of thrash and death metal bolster an already strong package, and the end result is a highly enjoyable collection of tracks.
On Death Covenant Arallu have pulled out all of the stops and produced one of their most accomplished records. The songs are well-written and balance their various influences well. They tear, rage, and terrify, but also wow the listener with epic grandeur and ancient awe, the types of which only Arallu infuse into their music so well. The album also boasts one of the strongest recordings that the band have had, which presents their art in the best possible light.
Arallu’s dark star has been rising for many years, and on Death Covenant it has risen to its highest point in the heavens. If you’re a fan of music that has an individual flavour and a strong personality all of its own, then you really need to listen to Arallu.
Very highly recommended.