Black metal from Saudi Arabia always catches our interest. Al-Namrood especially much so, and that’s for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the trio of prolific non-believers excels in taking classical homeland music and transforming it into something unholy. Secondly, the band’s new vocalist Artiya’il is perfectly suited to the band’s ethos. Not to mention that Al-Namrood’s newest album is a relentless antagonistic piece of pure black metal.
Once again cutting straight to the chase: we’re not let down when we push play. Both ‘Protector of the Herd’ and ‘Worship the Degenerate’ explode from the speaker, railing against the conventions. Brutally dark, the album goes even deeper. It simply scrapes all the worst filth, sorrow, hatred, and fear from the bottom of the well of humanity, injecting them directly into your veins and almost contaminating your soul.
In a recent interview for CVLTARTES, they noted that “Worship The Degenerate takes more active direction from the philosophical and social analysis from Wala’at album, through the action of attempting to change the situation, the story this time is about exposing those who are loyal to as degenerate and the loyalty upgraded to worshiping. The album starts with the song ‘Protector of the herd’ which discusses the idea of protection and a more powerful symbol is needed.
Then it progresses into the actual fight to change this conception and erase it, the aim for the sun of freedom and the free will of the people. The album here puts the decision into people’s hands and their free will chooses their direction of life. As we always illustrated accepting slavery is a choice.”
Once ‘Guerillas’ starts playing, you’ll notice a brilliant example of the vitriol contained within, staying true to both black metal and traditional Asian sounds. Tracks like ‘Sun of Liberation’ and ‘Eclipse’ are gorgeous, whilst ‘Free Will’ is a well-written, dynamic journey through both fires of aggression and the winds of melancholia.
Al-Namrood has its goal to exist a voice for the voiceless through extreme music and sending out a message to all freedom fighters around the world that you are not alone if you cannot speak up, use art as a tool, remain safe but make your point, collaborate to what you can do and this is what we strive for.
To sum it up, probably the most wonderful thing about this album is the honesty of it all. Nothing feels fake, and most certainly the band is not trying too hard. Al-Namrood’s music feels so natural, presenting the black metal genre in a refreshing and relatable manner. Moreover, the Saudi Arabian band creates black metal for the cvlt, for the connoisseurs and appreciators of the genre.