Arkan
Salam


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (197 Reviews)
January 17th, 2012 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Music from the death metal orient that is both pleasing and accessible for the listener.

There will always be the endless bands producing the same thing to their worldwide audiences, much of their spiel sounding to much like the next, convincing the listener of their good intentions and releasing groundbreaking or fresh music. However, listeners’ do know that most of that music is anything but. Hailing from France, Arkan are one of the few bands that do release something fresh (read: although not unique) onto the death metal scene. Salam presents the listener with an intelligent combination of flair and diversity whilst maintaining a consistent approach, ensuring the music is accessible to the listener.

As for Arkan’s sound; they mix metal (typically that of death metal) and oriental, middle eastern sounds and whilst these two styles could be seen as a huge clash in contrast it creates an interesting and enjoyable level of diversity, strengthening the album’s overall sound. Salamis presented to the listener with as much of the grandeur as those two contrasting styles can. In comparison to the band’s debut effort Hilal, Salam has lost the awkward issues that plagued the debut in both timing and repetitiveness. Granted, Salam still has its repetitive moments but they are less by far. Right off the bat, listeners will notice the typical death metal growls and thundering riff and drum lines but the album’s greatest attribute is there in the subtle acoustic patterns and soft melodic vocals (cleans). Sarah’s vocals echo the exotic feel to the oriental styles being used here, often being used here the band takes things down a notch. At times the band is devastating, but equally the band provides beautiful accessible tones drawing the listener in before hitting them with another onslaught of riffs, double bass and growls.

Highlights of the album can be found throughout with particular notice to the track “Deus Vult” where Orphaned Land’s very own Kobi Farhi appears for guest vocals. Kobi accentuates the doom-y gothic, yet oriental vibe that is present and builds on the vocal lines with eerie chanting and the occasional call and response with the growls of Florent. Instrumentally this track is not at all different from the album’s other tracks relying on much of the same structuring and sound styles. Another track worthy of attention includes the tail-ender “Call from Within”. Relying on the band’s rather folksy elements where some of the traditional middle-eastern instruments take part, this mid-tempo and melodious track winds down Salam in a very positive manner. Arkan proves that they can focus one way more than the other and pull off a quality ‘un-metal’ track.

It’s easy to notice that this particular brand of music isn’t going to please everyone. Some of the middle-eastern styles can be at times completely lost on the listener. But, for the most part listeners’ should find this as a very enjoyable, although a little repetitive listen. The music itself isn’t particularly strong but is made up with strong vocal sections, interesting lyricism and an effective combination of contrasting styles. The death metal sections may be run of the mill throughout the entity of the album but Sarah’s soothing vocals combined with some dazzling oriental and acoustic passages are sure to get heads turning, otherwise making up for any lost ground on Salam. Thankfully these sections make up a large part of the record and ensure the listeners’ interest.



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user ratings (17)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Read a couple of staff lists and got inspired. Been a while so let me know if you see anything.

Dreamflight
January 17th 2012


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, you described the whole thing very well. pos

Beyond Sacred Rules....rules lol

Tyrael
January 17th 2012


20876 Comments


Cool review

pos'd

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Willie
Moderator
January 17th 2012


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Some minor punctuation issues that Word (or whatever) should have picked up during a spell-check. I really like this album. It ended up on my Top 25.

Digging: Necropoli - I

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers guys, This is a worthy to check out album.

Yeah, thanks Willie, Word as the program and didn't pick any of that up : / actually your list was one of the afformentioned so thanks again.

pizzamachine
January 17th 2012


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm glad you reviewed this. : ) Sweet album.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Pizza, means a lot. : ]

AfterTheBreakdown
January 17th 2012


7139 Comments


nice review pos'd.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Check this out Breakdon, definitely worth a shot.

Acanthus
January 17th 2012


9543 Comments


So like that one album from Amorphis?

Digging: Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood

Willie
Moderator
January 17th 2012


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not really the same.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Acanthus buddy, huh?

Acanthus
January 17th 2012


9543 Comments


Ah, Willie knew. Amorphis did an album coming out of their original death-y style that featured oriental influences; just seeing if this was similar.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Guess it helps to know Amorphisis' catalog lol. Not really into them so much.

Willie
Moderator
January 17th 2012


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is much more developed.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gotta say it's a favourite from 2011

AfterTheBreakdown
January 17th 2012


7139 Comments


will do

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you're into branching out a little mate this should be a pretty good start for you.

AfterTheBreakdown
January 17th 2012


7139 Comments


i'm always looking for something new.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Me too, I had Hawks through some stuff at me earlier : ]



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