El-Ahrairah
El-Ahrairah 2009 Demo


4.5
superb

Review

by TheSpirit CONTRIBUTOR (149 Reviews)
August 1st, 2016 | 66 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ambitious and ambiguous

El-Ahriarah's eponymous demo isn't just something you listen to, it's something you need to experience. Listening to it on the move or half-heartedly is a disservice to what kind of record it is. The harshness and alienating static of its production can't belie the melodic heart of the band; in fact, it only makes that element more affecting. At the core of their raw black metal delivery is a group with sense of melody their contemporaries must be envious of. Its journey through the sonic murk and mire of the production is arduous but only serves to give it character. Somewhere between the instrumental tumult and white noise exists a gorgeous resonance that was almost certainly an unintentional byproduct, but its presence is invaluable. It's the link to the meditative escapism the album thrives on. Working in tandem with flourishes of keyboard, that resonance proves to be quite amorphous; in opening track "Fauna" it's uplifting and fantastical, while on following song "Flora" it's malevolently triumphant. It traverses through sonic extremes frequently and without missing a step. Despite the abundance of effervescent melodies, El-Ahrairah never fail to be sinister. This dichotomy is best summed up in closing minutes of final track "Lands", where the band's harmonious playing struggles to remain prominent, quickly relinquishing ground to an oncoming onslaught of piercing frequencies. As the playing fades in and out between the harsh rumble, its feeling of natural mysticism is lost to a cold, industrial grinding. El-Ahrairah's first demo doesn't feel like music, but something greater. Though entrenched in black metal tropes, it's never bound to them. It's an essence unsure of what it is, that's somehow taken sonic qualities. It's beautiful, it's abrasive and it's everything in-between. Most of all, it's essential black metal listening.



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3.8
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Comments:Add a Comment 
TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2016


24971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So, I initially planned on listening to this and El-Ahrairah's earlier material so I could be more informed when I wrote a review for their newest, and I never really got passed listening to this because it's fantastic. As short as this is, it was a hard review to write, but it's an album that thrives more on how it feels than how it sounds. Anyway, you can check this, and the whole of the band's discography on https://el-ahrairah.bandcamp.com/. Every release is name your own price.

Digging: Akasha - Canticles of the Sepulchral Deity

zaruyache
July 31st 2016


20542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I had to stop the first track multiple times because there's an element of static outside of the standard static that normally accompanies the instrumentation and it sounds like the soft hissing of raindrops on leaves. I had to turn it off to make sure I wasn't hearing rain from out my window. It's such a subtle thing, and definitely not intended to be there, but now that I've noticed it I think it only makes the whole thing sound nicer, like they're playing out in the drizzle.

ZippaThaRippa
July 31st 2016


10480 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This band is super sweet

Hawks
July 31st 2016


68364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gotta hear this one too. You should review the s/t Brandon. m/

Digging: Akasha - Canticles of the Sepulchral Deity

ZippaThaRippa
July 31st 2016


10480 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So what is El-Ahrairah? It pops up in Fall of Efrafa's work as well. And why is it so hard to spell?

ZippaThaRippa
July 31st 2016


10480 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Like how do you even say that?



Arr-air-uh



arr-eye-ruh?



Uh-rye-ruh?

Hawks
July 31st 2016


68364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I was wondering that too lol.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2016


24971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I pronounce it "uh-rye-ruh".



"El-Ahrairah is a rabbit trickster folk hero in the 1972 book Watership Down by Richard Adams. The name means "prince with a thousand enemies" in the fictional Lapine language."



And Ryan, I plan on review the self-titled too. I was in the middle of writing a review for it when I went back to listen to this. Needless to say, I got swept up in a moment and didn't want the inspiration to go to waste.

ZippaThaRippa
July 31st 2016


10480 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ah word, I figured it was something from that.



My background right now is The Black Rabbit of Inle

ZippaThaRippa
July 31st 2016


10480 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Owsla is my fucking jam.



I actually listened to this because I thought it was another Alex CF project.

ZippaThaRippa
July 31st 2016


10480 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow the production on this is a whole other level of bad,



I mean holy SHIT

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2016


24971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh, I love the production tbh

ZippaThaRippa
July 31st 2016


10480 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like my production rare but not raw namsayin



I totally get what you mean about the pleasant resonance though

slackened
July 31st 2016


136 Comments


i really like the look of this cover. also sweet write-up - succinct and evocative

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2016


24971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm glad :] that element was the focal point for me, so it was important that I could translate it into writing. Looks like I was able to. And I get what you mean about the production, even if I disagree. It's awful. Though compared to their next few which have more of a buzzing quality to them, it's listenable in comparison.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2016


24971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks slackened ;]

ZippaThaRippa
July 31st 2016


10480 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I definitely like the 'buzzy' production. I don't mind the production being rough around the edges ie this band's self titled, Axis of Light, Sielunvihollinen etc. But when it becomes borderline static and I can't even discern the notes being played I take issue.



This EP toes the line but it's extremely relaxing and the melody is muddied but present.



But yeah this actually a hella good review. I firmly believe that if you can't summarize your opinions in 500 words then they aren't worth hearing. Short, sweet and to the point. Essential shit here. Keep up the good work.

Hawks
August 1st 2016


68364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet bro looking forward to that one. I'm gonna jam this tomorrow.

XingKing
August 1st 2016


14483 Comments


I saw the band name and now I must hear this even though I don't particularly like black metal

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
August 1st 2016


24971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Zip, I'm glad you liked the finished product :]



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