Season of Mist – 2011 – France
With the release of “Hilal” back in 2008, Arkan opened people up to a more diverse genre by adding Arabic elements to death metal and showing them they won’t be pegged down as just one type of metal. It’s seems they’ve managed to mature even more with their sound and progress with their latest release “Salam” with not only Moroccan and Arabic music but by also adding on Sarah Layssac’s clean vocals which are a perfect counterpart to Florent Jannier’s deep growls. These elements do not detract from the heaviness but add an even thicker layer of ambiance.
“Origins” opens with an explosive force of brutality that’s met with Sarah’s melodic vocals and brings a nice balance to both. You can tell that Arkan are willing to explore new territory with their sound and show a little more variety in their music than they did with the last release. Kobi Farhi from Orphaned Land gives a guest appearance on the third track “Deus Vult”, his vocals match perfectly with this song giving it some nice melody and atmosphere. Tracks like “Blind Devotion” and “Jerusalem” lets people know they are willing to delve into other area of metal that are more progressive in ways and offers more to hook the listener in. “Common Ground” is a nice little instrumental interlude shows more of their cultural background as the same with their self-titled track. “Call from Within” is mesmerizing with Sarah’s vocals and the melodic guitar work presented here.
It’s going to be a challenge to top this album but I think Arkan is up for it, they know how to change with the times but still stay true to their roots. This album gives a perfect balance of modern death metal and the sounds of the Middle East woven together. If you liked “Hilal” then you definitely want to give “Salam” a listen!