Band: Al Ard
Title: Al Ard
Release Date: 22 June 2018
Format reviewed: High quality digital promo
OK, this is interesting. As I have pointed out in some of my previous reviews, hybrid genres have never attracted me. However now I have the tough task to review the debut album of an industrial black metal band, born in 2011 in Sicily, Italy. Furthermore the band is not just industrial and black, but also integrates drum’n’bass and dirty dubstep elements. The trio claims they have been influenced by such acts like Dodheimsgard, Red Harvest, MZ412, Brighter Death Now, Aborym and DiabolicuM, Emperor, Satyricon and Diabolos Rising. Have I intrigued you already?
I little bit of a detour. Maybe the first clearly differentiating industrial black metal I heard was Diabolos Rising’s Blood, Vampirism and Sadism, in late 1995. By that time I had on tapes Abruptum’s In Umbra Malitiae Ambulabo, in Aeternum in Triumpho Tenebrarum, as well as Beherit’s H418ov21.C. Prior to them, it all was either industrial or black metal on the market. With the time, especially in the second half of the 90’s, I witnessed the rise of electronic music, d’n’b, ambient, and mixing it with all types of metal. This was also popular in the soundtracks of the movies (horror, drugs, killings…) and in the videogames (shooters and rally). To be honest these mixtures of metal and electronics (let’s for the sake of this review use this word in order to encompass the usage of machines) have never been of my preference.
Al Ard’s debut is good. It is excellent for a soundtrack of another Blade movie series, or for a high speed drive on a countryside/seaside road at hot summer night. It is an album of burning, extreme sounds consisting of 8 tracks of dark colours. Some of them are really into the black metal fury, others are in pure electronic, d’n’b and ambient mood, and third are pure disturbing noise. I really imagine blinking neon lamps in underground tunnels and corridors with white tiles, bathed in blood…
At the end of the day the album was enjoyable and actually it went comparably easy for me, despite of the experimental patterns and noise fuse at times. I must admit that the samples and the electronic background nicely complete the heavy parts in those tracks which combine both, creating a atmosphere from a nightmare – visual and emotional. The various non-metal rhythms and styles fit well, and the pure electronic tracks are even more enjoyable.
On and on Al Ard could be appreciated by all the heavy fans, nevertheless they are into industrial or black metal only. The combination here is good. Now push play to this record and create the apocalypse – go kill vampires and zombies. 6.5/10 Count Vlad