Monday, November 27, 2017

interview with Arallu

Arallu is extreme metal from Israel. The music began in the late 1990s and in 2017 they released their sixth full-length work titled Six. One quarter genius, three quarters raving lunacy, Arallu is the work of veterans of what some people call “Middle Eastern black metal.” Remember three things: (1) the album is quality; (2) the music is chaotic but within the chaos there are melodies; (3) the music is extreme metal, with a huge dose of black metal, joined to the traditional melodies/music of the homeland and region of these Israelis.
Hello! How is life for your band in Israel? Is metal alive and well in your city and in Israel in general?
Hello METAL BULLETIN and thank you for this interview. I’m Butchered, the main member of Arallu. We have Salem our pioneers of death metal bands from the 80ss. We have Orphaned Land that play all around the world and it's really great to see, but our metal scene is really small, not too many people comes to the shows and not really many good bands, unfortunately.
Was there something interesting in metal music happening in Israel that you decided to form a band? Who is answering this interview and what instruments do you play?
I’m Butchered the main member of the band. For the 2 first albums The War on the Wailing Wall from 1999 and Satanic War in Jerusalem from 2002 I played and recorded all instruments except the sessions drummer. Today I’m the main idea behind Arallu but I play only the bass guitar. Arallu was founded in Jerusalem in the middle of the conflict between the religions around the old city of Jerusalem in the 90s. When you live as the terror is surrounding you and you grow up in this endless conflict, if you want or not, it inspires you whatever you do.
Our music influenced by band like Venom, Slayer, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Deicide and many others. Middle Eastern music is my childhood home music. My father was listening to this music since I was a child. The combination between the European sound and the Middle Eastern sound is not easy to do. When I started listen to the European black metal bands of the 90s, I really liked the idea of the local folk music inside the raw sound of the black metal. I thought to myself: "I can't play like that. I can’t write music like that. I can feel the cold and the mountains coming out from the speakers! If I will try to sound like that no one will listen to my music. I can’t make it sound like that. BUT if I will bring a special sound and guitar riffs with special instruments combined with them,” and that’s what happened.
What big bands have played shows in Israel? How many times have you seen the Israeli band Orphaned Land live?!
Like I said, the metal scene is really small, local bands bring for the top 100 people for the shows. Of course, when Metallica or GnR coming 40,000 people are coming to see them, but it’s different. Metallica and Helloween are not that extreme, when you compare to the extreme bands like Arallu. Nile for example brought 140 people here. Kreator, 500 people. It’s really not much.
Arallu is black metal, and extreme metal in general, that incorporates traditional sounds from your part of the world. In addition to the usual metal music instruments, what traditional instruments from your country did you use on the album?
Our special instrument in "SIX" is the saz. Last album "GENIEWAR" it was sitar and before in "DESERT BATTLES" it was kanun. We don't want to repeat ourselves, we try to bring a different side of the Middle Eastern music every album. Not every part of every song you can add the saz or darbuka or sitar like in the previous album of the band. It takes hours to add these instruments in the right way and right place, but we will do it and work hard for that to bring a new sound to the global metal scene. Not everyone understands what we're playing. Like you can the reviews are good, and when you play risky music you know that can happen. We are not going with the main stream of black metal music, and that's ok with us. We're looking to bring something unique to global metal scene of today
In the past you have had albums with titles like, The War on the Wailing Wall and also Satanic War in Jerusalem. Your latest one is simply called Six. What changes have taken place in your lyrics, compared to the past? Did you have problems in Israel because you called your album Satanic War in Jerusalem?
Absolutely not! The War on the Wailing Wall and Satanic War in Jerusalem are albums from 2000. It’s 17 years ago when I start Arallu until today I have a clear message. The full concept of Arallu is around the ultimate war over the Middle East because we living it. So I believe it's coming naturally even if we will try to ignore it. Arallu is NOT a political band. Arallu is a radical band in the music and the lyric. We do not hate anyone or anybody because of his skin color or his religion. Our lyrics are clear! We rise against what is offensive and hurting us. Us as human beings, us as individuals. The people in Israel don’t know what good life is. We are busy with worrying about personal and national security.
Our lyrics are straight in your face, against the religions and what they represent and of course the people behind them. Our lyrics talks about all those things. From the wars of the ancient times as kings tried to rule Jerusalem, to the wars of today as ISIS are trying to destroy and kill anyone who doesn’t agree with their religious views. This album is the mirror of the human race, hypocrisy of the governments all around the world including Israel, and the unwillingness and fear to fight against the extreme religion leaders. Arallu is the horn of the situation in the Middle East and specially the horn of the wars all around the years in Jerusalem.
We don't look for paper news headlines. We play and live black metal from the 90s. I saw so many death and blood over my life, so I'm really not afraid of Islamic groups because of my music. I remember the bus exploding next to me around the streets of Jerusalem when I was on my way to school. We saw every day the hatred comes through the TV news. I was 16 years old and the extreme black metal concept around Europe comes to my life mixed with bloodshed around Jerusalem is what brought Arallu band to life.
It’s more than a decade that Arallu screaming about the global terror. Satanic War in Jerusalem our second album from 2002, talking about the situation in Jerusalem that spread to the world. I wrote this album in 2001 when the Islamic terror attack everywhere in Israel and especially in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Satanic War in Jerusalem became a self-fulfilling prophecy and today we all know it. The War on the Wailing Wall our debut album from 1999, was the mixed between our day life and extreme black metal against religions.
How much Hebrew do you use in your songs? Are your songs mostly in English? Is Six a concept album? How does living in Israel affect your lyrics?
In Six I wrote only one song in Hebrew - “Philosophers”. There are phrases here and there like in “Adonay” but most of the lyrics are in English.
"SIX" like the other albums of the band is talking about the situation around the Middle East as it crawls to Europe and the US, and some personal issues we deal with our everyday life, in the lyrics. The song "Adonay" is talking about a simple man from Jerusalem killed by terrorist attack and left behind him a huge world of people who loved him, but actually this song was talking about the last days of my grandfather who really suffered before he died a few months ago. He was my model and I really admired him.
The song "Possessed by Sleep" is about the murder of a little girl named Hilell Yafe Ariel while she was sleeping and the terrorist killed her in bed. When you live around Jerusalem and you have 3 children all you're thinking about is how to keep them safe in this horrible world. From the other aspect we have the song "Soulless Soldier" which is about a soldier in the army service who fights the wars around Israel and when he killed a terrorist who tried to kill soldiers the government put him to trail for that. It’s absurd.
When I’m writing my music and my lyrics I'm not looking for some victories. I mean, I'm looking for something fresh, something that no one touched before. Because our music is a mix with extreme black metal music and Arabian/Middle Eastern music it's very hard to understand it in the first listening. Usually people who like extreme black metal don’t like the Middle Eastern parts and vice versa, when we wrote this album we knew its risky and we know it from the debut album from 1999, but Arallu always looks to bring something different to the global metal scene and we doing it in small steps.
Tell us about the song “The Universe Secrets.” What is that yell at the beginning of the song? Is that a typical yell found in traditional songs in Israel?
Mmmmmmm really interesting question. I believe you will not found this yell in any metal song in the all entire world, actually. It's a happiness yell of a traditional Middle Eastern party. The opening part of the song with the drums beat and the darbuka is like a Middle Eastern traditional song and that’s why we have this yell there. It's like I said, we looking to bring really unique parts around our songs. I don’t believe we will do this again for the future. We will look for something else.
“Victims of Despair” has a traditional melody at the beginning. “Adonay” has a strong element of traditional percussion. Are those percussion patterns something you have grown up listening to in Israeli songs your whole life?
Yes, exactly. If you will listen to the song "From the Desert to the Ice" from our previous album "GENIEWAR" or the song "DESERT BATTLES" from the album, you will find the same ideas with different instruments and different acts. All the music of Arallu is around the Middle Eastern music with black metal basic.
What do you think of the melodies of bands like AlNamrood and Melechesh and Nile?
Yeah, of course. Musically, Arallu belongs to the stream of the bands you mentioned. We are all thinking the same but act differently with our instruments.
What can you tell me about “Oiled Machine of Hate”?
The idea behind this song is to present the power of the religions hatred. How can it be is from 3,000 years ago until today people kill in the name of religions? The human race developed so many things - technology and curing illness that was killing millions only 200 years ago, but from the other side we are so primitive. Killing in the name of religion. It’s obscurity. This song was written is to open your mind to think about that and let you understand the situation.
Has Arallu played many shows outside of Israel? Where do you find that you have the most receptive audiences to your style of music?
We played around Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia. I think it was a shock for a lot of people from our style and our sounds. Metalheads not accustomed for the sound we bring and it's so great to see the feedbacks.
Thank you for answering the questions. Do you have any news that you would like to share? If a person wants to support your band, what is a direct way of supporting your band?
If you would have asked about dreams in one of your questions, so touring USA would definitely be a dream come true. For everyone interested in supporting us and buying our stuff, the best way is through our Bandcamp.

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