The idea of wanting to go back and polish up a past release is far from a new one as literally every single content creator of every variety, myself included, as either contemplated or attempted to go back and make some swift changes. Metal doesn’t really tend to go back and redo any single album unless it’s a bigger band that needs a slight boost in sales or because fuck it why not? Yet, in the case of Israel’s reputable Arallu, the most recent “back tracking” focuses on a record for a very simple and fair reason: the band wasn’t fully satisfied.
Now, by no means am I going to sit here and try to tell you that Arallu is wrong for not being one hundred percent satisfied with a past recording or that they’re “lazy” musicians for putting out a release they aren’t happy with. I’ve talked with the band personally and can tell you for a fucking fact that this Israeli band have a true sense of musicianship as they’d never put out a product they weren’t confident in, but sometimes things change over time and this led to the recreation of Arallu’s 2009 piece, “Desert Battles”. Going back, I’d say that this record is still quite the piece to enjoy as it still holds up as a classy entry for this black/folk Middle Eastern band nearly ten years after its inception. Yet, the redux of “Desert Battles” is a piece that’s much more exciting and well-polished. There aren’t instruments that get lost in the mixing or sounds that feel muddled out because of the overall mastering. We can head-bang to the riffs that sound crispier, hear the individual local instruments that Arallu employs to both maximum effect and enjoyment, and then the resulting sound is so smooth compared to before that it’s an absolute treat. The album spoke for itself before, but now “Desert Battles” is an even tastier morsel that I would happily recommend to any fan of blackened folk metal with a Middle-Easten touch which is always the flavor of the week in some parts of the scene around the world.
I respected and listened to the classic version of “Desert Battles” once after hearing the latest piece from Arallu, but I think now I’m gonna have to indulge myself in this record even more upon its re-release. It’s a rare treat to see an already solid album become even tastier almost a decade later, and I’m not surprised that an act as prolific as Arallu would do such a thing. Should you want to a piece of tasty blackened folk with a special twist, look no further than Arallu.
“Desert Battles” re-releases via Raven Music on June 6th!
LISTEN to an advanced track on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Arallu on Facebook here.