Saturday, 9 July 2016

Seeds Of Iblis "The Black Quran" (2013)

Seeds Of Iblis are an anti-Islam Black Metal group from Iran which I discovered when my curiosity had me digging around looking for Metal in unexpected parts of the globe. It shocked me at first but makes a lot of sense given some thought. In Europe and other regions dominated by Christianity we have rebellion in the form of Black Metal which is strongly rooted in anti-Christian values, so in a country where Metal alone wouldn't be seen as orthodox we have anti-Muslim's using the music as a weapon against the faith it thinks hypocritically of. Because of the bands location they are shrouded in mystery, supposedly consisting of two men and two women their identities are concealed for obvious reasons. It is also speculated they have ties to the French embassy who would intervene and protect them if ever their identities were compromised. What is more remarkable about this record is its existence more so than the music itself.

Background aside the music is what I was initially looking for and in "The Black Quran" we have a hellish Luciferian atmosphere of malicious, scornful abrasive aggression. Ferocious blast beats continually batter into waves of pummeling attack, clattering like machine gun fire. The use of drum machines gives them a rigidity and unapologetic ruthlessness. The guitars tone is gristle and thin adding a unsettling tone between the drums and evil ooh synths that continually descend through minor key arrangements. Vocally the assault is on two fronts. The Arabic Female vocals tie in the regional and religious background of the music, singing native chants in the moments where the black drops its intensity. When at full swing the Male vocals scream and howl in a menacing tone that drifts into the space of its heavy reverb. Its like the voice of a tormented demon reaching out from the darkness.

The band certainly achieved a notably dark aesthetic, it is undoubtedly the vocal aspects that give this record its merit and charm but for a single twenty minute song its structure unwinds rather quickly past the half way point. The first half is a continual battering of blast beats, howls and descending synths with Arabic chants in between. In the second half there's many atmospheric interludes and the return of the songs main riff in a reconstructed manor crop up but it starts to feel short of ideas and any direction for conclusion. It fizzles somewhat with the sound of burning fires which bring in an eerie and haunting piano that sees the final moments of the song out with a gloomy burial.

A very intriguing record with a fascinating background it unfortunately doesn't live up to the same heights musically but its aesthetic is so menacing and pungent it kept me interested in its lengthy span for a singular song. Its lack of climax through conclusion was disappointing but what it offers outweighs that let down. I should also mention this group is part of an "Anti-Islamic Legion", meaning there are more bands in this region actively rebelling against their imposed religion.

Rating: 4/10