Pure aggressive Death Metal full of meaningful content? That’s exactly what this bright Algerian band offers us with their music.
Lelahel is an angel of the zodiac exercising dominion over love, art, science and fortune, bringing light and good luck to mankind. However, when an extra ‘l’ is added to its name, it’s time for Algerian Death Metal band Lelahell to attack all human beings with their first full-length album, the impetuous Al Insane… The (Re)Birth Of Abderrahmane, an album which fans of bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation and Vital Remains will be able to relish while at the same time they learn more about the culture of that Islamic country located in North Africa.
Of course, this is a Death Metal album, so do not expect to listen to anything that’s not as heavy as hell. The differential in Al Insane… The (Re)Birth Of Abderrahmane, as you can see by the name of the album (Abderrahmane is the transliteration of Abdur Rahman in French-speaking North Africa, meaning “servant of the most merciful”) and also the names of most songs, is the fact that the band makes it clear where they come from by adding elements of their culture to their symphony of violence. Consequently, their music becomes a lot more robust and appealing to fans of extreme music than if it was just the basic Death Metal many other bands play. This is something unique bands such as Sepultura and Chthonic do all the time, like in the masterpieces Roots and Bú-Tik, and you know how amazing those albums are.
After the quick intro Mazaghran, which is the name of a town and commune in Mostaganem Province, Algeria, you’ll already notice that cultural influence in Al Intissar, an Arabic word that means “victory” or “triumph” in English, with its blast beats, devilish and deep guttural vocals, and especially its very traditional Death Metal guitar growls showing you how brutal heavy music should be done. Voices Revealed has a more direct musicality than the opening track, but doesn’t sound so inspired, while Kalimet Essir is a true sonic massacre, guided by a dark tune generated by its guitar lines and fast drums (which you can see HERE). The only thing I couldn’t figure out was the meaning of the words “Kalimet Essir”, maybe the band could help me with this one.
The nonstop violent Death Metal in Hypnose is highly recommended for insane mosh pits, with highlights to its good chorus and interesting drumming variations, followed by the short instrumental Imzad. This is another great example of how culture and music walk hand in hand, as “Imzad music is a characteristic feature of Tuareg communities and is performed by women on a single-stringed bowed instrument known as the Imzad.”, adding an extra Arabic touch to the whole album.
Fans of the old Cannibal Corpse will surely enjoy Am I In Hell?, with its Thrash Metal elements, really deep guttural and an ending that’s more than perfect for some brutal headbanging, and pretty much the same can be said about Hillal, or “crescent moon” in English, as this song is as violent and fast as it can be, energized by its evil vocal lines. Lastly, closing the album we have the almost Black Metal of Black Hands, the most obscure of all tracks (especially its riffs) where even the vocal parts are more inclined to Black Metal, with a cleaner guitar solo amidst all destruction to give more balance to the song; and the sheer brutality of the riffs and bass lines in Mizmar, another song that strengthens the connections Lelahell has with their homeland, as “Mizmar is also a term used for a group of musicians, usually a duo or trio, that play a mizmar (flute) instrument along with an accompaniment of one or two double-sided bass drums, known in Arabic as tabl baladi or simply tabl.”
The interesting cover artwork by Kaamos Illustration, who has already worked with bands such as Hypocrisy and Pain, also has lots of elements from the Algerian culture, including the stylish band’s logo, showcasing once again how the guys from Lelahell are true to their roots. Al Insane… The (Re)Birth Of Abderrahmane, available at the official Horror Pain Gore Death Productions webshop and BandCamp page, is more than just Death Metal: it’s good music with content, something so difficult to find even in heavy music these days.
Best moments of the album: Al Intissar, Hillal and Black Hands.
Worst moments of the album: Voices Revealed.
Released in 2014 Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
1. Mazaghran (Intro) 0:19
2. Al Intissar 5:11
3. Voices Revealed 4:00
4. Kalimet Essir 5:00
5. Hypnose 5:43
6. Imzad 0:48
7. Am I In Hell? 4:45
8. Hillal 5:27
9. Black Hands 4:48
10. Mizmar 4:58
Lelahel – guitars, vocals
Nihil – bass
Slaveblaster – drums