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Al-Namrood
After being floored by Al-Namrood‘s album Estorat Taghoot, I was given the opportunity to shoot some interview questions over to the band thanks to Shaytan Records. Below are the responses from them.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer some questions. How is everything for you and Al-Namrood?

Band:
Going very well and progressive, thanks.

You are the first band Saudi Arabia I’ve had the honor to hear. What is the music world like where you reside? I did not come across many bands when I searched on the internet, is it a scarce musical style, or is there plenty of acts over there?

Band:
In fact there are many metal bands in Saudi Arabia, though, for them to perform live is like a suicide!, the Saudi government have strict regulation for this matter. Needless to say music in specification metal in Saudi Arabia is almost dead, there are no music shops in our town, we usually buy our cds online or if we have to travel abroad, not to mention how we smuggle the cds through borders so all in all it’s not an easy task, which makes extreme metal very challenging to obtain.

With “Estorat Taghoot”, it’s clear the band wanted your Saudi Arabian musical roots to come through on the mix. Was it just natural to write the music for this album the way you did, or was there an extra effort to make sure listeners had that extra atmosphere to it?

Band:
We’ve been raised among Arabic music, so it’s already inside us, however we faced some complication getting the Arabian scale into our music, we have the notes in our minds, we have the structure, but how to interpret them in guitars and keyboard was a rough thing. After some empirical tests we found that the foundation of Black Metal works very fine in combination with Arabian scale. Therefore, we took the appropriate root.

The production on “Estorat Taghoot” felt rather raw aside the first track off the album, which seemed pretty clear. Why did the band use a much more raw approach?

Band:
We wanted to make more impact to the old school black metal, the atmosphere we assert on, the tone which we wanted to deliver to the audience, all has to be as raw as possible, taking in account the theme of the album. Estorat Taghoot was built based on bloodshed historical aspects, which it would be optimally described as harsh rough sound.

Musically, the album feels like there was a good deal of passion put into it. How long did the band take to craft the material for “Estorat Taghoot”, and was there really any special care or perhaps things you did while writing to ensure everything was right in the songs?

Band:
The full preparation of the album took less than a year, we record the music by ourselves, no sound experts involved, we just make sure that our intended atmosphere is manifest in the sound. Simple output.

Are there any tracks on the album that hold a special meaning to you or the band?

Band:
Of course, all the songs of the album hold a remarkable meaning, it’s from Junood Al-Amjaad to Ajal Babel, the sequence of the tracks held the connection between the events, and interconnection between each track embody the main principle of Estorat Taghoot. For our special track in the album, we held a magnified feeling for track three “Estorat Taghoot”.

How about influences? Musical, personal beliefs, or historical to your lands, what were some of the things that really inspired and help drive the creative process to “Estorat Taghoot”?

Band:
The Arabian Peninsula holds a very striking history, it was in actuality the most evil despotic autocratic land, and because of its strong influence this history has extended its root to our present. Our musical influences were driven from the 80’s and early 90’s black metal, we were inspired by the evil atmosphere of the true black metal. Technically we have used the roots of black metal combined it with our oriental scale, enhanced it by pure Arabian atmosphere then produced it in a unique black metal genre interpreted by our language.

Considering all the positive feedback about this recording, has the band put any thought into perhaps doing a music video, or even trying to get the word of Al-Namrood out more instead of lying in wait in the shadows of the underground Black Metal world?

Band:
That has been projected since the creation of the band, in fact we were offered to the mainstream, but the remaining problem of Al-Namrood is the social/religion pressure. Because of the cultural/social aspects, it’s been extremely hard to find members for the band, you would need people who are into black metal, play an instrument and willing to perform in a band, the profile doesn’t fit the environmental situation of Saudi Arabia. The only chance for Al-Namrood to extend is that we leave the country and reside in a place with more openness, and then we might get a chance to establish a suitable lineup or finding opportunities to perform live.

How has the fan reaction been to this recording? Do you have a strong following throughout Saudi Arabia that have embraced Al-Namrood, as well as this album?

Band:
Our fans from all overall the world seem to adore our work, we’ve been supported by many fans, it’s because of them and the label work (Shaytan Productions) the name of Al-Namrood was spread. Regarding Saudi Arabia, we only had few fans, again the reason is environmental.

Estorat Taghoot actually came out back in 2010. Have you or the band begun thinking up material for the next album?

Band:
We already have, however, it’s not officially announced yet, but we can tell you we are in process of preparing the third album of Al-Namrood which will be promissory exploding.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention to the readers I didn’t really get to talk about?

Band:
We would like our fans to be aware of the severe pressure we’re having in Saudi Arabia, it’s not a piece of cake to produce music like black metal in such strict religious society, we know that we’ve missed a lot of the exposure part like video clips, live shows or even photos. The reality is, there is a high risk for our project in our country, a risk that could reach up to judicial execution! Nevertheless, our passion for music is never defeated and we will carry on the blasts of Al-Namrood regardless of any obstacles.

Thank you very much for your time. I hope all goes well with you and the group, and I can’t wait to hear the next album. Take care of yourselves!

Band:
Absolute Hails to all who supported Al-Namrood.

Al-Namrood: Estorat Taghoot
Al-Namrood
Interview conducted thanks to Shaytan Productions.