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Litham - "Dhal Ennar"
Lelahel Metal production 1999

The recording in question is the first EVER Algerian metal release. And a strong release it is. Litham are a group of experienced musicians and long - time metallers with more than a single influence behind their music. Couple that with considerable technical skill and a decent sense of creativity and you get some of the most original tunes I've heard.

The style of this record can't be clearly defined, as it combines so many approaches. It is on one hand quite atmospheric - mainly due to the (very natural and well integrated) oriental elements in the music - but then again, very technical and in some other parts, quite raw and brutal. It should appeal to death and thrash metal fans the most, as there is a raw thrash / death presence overall - especially in the rhythm and vocal areas, but it should also catch the attention of quite a few heavy and prog fans. The soloing is really good and the passages, as well as the complexity of the music are of a surprising quality. Due to the complex approaches coupled with the death grunts and a raw edge some parallels to Atheist could be drawn. Still, other parts of this recording are sheer heavy metal madness in the old vein. But the main thing is, the styles are perfectly moulded into a single, full - bodied musical creation which gets you at the very first listening and keeps you hooked for hours. And you can always find something new in Dhal Ennar.

I'd also like to say a thing about the underlying oriental feeling in the music. It is 100% organic and doesn't sound like a "musical seasoning". It adds the atmosphere and depth as well as an intense feeling of mystery. Actually, it's the very thing that should most appeal to those, who tend to like the more ambiental / atmospherical approach to metal - especially the doom and gothic fans. Thanks to a decent production, the sound is compact yet deep enough for each part of the music to shine through.

All in all, this recording is a real treat. It has something for any metalhead out there and is unlike anything heard before. A classic in its own time. Many bands could only hope for such a strong first release. The stars of the desert night spell a bright and glorious future for Litham.

Avtor:   Jaša

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