Season of Mist, French independent label for Metal and Rock

Arkan (Oriental Metal)

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Latest news: Wed, Mar 19 2014, ARKAN

Upcoming release: "Sofia"

Release date: Fri, May 23 2014, US Tue, May 27 2014

French / North African act ARKAN’s third album is entitled ‘Sofia’ and will be released on May 23rd (May 27th in North America). Simultaneously with the premiere of opening track “Hayati”, the Oriental Metal band unveiled the cover artwork and track listing of ‘Sofia’. See details below:

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  1. Hayati
  2. My Reverence
  3. March of Sorrow
  4. Leaving Us
  5. Soiled Dreams
  6. Deafening Silence
  7. Endless Way
  8. Wingless Angel
  9. Beauty Asleep
  10. Scar of Sadness
  11. Cold Night's Dream
  12. Dark Epilogue

You can listen to “Hayati” at the following locations.

Rock Hard (DE)
VS-Webzine (FR)
Rocking (GR)
Rock Hard (IT)
Metal-Exposure (NL)
Eternal-Terror (NO)

‘Sofia’ will be released on Digipak CD and can already be pre-ordered on Season of Mist’s e-shop.

On 'Sofia', ARKAN's trademark whirlwind of Arabic percussion and crushing guitar riffing has audibly matured into a much more melancholic and subtle sound. There are still those magical moments of ancient oriental string instruments, but they blend in more organically than before. The dark warmth of Sarah Layssac's vocals has deservedly gained more room, while Florent Jannier's deep growls now rarely make an appearance in favour of more clean singing. ‘Sofia’ is a deeply heartfelt tribute that reveals more secrets of its detailed textures and meaningful melodies with each new spin. There are treasures to be found by those who listen well and with care...

Biography

Arkan-2011

An Arabian voice talks and suddenly all hell breaks loose: A massive riff slams like a sandstorm straight into the face. In its trembling string-work flows an oriental undercurrent tasting of sharp exotic spices. While tension steadily builds up a moment of tranquillity interrupts the fierce pelting like an oasis with a clear male voice and an acoustic interlude, which offers hospitality and light-hearted relief until the grinding wind returns with a vengeance. Yet unexpectedly appearing as the sudden eye of a storm this song is entering a new stage. Ancient string-instruments and whirling percussion speak of an Arabic ancestry and a seductive female voice tastes like honeycomb in a delicate tea made from fresh mint-leaf. A paradise like this cannot last and those brutal metal-riffs return like a wandering dune crushing everything that stand in its way without mercy. This is "Groans of the Abyss", which mark s the spectacular opening of ARKAN's debut "Hilal". Although the combination of death metal and oriental scales, sounds and melodies has been quite successfully tried before, this album takes the fusion of modern metal and traditional roots in Arabic or Northern African much further than ever before.

In the north of Africa, the greatest hot desert on this planet stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east. The mighty Sahara with its rocky cliffs, fields of boulders and gravel as well as the rarer stretches of sandy dunes rules supreme. Extremes of heat and cold, lack of water as well as fertile lands make the desert an inhospitable place, yet still it has been the home of many tribes and people for thousands of years. The proud Tuareg of Berberian descend clad in black and blue or nomadic Arabic Bedouins have roamed its hostile environment connecting east and west, south and north. Influences from the Orient including its music have also been brought into the Maghreb the "Place of Sunset" meaning a region comprising Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

Ancient ties are also binding the Maghreb to Europe, from the famous Phoenicians traders and their Punic colonies with Rome's rival Carthage at the centre, via the Moorish Caliphate in Spain and to French colonial history in the north of the African continent. Therefore, it comes at no big surprise that a group of young musicians gathered in Paris to musically re-establish this old cultural axis between the North and the South. In May 2005, Foued Moukid the former drummer and percussionist of French Dark Metal avant-garde The Old Dead Tree met with vocalist and guitarist Abder Abdellahoum, who used to play in Dawn of Decline. Both musicians were driven by a shared vision: To amalgamate melodic Death Metal with Oriental traditions, whose roots reach deep down into the ethnic sounds of Algeria and Morocco.

Foued and Abder decided to take a radical change in their musical careers and founded ARKAN. They recruited the guitarists Samir Ramila and Mus Elkamal from the Algerian Death Metal outfit Worth with the added benefit that Mus also plays traditional string instruments like the oûd. In the person of Florent Jannier, a former member of Whisper-X a classical growler was found as well and now ARKAN were ready to unleash their visionary spirit unto the world. As a first sign of the amazing things to come, the self-produced MCD "Burning Flesh" (2006) sees the light of the world. Musically combining violent Death with eastern moods, the title-track offers lyrically a staunch rejection of the madness of suicide bombings. In ARKAN, you will not find any sympathy for terror. In the following months, the band sharpened their skills and style by getting out on stage with many bands including Decapitated, Dagoba, No Return and Hacride.

Having found the right formula to create a new sound from day one, ARKAN were perfecting their style in an astonishingly short period. Within a year oriental instruments like oûd, mandola, derbouka, bendir, cajon or table as well as traditional oriental male and female vocal parts had been carefully integrated into a background of aggressive metal riffs with Arabic moods and atmospheres. ARKAN composed new songs that were full of colourful sounds and shades with subtle exotic atmospheres and dark moods. As this material needed a perfect production, which was keeping the right balance between electric and acoustic instruments the renowned Studio Fredman was chosen to record "Hilal" in spring 2008 with Fredrik Nordström (In Flames, Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy, Septicflesh) behind the mixing desk. Jacob Hansen (Hatesphere, Volbeat) performed the mastering at Hansen Studio, which also contributed to the powerful, clear sound of "Hilal".

With "Hilal" the Sons of the Sahara are taking crushing metal to a new Oriental dimension – be ready for ARKAN!

Line-up

Name Instrument
Foued Moukid drums & percussion
Florent Jannier growls
Samir Remila bass
Mus Elkamal guitars, acoustic guitars, oûd
Sarah Layssac clean vocals

Releases Season of Mist

Som330

Sofia

General information
: Fri, May 23 2014
: Tue, May 27 2014
: Melodic Oriental Metal
: SOM330

Som235

Salam

General information
: Mon, Apr 18 2011
: Oriental Death Metal
: SOM235
: available

Som179

Hilal

General information
: Mon, Jun 16 2008
: Arabic Metal
: SOM179
: available
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