Album Reviews

Ayat – Six Years of Dormant Hatred (2008)

  • Review by: AJ

I root for this genre – Black Metal. It is unmistakably the most extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It carries a very unconventional song structure complemented by fast tempos, highly distorted guitars, shrieked vocals, tremolo picking and double-kick drumming. But, for this review I shall mainly highlight the lyrical subtext as it forms the most vital category for this genre.

If you want to play for this genre, you need to be hated by the “ideal society” by expressing inconsiderate hostility towards it. And, considering its origin to be in the West, bands managed to do so by being misanthropic and Anti-Christian in their ideologies. Thus, this is referred to as an underground genre or form of music. So, their bands could be referred to as an underground one.

Irrespective of the origin, a band that plays black metal needs to adapt it as their lifestyle and not alone as a form of music. To name a few lyrical elements; opposition to religion – Atheism and/or Satanism need to be expressed in a dull and depressing manner. In addition, their off-stage attitude needs to be similar too. This genre is very demanding. It urges its band members to cultivate the “F**k you attitude” to every single aspect pertaining to life. Precisely, it is one of the boldest genres.

If you want to turn your day into a bloody massacre overflowing with ugliness, snatch this album as soon as possible. I mean this when I say that this record is ugly (more like f-ugly), deformed and vitriolic in every way. The vocals range from absurd sounds like vomiting to insane screeches to sandpapered evil screams. The punk influence in the music via the guitar and bass draw a fine line between catchiness and depravity.

I am amazed by the boldness or I would rather use the word audacity of this “Muslim” band heading from Lebanon. Yes, you read that right. A Muslim band mouthing Anti-Muslim ideologies that hail from Lebanon and not France takes time to digest. There are numerous speculations that bands like these create more problems within the nation as they oppose religion. However, as metalheads, it is interpreted differently – freedom of speech. This black metal band excludes the “politically correct” factor and play what they want to. Thus, you must have noticed that the band members only reveal their stage names (refer above). This album is a rebel against religious movements and fundamentalism in the Middle-East.

It takes just one listen to conclude that this band did not bother about stepping onto anyone’s toes while expressing their thoughts. And, this factor makes them stand out from the increasing number of “poser bands” in the genre. They are being rebellious in a region that has never been in peace. Yet, they enforce more fuel into the fire by their anti-religious words. The very fact that a black metal band has come out of one of the most religiously oppressing nations in the world is commendable. Moreover, they have created a niche’ that mainly circled around Christian countries until recently. So, this does make it a good black metal band, doesn’t it?

Not entirely. You see, the extremist thoughts and music are means to attract an audience. But, in their superficial attempt to become famous, I judge, they did not pay much attention to their lyrics. Allow me to share some statistics; 11 bands from Lebanon and Egypt, 5 from Tunisia claim to be black metal bands. But, most of them could not go past demo tapes as they did not entirely fit into the metre. Why? Read on.

It is a misconception spreading rather rapidly that if a band merely put anti-religious lyrics in their songs, they become a black metal band. The expression of the thought plays a crucial role. I have met many budding death and black metal bands that portray such revolting thoughts in a rather “pleasing fashion” as supposed to a “wicked fashion”.  Succinctly, I will not be surprised if anyone found such band’s (including Ayat) lyrics more ridiculous than blasphemous.

Now, this band has managed to portray their hatred against the Lord via their first track that translates to “All Hail Allah the swine”. And, that is good considering the genre they are playing for. Even the eleven and a half minute long second track turns your stomach sick via their lyrics and guitar riffs. But, to a complete contrast, the song closes with utmost guilt; “Is it a sin? Is it a crime? Loving you dear like I do?” Now, lines such as these make the entire track/album/band/genre questionable, doesn’t it? Then, is the name of the band itself that refers to the verses in the Holy Quran. This makes me take a step back from what the band intends to portray. There is absolutely no room for guilt or care for this selfish genre.

Having written that, I must say that if you are looking for a band that is 100% on your face, raw, dirty and filled with hate, then you must not miss this album.  Although, allow me to warn you that shit is not for everyone. Beware!

Highlights of the album: Ilahiya Khinzir!, Fornication And Murder, Misogyny When We Embrace and Necronarcos.