Blaakyum – Line of Fear

Blaakyum
Line of Fear
Released 25th June 2016
Thrash Metal/Heavy Metal with Middle Eastern folk music influences
Self-Released

Line of Fear’ is the second album from the Lebanese thrash metal band Blaakyum. Originally formed back in the mid 1990s, Blaakyum haven’t had an easy start. Some of the band members have experienced social oppression first hand, for example their singer was arrested twice just for being a fan of heavy metal. They have recently gained more international recognition, winning third place in the Wacken Metal Battle finals in 2015 and playing Tuska Open Air in Finland in June 2016. The hostile and turbulent situation in their home country has had a major influence on the band’s lyrical themes. This particular album is centered around the subject of freedom of thought and artistic expression.

After the initial background research, a question immediately sprung to my mind: Is it actually possible to successfully mix Middle Eastern folk music with thrash metal? Let’s see… In this case the Middle Eastern folk feel is created using a Middle Eastern drum called tabla. So that’s where the “folk” sounds originates from. Apart from that, Blaakyum’s signature sound combines influences of old school thrash metal acts like Slayer and Destruction with groove-thrash metal vibes and even the odd power metal element in one song.

Baal-Adon features an interesting mix of groove metal guitars with squeaky, power metal -style vocals with the profoundly melodic sounds of the tabla. Other standout tracks include the Freedom Denied thanks to the beautifully melodic intro created with just one guitar and the tabla, and the title song which serves as the perfect introduction to Blaakyum demonstrating everything that the band has to offer. Oh, and let’s not forget the angry-sounding, bonus track ‘Riot Against Riot‘ in which the guitars and drums mimic the start and the violent aftermath of a protest – the music matches the story.

Overall, Blaakyum definitely leaves a lasting impression on its listeners. Their chosen style is not an easy one to grasp and this album may take a few listens to get into. Thrash/groove/heavy metal influences aside, what really makes these guys special is their history, lyrical themes and combination of Middle Eastern folk music and metal. So, to answer the opening question; yes, it is possible to mix these two styles successfully.

4/5

Iza Raittila

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