The separation between countries and different cultures couldn’t be more diverse and struggling as much as it does in today’s generation. True, we might welcome people of different races, backgrounds and that speak different languages but we as Americans, mainly Caucasians, never really dig deep into the culture that the media tells us to “fear”. Growing up in a small town in the south of America where even though people never speak it, behind each set of eyes is a racist thought that should never of been even brewed up in his or her mind, I learned quickly that I couldn’t be like the people around me. I was on a journey, a journey to explore the world of other cultures and different living styles, no matter what it might be. The middle east, which I recently got into because of Miss Sarah Elgindy, was a surprise to me but only because I had no idea what I was getting myself into. What I got myself into was Iranian black metal with a huge influence of Persian sounds that captivated my soul very quickly.
As I prepare to travel across the deserts of Iran on my Arabian horse, I switch on the soundtrack that will help me battle anything wicked and unrighteous. The soundtrack that’s giving my ears the shakes from orgasming is Aras’ 2009 EP entitled “Gharive Dard” and with only three tracks on this sleeper of a record, it’s enough to get me through the heat and overbearing sense that I could be drowning in my own blood by the end of the day. Starting my adventure, as the sun beats down on my weak yet encouraged body, the title track “Gharive Dard”, really does get my juices flowing and so much that at a certain section of the record, I actually closed my eyes and pictured massive landscapes that I was about to overcome, just me and my Arabian horse. “Gharive Dard” delivers power and raw power at that, with it’s orchestra feel of horns that could blow clouds away with just one push of air from Lord Aras’ lungs and murky drums that show no sign of weakness or slowing down, I begin to feel that I can trample over dead bodies with ease and no regret as to what I just did to that strangers head with the feet of my horse. The opening track really does make you feel empowered and worthy to do anything you wish to do, so if that may be fighting the evil powers that be, so be it and good luck with those battles because this records has the power of protection.
It’s a real relief that even though this record doesn’t have screaming distorted guitars, howling vocals and extremely fast drum sections, I still get the vibes and atmosphere of pure black metal. Some people might say that you need those things to be “real black metal” but to me, black metal is all about the attitude and even though I do agree, you do need all the things mentioned above in most cases, this is one of the times it’s different. This record has shown me that you don’t have to play a certain style of music and hit certain chords to be a specific genre. What this record has shown me is that you can be as deep as you want into the culture you were raised in and still make real black metal without any blasting or fast paced sections. “Gharive Dard” has also shown me that Iran and the Middle East in general, those people are creating things that nobody else is. Any record that really does stay at home and very close to it’s roots deserves to be spotlighted and blasted around the world.
“Gharive Dard” is battle music, it’s music for the people and even though it’s an instrumental record, it’s music that you can listen to while doing anything you wish. It’s comforting yet haunting but not so much that it’s going to freak you out and make you look over your shoulder to see some someone creepy old man in a clown mask is stalking you. “Maghame Jelo Shahi”, the third and final track on this record, is probably the most honest, heart-filled track I’ve heard in a very long time. It’s just Lord Aras, his guitar and from the sounds of it, an empty room with nothing on the walls. It’s traditional Persian music with tons of heart and more magical moments then most “classic” records combined have. Aras is real, Lord Aras is real and “Gharive Dard” is very real so if you think Iran or Persian music doesn’t have a place somewhere, you might want to rethink what your brain just feed you because this record alone will stand the test of time, just watch.
Listen to “Khorooshe Sabz (Green Roar)” below: