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Salqiu - خ​م​ا​س​ي​ن ا​ل​و​ب​ا​ء review




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Reviewer:
7.5

9 users:
7.56
Band: Salqiu
Album: خ​م​ا​س​ي​ن ا​ل​و​ب​ا​ء
Release date: November 2022


01. الموت (Death)
02. صحارى ميراج (Sahara Mirage)
03. مرثية (An Elegy)
04. Kapadokya
05. ترجمة الرغبات (The Translation Of Desires)


The Salqiu project released its first music with the full-length debut To Whom It Serves The Triumphant Destiny in 2016; come the end of 2022, and they’ve recently dropped full-length album number 10, with a few EPs scattered in between. While not quite King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard levels of productivity, it’s still an awfully high rate of output, so one is perhaps unlikely to be surprised to discover that this is a one-man black metal band. Still, this release has something a bit different about it.

The man behind Salqiu, Nuno Lourenço (who has relocated from Portugal to Brazil), is no stranger to experimentation with this project. When looking through the project’s past, one can find Ignóbil, where black metal meets spoken word, and Orfeu, on which one can hear a wide array of non-metal folk and orchestral instruments. 2022 has continued in this vein; Pariah was swiftly followed by its piano-driven ‘evil twin’, The Colossal Weight Of My Illusion..., yet two was not enough. The final (thus far?) offering from Salqiu in 2022 came under the title خماسين الوباء, which is described (as the chosen language for its title might alude to) as Salqiu’s Arabic-themed atmospheric blackened death metal album.

Inspired by travels to Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, Lourenço incorporates Turkish Alaturka guitars, Arabic flutes, Middle Eastern musical influences and poetry from classical Arabic poets into the music and lyrics on خماسين الوباء (which appears to convert to Khamasyn alwba' in the Latin alphabet, although Google didn’t give me much useful in terms of what this translates to). With a concept like this, one can be prone to wondering prior to pressing play whether it’s going to be a comprehensive fusion of sounds across the album, or whether the region-specific musical cues with be confined to certain non-intrusive moments. Overall, خماسين الوباء is closer to the former; this is very much an extreme metal album above all else, but while the two brief interludes are a major chance for those Arabic musical influences to take centre stage, one can also find flutes, folk guitars, folk singing and other sounds appearing at key moments in the main metal tracks.

Clocking in at 18 minutes, centrepiece “مرثية (An Elegy)” takes up over half the album’s runtime, so the experience does really live and die on the effectiveness of this track. It makes the correct first step by managing to make the transition from acoustic atmospheric introduction to vicious full-pelt black/death metal feel somewhat natural. The extreme metal here is fairly uncompromising, with plenty of blasting, hyperspeed (sometimes dissonant) tremolo and ghostly hoarse vocals, all run through a fairly lo-fi production; in contrast, the acoustic instruments come through clearly, and find a natural synergy several minutes into the song when an ominous looped clean guitar motif rings out above a pounding drum beat, both of which are accentuated by simple yet effective flute. The ebb and flow between furious chaos and atmospheric expansion works very nicely to keep listeners engaged throughout this behemoth of a song, and there is some variation in tone; later on, the clanging drums, windswept shrieks and rapidly strumming guitars embrace a touch of levity, allowing a dreamy lightness to elevate the tone.

“مرثية (An Elegy)” really defines the record, so however much mileage you get out of it will reflect your experience with the whole album. Nevertheless, the two other metal songs, which combined don’t threaten its runtime, are broadly in line stylistically. “الموت (Death)” shifts between lighter and more extreme sounds, allowing the Arabic musical influences to both stand out on the periphery of and also accompany the extreme metal, which fluidly shifts between more black- and death-oriented approaches, and “ترجمة الرغبات (The Translation Of Desires)” is much the same, although it manages to push both the depths of Salqiu’s extremity and also the heights of its melody.

My first real taste of Salqiu’s music, خماسين الوباء has been a fascinating introduction, even if its unique thematic approach means that it’s not entirely representative of the project’s whole oeuvre. Given the frequency of their releases, I’m sure I’ll get an opportunity soon to put that to the test, but if anyone else unfamiliar with Salqiu is intrigued and looking for a way in, I can recommend خماسين الوباء from my own experience.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 7





Written on 21.12.2022 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 188 users
21.12.2022 - 22:20
Rating: 8
musclassia

Given the amount of time it took to add this project (along with all its albums and guest musicians) to the database, I hope at least someone discovers and enjoys this record as a result of this review lol
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21.12.2022 - 23:21
Rating: 8
Karlabos
Meat and Potatos
Yay! Salqiu is here!

I love this project
It's like if Pan. Thy. Monium was black metal instead of death
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Growing up is the worst. I hope I never do it.
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21.12.2022 - 23:57
Rating: 8
musclassia

Written by Karlabos on 21.12.2022 at 23:21

Yay! Salqiu is here!

I love this project
It's like if Pan. Thy. Monium was black metal instead of death


I think I have you to thank for finding this actually, with your shoutout in the 2022 New Album Recs thread
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22.12.2022 - 06:17
Rating: 9
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
It was fully worth the trouble, I'd say - the sounds in this album are very interesting, far more so than any of the labels would suggest. The orchestrations pack an almost industrial punch, and the whirring drones and weird shifts into atmospheric folk remind me a lot of Thy Catafalque (or maybe Caio Lemos's projects, if we're talking Brazil). And when it slows, it's just strange: groaning and mystical but still heavy and battering. Even with black metal bands coming out of the Middle East or incorporating its musical influences, there still aren't too many projects that do it quite like this. This is definitely one of the most unique and engaging black metal albums I've listened to this year, so thank you for your sacrifice.
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"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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22.12.2022 - 12:18
Salqiu

THANK YOU FOR THIS!
Been a visitor/user of Metal Storm for over a decade (I think), so to finally see one of my projects here, and read words like those written, feels awesome, I know Kariabos had referenced Salqiu in teh past, but now it seems it has actually been added to the database. Feels good. Again, thank you!

And, even if feeling a bit pushy by stating this, I invite you all to take a listen to some of my other projects, such as 0-NUN, Thermohaline, Não Houve Amanhecer and Ratos Psíquicos :-)
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22.12.2022 - 12:23
Rating: 8
musclassia

Written by Salqiu on 22.12.2022 at 12:18

THANK YOU FOR THIS!
Been a visitor/user of Metal Storm for over a decade (I think), so to finally see one of my projects here, and read words like those written, feels awesome, I know Kariabos had referenced Salqiu in teh past, but now it seems it has actually been added to the database. Feels good. Again, thank you!


Thanks for commenting! Glad you appreciated the review - this was my first taste of your project's music, and it was a very positive one, nice work man!
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22.12.2022 - 13:23
nikarg
Mod
Written by musclassia on 21.12.2022 at 22:20

Given the amount of time it took to add this project (along with all its albums and guest musicians) to the database, I hope at least someone discovers and enjoys this record as a result of this review lol

I did, so thanks!

I also subsequently discovered that Nuno Lourenço, aka Salqiu, is the artist that did the last couple covers of Dauðaró's releases (the demo especially is absolutely stunning).
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22.12.2022 - 13:50
Salqiu

Written by nikarg on 22.12.2022 at 13:23


I also subsequently discovered that Nuno Lourenço, aka Salqiu, is the artist that did the last couple covers of Dauðaró's releases (the demo especially is absolutely stunning).


I have a FB page with over 500 images that I gladly offer to any artist who wants to have differenciated art on their releases or shirts. I do not charge for the "art" and the only thing I have been requesting is that, shall an artist requested an image or set of images to be used used, the band credits me for the art and offers me a copy of the digital release and/or shirt. It's my way to contribute to the community.
At least a couple of shirts and 2 physical cds are already on the line to be released with my "art", but I really want to help the artists like me, who cannot afford professional art.
If anyone is interested, the page is here: https://www.facebook.com/PreposterousArtForTheDifferenciated/

The person behind Daudaró is a close friend, and it may well happen that most his next releases will have art offered by me...including some surprising releases that it is not up to me to reveal.

All I promise is that the "art" is different and most times completely away from teh clichés of any genre :-)

And by the way, thank you!
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23.12.2022 - 10:35
Callisto

Once again, thanks for making me discover new and exciting bands. That's why MS rules.
BTW congrats Salqiu, on both the art and the music!
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23.12.2022 - 20:57
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I know Omar Khayyam
I am more impresst whit this review as actual music. But then its not bad. I like Shakti with John Mclaughlin, Arabic folk instruments can be OK, But then I admire non nagiv born what wants and can learn Arabic alphabet
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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03.01.2023 - 12:36
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
I'm generally reticent towards very very prolific musicians, but I'm always welcoming to ones that use that kind of release schedule to dive into musical concepts. It's my first encounter with Salqiu, and that's a pretty interesting mix of folk instrumentation on this one.
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Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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08.01.2023 - 02:45
Netzach
Planewalker
This is a very good album, but the muddled production bothers me.
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"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
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