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تدنيس > شياطين المساجد > Reviews
تدنيس - شياطين المساجد

Good style and sound but better songs needed - 65%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, April 4th, 2016

Much of this tiny album is taken up with a tribute to Burzum in the form of a cover of "Dunkelheit", the first track from Burzum's famous "Filosofem" album and while the cover is good – it has a wonderful dreamy trance-like psychedelic quality, the atmosphere is very dark and the mood is extremely depressed – I haven't come to review Tadnees' "Satans of Mosques" just for this. I'm just curious to see how a band that claims to be from Saudi Arabia and not only says it's anti-Islamic but goes so far as to link Islam with terrorism across the world and advocate for its extinction (for which activity the band members would be arrested, imprisoned and probably even killed in their home country for blasphemy) is able to produce music under what must be very oppressive circumstances. The wonder is that these guys can even record and release a short demo through a label and not in more clandestine ways, as in smuggling out the odd tape or two to whoever asks for a copy. It has occurred to me though that maybe the musicians might be living outside the Kingdom or are able to live in the country in a way where they are insulated from arrest – I don't imagine the Saudi authorities are savvy enough to fix up an elaborate surveillance society that spies on everyone through their smartphones or smart TV sets - to have recorded this demo and got it into the outside world.

The tracks that are really worthy of mention are "Sacrilege of Mosques" and "From Mosque to Dust" which actually have a very strong sound: raw, grinding and sort of steamy, set in a deep cavern, and set off by a horrifically groaning demon's voice. The synth drumming is thin and flippy but it's adequate enough for the booming tremolo guitar tones. The production is better than I expected: the sound is very, very clear and some of the quieter spoken voice recordings are very audible. "Sacrilege …" has a lugubrious air and is dominated by th vocals. "From Mosque to Dust" has a slightly greater variety of music but the variety comes from folk and acoustic music additions and field recordings, and the actual BM continues in speed, structure and gloomy outlook from the previous track. Lyrics to both songs are not exactly deep and reflect wishful apocalyptic fantasy.

While Tadnees' style is good and the singing is strong – there aren't very many BM bands that can boast good and confident vocals, and too many insist on pushing vox into the far background and soaking them in thick reverb – there's not a great deal else to commend the demo on musical grounds alone. At this stage in their career, Tadnees might be a good covers band but to be a musical project with original songs and music requires more than a good style and sound.

Well now... - 70%

Napalm_Satan, June 9th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2011, CD, Black Metal Rituals (CD-R)

Well, this is something unexpected. It is black metal not promoting Satanism or anti-Christianity, but anti-Islam. Coming out of Saudi Arabia of all places, where public performance is strictly banned, let alone performance of such music. The demo is entitled Satans of Mosques. The main instrumentalist is Yousef, and the vocalist is Muhammad.

As far as the music is concerned, it is about typical for a black metal demo. Yousef isn't particularly imaginative at any instrument he uses, in fact repeating himself quite often. For instance, throughout the entirety of 'Sacrilege of Mosques', he uses the same drum beats over and over again, as well as the same riff throughout the whole song. Monotony is broken up only through these audio clips, the largest of which being the intro. They generally seem to be the adhān, the announcer that calls for a prayer in Islam, which is followed by several minutes of anti-Islamic terror in the form of black metal. Still, these songs are extremely primitive, and the 7 minute Burzum tribute proves Yousef's musical talents have a while to go, having several minutes with almost no change ups at all.

But that said; I am being a bit harsh. This is a demo after all, one can't hope for a Hvis lyset tar oss. Also, the main focus of this demo would appear to be atmospherics, and in that regard this demo does very well. Those short audio clips, which would be mere rest stops, instead serve as points of contrast between the artist's perception of Islam's silent expansion, and the unbridled hatred that follows. The production only adds to this. It can be viewed as overly quiet and drenched in reverb, or it can be viewed as cold and distant, as though they are playing straight from hell or alternatively from within a prison cell. Muhammad's vocals are these odd shrieks and croaks, which while I said were horrifying... maybe that is the point. He sounds as though he is a broken and tortured man, either from the repression of his country's interpretation of Islam or his literal torturing from within a prison. It all fits together to deliver the artist's powerful message, and while I don't agree with it, it still works very well.

It depends on how you look at it, really. Objectively, this sucks no question about that. It is very primitive, sounding like it was recorded in a damp cardboard box by people whose heads were in cardboard boxes. However, allow the music to sink in. Close your eyes, and clear your mind of all thoughts. Focus only on the vocals. Let it all sink in, and this becomes quite a piece of work.