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From the Persian Vastland - 68%

Fulgurius, December 10th, 2011

More and more black metal bands emerge from Iran in recent years, and here is the debut effort of a new band from Tehran called From the Vastland that was released by the joined forces of Ukrainian labels Arx Productions and A5 Production. Living in such a conservative country, Sina, the sole member of From the Vastland, chose not to adhere to radical antireligious views prevailing in black metal community, but instead decided to focus upon the historical past of his land, taking rather neutral position in describing in his lyrics the eternal battle of good and evil, light and darkness from a perspective of Zoroastrianism and Iranian mythology.

Speaking about the music, apart from certain epic feel in some of the songs, Sina hasn't succeeded in capturing and reproducing that special Middle-Eastern atmosphere that can be found, for example, in the works of Al-Namrood from Saudi Arabia, which may be a bit disappointing for the listeners who expect to find some exotics here. Yet, I have to admit, From the Vastland doesn't suffer from that blurry bedroom sound that is characteristic of most of the Iranian projects, and this band can be cited along the lines of such Sina's compatriots as Sorg Innkallelse or Ekove Efrits, but, alas, there's nothing essentially new or remarkable here, so this album will not be met with much praise like the works of the aforementioned bands were met five or six years ago. In a certain sense, From the Vastland was born too late. Still, the sound on this album is decent despite the obvious home recording and not so successful samples in the intros and outros to some of the songs. Stylistically, the music can be described as fast and epic black metal with a lot of melodic parts and some keyboards here and there. The riffs were composed and put together competently, and there are even some catchy moments, yet the album lacks certain inspirational spark.

This album is quite good as for the Iranian scene, but on the world scale it can hardly compete with numerous bands in the genre. It can be recommended only to those who are interested in Iranian/Middle-Eastern black metal.