It is hard for me to review this album by Lebanese BM bods Ayat objectively. A lot is made online of the threat that these guys live under due to their anti religious , anti conformist stance. As far as I was concerned Lebanon is a moderate country far removed from more oppressive states, but then when I was 14 I thought wearing an upside down cross earring and blue eye shadow to Scout church parade in North London was edgy. Apparently previous albums had to be smuggled out of Beirut due to the blasphemous anti Islamic titles. I cannot comment on how much is hyperbole or not. Growing up in the affluent West our rebellion comes at little cost especially in the Metal world. “Jesus is a Cunt” is one thing but messing with the A fella is a different ball game.
“Carry on, Carrion” has been in the pipeline for 7 years and is the band’s first full length release, mainstays Reverend Filthy Fuck and Mullah Scapegoat having recruited various musicians for EP and singles releases in the past.
“Carry on, Carrion “ is a fusion of Carpathian Forest tongue in cheek punky black metal with some industrial leanings. It is hard not to give a blasphemous grin to a title such as “ Every time a child say’s I don’t believe in Allah a little Allah dies” but it is nothing that Marduk and especially Seth Putnam have not done years before so comes off as juvenile – even if the possible repercussions are perhaps more dire.
The music however, when taken away from the controversy is worthwhile. It is fast paced punk spike wrist band wearing BM that lovers of more raucous guttural BM will lap up like black milk from Baphomet’s teat. Opener “Raw War (Beirut unveils her pussy once more) is a mess of punk rock drumming and razor riffs with smatterings of digital buzzing and blastbeats. Great fun!
The aforementioned “Every time…” is, unfortunately a case of great title shame about the song. It is overlong and loses itself in a Cradle of Filth parody. “I think I killed her” and “Aisha” bring back the punch then a bizarre reworking of a classic scene from Casablanca ushers in “Fever in Tangiers, or To William” which is a strange little ditty. Eerie choirs that sound like they should be in an Armenian Orthodox Church sit with Arab influenced guitars and industrial riffs. Mesmerising 8 minutes.
“Closure is Boring” is a crusty anthem that would sound great reverberating round a squat gig in Berlin. Less dog on a rope but still as furious “The pig who had miraculously been spared decomposition” serves up some Middle Eastern flavour that must represent Ayats birthplace. It reminds me of System of A Down throwing down with Nailbomb.
The next 16 minutes are taken up by the two parts of “Jerusalem”. The first being various samples from TV news and vox pops from both sides of the Israel / Palestine conflict. The second part being Ayat’s response via an epic black metal beast reminiscent of early Cradle.
Album closer “The fine art of arrogance Part II” is the shortest song on the album and the brevity is bliss! The four minutes packs a punch that the more weighty numbers on here lack.
Ayat offer a good take on crusty black metal with a Middle Eastern flavour. Some of the fat could do with being trimmed off the middle to keep the pace up. The fact they have little or no internet presence will certainly appeal to the Kvlt and troo brigade – and why not.
Great fun in parts but a little too unwieldy. Like a giant jawbreaker.
(6.5/10 Matt Mason)