‘Saudi Arabian’ and ‘black metal’ isn’t a juxtaposition you often encounter – and for good reason, given the levels of secrecy the members of Al-Namrood have recorded eight albums under for fear of execution for apostasy. This is BM as protest music: raw, vigorous and produced with bare- bones equipment for whom black metal is literal war. A defiant swagger fuels the clash of Western-influenced extreme metal and traditional Middle Eastern instrumentation on Sahra Yaesa, and the relentless pace of Al Shareef Al Muhan more than compensates for Wala’at’s raw production. It all serves to hammer home the ‘fuck you’ that the record and the band’s very existence represents. Long may they prevail.