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Motor Militia - "Cloaked In Darkness" (CD)

Motor Militia - "Cloaked In Darkness" CD cover image

"Cloaked In Darkness" track listing:

1. Al Nakba
2. Truth Beyond The Wall
3. March Of The Saracens
4. Through My Dominion
5. Cries Of The Innocent
6. Flames Of Oppression
7. From Damnation

Reviewed by on November 8, 2011

"Motor Militia's 'Cloaked In Darkness' offers thrash anger, combined with thoughtful lyrics, blending Western and Middle Eastern sounds and ideas."

It's a long way from the Bay Area to Bahrain — but you'd never know it based on the thrash Motor Militia serves up on its latest album, "Cloaked In Darkness." The disc blends angry thrash sounds with a distinctively Middle Eastern point of view, lyrically, to create a memorable listening experience.

Hisham Shaker and Ahmed Abualkhair's guitars may be mostly reminiscent of western thrash, but there are moments like a solo in "Al Nakba" that are pure Mideast, creating an interesting fusion of sounds. Moments like the opening riff to "Flames Of Oppresion" and the solo in "Through My Dominion" show great technical ability.

Mahmood Abdulghaffar's vocals are of the guttural growl variety mostly, entirely appropriate to the subject matter and style. Lyrically, the album is quite fascinating, with lyrics ranging from the historical siege of Jerusalem in "March Of The Saracens" to a personal plea to God in "From Damnation," the disc's best, most epic track.

The disc's sole misfire is "Cries Of The Innocent," which has an electronica-laced opening and never really goes anywhere after that (though the solo is admittedly good).

Motor Militia's "Cloaked In Darkness" offers thrash anger, combined with thoughtful lyrics, blending Western and Middle Eastern sounds and ideas.

Highs: "From Damnation," "March Of The Saracens" and "Flames Of Oppression"

Lows: "Cries Of The Innocent"

Bottom line: A winner from one of the Mideast's top metal acts.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)