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I Saw The Light In Turkish Metal

Written by David, September 2003

ave you ever walked into a record store, over to the nice price-corner and dully looked through the covers of CDs that apparently no one wants to buy for full price? I guess so… Have you felt the joy when you suddenly find a cover that looks interesting, looked at the titles of the tracks and found them pleasing, taken out the booklet and found pictures and lyrics that makes you conclude that this might be an old-school metal band you never heard of? Maybe… Have you then heard an inner voice telling you that this is worth a shot and bought the record? Have the first listening completely outdone all your expectations? That is satisfaction!

his way I 'discovered' Pentagram/Mezarkabul from Istanbul a few days ago. Suddenly their latest international release "Unspoken" appeared in front of my metal-detecting eyes. Since I'm attracted to traditional Turkish/Oriental music and (of course) metal, I was curious about how the combination might sound. Well, mystic, mighty and almost magical! With some influences from progressive rock of the 70s, melodic thrash, NWOBHM, old German metal and "the ancient art forms of Anatolia and Mesopotamia" the sound is indeed something unique. Beauty and the beast all in one…

he notion that you still can find and explore excellent music right under your nose that falls right into your preferences inspires you to keep on searching. At the same time it is quite frightening when you draw the conclusion that your record collection never will be complete or even near satisfactory status, no matter how much time and money you spend. Remember that using internet to download music is cheating! I periodically spend hours, days and weeks to discuss, read about and (of course again) listen to music, still there is so much more to explore.

entagram was formed in 1987, but it wasn't until ten years later they got some international recognition with the album "Anatolia" (which is also the name of the Turkish peninsula). Not to confuse them with the American band with the same name they renamed the band Mezarkabul (Turkish/Arabic for "acceptance of death") outside Turkey. Of what I've heard so far I can recommend the tracks "Unspoken", "Lions in a cage", "Pain", "Bir" or the instrumental pieces "For those who died alone" and "Kam". Now lies some work ahead for me to trace and find their other releases, especially "Bir", with Turkish lyrics and apparently only released in Turkey.

y the way, Sertab must be the worthiest winner ever of the Eurovision Song Contest. Turkish music rocks!

David - September 2003