TAGAT — Ourar n Itran (review)

TAGAT — Ourar n Itran album cover EP · 2014 · Pagan Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2.5/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
Black metal coming from the African continent is quite rare but even stranger is when it comes from a predominantly Islamic nation like Morocco which is where this band TAGAT emerges from. Having formed in the southern city of Agadir, this duo of Ulzasen and Oshen conjure up a veritable maelstrom of black metal fury with a dash of local Amazigh folk flavors.

The Amazigh better known as the Berbers exist in many of the northern African nations and are considered the native peoples of many of the Arab speaking nations. TAGAT formed all the way back in 2002 and existed until 2017 but in that lengthy time only managed to record and release this sole EP titled OURAR N ITRAN which is a mere three songs that only clocks in at 13 minutes and 25 seconds.

The short EP begins with ethnic flavors of a women’s chorus sprinkling tones that contrast with the black metal fury that follows. Black metal hybridizes quite well with many local folk flavors with bands like Romania’s Negura Bunget taking their style of Romanian folkened black metal all the way to the international scene however TAGAT wasn’t quite that accomplished.

The main problem with OURAR N ITRAN is that the folk elements are simple intros and outros of the three songs and the black metal is typical second wave in the vein of Darkthrone and other early pioneers from the Norwegian scene. Neither of the other two tracks really develop into anything unique and daring but the juxtaposition of the Amazigh elements including the history and mythology of the region in the lyrics offers a glimpse into a promising style that could blossom but to date TAGAT has still not released any new product.

This is certainly not a bad EP but with only three songs feels like a preview for an album that never came to be. The Berber peoples constitute a variety of rich cultural heritage and the possibilities of mixing their folk music with extreme metal seems promising but for this little EP it didn’t quite happen. What’s frustrating about this one is that i know that it could be done much better. Good but not essential by any means.
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