SLAYER Guitarist, Jeff Hanneman, Passes Away

At the Age of 49

NIGHTWISH To Perform In Beirut

At Byblos Film Festival

Interview With Hadi Sarieddine

From Benevolent.

Interview With KAREEM CHEHAYEB

(VOICE OF THE SOUL)

LARS ULRICH Offers Update

On METALLICA's Next Album

EPICA To Perform At DUBAI ROCK FEST 2013

June 7th

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INTERVIEW WITH FADI AL SHAMI (ARAMAIC)




Aramaic, despite being a relatively new band to come out of Dubai, have managed to develop an ever-growing fan base for their interesting brand of death-doom metal. After releasing their debut EP, The Fallen, the band have put out a new video for The King, and are anticipating opening up for Vader at Metal East Fest organized by JoScene and Metal East Records. Contributor Habib and Editor-in-Chief Kareem C had a chat with Aramaic's guitarist Fadi Al Shami:

You guys are opening for Vader at Metal East Fest on March 6! How excited are you?

Fadi: We are pretty fascinated by the fact that we are sharing the stage one of our idols, as much as sharing the stage with the rest of the bands as Benevolent, Voice of the Soul & Verdict.

Aramaic is a relatively new band to come out of the UAE. How did you guys come together?

The band started of when Michael and I got some jamming sessions together to find not so long after that we shared the same passion to write and compose what  comes later as the idea of Aramaic, the Middle Eastern band that rotates around the roots cultures and civilisation of the ancient arameans where all the band members descend from.

In your last show, you opened up for Indian metal mammoths Demonic Resurrection. Tell us about the show- it wasn’t at The Music Room.
All we can say that the show was a complete success audience, performance and energy wise, Aramaic & Demonic Resurrection gave all what they have on that stage  that night, the crowd was more than amazing, we saw some mosh pits going  around, and in such a  small place it was just a pleasure seeing the horns going up for  both bands.
Talking about a show not in the Music Room, we believe no matter where and what the venue is a band shall always give 200% for the fans who came from wherever  they to show their support.

Click here to RSVP

There’s a huge theme of Levantine and Mesopotamian mythology in your music. Tell us more about your musical (both Western and otherwise) and lyrical influences.

Aramaic is a self-explanatory name striking and new if we can say, as we know alot of the metal bands have addressed a lot of ancient civilisation which tend to a road  end when it comes to, Viking, Roman, Babylonian, Egyptian etc. yet no one had came  near the ancient aramean civilization whther its pre or post Christianity, with its beliefs, habits, wars, and Gods. Although some of the gods name like Nergal Shamesh has been mentioned exclusively in the polish metal scene precisely by  Behemoth & Hate.
Our lyrics are a reflection and merge between the old historical battles and stories  told by the ancient arameans especially the ones that are close to our recent times, you can read a story if you wanna know what the arameans went through our u can read between the lines to understand a present struggle in our world nowadays.

The band’s debut EP, The Fallen, has been well-received. We’ve already heard The King as we anticipate the next release. Can we expect any differences between the two releases or do you see them as continuous?

The first EP, was a huge step we have taken towards sharing our music and thoughts with the metal scene locally and internationally, so much effort was put into it trying  to come up with something unique that the others have'nt yet thought of, in the end  all the band members are from Arabic origins and you can see where all the Arabic tunes came from not to forget the main influences from the western metal bands like Swallow the Sun, Opeth, Behemoth etc. the part that kept the heaviness and the  crushing sound throughout the songs.  That effort  from all the band members  supported by the genius Hadi Sarieddine (Benevolent) who helped shape the  spirit of this album at Haven Studio. The Fallen is but a first step to whats coming  next we are cooking some huge ideas for the new upcoming album.

You guys recently put out a video for “The King”. Tell us more about the video and the song.

A waging war between SENNACHERIB, the King of Assyria, and HEZEKIAH "The Lord of the Land of Judah" a story thats inspired us writing "THE KING". The video was  filmed and produced by CTG Productions at The Sound Of Thunder Gig that took place in Dubai with Demonic Resurrection.

Can you tell us more about your on-stage costumes/clothing?

The theme of the band and its connection with the history was an opened door to come up with a sort of an outfit measured by wearing the old Arabic pants (sherwal) which was the farmers costumes back in the days in addition to the slight eyeliner  that Arab men used as well. Each band presents it's self in a certain image and we choose what suits the band's cultures combined with the Death Doom metal imagery.

Any pre-show rituals you’d like to share with us?
Band gathering with alot of alcohol and positive energy.

How would you best translate “ya leili ya ‘ayni” in English? You cant’ say “my night, my eye”?

The Night has always been that part which people sit back meditate dream think imagine and lay back roaming around every corner of this universe which we think its a flattering moment for the eye and the minds eye to be astonished but the beauty of it. That was Hard to explain!

Any last words for the readers of Metality?
Keep It Real Keep It Metal!

Stay connected with Aramaic

INTERVIEW WITH MUHAMMAD JABER (VERDICT)



Here's a new metal band fresh out of Dubai, with a couple of familiar faces. Founded by drummer Muhammad Jaber (Chalice of Doom) and  guitarist Monish Shringi (Voice of the Soul), Verdict has one hell of a debut show: opening up for Vader at Metal East Fest on March 6th. Metality writer Habib had a chat with Muhammad about Verdict, comparing Jordan's scene with Dubai's, and what we can expect from the band in the near future.

Habib: Verdict is a new band from Dubai. How did you guys come together?

Muhammad Jaber: 

First of all I would like to thank the team of Metality for the support, it means a lot for us.

 It started in the late of 2014 when I spoke to Monish the guitarist of the Lebanon-Dubai band Voice of The Soul about starting a new project together , later on we got together with talented musicians which they are Ahmad Gameel on guitar and Sabtain Sharif on bass guitar, which eventually led to writing originals and starting a new project titled “Verdict”. 



What are your musical influences?

Musical influences would be many from oriental scales to uprising grooves. We have a quite diverse musical impact, since mostly each member brings something different to the table along with different influences and ideas.



How would you describe a song by Verdict?
Since all the members are influenced differently, music wise as well as lyric wise a typical verdict song can go in any direction. It can have djent, technical riffs or folk oriented patterns as the diversity is quite vast which opens gates to new sounds.


You have played in Jordan before with Chalice of Doom and you’ve experienced the scene there. How does the scene in the UAE differ from that in Jordan?

 

Chalice of Doom is one of the bands that I will always be proud to be a part of it, as its the same thing for the Jordanian scene which is a lot different than the scene in UAE 

in UAE the opportunities for the musicians is unlimited where they can start their own projects without having that idea that they might go to jail for playing their kind of Metal music, plus the fans of metal music in UAE have the choice to attend 1 to 2 gigs every month unlike in Jordan which it is difficult for us to make Metal concerts in Jordan because our society has this wrong idea about Metal music in general which makes it harder for the musicians in Jordan to make their own projects. I hope that will change someday.


Metal East Fest is organized by JoScene and Metal East Records
Are we going to hear your original material in your debut show at Metal East Fest (headlined by Vader) next month? 

Definitely, we are going to play 4 original songs to play for in Metal East Fest next month along with 1 cover.



Any hints on when we can expect some original material online for us to hear?


All I can say is that we are going to start recording after this event .
 

Any last words for Metality's readers?

 
We as musicians and as a band together are trying our best not to stay in a comfort zone, which means we are up to challenge ourselves in beating our own expectations. We are extremely excited to play and show what we have prepared to everyone to hear. 



Stay connected with Verdict:
 

INTERVIEW WITH OMAR ZAINAL (SMOULDERING IN FORGOTTEN)




You’re playing at Resurrection Dubai in March. It’s been a while since your last show. How do shows in Dubai differ from those in Bahrain?

Yeah it's been a while. Last time we played in Dubai was along with Melechesh and Nothnegal.
Shows in Dubai are usually the same as Bahrain. It's the same atmosphere with the same type of music. The crowd interaction might be a little weaker compared to Bahrain but it is more or less the same.

You guys are working on your new album: what can the fans expect? Will there be any major differences in the sound or style from the previous two albums?

Yes! We are working on our third album. It does sound different from our previous album I, Devourer in terms of how the music tends to progress in a way but still maintains the same SIF signature style. I'll leave that for the fans to decide which might be very soon.

Any news on the release date of the album?

Not yet. It's not that easy to write and gather ideas when you have three out of five members working in shift patterns. But nevertheless, we are aiming towards the end of this year.

What are your lyrical and musical influences?

With this album it's safe to say that there are a lot of death metal influences especially old school death metal and lyrically we are drawing a lot from real life experiences and lots of darker themes.

You’ve been around since 2005. How have things changed in Bahrain’s metal scene since then?

It has changed a lot since 2005. I can proudly say that Bahrain's metal scene has grown bigger and raised its standards through the last 10 years. With the ease of recording and promoting through the Internet, it's much easier for bands to spread their name and music around.

Resurrection Dubai is by Resurrection Events
RSVP Here

 

What are some of your favorite metal bands from the Middle East?
Creative Waste, Scarab, Lunacyst, Motor Militia, Kaoteon, Deathless Anguish, Perversion.

What do you think is the most difficult aspect of being an extreme metal band in this region?
The problems we face are most probably finding shows on a regular basis. Unlike Dubai, it's kind of difficult to organize a metal show in Bahrain because of the lack of venues that would accept that kind of event and the strict rules against metal.

Which other bands are you looking forward to hearing at Resurrection Dubai?
 
All of them really. We've heard some of Devoid's songs and those guys seem pretty tight. We heard some good stuff from people who have seen them performing.

Any words of advice for people who want to start a band in the region?
Just play music you truly love and not  do something you're not enjoying
Because in the end metal is about expression and release, so don't worry about making it big
Because being successful in  music is just playing music. Always get involved and support your peers and help the metal community thrive in this region because we have some amazing musicians and people with amazing talents and need a chance to be part of this .

Is there anything you would like to add for Metality's readers?
 
Come down and check us out and the rest of the bands destroy the stage and support your local scene. You don't want to miss this event!
Stay connected with Smouldering in Forgotten

UAE NEWCOMERS KAIHON RELEASE DEBUT SINGLE "PATHOLOGICAL"



Here's a new band to make its way from the UAE. Kaihon consists of guitarists Bam Farra (Apeira, Voice of the Soul) and Jude Mascarenhas, as well as vocalist Lalit Mehta who sang in India-based electro-metal band Frequency. They put out a lyric video for their single Pathological out on Rolling Stone India, and it sounds pretty killer. Pathological was mixed and mastered by Keshav Dhar (Skyharbor) at Illusion Studios in India.

Pathological shows tons of influences from modern metal bands, but isn't short of awesome lead guitar work. It's a fast, in-your-face track that we really enjoyed listening to.

While we all anticipate future announcements, check out debut single Pathological below.


TREPALIUM - DAMBALLA'S VOODOO DOLL [REVIEW]

 


Band: Trepalium
Album: Damballa's Voodoo Doll
Genre: Groove Progressive Death Metal
Country: France
Release Date: February 9th 2015
Label:  Klonosphere/Season of Mist
Reviewer: Ziad Gadou
France is no stranger to the world of metal innovation. From Gojira and Nightmare to Alcest and Loudblast, France has spared nothing in its grandiose range of artists. The Poitou-Charentes’ “Trepalium” provide an explosive, relatable take on the 1930’s boogie feel of swing jazz.  Two installments and almost a hundred shows instilled this band in the underground extreme French metal scene. They have opened for numerous international festivals and played alongside bands like Aborted, Behemoth, Malevolent creation and Krisiun. 

Trepalium’s fifth installment, Damballa's Voodoo Doll is nothing short of class. “Moonshine Limbo” is a margin-defining track to the band’s direction of sound in the album. The dynamic groovy introduction riff will have your head banging and fingers snapping instantaneously. As the growls escalate in pitch and the riffs converge to a darker tone, “Damballa’s Voodoo Doll” takes you through an angry road filled with poly-rhythmic mishaps. “Blowjob on the Rocks” is easily the greatest title for a song I have ever come across. Every track lays down its story and prepares you for the next track with an unparalleled elegance. 

If I could sum up this album it would be in this question.
Have you ever wondered how Pantera would sound like if they played progressive jazz and had Randy Blythe as their vocalist? Fear no more, Trepalium has arrived to answer that very question.
Don’t let the tuxedoes and the saxophones confuse your basic metal instincts. These bad boys will rock your top hat off, probably your mustache too.  

8.5/10

Listen to Moonshine Limbo: 
 

DIVINE DISORDER - GARDEN OF DYSTOPIA REVIEW



Album: Garden of Dystopia
Band: Divine Disorder
Release Date: November 3rd, 2014
Label: Inazuma Productions
Reviewer: Habib Tabaja

Powerful, heavy, melodic, and spun with an air of dark intrigue and fantasy, the debut album “Garden of Dystopia” by Kuwait-based band Divine Disorder is a killer album.  Metal fans who lived in Kuwait will recognize a few of them  played for disbanded industrial metal band Positive Poison (Ed's note: major throwback). Featuring a wide array of guest musicians, the album pushes the envelope even further for metal in the Middle East. The album was mixed by Jens Bogren of Fascination Street Studios and was mastered by Brett Caldas-Lima of Tower Studio. Suffocation’s Kevin Talley plays the drums on this album. 

The opening track “Pandora’s Codex” opens with beautiful violins and choir vocals which build up to a heavy start with torrential drums, and an awesome guitar solo by Christofer Malmstrom of Darkane. Clean vocals by George Eliassen are also featured on this track. The following song “Children of Menace” is of even a heavier caliber as it boasts a Death Metal-style opening complete with heavy riffs and drumming, paired with cool synths and epic choir vocals. Karl Sanders of Nile lays down a brilliant solo in the second half of it, and it is a song worth headbanging to, even as it slows down towards its end.  

Another track worthy of note is “The Arcanist”, an even more dystopian and melodic track full of malefice, which has two brilliant guitar solos, the first by the late Shane Gibson (Korn) and the second by Karl Sanders. The drums on this track are particularly wonderful, and its ending is quit eerie. If there is one track with a memorable opening riff on this album, it would be “The Puppeteer”. Another powerful song with an emphasis on drumming, riffs, and growls, and also has clean vocals by Norwegian musician Dan-Elias Brevig
The 8th song on the album, “Animus” has some killer vocals, synth, and guitars, and features a guitar solo by Achokarlos  and the input of a cool instrument called the Theremin, operated by Kip RosserErez Yohanan also does Sound FX on this track. The 11th and final track “Rusted Libra” is the lengthiest on the album, playing out over 9 minutes of the sound that defines Divine Disorder’s Orchestral Death Metal style and approach to music. It features the clean vocals of Egan O’Rourke (Daylight Dies) and Dan-Elias Brevig, as well as the narration of Carlos Alvarez. It also has two great guitar solos by Yossi Sassi (Orphaned Land) and Gus Drax, in addition to a Duduk solo by Gevorg Dabaghyan and a violin solo by Elle Torry. It is a beautiful ending to a great album.

On a sad note, Korn guitarist Shane Gibson, who contributed to this album, never got to see it in its fully-produced form before his passing in April 2014. It is a great additon to the list of works that would immortalize him as a talented and brilliant musician.

This 11-track album is definitely a treat for lovers of various genres of metal, from Death Metal to Power Metal. The cover art by Strychneen Studios also fits directly into the album’s lyrical themes. It has great work on the production and getting all these musicians together in what seems to resemble more the work of a supergroup than it does that of a band. Divine Disorder (as well as their guest musicians) have surely outdone themselves and defined a new sound for the region’s emerging metal scene.

8/10
Stay connected with Divine Disorder

RESURRECTION METAL NIGHT IN DUBAI


Bahrain-based Resurrection Events is organizing Resurrection Metal Night for the first time in Dubai. The event will be at the Music Room in the Majestic Hotel Bur Dubai on Friday the 13th of March. The gig will feature several of the region’s various metal and rock bands: Creative Waste (Saudi Arabia), Devoid (India), Stigmata (Sri Lanka), Smouldering in Forgotten (Bahrain), and Maticrust (Philippines).

Hailing from the region’s most underground scene, Creative Waste from Saudi Arabia will bring their grindcore sound to the heart of Dubai. India’s Devoid, who play a blend of Thrash and Death Metal and have recently released a new single from their upcoming album, are sure to bring further musical chaos to the Music Room. Stigmata, one of Sri Lanka’s heavy metal veterans, will also be taking part in this remarkable event. Also, one of the region’s most extreme bands, Smouldering in Forgotten from Bahrain will add their Blackened Death Metal touch to the show. In addition, Filipino grindcore band Maticrust will put out some heavy tunes at the gig.

A truly unique show that features bands from diverse metal genres from all throughout the region will surely be well-liked by the Dubai metal scene. 

For more details, check out their Facebook event page.



NADER SADEK DEBUTS FINAL TRACK FROM NEW EP THE MALEFICE: CHAPTER III



Multi-media US-based Egyptian artist NADER SADEK has debuted the final track from The Malefic: Chapter III, Descent

Nader Sadek had this to say about the song: "Initially for 'Descent'  I had asked Rune Eriksen to write a song that would  be a sequel to " Nigredo in Necromance," a song from our first record, with the exception of a few spoken word lines, an instrumental .  What Rune presented us with was way beyond my expectations and hopes, Multi-layering gives depth and a sense of exploration in the emotion of tragedy and remorse. The structure of the song  also carries you all the way up to the crescendo and then drops; this technique is utilized several times in the song. With the help of Flo Mounier's [CRYPTOPSY] non-static drumming, textures come and go, further intensifying the song. During the mixing stage, we had decided that it would be criminal not to include Carmen's amazing chants, as well as several passages of vocals with Travis Ryan's [CATTLE DECAPITATION] and I. Andreas Kisser's [SEPULTURA] solos give the song an unexpected turn, extending and conjuring warm emotions from an unexpected style, yet fitting seamlessly. We all pitched in on certain aspects of the mix at the Helm of Bassist Martin Rygiel. 'Descent"' is the perfect closer to the demise of the story line, and marks this song as one of our most collaborative efforts." 

In other news, Nader Sadek will be performing at Neurotic Deathfest in Tillburg, Holland (April 17-19, 2015).

Listen to Descent through the Soundcloud player below. We had a listen, and it sounds nothing more than top-notch death metal!


INTERVIEW WITH BUMBLEFOOT AND NIK UZI [POINT OF VIEW]

Dubai hard rock band Point of View have once again been busy with renowned guitarist Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal. This year, they visited Bahrain, where they were invited to a guitar clinic and played a collaborative show with musicians from Bahrain's scene. They did the same in Dubai. Contributor Habib Tabaja caught up with Bumblefoot and Point of View vocalist Nik Uzi at the Classic Rock Coffee Shop.



Interview with Bumblefoot:

You’re back in the Middle East. What have you been up to this time?

I went to Bahrain. There’s a wonderful organization there called JamUp that invited us to their first series of events, where we went with them to an autism school and played for the kids. We did workshops, and there was a nice meet and greet at Virgin Megastore. About 200 people showed up and it was great. Then we had a great concert with my buddies at Point of View. We all played a nice show together with a bunch of local musicians from Bahrain. They are a fantastic bunch of people that I had the pleasure of jamming with. After that, we hopped on a plane here to Dubai and played an awesome show yesterday at The Fridge in al Quoz, and today we’re having this great hangout at the Classic Rock Coffee Shop.

Which Middle Eastern countries/cities have you not visited so far but would like to visit next?

It’s the kind of thing were you want to cover every part of the world. You want to go everywhere; everywhere you have been and everywhere you haven’t been to. There’s a definite pleasure in going to places for the first time, where you can make new friends and connections with musicians.
So where do I want to go that I haven’t been already? I don’t know. Call me crazy, but there are a lot of places that I want to go to where the trouble is nowadays, where the fighting is, where people can use music for a moment of relief. So we can give them a moment of something to carry through difficult times.

What do you think of the rock and metal scene here in the UAE and the region?

It’s there! As far as whatever the most popular music genre is in different times across the world, the rock and metal scene is always there. The musicians are always there; everyone finds each other. There are great musicians all over the place. For example, a metal band from Iran would reach out on Facebook and show me the stuff that they’re working on. It’s there, and it’s growing like it is everywhere else. There are always genuine metalheads in the Middle East as the rest of the world. It’s great to know that anywhere in the world you can have a “musical home”: people that you can bond with, who know the same songs as you do, and who always get each other. Music is universal, especially in that sense.

What can the fans expect for 2015? Are there any major projects that you are working on for that year?
Well, if I stick to the deadlines, my new album will be released on February 24th. I don’t even have a name for the new album yet. The mixes are almost done. There’s also a band that I produced, as a recording project, that’s turning into something more which is going to have a release next year. It’s called Art of Anarchy. That should be pretty interesting. We shot some videos for it. It’s going to be an interesting year, 2015, between Bumblefoot and Art of Anarchy and whatever else. I have some mini-tours coming up in February and March. I have some Thailand and UK shows. I have something at a guitar festival in France also. I’m also doing a rock school in the island of Corfu in Greece in August. People can come down to Corfu so I can torture them musically for a week! So we can work on music during the day, chill on the beaches in the afternoon, and then go to different pubs at night and jam. It’s going to be a busy year!

What’s so special about your own hot sauce?

There’s a combination of different flavors and ingredients in there and various levels of spiciness. The strongest one is called Bumblefucked. It contains ginger and tropical fruit. It also has ginseng and caffeine like an energy shot. One little drop of it will set you on fire for a good ten minutes!

Are any bands that have recently caught your attention?

One that’s really caught my attention is a band called Thank You Scientist. They are a phenomenal band. They touch every part of your being. Their music is intellectual, passionate, and melodic. It’s very interesting, and you can’t not like it! Great stuff. To me, that’s the best new band that I’ve heard.

Any words for the readers of Metality?

Thank you for reading this! I hope to get to see you someday. Enjoy 2015! 



Interview with Nik Uzi:

What are some of POV's plans for the near future? Are you guys working on a successor to Revolutionize the Revolutionary?

We’re working on the second album for sure. We have 11 songs ready, but we haven’t started recording. We feel that we haven’t read into the first album enough, even though we’ve sold more than 800 copies of it. We also missed out on an important thing, which is making good videos for the first album. So we want videos to be done for the first album, which will happen in the next two months. Simultaneously, we’ll start gently tracking the new album.

Tell us about what you and Bumblefoot have been up this time. Do you think he'll make an appearance on the new album?

There’s a lot going on between us and Bumblefoot. We’re looking to work more with him in the upcoming year. We’re planning more gigs for the Middle East and in other parts of Asia such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. He definitely is on the second album. He’s playing a guest track with us plus he appears in more than one song which is jointly composed by us. We are collaborating with him on a lot of other things as well. We’re working on some Bollywood projects together, which isn’t part of Point of View. He is like a mentor to us, and we love working with him. He’s going to be a prominent figure in Point of View's work, in anything and everything we do.
I mean, what’s the best you can do as a musician in Dubai eventually? You’ll play a few small gigs and then get an opening slot for some big festival somewhere in Abu Dhabi, and after that what? You’ll get some other small gigs again and that’s the end of the story. We really don’t want to restrict ourselves to this locale, even though the scene here is amazing. We want to grow, and for us to do that, we need to get out of the local scene. Bumblefoot is our opening connection to the West, and he shamelessly promotes us there to other big acts. He loves our music. We’re definitely going to seize the opportunity and see what we can do with this help that we have. He has plans for the West and Asia for us.

What can we expect from the new album? Any hints on a potential release date?

We’re looking at a second half of 2015 release for it. Our sound essentially is standard; it’s a heavy riff-driven guitar sound basically. So that characteristic will remain the same. The first album was rather political. It had a lot of songs about issues that people face in society. The new album is a bit more relaxed; it’s more about personal experiences, and the sounds are more diverse, ranging from alternative to grunge, but still retaining that heavy element to it. I think our style of writing is going to remain the same, although the subjects might change. It will still be that heavy-riff driven melodious album, with guitar solos and vocal melodies.

Any words for the readers of Metality?

Support the scene. I know this is said a lot of times, but after what I saw in Bahrain, I have to say it again. We played a gig in Bahrain yesterday for 800 people. There, we had people who were insisting on paying for the show even though they were offered to be on the guest list. I think that is something that needs to happen in the scene here in the UAE. People should support the local bands. People need to give up a little bit of money to go see a good band. Be true to your music, support the scene, and try to make some free time to go to shows instead of coming up with excuses like “I have a barbeque to go to today”. We need a genuine, supportive scene. In Bahrain, there were people willing to pay up to 250 dirhams for a guitar workshop, which is unheard of here. As far as Point of View goes, listen to our album and go check us out on social media and on our website PointofViewOnline.net If you like the music, don’t be ashamed to tell us that you like it. Come to our shows and tell us. Listen to good music; that’s what we are all about! Thank you! 

VOICE OF THE SOUL ANNOUNCE DEBUT ALBUM RELEASE


Dubai extreme metallers Voice of the Soul have today announced the release of their debut album which will be entitled 'Catacombs'. The album will be released via UK label Hell's Hammer & India's Transcending Obscurity on 27th March 2015

 First formed in Kuwait on the opposite side of the Persian Gulf in late 2007 17 year-old Kareem Chehayeb and 16 year-old Monish Shringi released their first EP, ‘Winds of Apprehension’ in July 2009 with second EP, ‘Eyes of Deceit’ seeking the light of day the following summer. After playing several shows in Dubai since January 2011, the band opted to relocate to the most popular city and emirate in the UAE before releasing their third EP, ‘Into Oblivion’, live on SOS Heavy Metal Radio in Portugal in August 2011. ‘Into Oblivion’ was undoubtedly the band's most successful record with songs receiving regular airplay across the globe.

During April 2014, the band made home at Haven Studio with producer Hadi Sarieddine in Dubai and recorded their debut full-length album ‘Catacombs’.

Kareem Chehayeb comments: "While the band started off as a straight up melodic death metal band, 'Catacombs' took on a different shift. The thrash has virtually disappeared from our sound on this album and riffs have some added 'colour' now which was inspired by bands like Opeth, Gojira, Daylight Dies, and various jazz bands that really inspired me to start writing metal again. 'Catacombs' also introduces occasional clean vocals, as well as more doom metal on some tracks."



The artwork (as seen above) was designed by Syrian Dubai-based artist Hamood Hallak of MHD Graphics, and was inspired by the concept of one of the tracks from the album called 'Pendulum'.


Kareem elaborates: "While it appears evident that there is a priest/figure leading sheep, the cliff that they are about to walk off is within the temple itself. We don’t specify whether it’s religious or not, because religion isn’t the sole focus. It’s political, it’s social."

‘Catacombs’ Track Listing
1) Desolation
2) Perpetual Deception
3) Pendulum
4) Quarantine
5) Cold Rupture
6) The Mist
7) Perdition
8) Defiled
9) Images Subside (Featuring Egan O'Rourke)

Stay connected with Voice of the Soul:

A BELATED TRIBUTE TO DAVID GOLD



“When left alone, the forests renew themselves.
              When left alone, man improves himself, as well.” - Woods of Ypres

Not a lot of music speaks to me like that of Woods of Ypres. When I first heard the music of this Canadian band over 3 years ago as I was looking through YouTube for Doom Metal bands, I knew there was something great about them that I couldn’t find in most bands. However, I wasn’t such a huge fan of them until August 2013, when I had the time to finally listen to all of their discography over the span of two days. I was totally enthralled by the emotional and philosophical scope of their music. Most of that was achieved thanks to their frontman David Gold.

 To begin with, I didn’t really keep up with Woods of Ypres since I discovered them first on YouTube, so I didn’t hear of David’s passing on December 21, 2011. That was three years ago. Upon learning of his death after listening to their entire discography, especially after listening to Woods V: Grey Skies and Electric Light, a deep sense of grief and sorrow overwhelmed me. I didn’t know David personally (I wish I did), but the emotional impact that his music had on me and on my creative works was quite evident since then. From the heavy, doomy riffs of “Your Ontario Town Is a Burial Ground” and “Everything I Touch Turns to Coal” to the Atmospheric Black Metal spirit of “The Sea of Immeasurable Loss” and “The Sun Was In My Eyes”, David’s music always transports me to the woods of his native Ontario. Woods V, their last album, left a particular impact on me with its lyrics on life, death, society, and art. David’s minimalistic style of writing helped further the meaning of the lyrics he wrote.
          
  That being said, his music grows on you, especially if you are going through some emotional trouble or a breakup. He tells us not to depend on others for happiness, but only on ourselves; that we should not get attached to people or places because one day, losing them will devastate us. More importantly, he told us to seize the moment and enjoy life, to cherish our loved ones while they are still alive, and to follow our hearts’ passion instead of what society thinks we should do. I think David’s lyrics are poetry on their own despite them being so simple.

The fact that David journeyed to Kuwait and formed friendships with many people there, some of whom I am now friends with, could mean that he had somewhat of an influence on the Middle Eastern metal scene. I think if it weren't for me looking for YouTube covers of Woods of Ypres songs and finding Hadi Sarieddine's cover of "Finality", I wouldn't have discovered  the UAE metal scene and become immersed in it. Although his stay in Kuwait was rather brief, he wore a Kuwaiti flag patch on his jacket while performing in his final tour in Canada and the US to show his love for the country and its people. People who have met him say he was a down-to-earth, loving person who interacted closely with his fans.
               
I would like to say that I’m writing this because I felt I never had the chance to properly thank him, and even though he told us in his last album that “the dead are to be forgotten”, I believe we should not forget him because he lives on in his music with us and in all the souls he inspired. We are not mourning him, but we are celebrating his work and life.

With that, I would like to thank him for inspiring me and many others. I don't think words are enough to express how indebted I feel to this musician. Nevertheless, his legacy will live on in his timeless music, and continue to inspire many people. 

"The will to give
 There is no destination
 There is only the journey."  - Woods of Ypres, The Will to Give

By Habib Tabaja


BENEVOLENT RELEASE VIDEO FOR "THE COLLECTOR"



UAE-based extreme prog-metallers Benevolent have released a video for The Collector off their full-length The Covenant (check out our review alongside Germany's Legacy Magazin. It looks (and sounds) pretty killer! ex-Chimaira drummer Andols Herrick handled drums for the album, and it was mastered by TesseracT's Acle Kahney. Check out the video below!


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SKYHARBOR - GUIDING LIGHTS [REVIEW]


Band: Skyharbor
Album: Guiding Lights
Genre: Progressive Metal
Release Date: November 10, 2014
Label: Basick Records
Reviewer: Hashim AlNasser

Skyharbor are no strangers to the metal world. What started a project of guitarist Keshav Dhar back in 2010, it attracted the attention of TesseracT vocalist Daniel Tompkins and drummer Anup Sastry (Jeff Loomis) and having released their debut album 'Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos' back in 2011, time has seen them grow to opening for Lamb of God in India, Euroblast, Download as well as awards for Best Song, Best Album and Best Band at Rolling Stone India Metal Awards and a nomination for Global Metal Band at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods.

Released on the 10th of November 2014, their  sophomore album 'Guiding Lights' is a truly captivating listen from beginning to end.  Kicking off the album with purpose, the aptly named 'Allure' sets the perfect tone for the album, reintroducing their beautifully textured and melodic sound but with a difference. Completely funded by fans on a PledgeMusic campaign, Guiding Lights goes on to display the band's sound develop to more ambient passages, shying from their debut albums more riff-centric sound. 

Displaying the bands vast range of capabilities, I was particularly captivated by 'Guiding Light's musical composition. Skyharbor's development on themes and seamless transitions between hard-hitting rhythms and soaring tones had me listening intently. I absolutely loved the guitar work on this album, exploring the numerous dynamics of the instrument, (not to mention the truly inspirational solos) they alongside Daniel Tompkins' vocal ability make them a match made in melody. Backed by the tight bass work of Krishna Jhaveri and technically proficient grooves of Anup Sastry, Skyharbor are a musical force to be reckoned with and Guiding Lights is proof of that.

Produced by Australian producer Forrester Savell (of Karnivool and Animals as Leaders fame), the album definitely has a sound that almost completely wraps around you, guiding you throughout the album on an hour long musical feast. An album definitely worth setting time out of your day to listen to from beginning to end!

9/10
Check out Skyharbor's beautiful video for Patience off Guiding Lights!