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 NASER MESTARIHI


Our editor-in-chief Kareem C had a chat with the UAE and Qatar-based musician Naser Mestarihi about his band and their latest album, Praed Street. 

Kareem: Hey Nasser! How’s it going? 

Naser: It’s going pretty good so far, we’ve just played our last show for the year and we’re kicking back during the winter break to recharge and prepare for the release of some new singles and more activity in 2017.

How’s Praed Street been received so far? 

Critically we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from the press, fellow musicians and our supporters. During the summer the album ranked 9th in best selling records by a UAE music act so I’m very pleased with response so far but we’ve still got more work to do to get the music out there to those who haven’t hear it yet.

Let’s talk about your second LP, Praed Street. What would you say is the biggest difference between that and 1987, or your self-titled EP? 

Praed Street’s a major departure in terms of song structures and styles incorporated on the new record. For instance, there are more mid-tempo grooves, acoustic guitars, I took a different approach on the leads, less frantic shredding and more focus on getting some feel in there. i channeled my Michael Schenker influence on this for sure to give the leads more soul, it’s still got some shred but i wanted the leads to be meaningful. My love for metal music is also prevalent on the record on tunes like Fire, Birmingham Kiss and Prevail.

The production on this is also something I’m proud of, it was mixed and mastered at Hertz Studio, the Wieslawski brothers did a fantastic job and also I got to give Cobus some credit for his incredible drumming on the record.

What was the writing production process like? How did it differ from previous releases? 

The writing process was much more relaxed, I wrote half the record in London and the other half out here. I then sent the music tracked, demos with guide tracks over to Cobus in LA who wrote the drums in a matter of weeks.

There were a lot of spur of the moment ideas that i would come up with during tracking sessions in the studio and working with my producer Bader Al Sada was liberating cause he’s a musician too so he would be very supportive with picking the best licks or vocal parts.

You’ve played a couple of shows so far. How’s that been? When and where are the other shows scheduled? 

We actually just played our fifth show of the year a couple of weeks ago. The response at every show, well most shows, has been incredible, especially considering that the setlist predominantly features tunes off Praed street, which the audiences seem to really dig. We are currently working on scheduling shows, our focus now is to play in other parts of the Middle East region, fingers crossed if we can work it out with our peers we hope to get something rolling in 2017.

Do you have a favorite song off Praed Street? If so, what is it, and why? 

It’s definitely a battle between Winterburn and Birmingham Kiss. The former encompasses all my musical styles, it also discusses a topic I guess everyone can relate to and I hope will help people who are down on their luck feel empowered.

Birmingham Kiss is a tribute to Sabbath and musically is just so much fun to play. it’s the only song I’ve written that doesn’t have any solos, I went for powerful grooves, I wanted a song that had a riff o’ rama vibe with a lot of cool interludes.

Your bandmates are not based in Doha - how do you guys practice before shows? Do you do a quick run of your set a couple of times before the night of your show? It seems to be more common among bands, because it’s hard to have everyone live in the same place these days.

It ain’t easy man, I fly out to Dubai to rehearse so we usually have around two rehearsals right before shows but the guys (Vivian and Ziad) are total pros and we tend to nail song after song during rehearsals.

Our setlist has expanded to around an hour and a half so we got a bunch of material to pick and choose from so it’s great to know I can rely on my boys to get the songs and be right in the pocket whenever I’m back in town.



What’s Doha’s music scene like? Nervecell played there several years ago, but we never got a full glimpse of whether there are many local bands, club venues…etc. What’s your take on it? 

To be quite honest the band’s based in Dubai and most of our activity is focused on doing stuff there. We don’t really focus on the Doha scene.

What have you been listening to lately? Any favorite albums of 2016? 

Ah man, tons of records. Currently I’ve got everything from Zappa, The Allman Brothers to Night Demon playing.

I’d say my favourite records of 2016 are definitely Hardwired to Self-Destruct, my good friends Thrown Into Exile’s Safe Inside, Spiritual Beggars’ Sunrise to Sundown, I really dug the new Ghost EP that came out this year and I’m really stoked to get the new Testament record.

Other than music, what have you been up to?

Just working out, trying to stay in good shape and being healthy and long boarding haha.

What’s the most important advice you’d give to a young musician trying to improve on their instrument and perhaps try to break into their local scenes in Doha or Dubai? They’re two scenes you are very familiar with. 

The most important thing is to practice, never stop practicing, learn as many styles as possible. Explore music, buy records and embrace diverse genres, it’ll help you write and be original. Never give up no matter how bad the odds are, cause being a musician in this day and age is pretty tough regardless of where you live, just stay persistent, work hard and good things will inevitably happen.

Thanks for chatting with us, Nasser! Any final words for Metality’s readers? 

It’s always a privilege, thank you.

Support independent music and I wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season!


Check out Naser's page on Facebook here.

INTERVIEW WITH ARAM KALOUSDIAN (ASCENDANT)



Our editor-in-chief Kareem C interviewed Ascendant's drummer Aram Kalousdian as his band prepares for JoScene's Metal Mania II show, also featuring Steel Engraved, Voice of the Soul, and Alpha.Kenny.Buddy on the 25th of November, 2016, at Dubai's Music Room.


1.     Hi Aram! How’s everything going as Ascendant prepares for Metal Mania II?

First, allow me to thank you for having me on Metality.net. We are very excited to perform for the first time at Metal Mania II with great bands like Voice of the Soul from Lebanon, AKB from Dubai and Steel Engraved from Germany. This show also marks our return after being far for a very long time off the stage, due to recording our debut album and other circumstances.

2.     You guys usually perform a lot! Do you have pre-show rituals to prepare you and keep you pumped? 

Well, we haven't performed since early 2015, and that's why Metal Mania II is important for us. I have personally been performing for many years on big stages with many bands, which has allowed me to gain amazing experience and self-confidence on and off-stage. Of course, warm-ups are due before any show will help me to be pumped and ready to rock, and as Ascendant we already have the great harmony between the band members and that’s helps us to rock the stage.

3.     What’s your favorite Ascendant song to perform live and why?

My two favorite songs to perform live, are:
"Walls between us", because of the drumming and "Fog of war" because of the story/message behind the song.

4.     You’ve been involved in both Syria’s and Dubai’s metal scenes. What makes them different? 

I’ve been in Dubai for almost 4 years and I can say that Dubai is the best place in Middle East to have the opportunity to meet metalheads from different nationalities. As a person who likes to socialize, it gives me the chance to interact with local musicians who come from all over the world, as well as the chance to open for international metal bands when they perform in Dubai. Needless to say though that the scene is still somehow limited compared with the activities held.
In Syria, the Metal scene was quite big in the late 90’s and early 2000. My last show was in 2007 with The Hourglass in Aleppo, after which no metal concerts were organized. And recently due the war, many Metal heads left the country but still some underground metal gigs are happening in calm cities like Lattakia.


5.  Ascendant released a couple of songs, False Illusion and Fog of War. When will we expect an EP or album? 

False Illusion was our first single released in 2013 on our YouTube channel recorded live at The Mix studio and Fog of War was our first demo recorded in different studios and released in 2014.
The band already finished recording 8 tracks and we are in the mixing process. Release date will be early 2017.

7. Any final words for Metality’s readers and those attending Metal Mania II?

Stay tuned for updates on the album launch date! We promise you a special night to be remembered. Meanwhile, see you at Metal Mania II at Music Room. We will be performing a new song never played live before.


Check out Ascendant's song Fog of War here:



You can find Ascendant on Facebook here.
You can find the Metal Mania II event page on Facebook here

INTERVIEW WITH VOICE OF THE SOUL'S KAREEM CHEHAYEB





As part of our coverage for JoScene's event "Metal Mania II" on November 25th at the Music Room - Dubai, Metality's managing editor Habib T interviewed Voice of the Soul's lead guitarist and vocalist Kareem Chehayeb.

1. Kareem! It's been a while since Voice of the Soul has performed live in Dubai. What do you expect from this gig? Got anything special in store for the audience?

It has been far too long! Well, I’m really excited about sharing the stage again with my friends from AKB and Ascendant, and Steel Engraved were supposed to perform a couple of years ago. Thankfully, Dubai will get a chance to properly see them perform.

Well, we’re really excited to finally showcase our new album “Catacombs” in Dubai. Our set list will primarily consist of songs off the album. We also have Michel Maalouly joining us on bass. We’re very excited about having him on board with us.

2. Your debut album 'Catacombs' has been received quite positively since its release in 2015. Anything you can tell us about your next release?

Thanks! I think with every release we want to keep building on the strong elements of our previous release, and so on. But of course, influences and ideas develop over time with musicians. Due to the issues we faced as a band, we’re focusing heavily on giving Catacombs the exposure it deserves through some shows now, but the new album is a slow work in progress. It’ll happen though.

3. Speaking of Catacombs, what's your favorite song to play live from that album, and why?

Pendulum for sure! It’s difficult to pull off as a band live…so sounding super tight playing that song is very satisfying.

4. VoTS's members have been living in different countries for a while now. How do you overcome the distance and work together?

Yeah, we’ve had it worse in the past. Right now, most of us are in Lebanon, and Monish recently moved back to Kuwait. Thankfully, we have tools like Skype, GuitarPro, We Transfer, and WhatsApp to make life easier for us.

5. As part of the Lebanese metal scene, what do you think would revive it and make it more active?

I think it’s too factionalized, sort of like the politics. There is too much judgement on sub-genres and what not. While the Dubai scene faces its own problems too, there never would be an issue about - say, a death metal band sharing the stage with a nu metal band. I mean, look at the Metal Mania II lineup, you have nu metal, death metal, heavy metal, and power metal. It’s a nice diverse lineup. I’m not sure why some folks find that to be a problem. I think that’s how we can gather numbers, be able to have larger shows, expand networks of lovers of heavy music.

6. Any words for the readers of Metality and to the people who will attend Metal Mania II? 

Thank you!
Always a pleasure chatting with Metality who have supported us since day one during the good old days of My Space! Those attending Metal Mania II, we look forward to seeing you. Come say hi and have a drink with us. Don’t forget to wear a VOTS t-shirt if you have one to get your discount on a copy of Catacombs. We can’t wait to finally play some of these new songs live in Dubai!


Check out Voice of the Soul's playthrough video for 'Pendulum':


Don't forget to catch Voice of the Soul and other great bands on Friday, November 25 at the Music Room, Dubai, in 'Metal Mania II' hosted by JoScene!

You can find Voice of the Soul on Facebook here.
You can find the Metal Mania II event page on Facebook here

INTERVIEW WITH AKB'S ALI SQUARE



In anticipation of JoScene's upcoming event Metal Mania II at The Music Room, featuring Germany's Steel Engraved, as well as local acts Alpha.Kenny.Buddy (AKB), Voice of the Soul, and Ascendant, Metality's editor-in-chief Kareem C interviewed AKB's bassist Ali Square.

1. Hey Ali! How’s it going? Tell us about how things have been going since Violent Asymmetry has been released?

Hello there! Things have been great in the UAE music scene. Lot of great bands with great music and we are happy to be a part of it.
We have got a lot of positive feedback and support from our friends and few fans from outside the UAE, and a majority of them are so happy that we brought back NuMetal music back to life.

2. What makes Violent Asymmetry different than your self-titled release, which came out about two years ago?

Well the production is top notch thanks to Hadi Sarieddine at Haven studio. As our producer, Hadi knew what we were looking for and captured the sound and the vibes of AKB. Plus the songs are groovier and more energetic!

3. What’s your favorite song off Violent Asymmetry, and why? 

My favorite song from our album is Dropping Dead Weights. Because it has the old school NuMetal feel, and we simply enjoyed jamming the song in the rehearsals. Great song to headbang to!

4. You guys are prepping up for Metal Mania II alongside Steel Engraved from Germany, Voice of the Soul, and Ascendant. How stoked are you guys?

I’m sure the guys are super stoked. They are happy that JoScene gave them the opportunity to showcase their songs in such a great night alongside some of the greatest metal bands in the region. Most of all, I’m personally super excited to see Voice of the Soul after a long time being absent from the scene and of course Ascendant with their classic heavy metal tunes and great melodic stuff!

5. Tell us about one of the funniest or most embarrassing moment’s AKB experienced while performing live.

I have great memories with the guys and every moment was great and amusing, but the funniest moment was when Salman the guitarist fell off the stage at our second gig back in 2011. It’s still a funny memory to this date between us and our friends (laughs).

6. Let’s be honest here. You’re an awesome bassist. What’s the biggest mistake beginner bassists make when trying to learn or master their instrument?

Honestly speaking, and I’m not trying to be humble or anything, there is so much to it that I need to learn and I still consider myself as a beginner musician. But there are few things that I have learned from greater bass players in the region and YouTube videos and a little bit of my own personal experience, which are:

A- The tone of your bass guitar is very important, besides skills and techniques.

B- Feel the music that you play and express your emotions and energy live on stage!

7. I’m not going to take up any more of your time. Any final words for Metality’s readers and those in Dubai before Metal Mania II? 

Again, I’m super stoked for Metal Mania II; it is going to be a great night for all the music lovers. Thank you so much for this interview. My last words would be...just shut up and play louder and faster goddamn it!


For a taste of AKB's tunes, here's their music video for their song "Dropping Dead Weights".



Don't miss out on AKB and other awesome bands at JoScene's Metal Mania II.

You can find Alpha.Kenny.Buddy on Facebook here.
JoScene's Metal Mania II event is on Facebook here

TYRANNY RISING - PREPARE TO DIE [REVIEW]


Album: Prepare To Die (EP)
Artist: Tyranny Rising
Label: Self-released
Release Date: July 10, 2016
Reviewer: Kareem Chehayeb

Dubai’s young death-metallers Tyranny Rising have put out a killer debut EP which has certainly raised the bar in a scene that has been relatively quiet lately. The band consists of Borna Fana on vocals, Bassel Fahel and Marco Ferrer on guitar, Franz Cabrera on bass, and Raymond Ferrer. Prepare To Die was recorded at Dubai’s Haven Studio and produced by Hadi Sarieddine.

Tyranny Rising’s debut EP brings together the best across the extreme metal subgenre. The opening track, Go For The Throat is a catchy and raw opener that is guaranteed to open up a moshpit at any venue. It brings the best out of your favorite death metal and thrash songs with a modern twist; think of (successful) supergroups like Bloodbath and Witchery.

But that doesn’t mean that Prepare To Die is nostalgia-inducing casual listen. On the contrary, the rest of the album reveals a wide variety of influences from more modern bands, such as Job For A Cowboy, The Black Dahlia Murder, and more. Closing track Venture brings out that diversity, and it also brings out the awesome vocal range of Borna, who isn’t shy to add some low growls and screams to his usual mid-range voice. I love the lead work I heard on Venture as well, so I hope to see and Bassel and Marco venturing higher up on their fretboards.

Overall, Prepare To Die is a great listen. These guys are talented, and have tons of potential. Each song comes with its own unique identity, but has enough in common to fit well together in this EP. Tyranny Rising are still a young band, so we’ll see where their sound goes with future releases, but this is clearly a promising sign. It’s certainly a nice change from what I believe has been a generally lackluster period in the Middle East and North Africa’s extreme metal scene.

Prepare To Die is available for free or “pay as you like” on Tyranny Rising’s Bandcamp page.

Keep up with Tyranny Rising:

INTERVIEW WITH FRANTIC AMBER



A while ago, the Swedish band Frantic Amber was interviewed by our new contributor Fonda!

A little background on the band first: Back in 2008, an all-female band was established in Sweden, having the musical approach of melodic death metal. Through the course of time and some band member changes, they currently have a male drummer to complete the band. They had played in a lot of shows such as the Wacken Metal battle, Swedish Rock Festival, Grindhouse, Carpe Noctem, and so on!

Fonda: Hails Frantic Amber!

Frantic Amber: Hello Fonda and Metality readers!

Did winning several awards open doors for new opportunities for Frantic Amber? What did you do to celebrate it? 

Yes definitely. One thing leads to another as they say! We got to play on bigger stages and got our name out and about. The celebration itself is being on stage for example when got picked to play at P3 Guld Awards, Sweden Rock Festival and when we won Wacken Metal Battle and got to play at the Wacken Festival.

I know that you have shared the stage with a lot of great musicians. But, can you tell me a specific band in which Frantic Amber actually felt honored playing with them on the same festival or event? (I am picturing you squealing like a crazy fan deep inside when you saw the band). You can answer individually.

Elizabeth: Behemoth! I’m a huge fan of them and feel so honoured to have performed on the same stage as them.
Mio: Mother's Finest at Sweden Rock Festival 2015. Met them at the same hotel we were staying at and got a picture with the singer.

Who are some of the artist or musicians you want to collaborate with?

Mio: Devin Townsend would be awesome to work with, and also Peter Tägtgren.

Elizabeth: I would absolutely love to put together a huge production where we collaborate with professional ballet dancers on the stage and a symphony orchestra playing along with the band in the orchestra pit. I would then want to do both vocals and be dancing.

Since you all came from different ethnic backgrounds, ever thought of writing songs in Swedish, Danish, Japanese or Colombian Spanish?

Elizabeth: I mainly write lyrics in English since it’s always been my natural choice of language for expressing myself lyrically. I’ve been actively writing lyrics since I was 15 years old and have accumulated a lot pieces, mostly in English and some in Swedish, Danish, and German. But for Frantic Amber, English is our language since we want to communicate with our audience worldwide.

In making your music videos, do you also input your ideas depending on the content of your songs?

The video that has the most lyrical influences is Ghost. We were recording in an old broken-down mansion without electricity so we filled the entire room with candles. In the side story we were all portrayed as ghosts. The lyrics are an abstract depiction of wandering through the darkness, to feel invisible and insignificant but at the same time frustrated and angry. Truths are revealed from the core and forces in the darkness represents the subconsciousness tearing at it.
Our other videos were mostly based on cool ideas and don’t have ties to the lyrics specifically.

Do you believe that there’s an advantage by being a female in the metal scene? And have you ever experienced any sexism?

When we first started and released an EP and the video for Wrath of Judgement we were met by a lot of mixed feedback. It was either love or hate. The haters were brutal and sprinkled with sexism, but we chose to focus on the good. It’s become better with time and it feels like the metal scene is getting more used to female metal musicians.
It’s fun and exciting to show people that we can deliver both brutality and melody just as good as any metal band with all-male members. It’s important to focus on the music and not on gender. We just do what we love and salute the fact that more women are finding their way to the stage.

Mac, being the man in the group, if there’s an actual catfight between the lovely women, are you the type of referee who stops the boxing match or, the one who says ‘Round 2! Fight!’ hehehe?

Mac: I would probably be smart enough not to get in between.

Ever thought touring outside Europe like US, Asia or even places in the Middle East like Dubai?
We would of course love to travel far and wide to tour and hope to find serious bookers all over the world that wants to bring us there.

Elizabeth, you used to be a ballerina. Have you tried incorporating some of those ballerina moves with hard rock/metal music? Would you mind sharing with us a video if you actually did that already?

Elizabeth: Yes, I’ve definitely thought about it a lot, but never recorded anything...yet. I probably will someday and I’ll share it with you all on YouTube!

Mary, you love Math and Physics.. 8989 / 6 = ? (No calculator please! Just kidding). So I presume you like sci-fi movies? Ever thought of being a professor or scientist before?

Mary: I started studying a Technical Physics program at college and wanted to specialize in math, but my life turned into a different direction, and the music got a whole other meaning to me. Recently, I picked up my studies again but changed program to Computer Science and plan to finish my Bachelor's in a little bit over a year or so.

Mio, which type of motorcycle do you have? Since when have you started learning martial arts? You grew up in Sweden, but can you speak Japanese?

Mio: I have a Suzuki DR650 and a KTM 525 Desert Walking with extra big tank. Both bikes are good for driving day-trips on gravel roads.
I have practised Karate (Goju-ryu) and Kung Fu (Choy lee fut), but because the band and work take a lot of time, I unfortunately do not have the time to continue.
I was only 4 years old when my family moved to Sweden, and there were not many Japanese people around to maintain the language. So, I understand Japanese at the level of a small child, but find it harder to speak.

Madeleine, you are into video games like me. Have you been to Comic Con? Are you able to play on piano the full soundtrack of Mass Effect?

Madeline: Yes, I don't play as much nowadays but when I do I enjoy playing games such as Diablo or Mass Effect. I haven't been to Comic Con, but I have been to only a smaller one in Sweden. It would be very fun to go the really big conventions abroad.
I only play the keyboard sometimes at home and teach myself through YouTube videos, so I'm not there yet, but maybe someday I will be able to play the whole thing.

Mac, you are into science, wildlife and history, so do you enjoy travelling to places that have historical monuments, literature, and the like? Name a place that you enjoyed visiting. And oh, what’s your famous recipe?
Yes, I love traveling in general, especially if it gives me a new experience. Angkor Wat was an awesome place to visit.
Funny, I hardly ever cook by recipe! I am more like a MacGyver of the kitchen: I improvise a lot!

Now let’s play a game. Describe another band member in one word and say why you used that word.

Elizabeth describing Mary: A great leader and a strong person. She sets high goals and achieves them with passion and drive.
Mary describing Mio: Strong-minded and dedicated to everything she does. Perfect skills both musically and in organizing.
Mio describing Madeleine: A bit shy. Committed, hardworking, always tries to do her best, and open-minded to develop herself and her playing.
Madeleine describing Mac: Calm and collected. He has a very positive and relaxed view on life and shares his positive energy with others.
Mac describing Elizabeth: Positive. Always the happy, cheerful Lizzy, spreading her happiness all around!

Thank you once again for this opportunity! We do hope to see Frantic Amber in this part of the world soon!

Further band contact:
info@franticamber.com | www.franticamber.com | www.facebook.com/franticamber | www.youtube.com/user/franticamberofficial

GRIEVER - SOUL SEARCHER [REVIEW]


Album name: Soul Searcher
Band: Griever
Label: Independent
Release date: May 27, 2016
Reviewer: ThatDisgruntledDude (Metality contributor)

Soul Searcher’ is a 6 track EP by Griever, a 5-piece metalcore band hailing from England. Their sophomore effort combines machine gun staccato riffing, elaborate solos and the usual fare of clean and guttural vocals that you’d expect from a metalcore record.

Soul Searcher is a well-constructed blend of old school melodeath metal and modern metalcore, and 10 seconds into the EP, and you know that these guys grew up listening to In Flames, As I Lay Dying, Soilwork and the like. The music is stellar, and everything flows together seamlessly (a little too seamless for my taste, but I guess that’s the industry norm nowadays.) The production is top notch, the musicianship is virtuosic, the hooks stick; in fact, everything is executed close to near-perfection. But I still think that this record is mediocre at best.

Why the harsh words? What’s my gripe with this band?

Everything about this EP should tick all the right boxes. I really enjoy the songs, and I can definitely groove to them, but what I love and what is also Soul Searcher's biggest crutch is that they wear their influences a little too evidently on their sleeve. You’re able to pick out and identify the various bands that have been thrown into the mix when coming up with these songs. Imitation may be a form of flattery to an artist, but how long can you sustain that before you bring in your own true offering?

Obtaining a sound that defines you isn’t easy when you’ve got giant sized shoes to fill, but the world has so many copycats that it’s almost indiscernible and nigh impossible to tell apart most bands nowadays.

Unless you’re a Gojira or a Converge, odds are that you’re going to be overlooked. If, and it’s a big hypothetical IF, Soul Searcher was to be released somewhere in the early 2000’s, these guys would have been up there with those bands, and definitely a big league player.

But this is 2016. The metalcore era has come and gone, and while many bands such as Killswitch Engage and Unearth are still around, not much has been done to break the mold. Everything about Griever tells me that these guys have what it takes to be the next big thing out there, and that they have everything that it takes to take the metal scene by storm, but they’re still a long way off, and it’s not going to be easy carving their own niche.

Here’s to hoping that Griever’s next record pushes the boundaries and brings in their own take on the stagnant metalcore genre, instead of sticking to tried and tested formulas.

6.5/10




You can find Griever on Facebook here.

BLAST NIGHT III [REVIEW]





by Habib T

The last show of the season in Dubai before the relative silence of the hot summer months, JoScene’s Blast Night III at the Music Room on June 3rd proved to be a fantastic way to end the gig season. The show was well-organized, as is usual with JoScene, in addition to this time’s fruitful collaboration with Metal Bell Magazine. DJ WYNN also played a sweet combination of metal between the sets and before the show started.


While the show was dominated by the Lebanese thrashers Blaakyum and InnerGuilt, local bands Svengali and Pull Box effectively demonstrated the energy and talent of the local metal scene.


The female-fronted Pull Box provided the opening for the show with their nu-metal and punk-like metalcore original tunes, such as “Edge”, “Overdose”, and “Why”, in addition to their cover of “Tainted Love”. While the music of this band is not my particular cup of tea, I appreciate and love their dedication and energy on the stage. The band, as usual, played with great enthusiasm, and set the stage for the increasingly violent melodies that will progress through the night.


Svengali, photo credit: Manu Anand

The stage was then taken by UAE metal scene warriors Svengali, who again proved to be a crowd-moving favorite that got the moshpits going. They played a collection of their older and newer songs, including my personal favorite “Conquer” with its uplifting atmosphere and energizing synths. They also performed headbang-inducing tunes such as “Sink or Swim” to which the crowd sang along, “Laced in Sin”, “Blindfolds”, “Floodgates”, and “Free Fall”. As usual, they had great interactions with the crowd and really got them going with several rounds of moshpits. Svengali is definitely one of those bands whose live shows should not be missed, especially considering the fantastic experience they always give the audience.


After that, it was time for Lebanese band InnerGuilt to unleash chaos from the stage, and they did so beautifully despite some sound issues. They performed a riveting mix of thrash and death metal, which was received by headbanging and moshing from the crowd. Powerful vocals and brilliant yet brutal guitars were demonstrated in the songs they played such as “Terrorized by Silence”, “Burned of Guilt”, “Through Narrow Corridors” as well as their own killer takes on Sepultura’s “Troops of Doom” and Gojira’s “Lizard Skin”. It was my first time seeing them live, and they are definitely great representatives of the Lebanese metal scene with their unforgiving musical brutality and uplifting energy. You definitely do not want to miss out on any performance by these talented and dedicated musicians.

Blaakyum, photo credit: Metal Bell Magazine


Finally, Lebanese metal veterans Blaakyum brought their brand of thrash metal with classical Arabic music elements to the stage. Having seen them open for Epica in Lebanon’s Byblos International Music Festival back in August 2014, they proved to be yet again powerful ambassadors of Lebanese metal to the world. The crowd moshed and headbanged to a set of Blaakyum’s finest tunes, such as “Lord of the Night”, “Wicked Revelation”, and “Crossing”. They also played songs with powerful social messages, such as “Ceasefire”, “The Line of Fear”, and “Destined to Rise”. In addition, they performed their song  “Rip it Off”, which is dedicated to the late Dimebag Darrell of Pantera. “Baal-Adon” is another fantastic opus of theirs I look forward to hearing on their upcoming album. These guys put up a brilliant performance indeed.


All in all, it was one hell of a night and a memorable ending for this gig season before the summer break sets in. My thanks go to JoScene, Metal Bell Magazine, DJ WYNN, and to all the bands who performed and the people who helped organize the show and make it great. I am definitely looking forward to more events like this!  


Until next time, metalheads!

UPCOMING EVENT: BLAST NIGHT III


This Friday, JoScene will be hosting the third edition of its Blast Night concert series in Dubai, this time in collaboration with Metal Bell Magazine. The event will feature two Lebanese metal veterans, Thrash act Blaakyum and Death/Thrash band InnerGuilt, in addition to the UAE’s very own melodic metalcore champions Svengali and female-fronted nu-metal act Pull Box.


It will all take place on June 3rd at the Majestic Hotel Bur Dubai in the Music Room.
Tickets go on sale at the door of the venue the same night of the event for 100 AED.


Be there, and be many!


INTERVIEW WITH SEPULTURA'S ANDREAS KISSER


Ahead of Sepultura’s first show in Egypt set to take place on June 4th in Cairo, guitarist Andreas Kisser was interviewed by Metality’s managing editor, Habib T.

Habib: Hey guys! Might I say that it’s an absolute honor to interview legends like you!

Andreas: Thank you!

So how does it feel to be playing in Egypt for the first time? What are you looking forward to?

I’m very excited to play in Egypt for the first time. Very happy that finally we have a chance to meet our fans in Cairo. I want to get to know the city of Cairo, to taste the food and drinks. It will be a very special show; we will play the whole history of Sepultura.

Do you ever plan to play elsewhere in the Middle East?

We would love to go everywhere. We played in 75 countries so far in a 32-year career. Egypt will be our 76th country, and hopefully we will have the chance to go to different countries in the region.

Has the Middle East in its culture or history ever had any influence on your music? If so, in what specifically?

Yes, ancient Egypt is a very strong influence in what we do in music. I love the scales and the rhythms coming from Egypt and the region. My first band before I joined Sepultura was called “Sphynx”. This topic has always interested me.

Speaking of live shows, do you prefer large shows with larger audiences or small, intimate bar gigs?

I love them all. We have the privilege to play in all of those situations. The important thing is to be on stage and have a great time with our fans.

You guys have been touring the world for years. What was the weirdest or most awkward thing ever to happen on tour in other countries?

Maybe it was when we were in Indonesia in 1992. We went for a radio interview there, and we had more than two thousand people waiting for us, so it was total chaos, and the interview was very short and noisy. It was really crazy!

Can you give us any updates on upcoming releases? Hints on a release date or what it would sound like?

We are working on a new album and are finishing recording it in Sweden with the producer Jens Bogren. The album is coming out at the end of October through the Nuclear Blast label. It’s a new sound for Sepultura. Every album, we bring something different; it is hard to explain in words but I believe it’s the best album of our career!

The metal scene in most of the Middle East is pretty underground. What advice do you give to up-and-coming metal bands in the region about making their music and keeping metal alive?

Keep the fire going. Play the music you like! Metal is one of the most popular styles of music in the world, and it’s great to see that regardless of politics and religion, metal is very strong everywhere. You’re not alone; we fight for metal every day, and it’s a privilege to play for you guys in Cairo!

Any words for your fans in the Middle East and for the readers of Metality?

I’ll see you all at the show on June 4th. It’s a very important date for the history of Sepultura. Let’s have the best time together. See you all in Cairo! Thanks for the support!


Sepultura will be playing live in Cairo on June 4th with Nader Sadek, Gorynov, Perpetual Ferocity, and Mephistophilis.
Visit the event page here.


INTERVIEW WITH OMRADE



Following up to reviewing their debut album, Edari, last year, our managing editor Habib had a chat with Omrade's vocalist Krys (Bargnatt XIX) about the band and their upcoming releases, as well as their genre and other topics.

Can you tell us a bit more about the concept behind Omrade?

Krys (Bargnatt XIX): We are two in the band: JP (Arsenic) does the drums and orchestrations (synth, etc.…), and I play guitar and sing. Our music is an invitation to travel; all our tracks are a different painting. Every time, we catch the listeners in our universe. Our influences are Ulver, Manes, God Is an Astronaut, Dodheimsgard. We have no borders in music: We could mix trip hop, black metal, electro, metal, post rock and different sensibilities. The most important thing for us is to create our own universe.

Omrade describes itself as avant-garde metal. Do you think there is a growing appeal towards this subgenre? Do you think there would be aversion?

Avant-garde metal is very large; it’s just a definition of when some bands mix extreme music with another kind of music. It’s a personal approach, an effort to be not like all the other bands, create our own universe and try to catch people in this universe. The thing that matters is not the genre but the music itself. If you take some time to listen to a different kind of music, the genre is not really important. In this world, everybody is really comfortable with the standard or what they’re used to, so sometimes it’s hard to try different things. Avant-garde metal for me is a great compliment.
An aversion? I don’t know, but I think the people need to listen to the music before boxing it in a genre. The music needs to speak to its audience, and we don’t care if it’s metal/sludge/doom/death metal/avant-garde… It’s how we interpret it that matters to us.

We loved Edari! What’s coming up for Omrade in the near future? Any new releases or upcoming shows?
What can we expect in any upcoming release and when?

We've had great success with the album. Omrade’s Edari is now available in Mall of the Emirates. Virgin Megastore and Virgin Mega Store, Dubai Mall. It’s a collaboration with Metal East Records’ Moutasem Kabbani and My Kingdom Music’s Francesco Palumbo. We are very proud to be in Virgin megastore in the UAE. Very soon on 06/10/2016 our album will be released in an LP vinyl version.

Here's our press release on the upcoming vinyl: 

"After the good success of Omrade "Edari" CD, in collaboration with One Gone Beyond from the USA and Soman Records from France, we will release the album in vinyl format, limited to 300 hand-numbered copies.

Here is the the complete tracklist of the bonus CD "Hátíð Vinum":

1. Skam Parfyme [remix by Grégoire Fray (Thot)]
2. Friendly Herpes [remix by Déhà (We All Die (Laughing)]
3. Mótsögn [remix by Tor-Helge Skei (Manes, Lethe)]
4. Aben Dor [remix by Swarm Intelligence]
5. Luxurious Agony [remix by Edgard Chevallier (GHB)]
6. Mann Forelder [remix by Roka Skulld (Nordic Giants) & Billy Merrick (Saturday Sun)]
7. Satellite And Narrow [remix by La Soff]



The album, already considered by many one of the best surprises of the European Avant-garde Metal scene, will include a bonus-CD titled "Hátíð Vinum" that will be available only with "Edari" LP version and that will present seven tracks taken from "Edari" remixed by great artists into the international scene such as Grégoire Fray (Thot), Tor-Helge Skei (Manes, Lethe), Déhá Amsg (We All Die (Laughing), Roka Skulld (Nordic Giants), Edgard Chevallier (Gloomy Hellium Bath), Swarm Intelligence, Sophie C La Soff.

With this new step we draw a new limit to the words "vision" and "extremism"."

During April, we recorded our upcoming album at Ltpstudio in France (www.facebook.com/ltpstudio.lowertonesplace) with Edgard Chevallier. We have different guests on our future album but the details of that are secret for now. There’s more news coming soon!

Any words for the readers of Metality?

I would really like to thank Metality and Habib personally for introducing Omrade to the UAE metal scene. For the readers, just a few words: Never stop discovering new metal everywhere, because it’s always a joy to discover and share new music. After all, we're human. 

Thank you, Krys! Wishing you and the band the best of luck!

You can find Omrade on Facebook here
You can pre-order their LP here: http://smarturl.it/OMRA-LP

INTERVIEW WITH JM ELIAS OF DAMAGE RITE




Damage Rite, a death-thrash act from Lebanon has been recently revived, and our managing editor Habib interviewed their vocalist and guitarist JM Elias.

Habib: It's good to have you with us, JM.

JM: It's good to be here!

So Damage Rite is revived! What can you tell us about the history of the band and its revival?

Damage Rite started back in 2003 under the name of Postmortem, and it was based in Lebanon.
We played quite a handful of shows under the name Postmortem before we had to change it.
The reason is pretty simple: there were many bands with that name, and as we were getting more serious about our music, it was only logical to change the name and have something original and representing our music.

What do you hope to accomplish with this revival?

I had the music written and and recorded since 2011, but for various reasons I was never able to mix it and master it, however, after teaming up with CTG Productions and Mohammad Bailouni (from Coat of Arms), I got the chance to move forward with the material, and that’s what I’m doing.
At this point I just want the music to be out there, as I’ve had it for so long and with everything happening in the world around us, it makes perfect sense to me, and I hope people can relate to it as well.

Can we have an idea about the upcoming releases or possible live shows?

There is nothing planned at the moment in terms of live shows, yet we’ve been releasing small teaser videos on our Facebook page showcasing bits and pieces here and there.
We will be announcing the release date very soon, and hopefully get a couple of live shows lined up for the year.

If someone has no idea about your band or what they play, how would you describe it to them with just a few words?

It’s angry, fast and aggressive.

Any words for the readers of Metality?


Metality has been continuously supporting the metal scene in the region, and for that, I say thank you for your hard work, and as for the readers, wait for it and keep supporting your local acts!


Thank you for being with us, JM. We’re looking forward to what Damage Rite has in store! We wish you the best of luck! 


You can find Damage Rite on Facebook here, and a new live guitar tracking video of "The Dehumanizing Factor" here.


BLAST NIGHT II [REVIEW]


by Habib T

Dubai witnessed another fantastic metal night hosted by JoScene at the Music Room, with the talents of Greece's Dimlight and local bands Verdict, Pullbox, and Angmar. It was a great show, to say the least.

The night began with DJ WYN's metal tunes, covering all metal subgenres, that set the atmosphere for the entertainment of the night to come.

Angmar, credit: George Durzi

The venue descended into a trance of gloom and doom when newcomers Angmar brought their own take on death-doom metal to the stage. I think the scene has been missing a band that plays doom metal in the vein of My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, and early Anathema, and these guys did just that. Covers of Anathema's "A Dying Wish" and My Dying Bride's "She is the Dark" almost brought tears to my eyes as I heard these songs live for the first time, executed with great vocals and professionalism. I also witnessed them perform a solid death-doom original, titled "Chaos". This band has done a great job in entering the scene and playing live for the first time!


Following Angmar were UAE nu-metal group Pull Box, who, even though out of place among the performing bands genre-wise, performed with great enthusiasm to a crowd who reciprocated that. Honestly speaking, I am not a big fan of Nu-Metal, but they delivered a solid show with songs like "Thy Monster", "Scream", and "War for Peace". Not to mention that they are one of the few female-fronted metal bands in the local scene, and that adds an extra edge to their uniqueness in it. It is definitely something we should see more of.

Pullbox, credit: George Durzi
Verdict, credit: George Durzi
Then, death metallers Verdict ascended the stage, with their usual crowd-pleasing songs such as "Systematic Slaughter" and "Headstab". Naturally, the crowd moshed with the relentless fury of Verdict's riffs, especially when playing "War Head" and "Defiance". One of the most fun bands to see live in the scene with all their energy and brutality!

Afterwards, with a haunting overture, Dimlight brought definitive, beautiful chaos to The Music Room. Playing their own blend of Symphonic Death Metal with operatic female vocals, they definitely brought a unique experience to the local scene. With songs like "Invoking the Hunter" and "Dark Emotion", Dimlight exhibited the beautiful contrast between the harshness of Death Metal and the serenity of operatic female vocals done by the wonderful Eva Forlanou. They also played many of their older and more recent songs such as "Shattered Idols" and "Fear the Heavens". Their guitarist and vocalist Invoker also called for a Wall of Death, and it happened! The first time I see a Wall of Death in a bar show. Absolutely fantastic! I would love to see them again.


Dimlight, credit: George Durzi
All in all, it was a well-organized show with great bands, great people, and great music. Looking forward to more shows like this in the scene!

More photos from the show below!

Dimlight, credit: George Durzi

Angmar, credit: George Durzi

Dimlight, credit: George Durzi
Dimlight, credit: George Durzi
Angmar, credit: George Durzi
Verdict, credit: George Durzi
Angmar, credit: George Durzi