Band: Svengali
Album: Unscathed (EP)
Genre: Melodic Hardcore
Country: UAE
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Label: Self-Released
Reviewer: Kareem C

Svengali are a new and interesting band from the Dubai scene that has garnered attention and support since releasing some of their demo tracks last fall. The band is comprised of three musicians with diverse musical backgrounds: Adnan Mryhij (vocals), Fadi Al Shami (guitar, clean vocals), and JM Elias (guitar). The 6 tracks on the band's EP, Unscathed, clearly show the different influences, combining hardcore music with more melodic elements, making it a very impressive debut release. 

One of the strongest points of the album is the catchy choruses that easily keep the listeners hooked, usually sung by Al Shami, which is quite evident in Embrace. That said, the chorus that really did it for me was on The End, featuring Ishtar. She and Al Shami did a really great job singing together. The additional melodic elements in that song made it sound massive.

But don't get me wrong, this album is heavy, and I do mean HEAVY. The incredibly tight sounding breakdowns and guitar riffs paired with Mryhij's vocals will easily open up pits at any venue. One track that demonstrates this and that has become my favorite is Freefall. I think "orthodox" hardcore fans will dig tracks like Ophidia a bit more though.

I'm really impressed with how Svengali came out with such a solid sounding release in such a short period of time. While the tracks all share some unique elements, they all have their own twists to them, making the band anything but a one-trick pony. 

The EP is available on multiple platforms, including Svengali's Bandcamp page. I highly recommend all metal listeners to give this album a go. 

I give Unscathed a 7.5/10.

Keep up with Svengali: 

1 comment:

  1. Anyone know when these guys are coming to the US? I'd love to see them live!