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ISSUE 1

APRIL 2013

Jay Wud building his own utopia


he 'Tao Zhong' is one of the earliest bells casted in Primitive China 4,000 years ago. It's an instrument that was used to call labors to have their recess after work. It was also used afterwards by the Benedictine monks to call people for prayer, social and religious gatherings 500AD. Later, this idiophone instrument has strongly become successful and used for many other purposes. We chose “Metal Bell” as the name for our magazine to symbolize what the BELL represented throughout the history till our present days; an instrument of “Call for Gathering”. To gather our Rock and Metal scenes, to unit under the same Bell Call. Furthermore, to gather artists and create a society that supports, shares and spreads the news, to follow them and keep you updated all the time. The “Metal” represents the material that is mostly used to manufacture bells!! But the main reason behind choosing it is that the main editors of this magazine are Metal heads \m/. This magazine will be the number one online magazine to support the “Lebanese and Middle Eastern Metal/Rock Scene” alongside all kinds of underground forms of art. This will be the first and most important aim for this magazine.

p. 3 christmas mission accomplished p. 5 art and culture lounge p. 8 enviro-metal p. 11 musicians only p. 13 jay wud p. 21 local news p. 27 local releases p. 37 international news p. 41 international releases

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The Beginning of an Odyssey Building a magazine was not an easy task, it was actually a challenge. First, when the thought of a magazine came up, the plan was to build a monthly sum up document of a few pages ‘not exceeding 10’ I said, which would talk about what is going on in the scene and support or criticize our local rock and metal community. But while working on the project, I found out that there is a lot to talk about; people really underestimate how rich our scene is, from history to legacy up until today’s productivity and future plans. It became an urge to project to the rock and metal scene, local and international, what Lebanon is capable of. Then I really got so greedy as to want to make a full magazine that talks about the past, present, and the future, hence the birth of Metal Bell Magazine which is designed to be pure Lebanese. Our local scene is not limited to the boundaries of our small country, musicians, and artists, but it extends to the Middle Eastern and the Arab scene as well. For sure, we will pass through international news and new releases and we will feature international artists. Hmm international artists, speaking of which, the choice of Jay Wud to be the cover story of our first issue was to combine a local artist yet on the way to becoming an international artist. Maybe at first, I chose him because I actually didn’t know anything about him and I was curious to know him. To know who this guy is that is having all this success and getting under a lot of spotlights. And I can honestly tell you now, even though I am more Metal oriented than Rock, I have become a fan since he is a true and a complete artist you can read more about him on page (13). Every day new news in the scene pops up; we will talk about The Weeping Willow and Michel Labex Labaki releases, about the future plans in the rock and metal scene with Vik Bajak and Nathalie Jeha, about the great collaborations of Chalice of Doom and Benevolent. There is a lot going on in the scene lately and I want to really thank you for keeping the production going so I can have more to write about ;) The family has gotten bigger, I can say, now I have a whole, complete team, everyone is devoted and is giving his/her best, all the major gaps were filled and the Odyssey has just begun, sure we need more talents to write in Metal Bell but with this family I have now, I am blessed and satisfied. Metal Bell Family: T.P. (Managing Director/Editor in chief); LADY K (Reviewer/Editor); AMESH (Reviewer/Editor); CHANA (Interviewer); JEN (Copy editor); ELLE (Assistant copy editor/environmental editor); Double U (Design editor/Art Director); Poker Face (Developer); NAT (PR). And we had a very special guest with us on this issue CLIFF MAKHOUL (Photographer) who took charge of Jay Wud’s cover story photo-session.

Cheers and endless head banging moons \\m// T.P. Editor-In-Chief

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christmas mission accomplished (Lady K) ave you ever felt gloomy after a long day of work, thinking nothing could ever turn your frown upside down, only to beam happily seconds later upon receiving a message from a good friend or a smile from a stranger? If you have, then you must know how a small thought can completely alter the negative aspects of our daily lives. Now imagine the power that thoughts can have on a bigger scale, let’s say, that of the lives of the orphaned children of S.O.S.. That’s what came to Nathalie Jeha’s mind when she launched the Christmas Mission 2012. “It all started with a simple thought that ended with a successful result.” And what a success it was! Of course, when there are so many lives to change, thoughts have to turn into actions. And to really get something done, you need the conjoint talents of many people. Imagine the positive vibes that can be created by a whole crew of wonderfully talented people, all powered by the magnificent force of – what else? – Music! And trust me, those vibes literally hit every single one of the fundraising concert attendees as soon as they entered Hard Rock Café – Beirut on Thursday the 20th of December. There, no matter how “big” their names are, and whether they played Funk, Blues, Rock, or even a bit of Metal, all of the present artists’ music was united under the name of the joy of giving. Deeply touched by such unity in goodness, Nathalie Jeha wanted to say: “All the bands that I contacted were very cooperative. I want to deeply thank each and every band member who contributed to The Christmas Mission 2012”.

Aura (poly)

Now I know what you’re thinking: “This is all fantasy. Good will is not enough! In our modern world, one needs money to truly get such a project going”. That is absolutely true, but it didn’t seem to be a problem for long. From the price of each ticket, to the contributions of wonderful donors, every penny the crew could get was meant to help the cause. But that’s not all: an amazing array of sponsors sealed the deal by ensuring that everything would indeed go to S.O.S, that the concert would go well, and that more gifts could be bought for the kids. “HMP (Harmony Music Productions) provided us with a full sound system. Thanks to them we managed to get a large line up of bands to play at 1 event on a small stage.” And let’s not forget the ticklish subject of sound engineering which was, masterfully, led as well. “Roland Azar – My favorite sound engineer and partner, Thank you for your hard work.”

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After a great night filled with loads of Christmas-y joy, it was time for the real work to get done. The next day, members of two of the bands, BandAge (the organizer) and Blaakyum (one of Lebanon’s leading Metal bands who launched their unplugged series of events) went to buy gifts for the children. That was also an amazing experience, as we all know that the mushy feeling one gets when receiving is nothing compared to that achieved by giving. The members of the crew could already picture twinkling eyes behind each pair of jeans, each parcel of food, each little doll. “The shopping day was awesome! Thanks to our donors, Metal Bell Magazine, Hard Rock Café, Banadoura (Tony Yammine) and Steve Peters from NRJ. And of course the event attendees, and whoever contributed through the donation box. Thanks to our sponsors: Deaïbess kids store, Alienz gifts store, Abido food supplies and Al Baba Co. We were able to buy all the needed goods” And on the following Sunday, it showed that it was all worth it. Members of some of the cooperating bands freed their day in order to get the gifts to the children of the S.O.S. village in Bhersaf. But they didn’t know they would get a surprise of their own: as soon as a few of the bands such as BandAge and Blaakyum started to introduce themselves, kids immediately interrupted them, saying “yeah, yeah, we know who you are!” Some of the kids even asked Blaakyum to get their album with them the next time they came to the village! Then came the good part: distributing the gifts. Imagine the look of every single one of those children as they each received packages of goods personalized to their own taste and needs! The bands tried to organize games during the distribution, but in vain for the kids immediately jumped on the colorful packages, tearing them away joyfully. Yet another surprise awaited Ms Jeha: in the midst of this sparkly chaos, one of the kids, Joumana, insisted to get on stage and distribute the gifts with her. She even sang! “Joumana is a remarkable kid! She is so talented and smart. She made fun of my hat! Hahaha! I fell in love with her instantly” Yes, the crew had experienced some problems along the way “Despite the very bad weather on the night of the event , which made it very difficult for a larger number of guests to attend, I did not lose 1% of hope. I knew that this mission will be successfully accomplished” indeed when something is done with love, it’s bound to work, and the Christmas Mission 2012 was a success! We sincerely hope for more joy to come out of that in later events, and wishing to all happy holidays.

“See you next year” 4


art and culture lounge (T.P. & Chana) photography

cliff makhoul

Maybe you have seen him acting in most of the audiovisual students’ projects, but no, he is not an actor ;). CLIFF MAKHOUL, the Lebanese Photographer and the former guitarist of Double Act was interviewed by our little monster CHANA to know more about the man behind the lens. 1.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Well, I’m cliff Makhoul; I graduated with a photography degree in 2009. I also play the guitar. I got married in 2011. My wife and I have a family of 7 pets, some cameras and 2 guitars soon to be 3 guitars hopefully hehehe. 2. How and why did you choose photography and the camera to be your working companion? Thanks to my dad who is a photographer as well, I always had a camera in the house so I got used to it. And while growing up I got more interested in that medium. At first it was painting then lost the interest to music then to photography at the age of 15 when I got my first SLR camera. 3. At what age did you start to take photos? And when did you become a professional paid photographer? Lol, I can’t really remember, but I guess I was like 10 maybe, I used to shoot with a small point and shoot camera but it wasn’t until I started university that I got my first paid photography job. 4.

Who does encourage Cliff Makhoul?

Family and close friends especially my wife and parents. 5.

Do you usually depend on themes with your photos? Or is it spontaneous?

When I’m shooting for myself, let’s say I’m working on a project yeah, I work on something that is continuous “theme. “ But if I’m on a job, well, I let the job specs dictate my visuals so I’ll say more spontaneous. 6. What are the most things that attract and inspire Cliff to take the camera and start shooting? Anything.

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7.

What is the best part of being a photographer?

You get to create visuals that make you feel proud, you made them and that people can relate to, whether it’s product photography, fashion, portraits or family photos. 8.

What are the hardest and the easiest things in your job?

There isn’t nor hard nor easy it’s a matter of practice, the moment you do the job for a period of time you get used to it, now if there is a situation that seems a bit difficult you just research about it and that would be it, but anyways never go on a shoot without having done a research no matter what the shoot is. 9. You have covered a lot of rock events and artists, and as a guitarist can you tell us how much music influences your work as a photographer? I learnt a lot from music…. 10. Do you see yourself more as a photographer or as a guitarist? I see myself as both; depending on the moment I live it to the max. When I’m on the streets and there are riots and I’m shooting for a news paper I don’t think of what I’m going to be playing or what effect I’m going to use for a certain song on my next gig, I focus on my view finder and what is going on around me, same goes for when I’m playing music. 11. What is Cliff’s comfort zone? Working with ordinary people, artists or bands etc.? Or do you feel more comfortable to shoot objects, structures, architects etc.? Mmm that’s a tricky question lol but I guess my comfort zone would be architecture. 12. Studying photography, did it help you in your job as a photographer or only the talent was behind your success? Of course it helped me, imagine you learn in three years what you would have to experience in at least five to six years. 13. Where do you showcase your work? Have you been exposing in exhibitions? Do you sell your photos or you just work on covering event and portraits? As a photographer I am being commissioned to do jobs that include more than the mentioned above, I had an exhibition with my project “The City” in Batrouniyet and in the Chouf. As for selling my work, yes it is something I do and it’s a good way to make money out of something you love.

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14. Who are the biggest artists you have photographed so far? And with whom do you love to work the most? As portraits of artists, I’ve worked with Alan Azar, Jay Wud and Cesar K, so far and the three of them were amazing no difference. But I’ve shot as well Emilie Guassin and Nadea when Beirut Jam Sessions brought them to Lebanon. 15.

Can you name a famous artist you would love to shoot?

Hugh Laurie 16.

What advice do you have for photographers just starting out?

Shoot, shoot and shoot again and when you think you know what you are doing just research other photographers work to see what you are missing. 17.

Can you describe yourself in three words?

Annoying, annoying, annoying. 18. Is there any upcoming work you’d like to share with our readers? For the time being lots of projects are on the table, which one to go through with, I’ve still not decided yet. But its portrait related

If you are interested in Cliff’s work check his website. It is really smooth to surf and perfectly designed:

www.cliffmakhoul.com metal-bell.com


ECONCERTS: An Environmental-Musical Mix! (ELLE) Eco-concerts is not just a raised slogan, it is a real ecological concept introduced to celebrating energetic youth. The aim is to motivate music lovers to be a part of an Eco-friendly musical event with the least possible pollution. But how to elaborate this idea to the revelers and concert organizers? And is this “mix”, easily prepared and applied nowadays? Initially, concert rangers should be aware that attending any concert is not a random littering celebration. As well as organizers who must be responsible towards the massive carbon footprint production (i.e. the total emission of greenhouse gas caused by the event). For this reason here are some tips to follow when planning an environmental-friendly music festival. 1)

“Smarter Reach!”:

What is more fun than going to a concert with friends? Why not share a car as a first step? Carpooling can be a primitive ecological initiative. Public transport on a second level can be a form of responsible behavior from the attendees. But also, organizers have to consider providing buses back and forth to the concert. And why not have a walk or ride a bike to the site from the parking lot and live the full natural experience? 2)

Innovation:

One of the biggest challenges in Lebanon nowadays is to find a venue. It becomes more of a challenge to find a location for an eco-themed concert. An openair concert in the woods might give us the chance to take advantage of the existing structure to set up the stage, storage areas, and even provide an easy-fix for the tents in case the concert is a multi-day camp festival. Fortunately, Lebanon is known for its available green areas whether as natural reserves, woodlands or as communal green lands that gives the opportunity for recreational activities. 3)

“Responsible” behavior:

a. Another part related to setting preparations begins with event advertisement through flyers of recycled papers. Adding to that, beverages and snacks in recycled cups, bottles, and dishes would be a healthier idea. b. Attention should also be drawn to distributing recycle bins (paper, solids and organic bins) all over the lot.

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c. Moreover, Human and nature’s hygiene are maintained with clean and dry public toilets (i.e. a composting toilet treatment where the human excreta is covered with hay or leaves as an alternative to flush toilets in absence of water supply.) d. Furthermore, some ecological activities and workshops could be done before, during or after the concert, adding more taste to the whole experience. For instance reforestation, cleaning the location from the litter left by previous visitors and by the concert attendees, and stands in the festival yard raising awareness on ecological issues. 4)

Green power:

If dazzling lighting and sound systems lie behind a successful concert, then solar power or public electric networks lie behind limited energy consumption and pollutants emission. The major problem in Lebanon is that not only outdoor concerts’ electrical source is being provided by generators but even indoor concerts because of the lack of a stable and continuous supply of power by EDL. This stage is still unavailable and not applied knowing that using giant electric generators or solar powers (if available in market) costs a lot. Simplifying the Lebanese mentality in managing a concert can lead to successful eco-friendly and healthy measurements that give the event a spontaneous style.

After presenting the previous mentioned advices for an “ideal” eco-concert, people wonder whether this can exist or can be even applied. Surprisingly and fortunately here are some samples of distinct events.

“Rock-A-Field (RAF)” occurred in Luxembourg 2011. The slogan was “Rock Reuse Recycle at Rock-A-Field Festival” with the participation of 15 bands. Food was delivered in biodegradable containers and soft drinks were served in reusable bottles. The interesting part was that the entrance ticket for the festival also served as a transportation voucher for public transport around the country, and all the roads around the site were closed so access was only by bicycle or with the shuttle bus. Also, no gadgets and goodies were distributed by RAF’s partners and sponsors to reduce the unnecessary wastes on site. Furthermore, the onsite electricity was part of the public electricity network, whose energy is 75% from wind energy, 12.5% from biomass and 12.5% from hydropower.

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Another well known event is the “Vans

Wrapped Tour” which is America’s longest running festival gathering around 100 pop-punk, screamo, or rock bands playing on multiple stages. A totally solar sound system was found with reusable dishware and booths for PETA and Green Peace that helped people and the environment.

“Reverb” is a non-profit organization founded by the environmentalist Lauren Sullivan and her rocker husband Adam Gardner of “Guster” to encourage green concert tours for big and small artists. Artists like Sheryl Crow, Ms.Raitt, Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, Cold play, and Red hot Chili Peppers were all content to travel in biodiesel buses producing less carbon dioxide. Their mission is to supply reusable aluminium water bottles, recycling drop off centres, and locally produced organic caterings served on biodegradable ware.

Passing through Lebanon, the “Forestronika” is an attempt to make this concept exist. Their 3 days program usually collects a number of Lebanese Rock bands, Djs, and other art kiosks in the woods. They offer a series of eco- friendly talks, workshops, recycled handcrafts, and “organic” super food, restrooms and sleeping facilities through rented tents for everyone enjoying the electronic music. But all these activities remain theoretically eco- friendly since the environmental awareness is present just in lectures, while in practice the litter and behaviour are not fully controlled.

All in all, these experiences have proved that a naturalistic eco-concert can be executed after following precise measures. Although, this approach didn’t reach the Middle East yet except in shy unprofessional trials by local organisations or universities. Eventually, musical projects are also able to play a vital role in presenting a green ideology leaving a big environmental impact behind.

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Parker Guitars Fly Mojo Series The one guitar that marked the live performances of the Lebanese virtuoso guitarist Elias S Njeim is the Fly Mojo. It has triggered my curiosity to check it out and to find out what is so special about this guitar, and eventually create this section in the magazine. What made one of the best guitarists in Lebanon choose the Fly Mojo as his companion? Well, I addressed Mr. Njeim with a small chat to get an inside look.

ELIAS S. NJEIM about the Fly Mojo: “I use it because it’s a versatile guitar, which enables me to play many styles since most of my playing is Fusion. And it has a very fluent playability which makes complex techniques easy to play. I am also attracted to Parker guitars for their light weight because they use carbon fiber with the wood while maintaining the sound quality, as well as the feel of wood guitars, and that feature ishelpful for live performers. I love the Piezo pickups that it has, which are the best in the market,

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and the Floyd Rose system that they created. I think it is one of a kind.It is very stable and it has a good sensitive respond, which allows me to play the Floyd techniques without any effort to pull down the Floyd arm in order to bend the strings.


So over all, it’s a master piece and a guitar that every experimental guitarist must have and get the different feeling it gives us, because it takes our playing into a totally different dimensions where no other guitars can reach. It's wild and yet domestic, it made my playing more smooth and yet aggressive.

Weight

The connection between the Parker &I is very special because it can smoothly let out those notes that are stuck in my head and without any effort. Every guitarist, in the end, will choose a guitar that reflects his personality and feelings, since every player has to find that instrument

Parker custom-cast aluminum vibrato bridge, stainless steel saddles

5 lbs/2.3 Kg

wood

Carved Mahogany body and Mahogany neck

Vibrato System Magnetic pickups

that let him be himself. And I guess after playing on many well known brands throughout the years, I decided to sell them all and keep only one to rely on. Finally the good news is that hopefully in summer a 7 strings Parker guitar will join my collection, I can hardly wait for that.”

25.5"

Bridge

Scale

Custom flat spring with balance adjustment, 3-mode step stop: fixed, bend down only or floating

Seymour Duncan Jazz (bridge) and JB (neck) Acousti-phonic Modular Pre-amp

Piezo System

Graph Tech™ ghost® piezo saddles

Others

Midi upgradable

Mag. PU Select

3-way mag pickup selection with push-pull coil tap

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Now, talking from a listener’s perspective, it’s undeniable that Jay Wud takes us on an epic journey full of dreams. Passing over different styles, from Blues and Rock to Heavy metal, Jay managed to describe his life and personality through his music with an unlimited ability to give his audience the best show ever, never to be forgotten. He received that gift from his parents, also musicians, who supported him in his path to being where he is right now. He supported two of the most famous bands in the world: Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin. His debut album ‘’New Blood’’ can only be described as amazing! It has exactly the right title to introduce us to who Jay Wud really is. His second album, “False Utopia”, showed a more determined musician who wants to take you into his world.


(T.P. & AMESH) Photography by : Cliff Makhoul orn on the 1st of August 1983 in Beirut, the city which has a long history of arts and culture, that is the main inspiration of our young rock star. On that day, the world gave us a rock prodigy JAY WUD. He was raised in a musical entourage where he used to sit and listen to legendary bands like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Pink Floyd with his father who happened to be a drummer in his teen ages. “Dad was a drummer back in the day. When the band used to come over to rehearse, the drummer would leave his kit there and he’d sometimes come and we’d jam together.” His mother always sang at home in a “sweet quiet voice”, which obviously has nothing to do with Jay’s throaty vocals, but was still a main influence on his art and gave him, as well as the entire household, a musical spirit. A Christmas gift from his mother twisted the fate of the young Jay at the ripe age of 13; his very first guitar. Mesmerized by its magic, he decided to become a dedicated musician, and he has stuck to it ever since then. After 3 years of intense practicing, he started to perform covers in pubs accompanied by various bands but always armed with a fake ID. He played various styles with lots of musicians, thus ripening his musical knowledge. Covering international bands was his main source of income at the time. But years of small gigs paid off handsomely starting in 2006, which was a remarkable year for him, crowned by opening for Led Zeppelin’s legend Robert Plant’s performance in Tunis as a member of the renowned Lebanese Rock band THE KORDZ. But later that year, Jay Wud’s life was turned upside down as Lebanon’s devastating “war of July” forced the Rock star to leave his beloved country in search for a better life abroad, a “quiet place” as he later referred to. In an attempt to escape the chaotic political conflicts of Beirut, the musician set sail to Dubai where he is currently working at his friend’s “Mindloop Studios” as a music producer, sound engineer and song writer. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of 2009 was another major pit stop in Jay’s career. As a Member of the band Paulak, he opened for Aerosmith’s performance. For him, it was a “very humbling experience and an eye opener”. This might have been the main reason that pushed him to finally quit the cover band business the following year and start focusing on his own production and composition.

That was the start of an endless loop of sleepless nights in “Mindloop studios”: after the working hours were OFF, recording time was ON. The hard work and endless hours of masterminding led to the famous masterpiece “NEW BLOOD”, his debut album that was released in 2010. It’s a one man band project where Jay played all the instruments, including synthesizers, except for the Arabic instrument, the Derbakke, which gave the track “Burning Daze” an oriental twist and was played by Joseph Fakhri. The whole album is a mix of classical Rock and head banging riffs, but it’s also pretty filled with beats you can’t help but dance to; it’s so colorful and unusual. Jay Wud succeeded in personalizing a unique music style marked by his throaty vocals and stylish melodies.

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From the popish riff, dance beats and strange vocal line in “Drowning in Euphoria” to the funky riff of “Strange Days” the album is a complete unit worthy of its huge success. Back when I first heard about Jay Wud coming to release his debut album in Lebanon in 2010, I have to admit I had no idea who he was! But this artist, who’s all about Rock n’ Roll, definitely succeeded in creating a distinctive image of himself and knew exactly how to promote his start as a professional Rock star. Inked arms “I design and pick my own ink. They’re all my favorites. Each ink reminds me of a time in my life. It’s a journey and I’m planning on having many more adventures to add up to my repertoire.”, he says. Varied crazy hairstyles, his distinctive mustache “inspired by Guy Fawkes” and his own line of old-school Rock fashioned clothing built up Jay’s persona and marked him as a true Rocker from his heart to his attitude.

Following the success of his first release, Jay Wud began working on a more concrete manifestation of his work by forming a 3-man band with himself on vocals and guitars, Imad A. Jawad From Lazzy Lung on bass, and Pascal Elias on drums. In November 2012, after a year and a half of hard work, the trio released what is Jay Wud’s second project, “False Utopia”. The concept surrounding this album is reflected in the artwork as well as the general direction of the tracks. “False Utopia” is meant to portray exactly what it’s title implies; the project is about living in a (fake) paradise while, in fact, being tied down by a certain system, politics, regime, government, laws, and rules, and being blind to all of these issues. According to Jay Wud himself, “False Utopia marks a change in my career as a composer, producer, performer, and a band member. Working on it was a big learning experience and a big step to what’s coming next in the future”. From lyrics to melodies to the general vibe, this album is ten tracks of downright rock. Kicking off the album is an upbeat, rock ‘n roll track entitled “Lovelust”. With Jay Wud’s husky vocals and his band mates’ instrumental talents, this track sets the bar for the rest of the album. “Wasting Youth” is the second track and it keeps up the fast pace with the impressive and spot-on guitar riffs and drums. The heartwrenching chorus brings the song together and makes it one of my personal favorites of the album. As for the third track, “Rise Up”, it is made up of somehow sensual vocals and plenty of guitar’s resonance! Jay Wud offers an epic guitar solo on this track, right at the end, showing off his relentless talent. The fourth, title track “False Utopia”, and the fifth track, “Incomplete Heart”, are a continuation of the upbeat, rock vibe the 3-man band has to offer.

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“Incomplete Heart” is actually the album’s single and it has received much attention since its release along with its accompanying video clip. The song is about needing space after ending a relationship. Listeners can definitely relate to the lyrics in one way or another, whether a past memory or a current heartbreak is on their minds. You can clearly sense the dark passion which is evident in this trio’s musical offerings, especially on their track “Kings and Beggars” which starts off with a softer, and dare I say, melancholic mood. The lyrics for this song are somehow in grievance for society, “Nothing buys you happiness, not even money or gold. Kings are never satisfied, and beggars have stories untold”. A pleasant surprise on this album is guest vocalist Malikah who is a Lebanese/Algerian female rapper known in the underground Arab hip-hop and rap scene for being a strong-willed female artist. Her Arabic rapping is mixed in with Jay Wud’s heavy guitar riffs for a unique experience of two musical worlds meeting in a striking amalgamation of sound. The last two tracks of the album, “Back Again” and “Running Away”, are also perfect embodiments of Jay Wud’s musical style: heavy, sensual, passionate rock. But the album does not end here, the bonus track, “Spaces”, is a softer and more ‘magical’ trip through emotion. The guys show off their softer side on this final track, bringing the album to a slow halt.

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Incomplete Heart – The Music Video! Looking back ‘Incomplete Heart’ is Jay Wud’s single from this album. The video clip of ‘Incomplete Heart’ is quite impressive in all its aspects. The concept seems kind of abstract with Jay Wud and the guys, dressed in black with the bassist wearing a mask, performing their song against a white background as the video cuts back and forth between them and a girl in an interesting white bodysuit performing various gymnastic acts. The song itself is about heartbreak and wanting to be left alone after the end of a relationship, so perhaps this girl is the girl portrayed in the song. Imad, the bassist, was unable to be present for the shooting of the music video, that’s where the mask comes in. They brought in a double and put a mask on him; this adds more abstractness to the concept and also conceals the fact that Imad is not in the video… two birds with one stone! This video shows off the talent of the director, Fares Sokhon, who is not a stranger to the Lebanese scene. I’d give this video two thumbs up!

All in all, Jay Wud’s “False Utopia” is a musically eloquent project which just puts more emphasis on the trio’s

reassures us that it’s a sharing experience where each band member has s o m e t h i n g t o offe r , s o the trio have been learn-

talent and potential, in particular that of front man, Jay Wud. Being the first release for the guys together as a band, this album leaves us craving more of what they have to offer. Jay Wud claims that working with a band is “just like having a family, it’s a responsibility” and he

ing from each other. And news we just received confirms that the trio have added a 4th member to their band. Bojan Preradovic (front man of EYE)

just recently joined Jay Wud and the guys as back vocalist and guitarist. Hopefully there will be a third album by Jay Wud in the near future. Until then, Jay Wud and the guys are planning to make a tour around the Middle East throughout 2013; starting in Abou Dhabi opening for Guns N’ Roses, Dubai, Lebanon, Jordan, Bahrain and Egypt. They are planning for a Euro tour but nothing is confirmed yet. Dates will be announced soon on their website

www.jaywud.com so stay tuned!

Anybody who hasn’t already grabbed a copy of “False Utopia” should definitely get a move on it. This is some genuinely good music that is not to be missed!

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Local news lebanon

JAY WUD and his fellow band members are E V I welcoming a 4th member to their musical group. Bojan LUS

EXC

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Preradovic, front man of EYE (Empty Yard Experiment), joined the band just recently as guitarist and backing vocals. Bojan will pursue the rest of Jay Wud's musical endeavors along with the other guys. In other news, as has been announced through Facebook and other social media platforms, the guitar virtuoso, Jay Wud, and his now 3 accompanying band members will be opening for the legendary hard rock band Guns and Roses at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi on 28th of March 2013.

WEDDINGS YEAR: A productive year in our rock and metal scene and the family will soon grow bigger. On the 23rd of December 2012 Fares Sokhen got married to his lifetime companion Joy Mhawej and his best man was the one and only Jay Wud. - Blaakyum’s Drummer Jad Feytroune got married to Rachelle Torobay on the 27th of December 2012 in Larnaca Cyprus, where the couple bumped into one of the leading figures in our metal scene Sir Walid Choughari who also got married in Larnaca on the same day to Rania Shoukair. May the Metal powers be with you my friends through all the way. Rock and Roll \\m//

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MASSACORE CONSEQUENCES: On December 24th, Bassem Deaibess, the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of Blaakyum, a Lebanese thrash metal band, along with MASSACORE organizer were called for questioning under the accusation of Satanism. This was the consequence of the cheap TV episode that accused the concert of being a black mass and a satanic gathering. Luckily and with the professionalism of the detectives, no harm or direct accusations were made towards any of them. Hopefully one day we won’t have to witness Metal Heads being used to gather higher view ratings for TV shows nor see them being used as the point of deception.


ALAN AZAR’S FAREWELL: Alan Azar, one of Lebanon’s best Guitarists, left for good to go pursue his life in Los Angeles, California. The guitar maestro kept the story hidden until his last night before his departure, which shocked all the Metal Bell crew as well as every rock and metal head in this country. Even though Alan left to the US, his devotion to his Lebanese fans wasn’t reduced a bit. On the contrary, it was doubled and tripled as he worked hard to finish and launch his first video clip “Into Space” from his second album “The Cosmologist” earlier this month. Good luck from the heart Sir Alan and we wish you all the best \\m//

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E Nathalie J.’s First Single “NO ANSWERS” to be V I S CLU mastered in LA.: Lead Vocals and founding member of Band-

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Age, one of the oldest still active cover bands in Lebanon, has finished recording her first single. Nathalie J. collaborated with Doug Katsaros after she met him in Raoul Di Blasio’s concert in Beirut due to the invitation of former BandAge bassist Mike Ganime. “Collaborating with Composer Doug Katsaros was one hell of an experience, more like a dream come true! We learned a lot from him. Every conversation with Doug is a lesson to learn from. We also had the chance to jam together! He is simply a genius. I am lucky that I have met him.” says Nathalie. Doug is an international composer, arranger, orchestrator, keyboardist and/or vocalist for hundreds of artists; to name a few: KISS, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, B.B. King, Bon Jovi, Peter Paul & Mary, Cher, Aerosmith, Michael Bolton, and he is currently the producer and arranger for Raul Di Blasio. The Classical Rock single talks about a love story that ended without any closure! “I wrote these lyrics in 10 minutes, I knew exactly what I wanted to say!” Nathalie says. The collaborations didn’t end there as one of our own geniuses, the guitar virtuoso, Alan Azar took over the guitar parts of the song leaving his signature on the track. “We jammed a lot in the past but never recorded together”, she said. The song was edited and mixed by Roland Azar, keyboardist and cofounder member of BandAge, who is already known to have mixed both of his brother’s albums. Vocals were recorded at Wissam Badr’s 3rd Ear Group Studio, and the guitars were recorded at Sami Gabriel’s EQ Studio. Everything else was recorded at Studio Rico (Roland Azar’s home studio). The single was sent to be mastered in Los Angeles at Lurssen Mastering the studio that mastered Grammy award winning and top chart albums threw 20 years of experience. “No Answer” will be released in the form of a music video, directed by Sam Andraous. As the brainstorming phase is now almost over, the shooting is scheduled to start in April 2013.

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VIK BAJAK’S IMPULSE: After one year of work VonE a progressive I S band, Vik failed to gather the right U CL

musicians that he could work with on such a hard project. In January 2013, after a very long break from music due to some personal problems, Mr. Bajak managed to gather some “cool” musicians, some of which are not well known in the scene. After hearing the voice of Maria Azarian in Parachutes event, Vik saw that an alternative experimental band would fit perfectly with the young talent’s voice. “Maria helped me a lot and supported me with this band” muses Vik. After a long struggle in seeking a descent keyboard player, Makram Safi mostly known as the pianist and keyboardist for Audio Traffic was a perfect match. Mazen Mardini, a young solo artists and composer, also joined in as the guitar player and back vocalist. After 17 years of friendship and 10 years of absence from the local scene, the Ex Valhalla drummer Toufic Manouk joined the band, after he had decided to come back home again and settle down in Lebanon for good. A photo-shoot is set for the near future and the band is planning to start composing in the coming summer. For now they will cover bands such as Pink Floyd -Portishead -Massive Attack Archive - Jeff Martin - Porcupine Tree (Steven Wilson) - Jeff Buckley - Coldplay

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HAITHAM EL KHATIB ON X-FACTOR: It was quite a shock for me to see such a big figure from our local scene participating in a TV show. Despite the vocal cord injuries, the AMAZING Haitham El Khatib who is a real legend in our scene; the guy that has broken all the barriers since the 90's when thousands of people used to go to see him performing live with his band Exceed, this guy hasn’t stopped to Rock our days. With an exceptional appearance on X-Factor, Haitham was able to get the attention and respect of the 4 jury members and made the whole crowed stand up, clap and cheer for his “True Rocker” performance as described by the Lebanese Diva, Miss Carol Samaha. Vote for Haitham and make us proud.


ZIX debut album updates: After releasing their demo sample from their new album in the making to test their fans and media reaction, the female fronted Lebanese metal band ZIX announced on their facebook page details from their debut album production phase and collaborations. The album will be produced by Bart Gabriel (SACRED STEEL, CRYSTAL VIPER, JACK STARR'S BURNING STARR); mixed at the MP Studio in Poland by Mariusz Pietka (MORTICIAN, SABATON, LONEWOLF) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (ROB HALFORD, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, LITA FORD). The band also announced their collaboration with the legendary drummer Kenny "Rhino" Earl (ex-MANOWAR, ANGELS OF BABYLON, HOLY FORCE...) to record the drums for the full album and Jack Starr (ex-VIRGIN STEELE, JACK STARR'S BURNING STARR...) as a guest guitarist in its upcoming untitled album.

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Metal 101??? Planned to be a 12 hours event that features 19 bands, from the biggest names in the scene to new bands. So what happened? The event started to collapse few days before the actual date with the unavailability of a venue, ok we get it, shit happens in Lebanon but this showed that the event wasn’t handled well in the first place. Many plans and proposals were published by the organizers, of which none worked and then the event ended up in a small pub in Jbeil with only 6 bands performing. Despite the low sound quality and few number of attendance or let’s say few number inside the pub since most of them spent their time chatting in front of the pub. But those who were inside, definitely, showed their love to Metal and didn’t care about the sound quality or even if the bands were good or not, they just enjoyed their time to the fullest. Last but not least, the issue that persuaded the organizers for a while, the prepaid tickets issue and the refunds and till that day we haven’t heard of any kind of refunds that was made; maybe they did! But it wasn’t publically announced as it is supposed to be. This is the second big concert that was organized by “Ma Adden Head” that had a huge amount of bad reviews, so I guess either the organizers should stop organizing concerts or Do it on a scale they can handle.

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Local news Middle East

UAE-based extreme experimental metal band BENEVOLENT and Italian amp makers Ignite Amps announced on January 15th, 2013, their collaboration through a signature custom drive pedal geared towards the band's sound. The pedal, dubbed as the Tyrant Screamer (TSB-1) features a Tube Screamer-type circuitry with extra features that work towards Benevolent's guitar tone identity.

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CHALICE OF DOOM the Jordanian Doom/Death Metal band joined the family of the Spanish label Memento Mori to release their upcoming album. It will feature a list of remarkable guests such as one of the busiest people in extreme metal scene today, the Swedish vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Roger "Rogga" Johansson ,member of Paganizer, Demirug, Ribspreader, Bone Gnawer…the list will never end. The Norwegian vocalists Marius Strand from The Fall Of Every Season and Ex- Nyctanthous, The Female Greek singer Christina Kroustali from Die Verbannten Kinder Evas. Also joining the crew is the American Giampaul Andrianopoulos mastermind of Lonesome October, ex-Earthen and last but not least the Russian keyboardist Maria Zvyagina from Falling Leaves and Ex- Immensity. The artwork and the layout of the album were designed by the Polish horror and gore designer "NAGROBEK". CHALICE OF DOOM has in their catalogue one full length album "Immemorial Nightfall" released in September 2011.

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Nervecell U.A.E based Death/Thrash Metal band has been nominated for the “Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards” for the 3rd year in a row for “Best Dubai Music Act”.


The new Middle Eastern independent label Grindbor Records has announced its launch and the signing of its first band: the Syrian Death Metal act VIIEDEN. VIIEDEN was formed in early 2011 by Abdullah Ghosheh, Hazem Mallah and Fadi Massamiri. The band has teamed up with the label to release the band’s debut album as-yet-untitled, which will be released in the coming months. The album will be launched in a digital format worldwide through the main online music outlets.

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Wasted Land the Saudi melodic death metal band has finished mixing their upcoming album. Their producer is finalizing everything, and the release date is expected to be announced soon.

Bader Nana the Kuwaiti progressive rock/metal one man band is now officially a part of the Russian Label/Publisher "Mals Records"

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Embers of Revenge is a band from Tunis, who calls their style North African Progressive Metal, will soon release soon their new single "le cavalier" in late march through the Australian label BlueFreya records, while preparing their debut full length that will be released late this summer.

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EPIC their second Need" taken album "Like A "All I Need” is song which in their very nice since they have well adopted by show a strong

EPIC

Released single "All I from the Phoenix". a really nice and well put together shows off Epic’s high professionalism glam/melodic rock single. They are a change for the Lebanese rock scene chosen a different style that is not local musicians. Tania and the band and powerful performance.

“METAL STRIKE” is a product of the Lebanese Rock & MetalRevolution, by the female-fronted heavy metal band ZIX. The band collaborated with many such as Walid Wolflust from Kaoteon, Blood Ink, PhilipeHage Boutros, and Fadi B.K. “METAL YouTube in late November 2012, as a stand up tions against the metal heads in Lebanon. demo single “Fields of Time” last month on promotion for their debut album. The album MaorAppelbaum, who has had the pleasure of major international acts such as: Sepultura, Fight and many more.

ZIX

names from the scene Bandage, Dany Deaibess, STRIKE” was released on against all the false allegaZIX also released a their YouTube channel, as a will be mastered by Mr. mastering recordings for YngwieMalmsteen, Halford,

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KIMAERA one of the most achieving bands in Lebanon released, in January 2013, a preview of their third upcoming album"The Harbinger of Doom".The video shows a really promising album as the samples from each song are amazing, and it remarkably shows a high level of professional work. The band is nowworking on their new music video for “Lost Control” an ANATHEMA cover that will promote their New album. “It is a very simple video actually, a bit close to December Ends' video, shot inside the studio where most of the recording was done.” explains JP. KIMAERA who talked to us about a plan for another video for this album soon too described the album as a “soundtrack of an epic voyage into the twisted terrains of a broken mind. It is a sincere expression of the universal human experience of loss. Themes of desire, denial, grief and ever present wrath are the hostile hosts taking the listeners deeper down, and with strong roots set in Doom and Death Metal…”

KIMAERA

WEEPING WILLOW The Weeping Willow released 2 singles “The Last Mourn” and “Valued and Hated” respectively prior to the release of their 4thalbum IMPALE that took place at Yukunkun Pub in Gemayze on the 16th of February.

Alan Azar’s video clip for his hit ‘Into Space’ was released in February 2013 and is a definite plus to the positive talk surrounding his latest album ‘The Cosmologist’. The video takes viewers on a trip into space, starting out with a space shuttle ‘take off’ scene and moving on to show the musicians performing ‘Into Space’ in what seems to be an outer space setting, complete with wind and a space background. The filming was directed by Fares Sokhon who is a known director in the Lebanese scene. There are plenty of jump cuts as well as close ups of Alan’s guitar which keep us in tune with the music. All in all, the execution of the concept was alright, however it would have been more appealing as a music video if it had more of a storyline and more action since the track is purely instrumental. Nevertheless, the video clip was well filmed and the musicians got to show off their performance on a 5 and a half minutes-long (give or take a few seconds) video. These guys deserve a pat on the back for their first music video!

ALAN AZAR

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Oganalp Canatan‘s Power/Progressive Metal project MAEGI, released its debut album entitled "Skies Fall". The album features very huge names from the metal scene: HansiKürsch (Blind Guardian), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Tim Ripper Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth, YngwieMalmsteen), Zak Stevens (Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Circle II Circle) and Jerry Outlaw (Jon Oliva's Pain). OganalpCanatanis a Turkish vocalist for the turkish bandsDreamtone,Dreamtone,& Iris Mavraki'sNeverland.

MAEGI

Summoning the Bygones is the third full-lengthstudio albumbyBILOCATE, released four years afterSudden Death Syndrome. “Summoning The Bygones is BILOCATE's early visions presented in a new outfit, we've always felt that Dysphoria has much value to offer to listeners, however, maybe it got somehow underrated due to the weak sound quality (compared to SDS), so we'd like to share the same spirit and music and ideas with our listeners but with more proper arrangements, production, and sound quality. The album also includes a modified version of "Days of Joy" under a new name (which is actually the very first name this song had originally when it was created in 2003), in addition to a brand new song and a cover song, we hope you'd enjoy Summoning the Bygones. " The album was Co-produced, Mixed and mastered at Fascination Street Studios, Orebro - Sweden by Jens Bogren The artwork of the album Summoning the Bygones has won the Metal Riot's JUNE ULTIMATE COVER ART SHOWDOWN.

BILOCATE

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THE EXECUTION fter about 17 years of keeping Lebanon satiated with Death Metal music, the iconic local band ‘The Weeping Willow’ released their fourth album “Impale” on February 16th, 2013, exceptionally spreading their metallic vibes to the sugary alcoholic drinks and Pop music driven area of Jemmayzeh in a release party aiming to satisfy the most enthusiastic of Metal heads. Each attendee went home with a physical copy of “Impale”. Looking at the elaborate cover art and listening to the heavy tracks, one might be curious about how this album came to life. Far from the typical “musical epiphany” stereotype that most bands resort to while describing their newest releases,

The Weeping Willow are keeping it real: “Well, there is no story to be honest, we started writing some of the material back in 2010 while rehearsing, and it went on from there. Once we gathered in the studio,

we worked more and more on some of the structures and that broadened the album’s musical perspective. All in all, the album is very Thrashy and very aggressive yet groovy at the same time, and in my opinion this is what death

metal is all about: being fast or slow yet keeping it all in a sick groove, so to speak.” They do allow themselves to show a more personal aspect of themselves through the lyrics, though: “According to the lyrics, every song has its own discourse/theme, some of them deal with the

band’s struggles within the past years, some of them deal with personal issues, and of course it deals with the day-to-day shit that we go through in everyday life over here in the country.” One might also wonder who, among the band members, is the proud owner

of the twisted mind that is responsible for having the most work done in the writing and composition of the tracks. Well, we can safely say that the sickness is rather equally distributed: “Everyone in the band has a lot of ideas to offer, we tend to throw everything down

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once we start rehearsing, and that is the way this album came to life. Having Garo [Gdanian] as Rhythm Guitarist, he is the master

mind behind the riffs on the album; The Track “Primitive Urge” on the album is a song that was all written /composed by Elias Njeim our lead guitarist. Then again, I stress on the fact that it is a collective team work; at the end of the day, it’s a band, a solid unit.”

Those who’ve tried to record an album (or even a single song) in Lebanon know how hard it can be, especially for Metal artists. Thankfully for The Weeping Willow, they seem to have kept the usual duress that such a task would put anyone through to a minimum:”The Album was recorded at Guerrilla Music Studios located in Hamra/Beirut. It took us exactly 6 months

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to have everything done and ready for the mixing/Mastering Process. The album was recorded by Mr.Karim Baydoun, it was great to work with him on a lot of different levels, and that really pushed the production of the album to a better/higher set of standards by all means.

We didn’t really face a lot of problems when we were in the recording process, everything went very smooth and we are more than pleased with the way it turned out.”


Now that we’ve gotten familiar with “Impale”, we can’t help but wonder how it differs from the first 3 albums that the band released. “Every album the band ever made had its own Mood, with every album the material tends to mature more and more musically.

This album is more aggressive and rawer; it really reflects what we’re going through as individuals.” But enough with the past, I’m sure that all of you readers are anxious to know about what The Weeping Willow has on the stove for us now.

All I can say is, they won’t ever let their fans linger too long: “Hopefully we can get to tour sometime in the near future, we all have full time jobs and that makes it very difficult to leave the country, but then again it would be a dream come true if it happens!”

For those who haven’t attended the release party, it’s still possible to get your hands on a physical copy of that bolt of raw energy that is “Impale”: “’IMPALE’ is being sold at Virgin Lebanon (all branches), as well as Instruments Garage (all branches).” And for those who like to keep it digital:” The Album is also available on ITunes and on Amazon for download.”

Make sure you check the band out on their facebook page: www.facebook.com/theweepingwillowleb Videos at: https://www.youtube.com/TheWWOFFICIAL Twitter page: https://twitter.com/theWWofficial

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Labex? Now that’s not a very common name, but it sure is growing more and more popular pretty quickly. Born in Beirut Lebanon, Michel Labaki also known as “Labex” started off as a guitar player but switched to bass at the age of 15, oblivious to the fact that this decision would open doors for him to later take the world of music by storm. t the age of 20, he was one of the best uprising Rock bass players in Lebanon, but that’s not all he had up his sleeves. He began his career in the late 1990s with Warner Brothers Production House Middle East and stayed there for 10 years. Since then, not only has Labex been involved in the continuing development of various techniques and styles (Funk, Latin, and Fusion World music) but he has also struck the world of music with his sense of lyricism and melodic bass lines. He has performed with more than 50 international artists (H.A.I.R., El Chato, Isabelle Laroche, Damien Barneata, Jose Fernandez, Demis Roussos,

Peggy Pavlakis, SelimSesler, RelouMirea, Son Cubano, TinoFavazza, Jose Galvez, Aleph "le piano de l'orient", Tony Hanna, Wadih El Safi, National Orchestra of Nowheristan, the Greeks vs. Turkish, Oriental roots orchestra, Yugoslavian brass band…) and festivals (W.O.M.E.X. in Newcastle, Big Big World Festival Scotland, Lent Festival Slovenia, JARASH festivals, BAALBECK festivals, HAMAMAT Tunisia… ) around the globe. Labex is a multi-style player with an outstanding performance and showmanship, and this is what has lead him to great success. He is an endorsee of Gruv Gear (“Well, I can finally say I found the right way to reach success with less efforts With my Stadium Bag to organize my stuff, my

FretWraps to discipline my notes and frequencies, and finally my DuoStrap double strap to provide the comfort I need on stage. Now I can focus on ME and my GRUV!") and, more recently, of Fodera, with which he released his signature “Monarch”, thus joining the likes of other world renowned bass players such as Grammy winners OteilBur bridge and Christian McBride, Paul Turner of Jamiroquai, and many others. His endorsement was featured in Bass Musician Magazine. Today, Labex is a main bass player, artist casting manager and a recording engineer in 8e Art, performing in a prime time TV show "HekMenghanne" on MTV Beirut.

But in spite of his huge success, Labex knows how to keep it real and help other aspiring musicians become the next ones to fill his glittering shoes: he now teaches the bass guitar at the Bach Institute of Music where he opened a free of charge clinic on

the 2nd of March this year which involved explanation about Fodera professional basses and Gruv Gear support items. Labexshowed the attendees how he sets up his bass and what he uses in order to maintain the sound he likes as well as a d e m o n s t r a t i o n

on Gruv Gear items. The workshop also involved question-answer interaction, plus a technique course on how to practice in order to reach your end results in music in addition to how to create your own grooves in Funk, Blues, and Latin etc.

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ost importantly, In January 2013, Labex finally released his album “Bass Lab” at the NAMM show in California, NAMM being the National Association of Music Merchants, an association whose shows serve as a hub for people wanting to seek out the newest innovations in the music w o r l d . “The album is produced by us 8eart (www.8eart.com), launched in the states at the NAMM show, distributed by Virgin Megastore, and now working with some production houses in the states for future plans.” Michel went to California to receive his signature custom bass guitar "labex" made by" fodera" one of the greatest handcraft bass guitars company in the world. He performed tracks from the album, at the NAMM show in "fodera" booth and "gruvgear" for 4 days there with his team, and crowned his release with

a special appearance as opening band in the bass bash. The album features other 8e Art artists such as Aleph on piano, Beuchet on flute (head of aforementioned Bach Institute of Music), Dia on vocals, Elie Akl on guitar, Ghassan Sakr and Jihad Said on Drums, Jihad Assad “Kanj” on Kanoun, Raed Abou Kamal on Oriental Flute (Nay) and Ramzi Abou Kamal on the Turkish Baglama. To put a cherry on the top of the collaborations Labex featured Fred Clark-Kent on the 5th track “Million Miles” that was composed by the latter.

Fred worked with the biggest names in the music industry such as Ray Charles, Little Richard, Brian McKnight, Adam Levin from Maroon 5, Maria Carey, The Scorpions and many others. Last but not least Jose Fernandez, the gypsy guitarist that doesn’t need any introduction, Jose worked on the 4th and 6th track in “Bass Lab” that he composed and co-composed respectively. And that’s not all! “A lot of international artists recorded with me in some other tracks that I didn’t include in this album, they will be released in my second album by the end of this year.”

But it took a lot of work before this gem could be brought to us. “The album was recorded in my studio in Lebanon, edited by Elie Akl, mixed and mastered in Holland; it took around 8 months of recording and the editing mix and mastering around 2 months”. Thankfully, though, M. Labaky was fortunate enough to avoid the usual mishaps that happen to Lebanese musicians during the recording process: “Basically no problems were encountered, everything was moving forward smoothly, and all the featured guest artists in my album were full of energy and positive vibes; it was a lot of fun and sharing ideas”

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Wondering what Labex is cooking up for us, now that his album is released! “I already did 3 clips from this album; the three songs I did the clip for are Touchdown, The Drill and White Baglama ("The Drill" was a song that I used to sing when I was 16 in class,

when I used to daydream about the bass. That’s why the clip that I did is my story at school). They were uploaded to YouTube. The fourth clip is on the way, we start shooting in a month; we're in the story process now.

Working on some bookings now such as a concert in France and two in the States; I was invited to perform in the MUSIKMESSE Frankfurt this April, unfortunately I can’t because we have a lot of gigs in the Middle East.”

If you haven’t got your hands on Bass Lab yet, not to worry, there’s still plenty of ways to do so. “Other than Amazon and Virgin, you can get the album from Apple’s iTunes store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bass-lab/id613147116). In a week it will also be sold in Android’s App Store, Spotify and Xbox.

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International News

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RANDY BLYTHE Lamb of God’s vocalist, a free man. After being accused of causing the death of a young fan ‘Daniel Nosek’ in Prague 2010 by pushing him off stage, LOG front man was acquitted of all charges. Randy tweeted in the same day of his release the following statement: “I have been found not guilty of all charges against me. I am a free man. This photo was taken by my friend @aceyslade- it says it all. Please remember the family of Daniel Nosek in your thoughts & prayers in this difficult time. I only wish for them peace. Thank you for your support- Randy”

Stone Temple Pilots’ founding member and vocalist SCOTT WEILAND was officially dismissed from the band. In a short press release on February 27. The band representative stated: “Stone Temple Pilots have announced they have officially terminated Scott Weiland”. One day prior to the announcement, Scott denied, to Rolling Stone magazine, what Slash claimed about this issue in a radio interview in December 2012. Scott Weiland is currently touring as a solo artist backed by The Wildabouts.

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Stone Sour’s fifth album “HOUSE OF GOLD & BONES – PART 2” to be released on April 8th, 2013 as a completion of their double concept album “House of Gold & Bones – Part 1” released in October 2012. Stone Sour & Slipknot vocalist COREY TAYLOR wrote a 4 issue comic book entitled “House of Gold & Bones”, which was inspired by the Stone Sour double album of the same name. It is set to be released on April 17th, 2013. Pieces of the first and second comic have already been revealed along with covers from Issue 3. ‘Do Me a Favor,’ has already been released online as a first single from the album.

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VOLBEAT‘s new album ‘Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies’ is set to be released on April 9th. Recently Rob Caggiano (Ex-Anthrax) joined the band, and started recording the new album that will feature the Danish heavy metal legend King Diamond. The album will also feature guest vocalist Sarah Blackwood, the harp player Paul Lamb, slide guitarist Anders Pedersen, banjo player Rod Sinclair on banjo and double bass player Jakob Oelund.

Rumors whispered that Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper will tour together this year. A poster entitled ‘Masters of Madness: Shock Therapy Tour’ was unveiled on Alice Cooper’s official website.

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Rest in peace ALVIN LEE. The founding guitarist and singer of “Ten Years After” has died at the age of 68 while undergoing a surgery on the March 6th 2013. Rock and metal legends around the world grieved Alvin such as Geezer Butler & Bill Ward from Black Sabbath, deep purple’s legend Glenn Hughes, Slash, Joe Satriani among many others.

Bassist ADAM DUCE has left Machine Head in the most amicable way, with the band wishing him all the best with his current and future endeavors. Machine Head will continue meanwhile as a threepiece band and they have already begun the writing process for their upcoming album which is scheduled to be released in late 2013.

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A new TOOL album is in the making supposedly to be released in 2013 according to Drummer Danny Carey “Sometime this year … that’s all I can say […] The sooner the better for us. We’re working everyday but you can never predict it, honestly. We’re really excited about it so I hope all the fans will be too.” he said after the fans were disappointed when singer Maynard James Keenan announced that there would be no release from the band in 2013.

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After being voted in by all band members and most of the fans on WHITESNAKE’s official website TOMMY ALDRIDGE is back home. "I can't express how honored and grateful I am to be back in the SNAKE fold. Working with David Coverdale & Co. has always been a labor of love. SO stoked to be back and to finish what we started!!" States Aldridge.

At sunrise on January 17th, 2013 a dark fire started in the Beverly Hills home of OZZY and SHARON OSBOURNE. The fire left the ‘Prince of Darkness’ with singed hair, no eyebrows, minor burns to his face and a setback to an existing hand injury.

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The creators of Metal, BLACK SABBATH announced the name of their new much-anticipated album as "13". This is the group's first studio album with the “prince of darkness” Ozzy Osbourne since 1978. The album is set to be released in June through Vertigo/Universal Republic in the U.S. and Vertigo in all other territories. After original Sabbath drummer Bill Ward bailed out from the reunion due to what he called “contractual dispute”, Rage Against The Machine’s sticksman Brad Wilk jumped in to fill the gap.

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DREAM THEATER into am album writing camp. The wizards of progressive rock and metal have started their writing sessions since January to create their new masterpiece. “This time” said John Petrucci the guitarist of the band, “Mike Mangini, who replaced Mike Portnoy in 2010, will be involved this time in the writing unlike their last album ‘A Dramatic Turn of Events’ where he only came in and tracked. This time, he's going to be in from day one, so we'll write together as a full group. The tapes that we have from doing that a bit on the road have been incredible. At sound check, if I'd come in with an idea and we'd start jamming on it, he was really quick and had great creative concepts. I think it's going to be a very cool experience."

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Also another group of old timers is going to be in the studio soon, as Lemmy bassist and singer of the English giants MOTÖRHEAD stated that "We're gonna start in the New Year, go into the studio in January," The album is set to be released in summer 2013. Lemmy also revealed that MOTÖRHEAD are excited to celebrate the band's 40th anniversary in 2015.

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It is a busy summer this year yet another album is scheduled to be released in the coming months. The Finnish band CHILDREN OF BODOM are also in the studios recording their 8th album. The band announced the recording by posting videos on their facebook page of the recording session.

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"NOW What?!" The long awaited album from the legends of Hard Rock DEEP PURPLE is scheduled for release on April 26th, 2013 in Finland and Spain, on April 29th, 2013 in UK, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Norway and Denmark, on April 30th, 2013 USA and Italy and on May 1st, 2013 in Sweden via EarOne Music. It is the first studio album since 8 years, and it will feature 11 new songs. “NOW What?!” will also be released as a limited edition with a bonus DVD featuring Deep Purple discussing the new album and one bonus studio cover version. A double A-side single is expected to be released on the 29th of this month with 2 tracks Side A: “Hell to Pay”(radio edit) Side B: “All The Time in The World”(radio mix – edit) both songs are now available online for streaming. A World tour of the same name will be announced soon.

CLIVE BURR passed away on March 12th, 2013 in his sleep. Clive joined MAIDEN in 1979 and performed on their first three albums "Iron Maiden" (1980), "Killers" (1981) and "The Number Of The Beast" (1982). Prior to that, he was a member of SAMSON, the band Bruce Dickinson fronted before he too joined MAIDEN. Since he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the treatment cost him much and left him deeply in debt. IRON MAIDEN made a series of charity concerts and they established the Clive Burr MS Trust Fund in 2002 to benefit their former drummer. Burr used a wheelchair because of his condition for several years until his death. Straight after Clive’s death the band released the following statement for this tragic news: "We are deeply saddened to report that Clive Burr passed away last night. He had suffered poor health for many years after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and died peacefully in his sleep at home." Bassist Steve Harris and Vocalist Bruce Dickinson were the first to commemorate the deceased.

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January - April Artist: Helloween Album: Straight Out Of Hell Release date: January 18, 2013 Length: 60:16 Style: Power metal Label: The End Records

Artist: Riverside Album: Shrine of New Generation Slaves Release date: January 21, 2013 Length: 50:59 Style: Progressive rock, progressive metal Label: Mystic Production / InsideOut Music

Artist: Jorn Album: Symphonic Release date: January 25, 2013 Length: 71:58 Style: Heavy Metal Label: Frontiers Records

Artist: Circle II Circle Album: Seasons Will Fall Release date: January 25, 2013 Length: 68:01 Style: Heavy Metal Label: earMUSIC

Artist: Red Album: Release The Panic Release date: February 5, 2013 Length: 34:00 Style: Post-grunge, heavy metal, Christian metal Label: Essential Records, Sony Music

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Artist: Bullet For My Valentine Album: Temper Temper Release date: February 08, 2013 Length: 44:25 Style: Heavy Metal, Hard Rock Label: RCA Records

Artist: Stratovarious Album: Nemesis Release date: February 22, 2013 Length: 57:39 Style: Power metal Label: Edel

Artist: Saxon Album: Sacrifice Release date: March 1, 2013 Length: 39:28 Style: Heavy metal Label: UDR Music

Artist: Adrenaline Mob Album: Coverta Release date: March 12, 2013 Length: 34:33 Style: Heavy Metal Label: EMI records

Artist: Lordi Album: To Beast or Not to Beast Release date: March 1, 2013 Length: 43:15 Style: Heavy metal, Shock rock, Hard rock Label: Sony Music (Finland)/ AFM Records (Europe, USA)

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Artist: Black Veil Brides Album: Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones Release date: January 8, 2013 Length: 51:08 Style: Glam Metal; Hard Rock Label: Lava/Universal Republic

Artist: The Blackout Album: Start The Party Release date: 20 January 2013 Length: 48:20 Style: Punk; Rock Label: Cooking Vinyl Limited

Artist: Tomahawk Album: Oddfellows Release date: January 29, 2013 Length: 40:42 Style: Hard Rock Label: Ipecac Recordings

Artist: Jill Barber Album: Chansons Release date: January 29, 2013 Length: 38:51 Style: Jazz/Pop Label: Outside Music

Artist: Steven Wilson Album: The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories) Release date: February 25, 2013 Length: 54:03 Style: Progressive rock, Jazz fusion Label: Kscope

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Artist: HARDCORE SUPERSTAR Album: C’MON TAKE ON ME Release date: February 27, 2013 Length: 46:10 Style: Hard rock, Sleaze rock Label: Nuclear Blast, Sony music

Artist: Bon Jovi Album: What About Now Release date: March 8, 2013 Length: 51:36 Style: Hard rock, Rock Label: Island Records

Artist: David Bowie Album: The Next Day Release date: March 8, 2013 Length: 53:14 Style: Rock Label: Iso, Colombia Records

Artist: Avantasia Album: The Mystery Of Time Release date: March 28, 2013 Length: 62:00 Style: Symphonic, Power Metal; Hard Rock Label: Nuclear Blast

Artist: Stone Sour Album: House of Gold & Bones – Part 2 Release date: March 27, 2013 Length: 50:39 Style: Alternative Metal, Post Grind Label: Roadrunner Records

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