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MARCH 2014

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. 6 randometal p. 8 historia metallum p. 10 art and culture lounge p. 12 musicians only p. 14 local news local releases p. 16 most attended local events p. 19 most achieving band p. 23 local events reviews p. 32 international news p. 42 international releases p. 44

A new year, Locked and Loaded

After more than a year, Metal Bell Magazine is growing not only in terms of team members, but also on the level of exposure and reliability. What started as a small documentary bulletin has become a well-known fully loaded magazine, both on the local grounds and at the international level: a big part of our audience consists of foreign readers from all over the world, especially from the USA and England, as well as from 45 other countries. Thanks to the team and to all the people behind the scenes who work hard to keep the magazine alive, even though we know that working for a Metal and Rock project will give no financial returns, but on the contrary, it will take from our time and sometimes from our own pockets. In the coming year, Metal Bell promises all our readers and our local bands better and bigger news about what is being prepared behind the scenes. But without your support, NOTHING can happen. Thank you. In return, and to support our local bands, what is better than recognizing their efforts and honoring them for that? Even though last year we haven’t officially declared that BLAAKYUM was the MVB (Most Valuable Band) of the year 2012, this year, we will by making KIMAERA our cover story because it is undoubtedly the MVB of the year 2013. You want to know why? Check our cover story on pages 24-31, as well as a bigger range of diverse articles with a new section about Metal History (Historia Metallum) on pages 8-9, in addition to the “Most attended Local events of 2013� on pages 19-22. This issue covered the best events of the last few months and a lot more. Dig in \\m//





this happen

Maggie Varbedian (A Senior Pillar): Managing Editor

ELLE (El-Comandante): Environmental Editor

DoubleU (The Wizard): Design Editor/ Art Director

TP (A Senior Pillar): Editor in chief

DAVINA Copy Editor

Nathalie Jeha (The Protecting Eye): PR

Poker Face (The Geek): web development

Carmina Khairallah: Senior Editor Dahlia Noir: International News Editor Rany Batikh: Historia Metallum Editor Chady Khairallah: Writer Eddy Hanna: Writer Hussein Shehady: Writer Maurice Semaan: Writer/Reviewer Nathaline Deuvletian: Writer


Eliane Radi: Photographer

This section is made for random articles that we don’t want to classify into permanent sections. The concept is to talk about any subject that might cross our minds, from album reviews to articles about the local scene, which does not have to be a musical article but a social one.

The Controversy

of the Metallic Cedar

Words: Carmina Khairallah Every time I go to a local Metal event (“every time” being a strong term here since those don’t seem to happen that often these days), I can’t help but hear the inevitable and countless rants about the state of the Lebanese Metal Scene. Personally, I think there aren’t that many things that are wrong with it besides the obvious (how hard it is to find a record deal, a reliable recording studio or media coverage, etc.) and a little more that could easily be changed, but that’s just my opinion. Although I do think that we Lebanese Metal Heads tend to fall into one of two extremes: we’re either too anti-Lebanese Metal or too pro-Lebanese Metal.

I understand how I haven’t made my point clear enough with this statement alone, so I’ll start by explaining the “anti-Lebanese Metal” point, which seems to be the one that is affecting the majority. It is a well-established fact that we Lebanese love to rant. It has become our national hobby; were it to be an Olympic discipline, we’d bring home the gold medal year after year. This aspect of our people does not lack in its more Metal-inclined individuals. Every sentence I hear at concerts, every status I read by some renowned local figure, seem to go something like this “The Lebanese Metal scene is dead!”, “Building a true Metal scene in Lebanon is impossible”, or even “It’s not worth it anymore, those newbies

are just a bunch of posers anyway”. While all of these affirmations and more do carry their own little stash of truth, it is also fair to say that they’re starting to seem redundant. Past concerts would get attendees from all over Lebanon, the Middle East and more? Fine, Metal was “hip” back then, so was “sticking it to the Man” (the Man having an irreversible allergy to the slightest of riffs), and tourism here definitely isn’t what it used to be. Bands all play the same redundant styles? Fine, grab an instrument and do something new. Not enough venues accept Metal? Please, a new Metal-friendly venue seems to miraculously pop out every time we need it, you just didn’t search well enough.

I’m not saying that all of this is easy, but ranting is guaranteed not to fix anything, while these options seem to have their chances.

Now on to the “proLebanese Metal” point, and this might grow to become a somehow unpopular opinion, but hear me out before brandishing your mighty flags. It’s true that we’d gain by having more bands that add a national touch to their music to gain a certain originality vis-à-vis other countries’ Metal Scenes. On the contrary, there’s nothing wrong with this. But what seems to be recurrent among some people

(which I sometimes find myself to be part of) is to take Lebanese Metal solely as what it is: “Lebanese Metal” instead of just “Metal”. What I mean by that is that some bands tend to limit themselves to the level of the local acts that have come before them (and that’s without counting those who simply imitate their favorite one or two band sand create “original” tracks that sound like poorly rendered medleys of past glory),

and whoever heightens the level, if only the slightest bit, is suddenly considered a deity among their peers. It is true that we need to strengthen the individuality of our local scene, but in a world wide web world, what’s good for us just isn’t good enough anymore. Progress doesn’t wait, and, at the risk of recycling the oldest cliché in the book, we need to catch the train before it leaves, at the risk of waiting at the station forever.

Long story short, all I wanted to say was: give your local bands a chance, but give a closer look to the reviews that foreign critics post online (yes, they exist; you’d be surprised what one can find with a little bit of research). And, last but not least, we know it ain’t perfect yet, but at least we have it, so enjoy the music!


Bay Area Thrash Metal: The Return (Part 1) Words: Rany Battikh


1981 The year is 1981, a young James Hetfield responded to an ad posted in the local newspaper by a young Danish drummer looking to form a Metal band inspired by NWOBHM. Together they formed what would later be known as Metallica. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, they moved to San Francisco to meet bassist Cliff Burton's request and to escape the rising L.A. Glam scene. Metallica established themselves in the Bay Area of San Francisco as the leaders of an underground movement characterized by energetic Metal shows. As soon as their lead guitarist Dave Mustaine got kicked out of the band in early 1983, Metallica recruited Kirk Hammett from fellow Bay Area band Exodus. Exodus, a band founded way back in 1979, is behind the name "Thrash" not just because of pioneering the genre musically but because of its attitude. They almost completely destroyed the venues where they held their shows at as well as the backstage, motel rooms and just random houses where they used



to host Metal parties at, hence the verb "thrash". Paul Baloff, lead vocalist of the band until 1986 (he eventually made some brief comebacks later on before he died in 2002), endorsed the motto: Metal rules, if you don't like it then die! With that kind of enthusiasm the band fueled their audience and graced their fans by releasing 5 cult albums before breaking up in 1994. By that time, most of the Bay Area Thrash acts that were shining through the late 80s disbanded or completely shifted styles following on-going trends. And that was due to so many factors that we'll get into some other time. I remember picking up "Low" by Testament sometime around 1994-1995 and was left in complete shock for many years to come mainly because they shifted away from their fast melodic riffs (which were their signature throughout the 4 first LPs) into a more groovedriven genre. "Low" was a no-go for me. Ironically enough, I gave the album another chance in 2002 and fell in love with it.



All through the 90s into the year 2000, Bay Area Thrash Metal was in a coma. The wake-up call came at a small benefit concert held in 2001 under the name "Thrash of the Titans". The idea behind the concert was to help out both Chuck Billy (Testament) and Chuck Schuldiner (Death) in their fight against cancer. Now during that event, many bands such as Exodus, Heathen, Death Angel, Forbidden (under the name Forbidden Evil), Legacy (pre-Testament line-up featuring the great Steve "Zetro" Souza on vocals) and Vio-Lence among others reunited, after a long absence, to play in front of a small but enthusiastic audience. Most of the bands were surprised by the crowd's reaction and the chemistry that was still present between the musicians. The whole show was a great success and Bay Area friends parted ways once again. A few months later, Testament released "First Strike Still Deadly" which mainly consisted of re-recorded

classic hits from their first 2 albums. Guitar virtuoso Alex Skolnick, who left the band in the early 90s to pursue a career in jazz, came back and recorded all the solo parts and he surely did a fantastic job! Chuck Billy recorded vocals while still under treatment. I was blown away by this release and kept listening to it over and over again wishing that some day the glorious days of Bay Area Thrash would return.

Meanwhile, I kept on receiving news after news about bands reuniting for good and working on new material. But, in my opinion, one release triggered the whole comeback and played a huge part in re-instating Bay Area Thrash on the Metal map again; that was "Tempo of the Damned" by Exodus. "Tempo of the Damned" was released in early 2004. The album was supposed to feature returning Paul Baloff on vocals but the latter passed away almost 2 years prior to the release of this masterpiece. Actually most of the songs were written with and for Paul but to my joy, Zetro made a tremendous job replacing Baloff. I really didn't know what to expect when I first got the album since Exodus’s 1992 release (last studio album before 2004) was my least favorite but Tom Hunting, who's a phenomenal drummer, also returned here which was a good sign for me. I immediately got hooked just after listening to the first couple tracks.

It had some of the most memorable riffs, vocal lines, drum rolls, solos, just everything you would expect from an outstanding group of musicians carrying the whole revival of the genre on their shoulders. Some of the highlights on "Tempo of the Damned" are: War is my Shepherd, Blacklist, Forward March, Throwing Down...

Death Angel, a band that surprised everybody in the 80s by getting signed to one of the biggest record labels back then "Geffen Records", also released a breakthrough album in 2004 titled "The Art of Dying". I absolutely liked the vibe that I was getting while listening to this album; it just brought me back to the days when I first listened to the band. It really sounded like the band never stopped as this release just blends in with their past catalog just perfectly. Among these mentioned albums, I consider "Tempo of the Damned" to be the genre definer as it revolutionized Thrash in general by introducing modern sounds and music ideas while keeping the classic "good friendly violent fun" attitude. One thing that always makes me come back to this album is the mixture of fast Thrash riffing and unique groovy themes giving each song on the album its own identity. Unfortunately, I never liked any other Exodus release after "TOTD" mainly because there was at least one element (to my preferences) missing with every album

they came up with whether it was the absence of Zetro or the lack of groove in most of the newer songs. On a side note, I couldn't be happier to see Zetro forming his own project under the name "Hatriot". The band's debut album "Heroes of Origin" (2013) just blows everything that Exodus released lately out of the water. Steve Souza's contribution to the Bay Area Thrash is just endless!

Stay tuned for the second part of "Bay Area Thrash Metal: The Return" where I discuss some more of my favorite Bay Area Thrash releases during the last decade up till now. The best is yet to come! I'm sorry for all those (I'm sure they're non-existent anyway) who expected to see "St. Anger" here but I guess you already know how I feel about Metallica (post 1991).

That's it, 'til next article. (Dedicated in loving memory of the great Paul Baloff)

Read more from Rany Battikh here:


art and culture lounge Radio/Events host & Events organizer


Maybe the name is not that famous in the local playground of the Lebanese Metal Scene. But do you know: Who was the first to ever host a Rock/Metal program on the Radio? Who hosted some of the biggest Metal events in Lebanon as well as many cultural events? Well, he is our Lounge guest for Issue 4: RANDI J. Stephan Who is Randi J. Stephan? Well, most of my friends call me Handy Randi, I like to help make things happen and solve problems. How has rock and metal music affected you, and if so, in which areas of your life can we see it? Having been surrounded with Rock music my entire life it has shaped my character, personality and outlook on life. I continue to learn from my continuous Rock 'n' Roll life style and experiences. You have studied communication arts. What made you want to go into the event organizing business? So did you give up working in the field you studied? What happened there? I continue to work in various fields of the media and entertainment industry.

By T.P. As an event organizer, what was your first breakthrough event? And which one do you consider to be the most successful? All the events I have been blessed to be part of hold a dear place in my heart. In my eyes each and every one was a great success. You hosted the “Fattal’s Bartenders competition” at Horeca yearly, can you tell us about that? I’ve hosted four editions of the Lebanese Bartending Competition and each edition was a great experience giving me more innovative ideas to excel in my own personal bartending skills. You have also hosted a number of other local events and concerts, some of which were metal concerts. In which do you feel more like yourself?

And tell us an unforgettable funny story that happened with you during hosting. I tend to adapt to the job at hand and accordingly find myself in tune with all kinds of different forms and styles of events. During the first HAIL event I forgot to remove my earpieces before going on stage which resulted in an exaggerated performance, but I also got to push my voice to new limits. What about Haven events, we know you are also the host, and from the description of the event it seems really interesting, can you tell us more about the concept? Haven is an event which brings together poetry and live music, and awesome experience by all means that I think everyone should try. How did the idea to have a radio rock show come to you? When did it start? The full story behind it. Well I met Mr. Abdo Kahale at AUST during my studies and he was quickly attracted to my broadcasting skills and offered me airtime at Radio One. After quite some time observing the market, I realized that there was a need for a show to help expose the vast amount of musical talent in Lebanon

while also reminding the public about Rock music. Your rock show was the first of a kind on a Lebanese radio station; especially that it supported local bands and featured many of them. Tell us about the show you did. My show was dedicated to each and every old, up-ncoming musician and the worldwide bands they look up to. My goal was to help revive, expose, and empower those artists. Was it hard to convince a radio station to adopt a rock show? It was no trouble to have a rock show, except for the limitations placed on the music I was allowed to play. (No Growling) Did you consider it to be a successful show? Well, considering all the positive feedback I was receiving and continue to receive, yes. But I believe this question can only be answered by the fans of the show.

Did you consider it to be a setback for you having the show not air anymore? What do you think was the reason it was stopped? When did it stop? It was solely my decision to take the show off-air as I was interested in pursuing my career in filmmaking, but I still have my plans for a live show in the future. Tell us about one episode that you consider the highlight of the show or about your favorite episode. I put my heart and soul into everything I do and every single episode holds a place in my heart. I still listen to them over and over again. They seem to never get old. What are Randi’s future projects? Any of them related to the rock and metal scene? Well I’ve been pursuing various projects at the moment, all of which have a rock tune playing in the background.

Where do you find yourself most: as an event organizer, a host for events or a radio presenter? It’s hard for me to put a finger on exactly what Handy Randi is up to next, but I do promise that whatever it is I may do, it will always be something great! Thank you for this interview, all my best to the team.


Ignite Amps Tyrant Screamer TsB-1 Benevolent’s HADI SARIEDDINE (GUITARS / CLEAN VOCALS) AND MOHAMMED GAD (GUITARS) spoke to us about their custom-made pedal, the Tyrant Screamer TSB-1, manufactured by the rapidly-growing brand in the international metal scene, the Italian Ignite Amps.


about the tsb-1: We chose Ignite Amps specifically as we have heard of their internationally fast-growing reputation amongst the metal scene through the builds they've been making and the plug-ins they've released. Particularly, we were looking for a product so flexible that it could give us some of that “modern heaviness” yet absolute clarity on our rhythm and lead tones. And the one thing that distinguishes Ignite Amps from other builders out there is that they work hand-in-hand with the musicians that they're crafting the gear for. We actually like to play using very controlled amounts of gain rather than boosting all the way for the main rhythm parts while we also like to push the overdrive gain into clean channels to get a cool driven sound for the eerie and atmospheric bits.

With the Ignite Amps Tyrant Screamer TSB-1, we're able to achieve all that and be able to make adjustments easily during a show to our main rhythm tones using the TONE and SWEEP knobs. That SWEEP knob is Hadi’s favorite feature on the pedal because it can truly change the character of a tone and provides so

much versatility. Ignite Amps team works on their builds in a really cool way which starts off by them building a software / plugin version of the units; adjustments and tweaks are then made to that plugin and then the hardware unit is built based on those specs / features and the result is absolutely amazing.

Technical specifications: The TSB-1 Tyrant Screamer is based on the most famous green "808" overdrive pedal. Drive: lets the user control the amount of distortion added by the diode clipping circuit. It's worth noting that in the “808� clipping circuit, the diode saturated signal is added to the clean input signal, mixing a compressed component with an uncompressed one, giving the user the chance to add dirt and compression retaining a good amount of dynamics and keeping the overall output volume pretty much constant throughout the whole sweep of the Drive control. It is also worth noting that the TSB- 1 features a higher maximum distortion level compared to the classic circuit version. Tone: controls the character of the pedal on the high frequencies. The higher

the Tone level, the brighter the sound. Level: controls the overall output level. It can be useful to drive tube amps harder, increasing their saturation level. Sweep: the TSB-1's secret weapon. It controls the mid response and saturation behavior of the pedal. This is one of the most important and unique features of the TSB-1, as it greatly improves its versatility, letting the user tweak his tone according to his guitar pickups and tuning. Turning the knob counter-clockwise will make the tone rounder, increasing the low-mids and smoothing the treble, leading to a fatter and less aggressive tone. Turning the knob clockwise will allow the user to achieve a tighter and more aggressive picking response, letting

the treble saturate more and polishing the low-end response of the pedal. This is extremely important for guitarists using really down tuned guitars, as the extended low-end response may make it difficult to cut through the mix and cause a lack of feeling with the instrument. Boost: this foot-switch activates or deactivates the boost circuit. The red led will switch on and off according to the boost setting. When active, the output will be increased according to the Boost Level control, accessible in the back panel. It is worth noting that the boost is achieved by a non-linear model of a transistor, causing the addition of even and odd harmonics to the tone, for a more analog and rich sound.

features: Dynamic 2N3904 Bipolar Junction Transistors stages analog modeling. Dynamic 1N4148 diode circuit analog modeling. Mono / Stereo processing support. Selectable oversampling rate (up to 8x). Variable Input Level control for better response to different pickups. Double precision (64-bit) floating point internal processing. Fully automatable controls. The Ignite Amps Tyrant Screamer TSB-1 pedal is available as an AU/VST plug-in for FREE DOWNLOAD for both Mac and Windows:


RABBLE OF HEAVEN – Featuring Mike LePond And Jon Howard After working on the single for about 3 months and after the departure of its bass player Farzin N.Samani one month before the release, Rabble of Heaven, the Iranian groove/death metal band, announced on its Facebook page the release of its new single featuring "Mike LePond" from "Symphony X" as bass player and "Jon Howard" from "Threat Signal" as guest vocalist. The song is still in the mixing process, waiting for the final announcement of its release date. Note that the band's second album “It’s Time To Pay Your Blood" released earlier last year is available online for both streaming and download.

Blaze Bayley on VIN SINNERS’s New Album From the heart of Dubai, Vin Sinners is getting ready for the release of its second album, "A Mighty Black Box", 2 years after the release of its debut album “An Element of Surprise". The new album is set to have 13 tracks with a soon-to-be-announced release date. The opening track "Open the Box" will feature Blaze Bayley, best known for being the former singer of Iron Maiden, on vocals. The band has already released the song "Kingdom Come”which is available for streaming on the band's ReverbNation profile page.

BENEVOLENT – Debut album featuring Andols Herrick Benevolent, a Dubai-based metal band, has released a new song titled “The Seeker" as the first single from its upcoming album “The Covenant". The album features Chimaira's former drummer Andols Herrick. With a list of 11 tracks, "The Covenant" is scheduled for release on March 18th through the band's official Bandcamp page."The Seeker" and the next song on the album "Radiate", an instrumental, are now available for streaming on the band's YouTube channel.

AMADEUS AWAD – The Book of Gates Amadeus Awad's EON announced that the new project will be a progressive metal concept album with oriental elements. “The Book of Gates" is set for release on the 13th of February. After the departure of Patrick Stephan, the band announced that John Macaluso (Yngwie Johann Malmsteen, Ark) will take on the drum and percussion duties. The lineup will feature many guest musicians: Russell Allen (Symphony X) on vocals as the Pharaoh, Amanda Somerville (Aina, Trillium, Avantasia) on vocals as the Queen of the Nile, Elia Monsef (Amadeus Awad, Ostura) on vocals as the Necromancer, Amadeus Awad on all Guitars, Kevin Moore (official) (OSI, X Dream Theater) on keyboards and synths, Elyes Bouchoucha (Myrath) on additional keyboards, Dan Veall on Bass Guitar and Timo Tolkki as a guest lead guitar (X Stratovarius, Avalon).

Zix Comes at US with a Surprise In an attempt to free and lift the ban on metal music in our part of the world and shed light on the oppression of metal heads from all religious and political institutions, Zix, the Lebanese female-fronted classical metal band, that started its career in 2010, is collaborating with major names in the metal world in pursuit of its fight. Lately, Steve Thompson, an American record producer who has worked with people like: Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Korn, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, John Lennon, Wu-Tang Clan, Cutting Crew, Belouis Some, Public Enemy, Blondie and Whitney Houston, has agreed to work with Zix and mix its upcoming album. The album will also include the song “Metal Strike” which features many metal legends from Iron Maiden, MANOWAR, Black Sabbath, and many others. Zix has a goal with this album, and that is to eliminate the misconception that exists about metal music, metal bands, and metal heads in general. This misconception has led to the ban of many songs and concerts in our part of the world, depriving metal heads from enjoying their favorite bands and songs. The album also has a surprise, which Steve will be working on, an Arabic song nonetheless, called “Fi Zol El Shams El Fania” that can be translated to “In the Shadow of the Dying Sun”. From the “sound” of things, this album seems to be worth the wait!

Steve Thompson worked on Guns N' Roses’ “Appetite for Destruction” and Metallica’s “And Justice for All”.

Alan Azar Working on New Material After recording the guitars and taking part in the composition for the Disney animated movie "Planes" that was launched on the big screens back in August 2013, Alan Azar started working on a new song and a potential full-length album. Roger Yessayan, the band's bassist, flew last November all the way to Los Angeles - U.S.A to rehearse and start the recording of the song, which we are confident will be something special as always.


Words Eddy Hanna

Warpact in Black On November 9, 2013, Hatecrowned released and sold hard copies of their first EP “Warpact in Black”. This album preserves many aspects of the First Wave of Black Metal excluding the instrumental low pitch; Hatecrowned’s instruments are clear and empowering. They are vigorously rich in the many Black Metal aspects of Double Bass and Blast Beat drumming and Tremolo Picking. The vocals are mostly shrieked like a dry corpse and at lesser times growled like a hungry ghoul. But what makes this album distinct from any other is that this is the first Lebanese Metal album that has every song in it in Arabic, with lyrics that are well written and almost poetic. It consists of four tracks as follows: TRACK 1: UNTITLED The first track is, in fact, not untitled, but both the title and the lyrics are confidential. I do assure you though that it has enough massive hatred lurking out in every second that you’ll still enjoy it. It is generally very upbeat with a few breaks and melodic solos in there. TRACK 2: RAJE’A YETDAMMAR LEBNAN This is a Symphonic Black Metal song, a Blackened version of the Lebanese hit song “Raje’a Yetaamar Lebnan”; taken to a strictly pessimistic perspective that ironically remains intact within a realistic measure. Lyrically, this is a song about how close we are to religious conflict alongside various other political aspects that WILL lead us to war and destruction again. It is decorated with the wise usage of back up female vocals and keyboards as ensemble strings in the background. TRACK 3: OSQOT YA INSAN This is the song to headbang to in the album. There’s an obvious focus on Blast Beat drumming in the intro

and the singer sounds like he has been engraved dead till his lungs filled with dirt, in a good way. There is also a beautiful, unique mid-solo at one third of the song. Lyrically, it portrays a misanthropic, nihilistic view on humanity. Dominated by their own evil, mankind destroy their only earth (God’s means of torturing man), leaving death as our only salvation. The outro of this song is played on a nylon guitar while sound effects of burning and chaining a woman are heard; sound effects I feel

I should not ask many questions about. TRACK 4: YOUSBAGH AL-KAWN BE LAWN AL-BA’S This is an Ambient Depressive Black Metal song. It plays both drum killing upbeat Black Metal and, for half the song in the middle, a downbeat sort of Melodic Doom Metal sense. It narrates, poetically, the pains of this strangling earth and its murderous despair on a personal level.

There is only one thing I feel I should note concerning this album. The musicianship excels in creativity and uniqueness in both lyrics and music, but I would prefer more diaphragm usage in the vocal growls. I feel that then, this album would be perfect.

Most attended LOCAL events 2013

The Visit – DANY DEAïBESS & Friends Before leaving the country, Dany made a Farewell event in a jam night style. And it became a tradition, with every visit he gathers his friends and does a small gig at Quadrangle-Live in Hazmieh. It was only until last year that he took it seriously with “THE VISIT”. On October 12, more than 150 rockers and Metal Heads attended the event, with a remarkable mix between the new and old generations and a surprising number of well-known musicians as well. I have to be honest and say it wasn’t Dany’s best performance; his voice cracked on some songs especially when he was singing Stratovarius’ “Before the Winter”. But on other levels, he showed his potential and his consistency to sing 17 difficult songs until the end of the show despite his inflamed throat. THE MOB, a tribute to Black Sabbath Ft. BandAge & The Butterfly A memorable event of the Year. Three bands gathered their fans in one place, all for the sake of music, passionate rhythms and favorite tracks. The place was crowded with more than 180 fans wearing their favorite Black Sabbath and DIO T-shirts. Famous Lebanese Metal Scene artists were present as attendees and guests too. A heavy glimpse of rock atmosphere surrounded those who grabbed beer and merged into the crowd, sharing a similar interest: Rock Music! The highlight of the event was when Nathalie Jeha with BandAge covered Rammstein. The Butterfly & the all-star band The Mob did an exquisite show as well. Read the full review on pages 36-37. Amadeus Awad – Schizanimus Release Party "Schizanimus" is the third release by Lebanese guitarist Amadeus Awad. The EP has a different sound from what we are used to. Amadeus' new style combines ambient elements, Rock Progressive sounds and Psychedelic flow. On August 15th, Metro Al Madina gathered more than 200 attendees. The event was heavily advertised on Facebook, especially with a competition campaign, and was supported by long time support band April, that has opened most of Amadeus’ events in the past. The event was an album listening night followed by a jam session. The event was rated as the 10th best event for summer 2013 in our Summer Special Edition. The Next Big Thing – Finals One of the most interesting events that took place in Lebanon in quite some time. A competition that lasted more than 6 months was crowned by the final event at Metro Al Madina in Hamra which gathered more than 250 attendees to become the second biggest event of the year 2013. 6 bands out of 25 competed for the title on December 1st, and the winners were Alan’s Trio. Even with some rough complications in the sound system, the event is to be remembered and HMP’s commitment to support the rising talents was fulfilled. Read the full review on pages 38-39.


The Christmas Mission 2013: Rock For Life In December 2012, alongside many local musicians of different styles as well as of many heavily supportive helpers and sponsors, Nathalie Jeha managed to pull off the “Christmas Mission”, a big charity concert uniting several bands to help raise funds to get Christmas presents to the underprivileged children of the S.O.S. villages. Last year was such a success that Ms. Jeha and her crew decided to make it happen again on Sunday, December 22nd 2013 at the Quadrangle Hazmieh, a friendly location that offered them an amazing deal so that the attending fee of 20$ would include a pizza, a beer, show fees and donations.

All the parameters were united in order for it to be a memorable night, imbued with pure and contagious positive energy. First of all, the date was more than suitable, as it was not only a Sunday but also the day preceding the beginning of the Christmas break for most scholars and employees nationwide. Also, the weather was finally favorable to outings, as the chilling cold of the precedent few weeks had subsided as well as their intermittent raining. This kind push from Mother Nature made the venue constantly loaded with smiling faces throughout the night, for as soon as one would leave, two others would come in to fill his space. Even technicalities went for the best relatively to the burdening risks brought by the presence of a large number of performers, as the event began at approximately the estimated time of 6 PM, and ended roughly around 2 AM.

The result was that in a country where we often see venues occupied only by the friends of those who will take the stage solely as a supportive gesture, people were gathered for the sheer love of good Music laced with the warmth brought by a good deed. Similarly to last year, the show comprised a varied choice of musical genres. The attendees were thus offered a mix of everything from Blues to Rock to Grunge and more, as well as the comforting knowledge that they were there enjoying the music for a very good cause. That enjoyment was provided by Jayz Band, One Night Stand, The Sparks, H-Bon, Candlends, Layer Cake, Jules Warde, Antoine Zayoun, Rubberband, Elie Margi, The Onion Strings Theory, Ayzmay, Left Hand Rule, Butterfly, BandAge, Rebellion and Blaakyum. The more visually inclined Art-lovers of the audience were also granted a special

treat: a live painting show accompanied by some delightfully improvised piano music thanks to Brushnote. And unlike Hard Rock Café (the venue that hosted the event last year), Quadrangle allowed Metal music to be performed, which towards the end of the night allowed the Metal heads of the audience to head bang to their hearts’ content, while disproving once again the reputation of evil barbaric anarchists that all members of the Lebanese Metal scene seem to constantly suffer of. Ms.Jeha’s cheerful initiative was offered support by a wide array of sponsors, such as Better’fly Marketing, ZUMBA Fitness with Marcelino Gebrayel, Saber Middle East, Web Wild Web, Alienz Store, Lebtivity, Beirut Circle, Habib Publishers and Time Out Beirut, as well as people like Ms. Rana Wakim, Cj Elkhazen, Kristel Samaha, Sam Sal, Saiid Saber, and the EarBlend crew.

Of course, that was only the first part of the Christmas Mission crew’s job, as some of the band members and helpers involved also volunteered to go shopping for presents then deliver them personally to the kids of an S.O.S. village. Seeing how blessed the fundraiser concert was, one can only imagine the positive energies backing up this kind hearted project, and there was no doubt that all would once again go for the best during days 2 and 3 of the Mission.


Anthoine Zayoun Rubberband



Jules Warde Elie Margi


Layer Cake



Candlends AyZmay

Left Hand Rule

Blaakyum Rebellion

The Onion Strings Theory

The Sparks


Words: Carmina Khairallah In the new age of our Metal scene, one cannot bring up well-known local bands without mentioning Kimaera. Being one of the few Lebanese Metal bands to have performed abroad has made them one of the gateways between our scene and the world, and the recent release of their third full length album “The Harbinger of Doom” as well as their “Doom Upon Russia” tour were two more big steps towards notoriety. But that’s merely brushing the surface, so let’s move on to more serious business. In the new age of our Metal scene, one cannot bring up well-known local bands without mentioning Kimaera. Being one of the few Lebanese Metal bands to have performed abroad has made them one of the gateways between our scene and the world, and the recent release of their third full length album “The Harbinger of Doom” as well as their “Doom Upon Russia” tour were two more big steps towards notoriety. But that’s merely brushing the surface, so let’s move on to more serious business. For those who don’t know them, Kimaera (originally Chimera, which means “a thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve” alongside being the name of a Greek mythological creature, but the name ended up being taken abroad) started just for fun in 2000 as a Heavy Metal cover band. But that didn’t last, and a change of taste directed the members towards Doom and Death Metal, while also encouraging them to make their own music. Their first gig as an original-track band was at the “Peak Hall” in 2002. Three full-length albums, numerous concerts and several changes of lineup (resulting in JP being the only remaining original member and recently adding to the pack a Turkish drummer, Erce Arslan) later, as well as signing with German record label Eternal Sound Records, they are now considered as

one of the most achieving local Metal bands of the current scene. September 6th 2013 marked the release of the band’s most recent offspring: The Harbinger of Doom. An event was scheduled for the occasion at the once notorious (and we have to say, now somewhat infamous) Nova Sin el Fil. Fans were very excited about it and the 120 CDs brought by the band were immediately sold out, with more people asking for one afterwards. The available supplies weren’t even sufficient for a fan base that is widely criticized for not being bothered to cash out a single dime for the music that they like and subsequently


mastering the art of online pirating, which could definitely be considered as a sign of success for the band. Said success was widely encouraged by the fact that much more technical prowess was dished out in The Harbinger of Doom’s making than in that of its predecessors: “This album is the peak of the band.(…) It had fresh blood in it, thus more influences. Production wise, this album is also the best, as during the production of the earlier albums (…) we didn't have a sound engineer such as Karim Sinno who can make the best out of it. (…) Anyone who listens to the album can clearly tell the difference“ .Even the album cover was left in the expert

hands of a big wig: Rhett Podersoo, an artist whose work served as adornment to the music of some many Metal heavy weights, including none other than the British Doom Metal giants My Dying Bride. Most reviews of the album (or at least, the ones that have been shared by the band) seem positive so far, and there will be more to come when the band is done with the music video of the album’s opening track “Ancient Serpents”, an animated short likely to generate much more publicity for the band directed by Sam Andraos (who collaborated with the band for the video of their song “The Taste of Treason”), and that has so far been the victim of some technical difficulties. However, fans should keep their eye out for this, as the band announced that it “is really interesting, it’s more daring and more extreme [than “The Taste of Treason” video], it has lots of fetish and nudity, censored, and also a lot of snakes”.

Erce Arslan - Tour Upon Russia - Kiev Ukraine The Doom Upon Russia tour ensued shortly thereafter. It kicked off on September 13th in St. Petersburg, Russia, and ended on the 21st of the same month in Kiev, Ukraine, where the band got to support the world renowned Finnish Doom Metal act Amorphis. This wasn’t the first time the band performed abroad, as they have participated, for instance, in the Masters of Rock,

a Metal music festival held in Czech Republic, in 2010, and thus got to perform on the same stage as bands such as the critically acclaimed Polish Blackened Death Metal act Behemoth and the equally admired Dutch Symphonic Metal act Epica, as well as some more old school legends such as Manowar and Queensryche. It is thus fair to say that Kimaera’s international recognition isn’t exactly brand new.


And with international recognition necessarily comes the need to tend to one’s image properly. As a result, Kimaera is the only Lebanese Metal band with a full blown website of its own. It has all that you’d expect to find in our highly technology-dependent time, from the band’s discography and contact information to a biography of the band and its members as well as photo shoots and merchandise. I can’t help but slip in a very general parenthesis about the fact that in our era, bands are not just recognized for their music anymore, but also for the amount of time and energy and money they spend on media and advertising. Of course the Internet is a great way to advertise music, especially in a small and relatively isolated country like ours, but it has to be said that the evolution of technological means has not made the amount of local gig attendees increase, as it has actually greatly decreased over time.

But enough of that, and back to Kimaera. Although their website is well organized and aesthetically pleasing, which proves that a decent amount of work has been invested in it, it seems to be lacking, as many of the interviews and reviews that have been posted in the “Media” sections lead to dead links or to inexistent posts, while others are written in foreign languages such as Russian or French without providing any translation, and in any case all reviews posted on the website only go as far as Solitary Impact. This probably should be fixed as the website’s current stat could be repulsive to potential contacts, such as concert organizers and so on. However, the band is working well enough in its field to make such details lose most of their importance. Which brings us to the subject of locality, as Kimaera are, after all, a Lebanese band, and their earliest and moth faithful fan base must be Lebanese as well.

Charbel Abboud - Tour Upon Russia - Kharkiv Ukraine

The least one could say is that the band’s relationship with the local scene is conflictual. When asked about where their success as a band really comes from, they answer: “Lebanon, forget about it. It is never a reference, when you play outside in tours and festivals, you only still play in Lebanon for the sake of it, just because we are from Lebanon and we have fans and followers that deserve to get your album and see you live”. The main reasons for this seem to be, in their opinion and in that of many other local bands, the lack of decent sound engineers, equipment, and venues fit for live Metal gigs.

Even though this is a recurrent problem, they do add that the local scene used to be more fit for the genre, with 500-600 attendees per gig versus a maximum of 100-200 now. As a result of all of this, they claim that shows here offer little to no enjoyment in comparison with shows abroad. Even when asked if this could ever get better, they assure that it couldn’t; it never has and it never will. What is the cause of this? “The Lebanese mentality is a big problem: outside, they would clap for you no matter who you are, everyone would be watching. Here, those who hate you would stand at the end of the crowd just

Pierre Najm - Tour Upon Russia - Kharkiv Ukraine

waiting for you to do something wrong, the rest attended to get drunk and brag about being in a Metal concert, and those few fans standing in front of you would be singing with the band. (…)The only way you can is to get a band from every sect so everyone could be happy.” And that is obviously a problem which seems to have degraded as time went: “The scene is only getting worse, back then 800, 900 even 1000 people would attend, and none of this would happen, everyone knew each other, everyone got together, no one hated the other, no one talked about the other, the intolerance never existed. Why did we get here?”

As a result, according to Kimaera, being a Lebanese Metal band is hard work, that needs a lot of time and money, as well as great amounts of hard work. But despite its obvious lack of hope, the band does have advice for the new generation of Lebanese Metalheads: “Focus on yourself and not on others. This way you get bigger, because if you stayed where you are and others got bigger you will hate them, so learn from others but work only on what you do. And it doesn't need any hatred. Learn to live with each other, you only meet every couple of months for a gig, I think you can tolerate each other for that one night just to enjoy it and then do whatever you want, and then you can get jealous from each other, hate each other or curse each other. What is most important is that each focus on himself, specially musicians and those trying to make a band.”


Words: Hussein Shehady With two previous records and seven years after the release of their first album, Ebony Veiled, "The Harbinger of Doom" came to life by none other than Kimaera, the Lebanese ambassadors of Doom, the band that started in 2000 and reintroduced Doom Metal to the Lebanese metal scene, receiving critical acclaim and helping to put Lebanon on the metal map. The album was released on September 7, 2013 through Eternal Sound Records. With 9 original tracks and one cover song, Kimaera took their Doom sound a step further into more melodic death aspect, but I think they should have taken that one extra step as I am sure they can deliver more of this style. This step does give some mixed thoughts about it, because as I see it, whether you are into Doom or Melodic Death, you could be both satisfied and disappointed. The Harbinger of Doom's production is obviously better than that of the previous albums, and the quality of the recording is great. Simon Saade had a remarkable work on the kit; to know what I am talking about, you only need 9 seconds through the album till the drums kick in.

Samer Zouein - Tour Upon Russia - Kiev Ukraine

JP Haddad - Tour Upon Russia - Kiev Ukraine

However, it will be his last collaboration with the band as Kimaera introduced their new drummer Erce Arslan. The guitar parts are also heavy and remained so through the album, with symphonic tunes from keyboards and violins playing. The album also features female vocals. To understand how the songs are structured, almost every song has both parts: the extreme and the slow. And this is what will satisfy and disappoint you at the same time. The shift within the songs is clear, as you could be listening

to the blasting drums, the heavy guitar parts and the growling vocals,and suddenly they will change into violins, keyboards and female vocals. Such shifts require lots of talent to blend and not sound totally off, something Kimaera could achieve. The title track could be a good example of what the album is, the heavy and the slow, it is the one-hour album summed in one track. As a fan of speed, extreme, and aggressive songs, I totally loved the opening track "Ancient Serpents" as it gets you

right in the middle of the action and excels with the Middle Eastern touch added to it. Same goes for "The Script of Sorrow", as these two were my personal favorites along with the cover of Anathema's "Lost Control". The least favorite songs were "A Casual Stray" and "Aged Wine and Woe", and the rest of the album is on the same level, but that doesn't mean any of the songs can't be your personal favorite, because it is always awesome to blast them on my speakers.

Tour Upon Russia - Kiev Ukraine If you are a fan of Kimaera, you sure don't want to miss this album. And this is a must-buy for every Lebanese metal head out there. You don't want to miss the opportunity to own a great album and support your local bands, do you?


kaz presents blaakyum in concert Words: Carmina Khairallah Karim Samad, aka KAZ, has made himself known in the Lebanese Metal scene over the past months for his Metal nights which were a hassle-free way to unite local metalheads over a few drinks. But the organizer expanded his horizons and we were all positively surprised when news started to arrive about “KAZ Presents: Blaakyum, Hatecrowned and Deathlam – LIVE in Concert”, at the ever present Quadrangle Hazmieh. It’s always nice to see a new organizer in the business, but with novelty always come expectations, and I think many of us were holding our breath for this one. When the event kicked off at 10, most of the 115 attendees-to-be (84 of which being ticket holders) were already present, although scattered around the venue and scarcely positioned in front of the stage.

Those who did spend time in the front, though, were highly enthusiastic and headbanging all through the concert. The first band to grace the stage was Hatecrowned, a relatively new Black Metal band


After incessant begging from the crowd, the cover of Mayhem’s “Freezing Moon” was repeated at the end of the band’s performance. Having heard a lot about the band, it was hard for me not to have high expectations. However, I have to say said

Freezing Moon – Mayhem Raje’a Yetdammar Lebnan – Hatecrowned Souls for Belial – Marduk Untitled – Hatecrowned 3:35 AM – Hatecrowned Cave of Salvation – Hatecrowned Funeral Reverie – Hatecrowned Bleached Bones – Marduk You Are a Clan of Sheep, I Am a Horde of Wolves – Hatecrowned

expectations were not disappointed. The band members each displayed very decent levels of skill and professionalism, with a relatively good if a bit shaky stage presence. The quality of the sound was good in relativity to what we’re used to, but when asked,

from Tripoli who, although they originally intended to remain a studio band, ended up making a few appearances in Byblos, but never before in Beirut. The band’s part original/part cover playlist went as follows:

the band’s vocalist Ayman ‘Ayvaal’ Alloush did comment on the “electricity problems and the very low drums volume”. All in all, though, it was evident that the crowd was satisfied, with at least one attendee even singing along to the band’s original tracks.

Next up was Blaakyum, the renowned local Thrash/Heavy Metal band. They performed the following all original songs from their first album, but also from their upcoming second album (which I’ve heard will be recorded very soon), and even one from their third:


A banner with the band’s logo on it was hiding the band as they were getting ready. Apart from a few expected disruptions in the sound, the band’s professionalism and skill were as steady as always. A fun fact would be that guitarist Rabih Deaibess’ amp and

Crossing The Line of Fear Pure Evil (tentative title) Oriental Track (still untitled) Lord of The Night Battle Roar War Zone Destined to Rise Awakened Dreams Journey to Eternity

vocalist/guitarist Bassem Deaibess’ pedal were accidentally disconnected three times by headbanging fans. When asked about his comments regarding the gig, Bassem said that “It was an ok gig, from the band's point of view, not our best (…) but many seemed to enjoy it(…)”,

and regarding the Quadrangle, he added that “although it is obviously not a metal pub, I think it is one of the best venues: first of all, the owner is very supportive and cooperative, the sound there is much better than most venues, and the stage is spacey and well organized.”

The last band to climb on stage was Deathlam, a Black Metal act comprising three out of four of past local Black Metal band Melankoly. Their all-original playlist was the following:


With a darker, more hateful approach than the local bands that we are currently used to, I must say that Deathlam

Dimoni Corpus Maggot Remains Reign of Terror Let Kill Let Die Incest

stole the stage, even causing a few attempts at moshpits in a venue where they’d be quite hard to deal with.

It is thus impossible not to notice how much such a band would benefit from a wider performance area.

An overall comment would be that the lineup created an odd mood curve, with Blaakyum being the calmer point of the night despite their headliner status. But it was all good in the end and we can’t wait for KAZ’s next event.


one less gig to the gates of peirah words: hussein shehady

With everyone waiting for Nocturna’s new album, “The Gates of Peirah", the band decided to throw a gig to support its soon-to-be-released album. With Rebellion and DeathTone sharing the stage, Nocturna played in Quadrangle, a pub in Hazmieh, on the 14th of December 2013. “The Gates of Peirah" will be the 1st album by Nocturna, and this event seeks to raise some funds and promote the release. However, even though the album is in the mastering stage, you might probably see another gig by them before the album is released. Getting ready to start the event, the bands finished the sound check at 9 PM, with the DJ playing some songs until the bands started. And to really talk about the event, I have to split the venue into two sides: the stage, and the rest of the pub. The stage holds the bands’ performance where all the action took place, while the rest of the place consists of tables and some pool tables. It is actually a cool place to hang at, relax, and have a pool game with your friend, but is this what you want to do while a heavy metal band is blasting music in front of you? There was barely a place for one row of people to stand in front of the stage to headbang, and the rest of the place was "just to watch". The first band to start was Rebellion; you know them probably by the

name "Calling Earth" from the past years. They started at 10:15, with a 45-minute set list. Rebellion covered some of the classic heavy metal tunes: Mötley Crüe's "Looks That Kill", Judas Priest's "Victim of Changes” and "Hell Bent for Leather", Ozzy Osbourne's "Bark at the Moon" and Dio's "Holy Diver". The last song featured Bassem Deaibess, the singer of Blaakyum, as a guest vocalist. The band also played some originals: "Sorry", "Anility", "Silence Call" and "Back". It was really great to see these guys play. A great performance! They added a cool blend to a "melodic death metal" themed night and it’s always great to listen to these solos.

20 minutes of some metal blasted on speakers passed, by that time, Nocturna was on the stage ready to deliver what they are well used to. They started with "Vindictive Storm" then "Whispers of a Sleepless Night”. Every other song, Habib, the vocalist, asks us what we want them to play, but we all know they will end up playing the set list they already planned for.

Rebellion, opening for Nocturna Quadrangle Live - Hazmieh

Nocturna Quadrangle Live - Hazmieh By this time, I was not quite sure of what was going on behind, save for that row in the front where all the headbanging happened, it still felt like most were there to just watch. The band continued with "Herald of my Happiness" and "Frozen Sun”,

then they played (the vocalist's favorite) "Torn asunder” and "Ode to Thy Mournful Departure". The last two songs had some changes; Nocturna played their well-known song "A cannibal Rose" but this time with the vocalist doing the bass part as well, and ended the show

playing a cover, "Full Moon Madness", with a guest guitarist. The actual performance was amazing with a positive energy, and here I mean the stage I mentioned above. I can't get how someone can just stand while melodic death metal is blasting. Nocturna did their part, the fans didn't.

It was already midnight when Nocturna left the stage, and next was DeathTone. But most people decided that the show has ended, leaving the venue near empty. It is the perfect way to support the scene and the Lebanese bands,

by leaving just when a Lebanese band is about to start playing, isn’t it? However, I do have to say that DeathTone playing last, after the main act, was not the best idea, because as soon as I realized that, I had a feeling everyone would leave. DeathTone… it seems to me like these guys have done something bad in their lives and karma is striking back, or that was one hell of a bad luck night. Nothing was on their side.

I can't really judge the performance, or know what my feelings were. Not only the mic was not on when the band started the song, but the vocalist/lead guitarist's cable broke, only to find out that a backup cable was also broken. The band played 3 originals and covered 2 Children of Bodom songs. At the end of the night, the band members thanked everyone who stayed till the end, though they were obviously pissed, and they had all the reasons to be.

The night ended up well, with both Rebellion's and Nocturna's performances being a plus, while the fans and DeathTone’s misfortune were a minus. Although most hope is gone, we will hopefully see more support to our bands.


a tribute to the sabbath the mob, ft. bandage & the butterfly Words: Nathaline Deuvletian

We are all bored of politics, violence and hectic life. And what gets us back on track is the weekend. And what’s super-authentic is when we come together at The Quadrangle for the rocking gig of the week. No doubt that Lebanese Rock fans were expecting a great night when we all saw the event page of The Butterfly, BandAge and The Mob trio performance at The Quadrangle on the night of November 23. The three bands gathered their fans in one place, all for the sake of music, passionate rhythms and favorite tracks.

The place was crowded with fans wearing their favorite color (you guess it!), Black Sabbath and DIO T-shirts. Famous Lebanese Metal Scene artists were present as guests too. A heavy glimpse of rock atmosphere surrounded those who grabbed beer and merged into the crowd, sharing a similar interest: Rock Music!

The quick opening speech was done by Nathalie Jeha (BandAge vocalist and a good friend of mine). Once you see her on stage, you are assured that you will have a great night of surprises and loads of good eargasmic music. Nathalie thanked all the fans, wished them a great night of Rock’n’Roll and called The Butterfly on stage.

BandAge rocked the stage, performing 6 great songs. Adele’s song “Skyfall” was driven into BandAge rock rhythm, which was even sexier than the original one. Nathalie shared with us her first single “No Answers”, and I have to tell you if you haven’t heard it, then you have to give it a listen and follow the lyrics, knowing that the song hit YouTube in the first week of its release with 2,000 views. “Rainbow in the Dark” hit the speakers and the hearts of DIO fans, as we saw the flock of fans singing one of their all-time favorite songs. BandAge’s last song was a Rammstein song, “Mein Herz Brennt”, and this was previously known by the fans who found out

The Butterfly did the opening of the event, and flooded our ears with Pink Floyd songs. I mean, who does covers of Pink Floyd better than these guys? The crowd got into the mood of singing one of their all-time favorite songs “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”.

Rita Itani was the guest of the night, and sang with The Butterfly a Black Sabbath favorite, “Dying for Love”. Those who saw her for the first time were blown away, and female rock artists like Rita do deserve a standing ovation from the crowd.

about it a couple of days ago through a Facebook post by Metal Bell Magazine, in which Nathalie confessed that she and the band have a surprise for Rammstein fans. It was 12 a.m. when The Mob greeted our Sunday morning with heavy music! Raffi Machoulian is known for being an animal on stage when it comes to performance, and when we

say performance we mean pure Black Sabbath tracks. Though there was little space in front of the stage for headbanging, it was crowded with Black Sabbath fans who started to sing along with the band. The Mob rocked with heavy riffs and badass performance on drums during their covers of “War Pigs”, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and much more.


the next big thing final episode words: hussein shehady

For those unaware of what exactly The Next Big Thing is, it is HMP Productions' attempt to give a chance to local bands in a series of events that started by submitting a studio recorded online video where 12 out of 25 bands with most votes qualified for live performance events. Six bands qualified for the finals that took place at Metro Al Madina, Hamra on December 1st. The event started at around 10 pm, with the feeling that everyone working behind the curtains of the stage is trying to rush things and finish fast, and that probably didn't help the event show its full potential. Presented by the event's host, 6 bands were supposed to play, with a guest surprise band to perform at the end of the event.

The English Way hit the stage and had a problem with a stage mic before they started. I actually think that's not good for a competitive event, as a technical problem, which is not the band's fault, could possibly affect the performance. However, the guys kicked in well with only one thing to mention: I felt they need to move more on the stage to give a better presentation of their music rather than standing like there's an X mark on the floor where everyone must stand. The next band was Rude Mood, and just as The English Way, the band had

more technical problems with them playing the first minute of their song while their guitarist was trying to play and waving at the sound engineer at the same time, and his guitar could not be heard. After getting the guitar to work, the band restarted the song in a great performance which I really loved. Chris & Abe was the next band on stage, a duo of a vocalist and an acoustic guitar player also doing vocals on the song. The performance was great and I actually loved the song, no wonder those guys were the runner up of the event.

Alan Abi Sleiman from the winning band Alan's Trio 3a Nota (translated "on a note") was the band that won the audience voting from the semifinals. Their performance was great and it was clear that they were the audience's favorite. They had the most votes from the audience for the night as well. A note to the band: when your guitarist is playing a solo, please give him a bit of space. It was clear that he was trying to make his way a bit to the front of the stage as he was at the back and the other band members barely gave him any space. The fifth band of the finalists was Slow Train; I am not really sure what to say. The band put out a great performance but my thoughts were more neutral. At 11:15, the last of the 6 finalists, Alan's Trio, was on the stage for the final performance before the voting phase. The only thing I have to say is that the guys stole the show. Everything about them was great and I was more caught by their groove. No wonder I didn't have to think a lot before giving my vote for them.

As the bands finished, everyone was asked to vote for their favorite band, which made up 25% of the final decision, and with the jury's 75% votes, a winner would be announced. The jury consisted of 5 members: Nader Mansour from The Wanton Bishops, Tanya Rizkala from Epic, Allen Seif from Oak, Gio Najarian, a regional drummer, and Amadeus Awad, a guitarist and producer. In the meantime, and as the vote counting process was going on behind the stage, everyone was ready for the guest band. Aceed, a band I never heard of actually, is a new band and in the process of producing their first album. They played 4 Arabic rock songs. They were just great, and for sure had my full respect as I really loved those guys. Just as Aceed finished, the results were in, with a word from the event organizer first, and then some confusion of who exactly would talk and who should announce the results. It seemed to me like everyone was lost at some point.

It was not bad though, everyone was more like having fun and it was no drawback at all. In the end, Mo Jouzou took the microphone and announced the results which were as follows: third place "3a nota�, second place "Chris & Abe" and the winners of The Next Big Thing were "Alan's Trio" as they will now get to record a full album at HMP Productions’ studios plus 6 months of free rehearsals at their studios.

Mo Jouzou TNBT -


Ostura... The Live Opera words: maurice semaan Ostura, the Lebanese metal band with one album in their arsenal: "Ashes of the Reborn"… This interesting band with really good vocals has done something new relatively to the Lebanese music scene, and it has succeeded in doing it well. Their music showed a lot of diversity, creativity, ambition and talent.

Danny Bou Maroun - keyboards Marcelino Said - bass Alex Abi Chaker - drums Alain Ibrahim - guitar Elia Monsef - vocals Youmna Jreissati - vocals Tony Ghanem - vocals Yamane El Hajj - violin (guest) Ever been to a concert expecting it to be a good one only to walk out at the end of the night feeling it was way above excellent? Ostura provided this and more. The sound system

in the Metro al Madina Theater was perfect. The quality and sound of the group was spot-on (despite the technical problems they had when sound checking). The members of the group


were entertaining from the beginning to the end. They got the crowd going right from the start. Ostura has a unique sound that is different from anything I have heard.

The songs playlist:

Game of thrones intro - Youmna On hills of glory - Elia and Tony A warrior's tale - Elia and Tony The gathering - All Moonlight (Kamelot cover) - Elia I want my tears back (Nightwish cover) - All Kings crowning (instrumental) Twisted mind (Avantasia cover) - All Sword of erus - Elia and Tony Infernal hymn - All Tears of paradise - Youmna and Tony Ashes of the reborn – All

The expectations were high and the excitement was huge for the band playing live on a Lebanese stage, since Ostura are known for their special effects introduced in their debut album. Now it was time for us to see how the new album was visually brought on stage…

in sanity q live at quadrangle Words: Nathaline Deuvletian

When you ask the Lebanese rock music fans about In Sanity Q, they will definitely tell you they have an Alice Cooper attitude on stage, and a Nick Cave and The Seeds spur in their lyrics! That is what Chris (the vocalist) is all about! In Sanity Q gives its fans a twist of Judas Priest-influenced music.

That is what happened on the night of January 18. As always, In Sanity Q has gathered its raving fans who were familiar with the band’s original songs at Quadrangle. The performance started once the place was semicrowded, with the band playing 18 consecutive original tracks like “Blow”, “God Damn Rock’n’Roll”, “Fuck Peace”, “Bite Me”, “Clown of The Town”, “She Wants My Sex”, “Cigarettes Are Burning”… and I am sure you are wondering, just like me, “What the hell was the source of inspiration for such quite

psycho/interesting song titles?” Singing along with the band was ruling the night as In Sanity Q’s fans were humming the lyrics of the songs and rushing to grab beer. Photographers were pretty busy capturing each and every movement happening on the stage, from the time the vocalist left the stage and disappeared to the time he got beer fueled in his engine to set the night on fire! In Sanity Q delivered a strong message concerning social problems and difficult situations such

as failure and men abusing women, making the band hit the peak of creative disruption. Formed in 2010, the band incorporates Shock Rock and Heavy Metal genres with a twist of Blues. They are well-known for being a brain damage to the sane. The proof: the name and the description of the event posted on the band’s Facebook page “Last Band in Heaven Upside Down”. To the fans of AC/DC, The Who, ZZ Top, and Quiet Riot, I advise you to see them performing live!


International News James Hetfield Jams with Kids for a fundraising event On November 9th 2013, Metallica frontman James Hetfield performed in a benefit concert at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. The event was held by “Little Kids Rock”, an organization that aims at providing free musical education for public-school students that have no access to it otherwise, as well as training for teachers. The concert was a great success raising in total over $225,000, with James’ signed guitar alone being auctioned at $14,000! On his reasons for joining this event, Hetfield stated: “I’m a firm believer in creative expression through music. It is important to have it available from a young age, which is why I support Little Kids Rock's mission to make music education accessible to children”.

Iron Maiden Frontman Launches the Airlander: World’s Largest Aircraft Aside from his upcoming performance with Iron Maiden at Sonisphere this July, Bruce Dickinson recently unveiled to BBC his one hell of a new investment. Legendary Bruce, who is also a keen pilot, launched a record-breaking aircraft named the Airlander. The 92 m aircraft has always been with them according to Dickinson, “it’s just been waiting for the technology to catch up”. The airship will be later on modified to carry up to 90 tonnes of Cargo and will forefront a new line of quieter, more energy efficient and environmentally friendly jets.

Black Label Society announces new guitarist as it parts ways with Nick Catanese In December 2013, Black Label Society announced that guitarist Nick Catanese nicknamed as “The Evil Twin” of lead guitarist Zakk Wylde will no longer be part of the band. With this parting ends a long-term musical cooperation between the two members who had joined forces in the 80s and had later on formed Black Label Society together in the 1990s. On the first day of this year, the band announced on its official website the joining of solo artist Dario Lorina as the new rhythm guitar player. In addition to that, the band is expected to have a quite busy year with its latest album “Catacombs of the Black Vatican” scheduled to be released on April 8 as well as its participation in events such as the Experience Hendrix Tour, a tribute concert to the artist Jimi Hendrix.

Bassist Adam Duce’s Split with Band MACHINE HEAD not as Amicable as we Thought

According to, former bassist of Thrash and Groove metal band MACHINE HEAD filed a lawsuit against the band members and their manager. The following contradicts with the fact that the band had described the split as “amicable” in February 2013. While originally the issue seemed to be solely that Duce was angry at frontman Flynn for not using any of his materials, it appears that the conflict is more serious than that. The lawsuit was filed for “alleging trademark infringement, breach of partnership agreement and defamation, among other things.” Duce is currently seeking damages and punitive damages, and he wants the band to change the Machine Head marks.

Lostprophets’ singer pleaded guilty for child sex offences BBC News reported on the 26th of November that Welsh singer Ian Watkins and frontman of Lostprophets pleaded guilty to the attempted rape and abuse of thirteen children as well as the attempted rape of a baby. On the occurring events, detective chief inspector Peter Doyle stated: “This investigation has uncovered the most shocking and harrowing child abuse evidence I have ever seen. There is no doubt in my mind that Ian Watkins exploited his celebrity status in order to abuse young children.” Watkins had previously claimed to be innocent, telling the police that he was being stalked by a crazed fan and that everyone had access to his computers. Evidence found against him and two other women who partook in the crimes are text messages, filmed footage on the computer, as well as information gathered from witnesses worldwide. Lostprophets was disbanded in October ten months after charges were pressed against Watkins.

‘As I Lay Dying’ Frontman Tim Lambesis Pleads Guilty for Attempted Murder According to NBC San Diego, the rumors about Lambesis admitting to hiring a hitman for murdering his wife turned out to be true. The vocalist will probably serve for a maximum of 9 years in prison; the final hearing is yet to be made by Judge Carlos Armour on May 2nd. The first arrest was made on May of last year after Lambesis had tried to hire a hitman to murder his estranged wife. “Lucky” for him, the man turned out to be an undercover cop. Other band members have been quiet about the whole incident and did not make any statements yet about the future of the band. A recent interview with guitarist Nick Hipa on however may reveal some hints about the matter!


Artist: Iced Earth Album: Plagues Of Babylon Release : January 6th, 2014 Length: 1:02:03 Style: Heavy Metal Label: Century Media

Artist: James LaBrie Album: I Will Not Break Release: January 14th, 2014 Length: 38:03 Style: Hard Rock Label: Inside Out

Artist: Persuader Album: The Fiction Maze Release: January 17th, 2014 Length: 52:43 Style: Power Metal Label: Inner Wound Recordings

Artist: Axel Rudi Pell Album: Into The Storm Release: January 17th, 2014 Length: 57:33 Style: Heavy Metal Label: SPV/Steamhammer

Artist: Alcest Album: Shelter Release: January 17th, 2014 Length: 45:36 Style: Post-Rock Label: Prophecy Productions

Artist: Primal Fear Album: Delivering the black Release: January 22nd, 2014 Length: 51:18 Style: Power Metal Label: Frontiers Records

Artist: Within Temptation Album: Hydra Release: January 22nd, 2014 Length: 49:16 Style: Symphonic Metal Label: Nuclear Blast/Universal

Artist: Caliban Album: Ghost Empire Release: January 24th, 2014 Length: 48:04 Style: Metalcore Label: Century Media

Artist: Transatlantic Album: Kaleidoscope Release: January 27th, 2014 Length: 75:43 + 40:59 (Bonus Disc) Style: Progressive Rock/Metal Label: insideout

Artist: Skindred Album: Kill The Power Release: January 27th, 2014 Length: 48:35 Style: Alternative Metal Label: BMG

Artist: Behemoth Album: The Satanist Release: February 3rd, 2014 Length: 44:17 Style: Black/Death Metal Label: Nuclear Blast, Metal Blade

Artist: Augustines Album: Augustines Release date: February 3rd, 2014 Length: 44:50 Style: Indie Rock Label: Votiv, Caroline International

Artist: Van Canto Album: Dawn of the Brave Release date: February 7th, 2014 Length: 46:45 Style: Heavy Metal Label: Napalm Records

Artist: Dead By April Album: Let The World Know Release date: February 12th, 2014 Length: 48:57 Style: Melodic Metalcore Label: Universal Music

Artist: Cynic Album: Kindly Bent to Free Us Release date: February 14th, 2014 Length: 41:51 Style: Progressive Rock Label: Season Of Mist

Artist: Adrenaline Mob Album: Men Of Honor Release: February 18th, 2014 Length: 51:14 Style: Heavy Metal Label: Elm City Music

Artist: Beck Album: Morning Phase Release date: February 21st, 2014 Length: 47:00 Style: Alternative Rock Label: Capitol

Artist: Crematory Album: Antiserum Release: February 21st, 2014 Length: 43:23 Style: Gothic Metal Label: Steamhammer/SPV.

Artist: The Fray Album: Helios Release date: February 25th, 2014 Length: 42:19 Style: Alternative rock Label: Epic

Artist: Blood Red Shoes Album: Blood Red Shoes Release date: March 3rd, 2014 Length: 37:36 Style: Alternative Rock Label: Jazz Life


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Metal bell magazine - Issue 4  

Most Achieving Band - 2013 KIMAERA We had the chance to sit and chat with JP from Kimaera and got lots of inside stories about the band! Pl...

Metal bell magazine - Issue 4  

Most Achieving Band - 2013 KIMAERA We had the chance to sit and chat with JP from Kimaera and got lots of inside stories about the band! Pl...