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, and 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 history till our present days; an instrument of “Call for Gathering”. To gather our Rock and Metal scenes, to unite 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 of this magazine.
p. 6 randometal p. 8 local news p. 14 local releases p. 23 the detective p. 28 summer special p. 52 international news p. 54 international releases
The Summer Rush.
As time passes, the responsibility gets bigger. With every issue, our foreign audience gets bigger and bigger, which is great because by that the whole world gets to know about our small local scene in our small country. Starting from this issue, we will begin promoting our magazine more and more through the international ports and by all means possible to gain more exposure. By that we hope to not only support the local metal bands, but also give them the opportunity to be noticed internationally; we are hoping for the best. As the summer 2013 started, we thought of giving a new flavor to the magazine and make a Summer Special Issue. We decided to cover as many rock/metal events as possible, and so, we chose what we thought were the best 10 events to review. For that, we had to remove some of our traditional section and introduce 2 new sections: RandoMetal and The Detective. The summer issue is our biggest and juiciest issue yet, and we will be repeating this every summer. The issue was a bit late to be released as it was supposed to be released last month, but due to the bad security and internet situation in Lebanon, some delays occurred, but here we are Rocking and Rolling \\m//.
Maggie Varbedian (A Senior Pillar): Managing Editor
ELLE (El-Comandante): Enviromental Editor
DoubleU (The Wizard): Design Editor/ Art Director
TP (A Senior Pillar): Editor in chief
JEN (The Lion Heart): Copy Editor
Nathalie Jeha (The Protecting Eye): PR
Poker Face (The Geek): web development
Ashley Jor: Editor/Proofreader Carmina Khairallah: Senior Editor Dahlia Noir: Senior Editor
Chady Khairallah: writer Chana: Interviewer Eddy Hanna: Writer Hussein Shehady: Writer Maurice Semaan: Writer/Reviewer Nathaline Deuvletian: Writer Jad Akle: 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.
Track By track review: Maurice Semaan One of the most interesting side projects that would capture your attention is ORDUM: An extreme metal band from Lebanon that started out in the end of 2000 under the name Gothmog. It currently consists of the master mind of the progressive band ANURYZM John B, and the Lebanese iconic growler Walid WolfLust front man of KAOTEON, and Riad H Ex-KAOTEON. The aim of the band was to try something new by removing the “black metal” element from their compositions. After many failed attempts at completing the line-up, the band simply decided to call it quits in early 2004. In 2008 the band came back to life with a change of name from Gothmog to Ordum. The band felt that it is time to put ORDUM into action, and recording considerations were being made for the old material that was “still good enough to be heard”. Walid S was to be lead vocalist, Riad H on drums, backup vocals, piano and effects, and John B would take care of guitars and bass, with a guest bassist John H too to complete the lineup. “The Circle” was recorded, mixed and mastered at Riad's home studio and released on their official Reverbnation page in March 2011. We took the time to listen to the album and track by track review was done by Maurice Semaan.
1-REVIVED Dark soundscapes rise up, The intro song has the lightness of easy listening, powered by an analogue pulse. And it’s still as catchy as hell when heard in the context of this unfolding album.
2-DYING SWAN No prologue. No warm up. No teaser. Straight into darkness! The unmistakable death/black fretwork fuses with a crescendo that quickly leads to
a vocal drop, the melodic production gleams so brightly, my ears are almost blinded. A scrumptious death metal platter with their debut effort, this towering monstrosity of the style does not stick to plodding, morbid tones, but enlightens and plows through tempos of all varieties.
that doesn’t pick up much. The sound, with an ability to drop the doom/black and get behind a deathly tempo, comes about halfway through the track, and enters in a rage. It’s exhilarating to hear the band get entangled with faster yet melodically based moments.
4-THE FALSE CON3-THESE SUFFERING FLICT TIMES It is the most standard cut on the album, with an unpleasant atmosphere
They bring the heaviness in bundles; there is no fear of incorporating melodic dynamics.
Whether it’s a tuneful vocal line alongside the deep bellows, or a haunting interlude that features harmonic guitars, that makes Ordum a more welcoming presence than some of the more unforgiving material other bands of this style dish out.
5-SOCIETAL DESTRUKT There's almost always room for ugly growling
and a pretty melody under it, it creates a wonderful atmosphere which is very hard to understand, but when it works... Would do well as sleeping music.
6-VINDICATED Good fast-forward track packed with fine melodies and very melancholic screaming/growling. The parts which most stand out are the melancholic
melody when progressing with the track. Pretty magnificent in its entirety.
7-FULL CIRCLE Unfortunately takes a turn to another pretty mediocre slow break reminiscence . Luckily this time they have a way of transforming it to another really pretty melody and doom-ish interlude ... the spark doesn't last.
Album Highs: extreme death/black metal that doesn't get boring, band spices up the music with various tempo changes, harmonizing guitars enlighten the music.
Album Lows: Title track should have been about five minutes, should have been a greater exploration of the death/black metal side.
Bottom line: Ordum is all about metal, though their usage of black and death metal in select places provides some well-appreciated diversity.
If you haven’t checked Ordum’s debut album yet, “The Circle” is available on reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/ordum And why not pass by their Facebook page and support \m/:
Zix Strikes Again Work in progress… ZiX’s debut is a really promising album, another step that will put Lebanon on the international Metal map. The band has previously announced what we called the “League of Legends” who will guest on their Album’s all-star bonus track “METAL STRIKE”; and we were not wrong. Not a bit. The legends’ list was lately topped by TONY MARTIN, the voice of Black Sabbath from 1987 till 1990 and from 1993 till 1997. He released with Sabbath 5 albums including their last since 18 years: “Forbidden” in 1995, before the reunion album “13” with Ozzy Osborne which was released earlier this year. In addition to Martin, the band announced, out of the shadows of the Lebanese Metal scene, a not well known vocalist, DANY DEAIBESS, who was added to the Fantastic 4: TONY MARTIN (Ex-Black Sabbath), BLAZE BAYLEY (Ex-Iron Maiden), PAUL DI’ANNO (Ex-Iron Maiden), RONNY MUNROE (Metal Church). The “league of legends” list continues with great international musicians who are collaborating on this track too, like the legendary ROSS THE BOSS, former MANOWAR guitarist, who composed the biggest ManOwar hits such as “Battle Hymn”, "Dark Avenger", "Secret of Steel", "Gloves of Metal", "Each Dawn I Die", “Kings of Metal” and “Hail and Kill”. ROSS is now focusing on his new project, Death Dealer, whose drummer
is KENNY “RHINO” EARL, also former MANOWAR drummer, who will also be a guest on ZiX debut album playing the drums for all the tracks including “Metal Strike”. Yet another former MANOWAR guitarist DAVID SHANKLE, who is one of the most renowned and fastest guitarists in the world, a legendary shredder; he is mostly known now for his band DSG. I don’t know about you, but it looks like a ManOwar gathering, doesn’t it? JACK STARR, the prominent guitarist and founder of VIRGIN STEELE, also joined the crew on the album. JACK is so special to the band’s couple, vocalist Maya and Bassist Ziad, that they chose "Still in Love with You" from the self titled debut album “Virgin Steele” as their wedding song. Jack will play as a guest on a track called “DARK DAYS OF BABYLON” as well as on the phenomenal “Metal Strike”. One more musician was added and why not a local musician this time? VIK BAJAK from Impulse, Valhalla and ExBlaakyum, who will also play as a guest bassist
and will record a bass solo on the song. The list doesn’t end there. A number of local and foreign vocalists will be singing the backing vocals and growling parts on “Metal Strike”. RICK MYTHIASIN from STEEL PROPHET U.S.A., JENS BORNER from LONEWOLF France, TONY GHANEM from OSTURA Lebanon, FREDERIC BARTOLOMUCCI from FRIEND OF MISERY France, DAVID MARCELIS from LORD VOLTURE Netherlands, MALEK BOU HABIB from Lebanon and last but not least, two of our own legends BASSEM DEAIBESS from BLAAKYUM and WALID WOLFLUST from KAOTEON, where Walid also performed on the original Metal Strike that was released as a demo on ZiX’s official YouTube channel. This project is one of the biggest so far on our metal scene. Collaborating with legendary names that are actually loving, supporting, engaging in the project and talking about it everywhere. Now the recordings are at their final stages and the album is expected to be huge.
“I had a great recording session with Rhino doing tracks for ZIX […] I'm actually really excited at how great it came out. I think I really stretched the boundaries of my playing and I'm usually pretty critical of myself.” Jack Starr.
Damage Rite: Album art revealed Reaching the final recording stages DAMAGE RITE released the art work of their upcoming 10 tracked album entitled "The Dehumanizing Factor”. The art work is actually one of the best artworks I saw not only on the Lebanese scale but also on the international level. It is so expressive for the situation in Lebanon and the region; you can feel the war and destruction that is caused by the deceivers behind the speech microphones. And I don’t know if it was
intentional but the scene of the microphone stand looks like an altar. “Basically the album reflects on the war we've been living for as long I can remember. It talks about the devastating effects that politics and organized religions are having on the world today. It covers all aspects of war, whether they are social, political, psychological, religious, and so on. And this is mainly what we tried to achieve in the artwork, trying to get that message out as efficient as possible, where we show how politics and organized religion are combined to lead to one thing only. Dehumanizing the world”. Explained JM Elias, front man of DAMAGE RITE.
The artist behind the work is Mr. Rhett Podersoo from Machine Room Design. Mr. Podersoo has designed many artworks and has a huge portfolio. He designed cover book arts for one of my favorite writers, STEPHEN KING, and also the album cover for My Dying Bride. Not to mention that he also designed the cover for KIMAERA's newly released “Harbinger Of Doom” album. “I got in contact with him through JP from Kimaera, since he had already worked on their latest's album artwork, explained to him the concept and there we are , with the final outcome.” JM told us that they will be releasing the track listing soon as well. The album is set to be out in a couple of months.
Blaakyum The busiest Lebanese Metal band so far. After BLAAKYUM released their debut album on January 13, 2012, and with almost 3 months of silence and no activity whatsoever, everyone thought that BLAAKYUM’s journey had come to an end at the night of the listening release session in Gemayzeh. But NO! Something had been being very well cooked and the whole “Journey to Eternity” began and exploded. The band boomed their “LORD OF THE NIGHT- TOUR” in Egypt at the “METAL BLAST: The Heavy Dose” (March 6, 2012), headlining the event alongside two of the oldest bands in Egypt and the Middle East: Wyvern (Thrash Metal) and Karma (Alt. Rock & Heavy Metal). And then a local tour followed, where BLAAKYUM was the first Lebanese band to ever tour Lebanon. From the North to the South and from the West to the East, Blaakyum made sure that their performance covered all Lebanese regions. The “First in Line – Tour” that included the cities: Zahle, Der el Qamar, Beirut, Tripoli, Saida, and Byblos, kicked off March 13th, 2012 and ended June 8th that same year. And bigger news was yet to come when the band’s front Bassem Deaibess announced on social media their Central/Eastern European Tour. Starting with a huge step, at the “METAL HEADS’ MISSION” – Ukraine (August 4, 2012) one of the biggest festivals in the metal world, it was the band’s first international event (considering GBOB a competition); also that year the Lebanese
doomers KIMAERA shared the stage with Blaakyum in MHM 2012. Another big international festival “METAL CAMP 2012” – Slovenia (August 7, 2012) headlined by Korn, Testament, Machine Head and Sabaton, the band gained a lot of media attention in this fest and was seen as having a true dedication to Metal music not just by their tight and frenzy show
but also by the fact that they travelled without a tour bus, and against all odds just for the sake of Art. The third stop was Bratislava in Slovakia
(August 8th) followed by Poland (August 9 till 11) where they did one press conference and headlined two shows, one of them in Progresja club, in Warsaw:
a venue that hosted Legendary names in the metal world such as the legendary King Diamond, Trivium and Nile that have a show August 30, 2013.
Back to Lebanon, after performing together in MHM, BLAAKYUM and KIMAERA, the most achieving Lebanese metal bands for the
year 2012, decided to headline together “MASSACORE” in Araya (November 3rd, 2012). The famous event that was accused of being a Satanist gathering by an unprofessional journalist (his program was later shutdown by the TV management) which caused Blaakyum’s front to be taken to questioning more than once.
After their special appearance in “The Christmas Mission – Rock for life” at the Hard Rock Café – Beirut on the 20th of December 2012; an event that was organized by Nathalie Jeha (BandAge), and after getting the attention of the HRC management with their unplugged set, BLAAKYUM launched their “Power Cut Unplugged Tour” on the 5th of April 2013 after they gave a treat to the Metal Heads with a head banging show at the Yukunkun Club, Gemayzeh 10 days before. The unplugged tour started in Captain’s Room Zahle, Hard Rock Café Beirut, Kujo’s Pub- Jounieh and finished again at Hard Rock Café- Beirut.
And here you go they proved us wrong again, and NO they ain’t gonna stop. Maybe this is one of the biggest news we ever had in our small humble metal scene. A local band playing the main stage of METALDAYS!? .... Yes…. the Lebanese Metal Legends Blaakyum played the main stage in the 10th edition of Metal Camp now known as METALDAYS, isn’t that awesome? After receiving positive reviews for their performance last year, they were called this year to play the main stage with, Ensiferum - Overkill - & Inflames the same night. The Festival that was headlined with names like King Diamond, In-Flames, Hypocrisy, Iced Earth, Sonata Arctica, Mayhem, and Annihilator, started June 21st, the day Blaakyum performed. But before Blaakyum reached there, they treated once again their
fans in Beirut with a Heavy Dose event at the Yukunkun pub in Gemayzeh(June 15th, 2013). “A night for MetalDays” was supported by Rebellion’s first appearance and Nocturna’s long awaited appearance. The full housed event was a great motivation for Blaakyum and their journey to Slovenia. In less than a month Blaakyum left Lebanon and went from Beirut to Poland by plane and then to Slovenia on a bus trip. I was shocked when
I saw a poster made by European fans supporting Blaakyum and wishing them to be able to make it to the fest, apparently the band had some problems with the visas. But hey they made it, and they did raise the Lebanese flag up high and did a kick ass show, described by BobanMilunovic one of metalDays organizers: “BLAAKYUM is a band with great energy and interaction with the audience. Both gigs [Metal Camp 2012 &MetalDays 2013] were a joy to watch. Keep doing it.
Since 2007, BLAAKYUM has raised the flag in many foreign countries and has been a pride to our scene, no doubt that they will keep doing it and we will be waiting for more interesting news. We have an eye on you.
Blood Ink - The Comeback: After a long absence from the scene, BLooDInK are finally back into action. Almost a year had passed since we heard anything about the Lebanese Thrashcore Band, until mid of August when they released a drum recording video from their upcoming album "Brain Infestation" on BLooD Ink’s official FaceBook page. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151828046976224
NOCTURNA - The Debut: Few months ago, NOCTURNA went back to activity, when they performed at the Metal Invasion last April and then supporting BLAAKYUM in “A Night for MetalDays” in Gemmayzeh last July, and supporting KIMAERA in the “Harbinger of Doom” album release event in Sin El Fil. The band is currently recording their Debut album “most probably entitled ‘The Gates of Peirah‘”.
KAOTEON - A Sophomore & a Bassist: Apparently, the extreme metal giants are cooking up something for their fans. KAOTEON, one of the most successful extreme metal bands in Lebanon, is promising its huge fan base with a second album, “There is no better feeling than creation - That orgasmic godlike feeling I get when I finish composing a dark hell fire riff...” Posted Anthony Asaker on Kaoteon Page. The band also welcomed their newest member, a long time friend of the band, the bassist Serge a.k.a. “Sorg Of Death”. "I am sure that Serge will bring a lot of motivation to the band especially that we know him since over a decade and it would be great to have him recording the new album, as well as performing live with KAOTEON in the future" added Anthony. Sorg Of Death was a founding member of the legendary UAE Tech Death Metal band "Abhorred" as their Vocalist and Producer. The release date for the album described as “Slower, Darker, and Louder than VeniVidiVomui” is not yet fixed.
Jay Wud - in Kalkuta? Apart from their concerts in Dubai (Oct 24) and Abu Dhabi (November 02) they will be, for the first time, singing in India, particularly in Kolkata, being one of many artists taking part in the Bacardi NH7 Weekender line up. Jay Wud and his band always make sure to include Lebanon in any tour set they have. For that, a concert will be held in Beirut on the 21st of December, at Metro AL Madina in Hamra.
DEADMOON - the break Up The Tunisian Metal band DEADMOON formed in 2005 called it quits. After years of establishing a loyal fan base the band announced on their Facebook page the following: "We are so saddened to announce the separation of the band!!! Thanks to all those who supported us throughout these years!!!". The band’s last concert was on Le Plug Metal Asylum Battle in their hometown Tunisia, which they shared with another Tunisian band PERSONA and with GUNS'N ROSES guitarist Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal. The band has since then announced their separation. They had released only a self titled EP in the summer of 2011. Now each member of the band will be on his own way. Here is a link to their last Performance. Check them out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_xbeJzPPMQ
Asylum’s new track and album
A new album and a released track
VIN SINNERS, the Dubai-based rockers, had announced earlier that their second 13- track album "A Mighty Black Box" would be released in December 2013. Of this album the track "Kingdom Come" has been released on ReverbNation. Vin Nair, band front-man and founder said "Kingdom Come is incidentally the first song we began work on for this new album and we've performed it at many shows over the last year or so. It has a lot of input from former band members and in some way encapsulates the journey of VIN SINNERS over the past 3 years". http://www.reverbnation.com/vinsinners /song/18862363-kingdom-come
From playing with a band to a solo project
Hashim Al Nasser who is the guitarist of the Kuwaiti band Jelly Shot has released a solo project titled "Forguilt", which can be streamed and downloaded for free. Khalid Al Mansour recorded the album at Awesome K Studio. Hashim Al Nasser’s words about his album were: "I'm too excited for words as this album has been just under a year in the making and to see it finally come to fruition is a dream come true so I hope you will all join me in welcoming my project to the public for all to hear." http://hashimalnasser.bandcamp.com/alb um/forguilt
“Destined to Die” is the new track from Asylum: the Jordanian thrashers. The track is taken from their upcoming EP “History of Violence”, to be released soon according to the band. Maze Ayoub who plays the drums on the album as a guest musician recorded, mixed and mastered the album. Mohammed Muti designed its artwork. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlgnP cuAmGo
KSA’s Own Black Metallers
The album "Heen Yadhar Al Ghasq" consisting of 7 tracks will be released on the 14th of January 2014. ALNAMROOD the black metallers from KSA posted one of the songs on the album "Youm Yukram Al Jaban" online. The band announced that the album will be available on CD and vinyl. "Heen Yadhar Al Ghasq" will mark the fourth full length album and sixth release of the band. http://alnamrood.stereokiller.com/
Baht Released a New Single
The new single titled “Aquarelle” is released by the Turkish progressive death metal band “Baht”. This single comes after “in My Veins”, the band’s latest full length album that was released in 2012. Duygu Topcu designed the artwork for the album, whereas Bilgehan Engin mixed and mastered the released single. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nC2 p3w3yqA&feature=youtu.be
enter the ‘river’gate We were following RIVERGATE for quite some time, and the news about their upcoming EP. Well the Algerian progressive metal band released their debut EP for streaming online on their own website on October 28, 2013. The 7 track release is a mix between monstrous metal riffs and oriental Algerian traditional music. Personally, the EP amazed me and I’d give it 8/10. 1: ENTER THE GATE: The intro track starts with the sound of someone running in fear, the keyboard strings progressively jump in along with a bit of orchestration to make sure you feel the thrill, quickly the mood changes into traditional oriental music with some crowd ambience which describes a bit the location where the story is being played out. The 1min 42sec track ends, again with some orchestration and twelve seconds of pure electronic music! What seemed to be one of the many signatures of the band! Closing with the only lyrics of this song “Enter the Gate” with a dark voiceover. This track is well structured and produced and gives you exactly what you would expect from the EP… a great one. 2: LEAVING AS BLIND The song starts with a very fast ‘Symphony X’-ish riff, but after several tempo changes it takes shape with a slower riffing and an unexpected vocal line compared to the starting riffs. The vocals are quite good; just giving enough of what the song needs no showing off whatsoever. Around the middle
just before the breakdown, an electronic part just amazed me; it didn’t bother me specially the way they mixed it with the distorted guitars and keyboards. It was quite impressive. The oriental mood was always present, forced by some Arabic singing and Arabic lyrics towards the middle of the song. This track makes you wonder what they left for the rest of the EP. 3: CHAINS OF MEMORY An electronic beginning. Heavy riffs follow, after reaching the vocals part, the song becomes like an alternative metal ballad. In the instrumental parts it goes faster, just to slow down on the singing parts.
The vocals are doing a good job. A Pantera breakdownin the middle that you can't help but head-bang to. It is well put. A good progressive song. It also has oriental vocals parts and believe me they are amazing. The solos are really disciplined; the showing off and nonsense shredding do not exist in this or any of the other songs on the EP. RiverGate are just giving the songs what they need. 4: RUNAWAY The song starts with a heavy riff and calms down on the vocals part as we got used from the previous tracks. But it calms down to the extent of becoming almost a ballad
with heavy riffs. It becomes somehow a soft alternative song. I wasn’t impressed with the vocals on this one. An expected piano section in the middle followed by a quick solo and another expected piano section towards the end accompanied by vocals “oriental-ising” some of it. This song could be considered the low of the EP. It was better off if it was a complete ballad, like the bonus track version of it.
to become more epic in its middle on the oriental part, just glorious, Oriental vocals, heavy head banging riffs, and growls all mixed in a really amazing way, and for sure an epic end. This song is one of the best on the EP; it has all the elements that give it an A+: the vocals, the riffs, the drums, the effects, the keyboards, and the oriental parts… everything. 6: TEARS OF THE MACHINE
Bonus Track: RUNAWAY ACOUSTIC
5: TALKING TO RAVEN
The song starts with an Algerian traditional part and then come the majestic riffs. This song actually reminded me of ‘Anuryzm’ songs, it has the same feel, again a high on the EP. This is my favorite track. The riffing is crazy, the moods and change of moods are awesome. The vocalist as usual is doing his job perfectly and
Actually I preferred this version. The band should have considered keeping this version instead of the original because as I said before the song was meant to be a ballad and not a heavy one. The vocals on this version show amazing skills. Now actually I love this, it is obvious that it is a good song, a really nice ballad.
On this track ‘Orphaned Land’ guitarist Yossi Sassi put his touches by playing the bouzouki on the clear moments of the track. The song kicks off with an epic riff and growl. Then as usual it becomes less heavy on the vocals parts. After the Epic kick off it has
I guess in this song it was his best performance. The keys, bass, and drums are crazy, around the middle there is an ultra epic mind blowing pure Algerian part. And the song can safely be considered perfect. The solo is so disciplined and shows some skills. Well I loved this song and I give it the A++ of the EP.
Like any musical project, this one has its highs and lows, but in general the album production and mixing done by Younes Kacemi and Yazid from Audioman Studio was of pretty good quality. As for the Album art, created by Zoubir Ben Ali, it is quite impressive, he managed to mix between the ancient and the modern, exactly what was needed to translate the music into the EP’s cover. All in all, the EP is a great progressive project, it shows another great potential from the Arab world.
By: Maurice Semaan
artology - arthur satyan The new album by composer and jazz pianist Arthur Satyan “ARTology” launched on JULY 31st with an official party at Nova Sin El fil, was one of the most anticipated and long-awaited events on the Lebanese music scene. This long-awaited new jazz-fusion album contains a unique collaboration of 8 artists from 3 countries: Lebanon, Armenia and Syria. For that we let Maurice Semaan go to the event and grab his copy for a track by track review. 1: VOCO A POCO The album opens with a fast soft infused piano style. Soul influence is clear in the beats and samples used in the track – the melody almost soothes you into a sense of serenity before the track slowly gives way to an accumulated jumble of mixed checks which slowly fade away. 2: SONG 99 The Bouncy bass, driving drums, rich piano, and powerful phrasing throughout the whole track gave this track a special taste, the tempo jumps after an emotive piano solo ,with saxes hinting at afro-cuban influences late in the track. 3: MY NEW TUNE Gentle harmony that echoes throughout the track, creating a surreal vibe that draws you in, almost like a siren’s song. As the tempo fades, we’re left thinking about the message of the track, while Arthur moves over to the piano once again to close with one of the freest solos on the album.
4: CHROME Providing the perfect soft counterpoint to chromatic, powerful, harddriving lines. The track comes together perfectly, forming a modern, harddriving Neo-Soul track; creating a well rounded track drawing on a range of influences and changes of music styles and sounds with some oriental flavor. 5: WAYNISH Steeped in jazz traditions, and dripping with Wayne Shorter influence, this
duet brings the romance to the track, inventive piano fills, a highly original take, pulling the story of unrequited love out of jazzy touch and into Soul, while injecting emotion straight into the heart of the song. 6: YOU DON'T, I DO ... What is really cool about this song is that it's a one way conversation that never seems to go beyond the initial stage of mind, but yet the conversation spans the duration of the entire song. You can hear the strings whilst listening through some old breaks and beat changes.
07. SEASONS Driving drums and free piano verses. Freest track on the album, demonstrating the strong connection these artists had in the studio. Musically it has a real dark feel to it until the chorus arrives
introducing a sample flip, showing off my true love for jazz. 08. A.S.T The band now proven their reach beyond that or any other Genre. Tasteful isn’t a word that
can be used to describe many cross-over albums, but it is perfect in this case. Concessions are made in all the right places to ensure that perceptions and expectations are thrown out of the window in favor of the only thing that matters – The quality of The Music.
Originally I am not a jazz music fan or listener; but listening to “ARTology” was definitely a good experience of what to expect from a jazz album.
By: Eddy Hanna
Interview with no answers
Being written by respected active musicians of the music scene in Lebanon, its composition is not expected to be lacking in experience. â€œNo answersâ€? is a story that talks about a love that ended without any closure and it does really well to smooth listeners into a sense of nostalgia with the introductory keyboards. Nathalie's voice then appears soulful, weighty with a lone heart, yet strong and consistent in singing.
Not only do the vocals in this song enrich it with expressiveness, but it is also pushed further with the force emitted by the distorted guitars played by the Lebanese virtuoso Alan Azar who made sure to put his signature on the track. In addition to the portrait of sentiments, the choral melody seems to force its keep in the memory of a listener, which means commercial potency! Nathalie sings the lyrics very clearly; one need not listen to this
more than once to understand every word. The lyrics do not need a second round of thought either before they are understood, as they are simple and do more than narrate the story with meaningfulness and originality. Both rhythm and vocals are strong, engaging, and provocative. This song is the result of strong passion, and I hope that more of this will come to our music scene.
INTERVIEW “Hello Nathalie, thank you for giving us your time to ask you few questions about your first single “No Answers”
MB: First a question that was on my mind for quite a while now, why it took you so long to start working and releasing an original song? NAT: I have a lot of songs written, ready to be recorded and released. I’m just waiting for the right time for each one! MB: We were promised that the song will be released in a video clip directed by Sam Andraos. What happened? Any plans for a video soon even though the song was already released? NAT: Sam got really busy with his big plans for 2013 so we put our project on hold for now, leaving it for future projects for sure! Sam is such a talented director and an old friend that I love so much! MB: You mentioned once that this song is “A story that talks about a love that ended without any closure…” so what is the story behind the song? What does the lyrics talk about? NAT: This is the question that’s better left without, without No Answers, No Answers at all MB: So Doug Katsaros a legendary name in the music business that worked with the biggest name in the music industry like Elton John, Bon Jovi, Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Sinead O'Connor, B. B. King, Kiss, Cher, Aerosmith, and Michael Bolton. How did you meet, and how did it all this happen? NAT: Doug is genius, my idol and one of the most special people in my life! His tips and advices are worth millions... I can’t thank him enough... His experience is beyond.. Whenever I want to talk about Doug, I end up saying nothing but smiling! We met when Doug had a gig in Beirut with Raul Di Blasio. Mike Ghanime introduced us, we became good friends and good friends make songs together! MB: “No Answers” is having an undeniable success it is being shared everywhere and on international ports too. How do you feel about that? Is there any plans for an album soon? NAT: It simply feels great! Thanks to each and every friend and stranger who shared it, listened to it and liked it! Album? Hmmm Maybe Let’s wait and see! Haha MB: Have you tried to contact any label or promoters to promote your song? NAT: hmmm nah! Not really MB: Anything you want to add to our readers? NAT: Thank you for your endless support - Keep Rock Alive! \m/ MB: Thank you very much for your time and we wish you all the luck in your future projects NAT: Thank you Metal Bell! You Rock!
it has been covered By: Hussein Shehaby
lost control – kimaera (9/10) For a while now we have been following Kimaera’s news about their upcoming album "The Harbinger of Doom" and with all the big news they got us Kimaera never stops amaze us or their fans. The Lebanese masters of doom have released the first song from their upcoming album "The Harbinger of Doom": their own version of Anathema's "Lost Control". At first, I thought it will be hard for me to judge the song as I am not a fan of Anathema, but when I listened to the song, the least I could have said was "Amazing".
The song kicks in, and you can see how the keyboards are richer and clearer with the vocals. The recording is crystal clear, you can clearly hear every bass note, every drum stroke, the guitar and the keyboard; it can't be done any better. The first minute and a half would be almost the same as the original only until the rhythm guitar goes with growling vocals, then the double bass drums blasts, something our ears got used to and loved from the band, and the song ends with the dark touching violin part.
The band has successfully created a blend between their original sound and Anathema's song, probably giving us an answer on how Anathema's more recent epic songs would sound like if they kept their older doom sound. However, this surely promises an epic album. "The Harbinger of Doom" is set to be released worldwide on the 6th of September through "Eternal Sound Records".
OPEN CAR – APRIL (7/10) The fact that “Steven Wilson”, the vocalist and songwriter of “Porcupine tree” and other bands, is incomparable makes us think that there is no way that someone/band can imitate or cover his music. But a while ago a local cover band called “APRIL” released on their YouTube channel a cover for Porcupine tree’s Open Car. The song, usually sung by the great male voice Steven Wilson, was covered this time
by a female vocalist, “April Rach”, who made the song cool, fun and great to listen to as if it were new! The music was well distributed. Maybe in the beginning, the riff was silenced
in a way that bothered me and some of the effects were overused and a bit louder than they should be, but overall the song was greatly done, good production, so I’d give it a 7/10.
By: Carmina Khairallah
We’d all like to say that we have our fair share of knowledge in good Rock and Metal bands, but we have to admit that some bands tend to hog all the popularity, while others remain hidden in the shadows. That’s why we’re starting The Detective: to give both local and foreign bands who didn’t get their fair share of fame in Lebanon, the exposure they deserve. We’ll start with a Carnival style Punk-Rock band from the US: The Venetia Fair. With their innovative music and lyrics that sound like nothing and everything you’ve heard before all at once, they’ve created quite a stir in their area and sometimes outside it since the release of their first studio album “The Circus” in 2009. But they’ve gone a long way since then, and their 3rd release “Every Sick Disgusting Thought We’ve Got In Our Brain” saw the light of day on the 1st of March 2013. Let’s take a quick look at this new album before we move on to the questions.
he release is a concept album, although only 6 out of 13 songs are related to said concept. In short, it narrates the story of a man, both scientist and painter, who, between a frantic search for God and a deceiving love story, goes crazy and starts killing people to search their brain. Until he kills the woman he once loved (and whom he was try-ing to paint without being able to rem-ember her exact features) but didn’t recognize, discovers that she was pregnant with his baby, and rea-lizes God could only be in his own head, therefore cracks his own skull to finally find him. Those who don’t know the band might expect some very dark, creepy music to go with the setting, but The Venetia Fair manage to pull it off in a somewhat cheery, ener-getic way. In the concept-related songs as well as in the others, the lyrics are very well written,
often hiding meaningful phrases in disturbing metaphors. The music is very fast paced for the most part and can be somehow hard to grasp if you’re listening to it for the first time; speaking purely subjectively it is the kind of thing that you could only love or rate. To compare this album with the band’s earlier work, technical improvements in each band member’s work as well as in the editing of the tracks are obvious. Also, it seems like the songs have notably gained more structure, with the help of choruses, for instance, who were rather absent before.
Although, the change is not too drastic, keeping the band’s originality (a great example of which being vocalist Benny Santoro’s eccentric high pitch raspy/clean vocals) in a way that will probably not disa-ppoint the band’s long term fans while allowing more “traditional” listeners to be interested in the style as well. Regardless of whether this change will suit the band later, it surely did this time. Maybe one point that I personally consider to be a bit too much, though, is the overabundance of background/double vocals throughout the album, which at some points somehow altered the intensity of the vocals. But, other than that, it is definitely an extremely interesting rel-ease that deserves at least a few good listens. Moreover, each track is pretty different from the other, so each listener may find what suits their taste.
INTERVIEW Hello “THE VENETIA FAIR” and thank you for granting us here at Metal Bell some of your time. For starters, what is it like to be interviewed by a magazine from a country you barely know the name of? I don’t know yet, can I answer this question last? Thus far it’s going fairly smoothly. Now, about your band. Several years ago, you released a few songs with Beta Records that are now hard to find, and those available on You-Tube are “I Know Why They Feel The Way They Do”, “This Is All A Forced Metaphor” and “Let Me Explain”. Are there any others, and will you ever use them again in the future? Ok, not so smooth anymore. I wasn’t in the band when these tunes were recorded, but there probably won’t be any further use of old material. We pretty much took what we thought were salva-geable from all the old material and put it towards our current record. “Go On, Paint Me A Picture” is one example of a tune that was written years and years ago that had undergone a full revamping to be what it is now. You used to keep your fans up to date about your news with occasional Video Updates. Will there be any more of those in the future? With social media these days it’s extremely quick and easy to throw info up on Facebook, blast a video up on vine, or shoot a picture up on Instagram while sharing those all other social media outlets (Twitter/Foursquare/Tumblr/etc). Although video updates may get more views in the long run, they also take way more time and are out of date very quick. The short answer is yes, there will be more video updates, but they will probably be exclusive up-dates for particular media outlets. When you go on stage, is there any specific reaction that you really want to see on your audience’s faces? If so, what is it, and does it usually happen that way? Yes and it always happens…we want them to be disgusted with us because we are for the most part all wild and disgusting people with very sick and disgusting thou-ghts in our minds that are portrayed in our live performances. Now, on to business: your latest album “Every Sick Disgusting Thought We’ve Got In Our Brain” was released on the first of March of this year. First of all, what made you want to make a record with such a title? It is the most honest title we could think of and obviously we don’t really give a fuck if it “sounds cool” or is easy or too difficult to remember.
To fund the making of the album, you requested help from your fans through “kickstarter.com” Your original goal was $8,000, but reaching $15,000 was said to give you the possibility of add-ing perks such as string and brassplayers and two music videos. With a final sum of $17,657, what more perks can you promise your fans? We were blown away at the outcome of the kick-starter but unfortunately the extra “perks” for our fans cannot be mentioned at this time, but I will tell you this…there is something special in the works, so eyes peeled ladies and fucks. In early January, you used social media to ask your fans if any of them was interested in design-ning your new album’s cover art. Did you actually find your pearl through that method? Are you planning on working with them again in the future? Actually Mr. Chark (band’s current bassist) designed all of the album art and we are very pleased with the results. We were in contact with a few artists and fans because we always love outside input and if it didn’t end up being the cover for the album, we are always in need of art for something whether it be an E.P., shirt, posters etc. Six of the songs in the album follow a concept, which you’ve already explained. Who came up with it and why? Benny (band’s vocalist) does all of the lyric writing for the most part, which contain all the ideas for the concepts. The Circus was a concept album that had interludes and little motifs popping up from time to time mending the album together as a whole. I think the band along with fans of The Circus were pretty into the concept idea, so why not keep everyone happy on our latest album?! “Go On, Paint Me A Picture” is the third of the songs implied in said concept, yet it was written around 2007-2008. Had the song itself any influence in the making of the concept as a whole or did it just coincidentally fit in? "Benny here, I'll talk some lyrics real quick. I very much try to keep an open mind when crafting songs and stories at the same time. Instead of making a story and writing lyrics that strictly adhere to that story (or vice versa) I try to allow both to influence each other. Go on, Paint Me A Picture was a song that I wrote about my 18th birthday, and it's still very much about the way I felt that night but it's now being applied to a character. He went through a similar situation to me (because I wrote him, and I'm always writing about me to some degree) and BAM, part of the story. And that experience shaped the way I wrote the rest of the story." –Benny Is there a deeper analogy to look into, in the Scientist/Painter image that you present? "If you're asking if it's deeper than simply the events that take place, yes, there is a point of the story but I don't think it's incredibly deep or veiled. It's almost tongue in cheek how NOT veiled it is; I kind of hit people over the head with the concept a few times, I'm afraid, haha. The idea that God only exists in the human mind is what leads our main character to crack skulls open in an attempt to find Him. This is a pretty silly story because the main character is taking an idea literally, but the audience won't necessarily take it so literally.” – Benny You do say that the lyrics to your song “The Day I Set Them Free” are “dedicated to anyone who tried to stand in our way while we got this record together”, but they seem oddly specific. Was there any specific encounter or event that encouraged you to write them? "Not just one event or encounter (unfortunately), but a whole series of events and encounters. The lyrics are definitely specific, but I probably won't ever say anything more about it. People will speculate and some will be absolutely right but I won't ever confirm or deny anything". – Benny
The last song of your album, “I Could End Your Search Tonight”, is generally darker than the rest of the tracks on the album… kind of like how “The Clowns And The Escape” was compared to other songs on your first album “The Circus”. Do you find a particular appeal in closing off a generally upbeat album with a darker track? "You know, I don't think this was something we put a lot of thought into, it just kind of felt right to us, so we did it. I guess that means that we do find an appeal in that idea but not a conscious one. All of the songs have, by design, some mix of dark and more upbeat elements but I'm not really sure why we feel most comfortable ending things dark. That's just the way we like it, I guess." –Benny Would you say that the style of your new album is closer to the style that you wish to achieve in the future than your previous work? I mean there are no rules, but the music and lyrics really depend on what we are all going through at the time. Our day to days definitely reflect in our style and I think the tracks on our new record that are the most recent and relevant to us are the ones that came out the best and come across the best live. Speaking of the future; after Warped Tour in 2011 and SXSW this year, what else have you planned? Now that you know for sure that you have fans all around the world, does any of it involve going outside the US? We have fuck loads of labels and agents etc just barking at our door, but unfortunately we can’t answer it right now because Mr. Chark put 5 new pad locks on the door and fed the keys to Joe’s snake which died from a key digestion infection and was eaten by a house pig which was sold to a farm owner in Cape Cod. We have been in touch with a few people that are trying to get us overseas. The only issue holding us up is that we refuse to take anything other than a banana boat over. "Benny here again, I'd just like to interject to say that, that last paragraph was the dumbest thing I've ever read in my life. Carry on." – Benny Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? Yes, I’d like to go back to question #1 and say this interview was a fucking bitch and also awesome because you did your research and the questions weren’t generic. XO - TVF Thank you The Venetia Fair, we look forward to hearing your news soon and wish you best of luck for what’s to come.
om 10 to 1
By: Hussein Shehaby
"Schizanimus" "Schizanimus" is the third release by the Lebanese guitarist Amadeus Awad. The EP has another sound, a different one from what we are used to. Amadeus' new style combines ambient elements, Rock Progressive sounds and Psychedelic flow. What's interesting is that the EP features one of the best progressive drummers out there: Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree. The release event took place on Tuesday 13, August 2013 at Metro Al Madina in Hamra. It was the first time I attend any event at that place. For those who have never been there, the place is more like a theatre with tables and seats in front, not the common type of venues where people would stand to watch the performance. The event was to start at 9:30 but it did not until 10:20. However, the delay wasn't as annoying as most were waiting at the bar grabbing a beer or having a chat outside. By then and just before the event started all tables were full, in addition to some fans standing as there were no more seats available. April: the special guest band for the night started the event. They kicked off with the song "Diamonds & Dust" by Blackmore's Night and then played "Harvest" by Opeth to then change a little and cover "Perfect Strangers"
by Deep Purple; this song had a great performance on the solo part by their keyboard player, as everyone in the crowd reacted on that part cheering and clapping for the band. The set also included "Hope leaves", "Death Whispered A Lullaby" by Opeth and "Ghost Of A Rose " by Blackmore's Night. To end their performance, April could not leave without dedicating a song to all Gavin Harrison fans, that song was "Blackest Ice" by Porcupine Tree. April's performance was great; the crowd loved it and reacted with the band showing satisfaction with what they had seen.
Now everyone was ready for the big thing; what they all came for: "Schizanimus". Amadeus Awad hit the stage to greet his fans and announced the beginning of the listening session where the EP was played through the venue speakers. At the end of the listening session, Amadeus took some time and answered some fan questions along with Elia Monsef, the vocalist on the record, also known as the vocalist from "Ostura". I asked if we will ever see Gavin Harrison in Lebanon, and the answer was "We hope so" Amadeus explained how it takes effort and time to talk to Gavin and how they might face problems with promoters, he also added "I can't promise you, but I do promise myself I will try to Get him".
Another question was about the meaning of "Schizanimus" and the story behind the album, Elia tried to explain the story but Amadeus disagreed continuing with his own explanation. "Schizanimus" combines "schizophreniaâ€? and "animus", and the album talks about a love story where the girl has two personalities, one cheats on the guy and the other does not. On the other hand the guy also has two personalities where one wants to get mad
because his girlfriend cheated on him while the other is convincing him that the girl (referring to her second personality) did not. Amadeus described the story as "Really fucked up". The whole session included some comedy too as Awad exchanged some jokes with the fans. The session continued with giving the winners of a Facebook competition their prizes which were a Drum Stick signed by Gavin Harrison used in the recording of the EP.
The last part of the show was the most amazing. A great performance by Amadeus and his band as they played some of their songs. Everyone was amazed, all cheered for them and many stated that it was his best performance yet. Even though I think the blend between the vocalist and Amadeus was stronger on the record than during the live session, I admit I had expected more while hearing the record. I wasn't that impressed later on.
All in all, it was a great night where both bands gave a great performance and the EP is definitely something to look for along with Amadeus' upcoming projects.
Photography ©Sako Majarian By: Maggie Varbedian and Jad Akle
Turbulence did what was hard to do!! A Dream Theater Cover Band, was something out of the ordinary to witness in Lebanon. It was our job and pleasure to send 2 of our best to review the event. We had the honor of trying Metro Al Madina to watch a metal band called TURBULENCE covering Dream Theater songs. The event was supposed to start at 8:30, but true to Lebanese custom, doors were open around 9, concert started at 9:35 pm. There was a 15 minutes break around 10:30 and it was over around 11:45 pm. The concert area was small 30-40 seats max, with plenty of room to stand, which most concert goers did. It was cozy, as if made for intimate concerts held for friends and close fans. But the place could need a serious renovation though. As we went in and took our seat Dream Theater songs and clips were playing on two big screens in the background of the stage with proper lighting we saw the instruments were on stage already no pre-tuning or sound checking. So we waited and the guys came on stage. Alain Ibrahim on lead guitar Anthony Atwe on bass guitar Rudy Fares on Drums Mood Yassin
on keyboard and finally Elia Monsef and Owmar El Hajj on vocals. Turbulence faced some technical difficulties in the beginning as the microphone was not working. Elia started singing, or unfortunately attempted singing the first Dream Theatre song of the night, his voice is clearly too soft for a metal band, moreover he didn’t have the attitude, demeanor, nor the right feelings for singing metal. Make this guy sing rock or pop and he might make it but not metal.
Also the arrogance was too much, turning his back to the audience, he was forcing people to get up and stand, he was telling them “this is a metal concert”… if he was performing the way he should have been people would have been on their feet on their own. Hearing Elia sing was quite disappointing. His terrible rendering of the songs managed to make the rest of the band disappear. Well into the first song his voice was cracking he ended up screaming some parts of the song and his voice was completely tired by the second song.
Next up was Owmar, we were not ready to be surprised, for us the tone was quite set for the night, it’s torture ahead and we have to take it for the sake of Metal Bell. It was up to Owmar to salvage whatever was left of the band’s performance. Owmar opened his mouth and throat and we were in a completely different world than the one that was set before. He took the performance from a low to a new height. Now it felt like we were at a metal concert. Although he could need some vocal training, Owmar could become a great vocalist for such a band, as he has everything: the right voice, the attitude, the feelings, and the body language. All were in sync, just like Owmar and the guys were in sync, they belonged together and made each other shine. Now we were totally enjoying ourselves. Owmar dedicated “The spirit Carries On” to every person who has lost a loved one, after that he ended with his final song “Through Her Eyes”.
It was clear enough; a good strong deep voice to match the loudness of the music and everything else he brought to the stage. As for the rest: Rudy’s smashing of good quality drums: thumbs up, Alain was amazing, we would go as far as to say mind blowing, his cover of the solo parts left us speechless, he probably saved the band’s night with some kick ass solos which echoed his guitar more than once, he managed to give a wonderful performance. Mood on keyboard and Anthony on bass guitar were doing their part magnificently, even though their volume was a bit low, but they filled those blanks between the two overpowering instruments, just like they should. They were the glue between the lead guitar and the drums. Now the end was near and our own misplaced Elia was to close. He took the concert to a new low. It saddens us to say he was the one who sang a favorite song “In The Name of God”.
He started it with a “normal” voice, by the second verse there was no decent voice left there, his voice was cracked, and he started screaming towards the end, the only thing that got people excited was the song itself.
Hope you boys and girls enjoyed reading turbulence’s night review, whoever didn’t see them should do so next time they perform! They are worth it. They deserve your support to become as famous as they deserve. Have a nice metal day! \m/
By: Carmina Khairallah
A PHOBIA REACTION On Saturday July 20th, the Lebanese Youth Center (LYC) hosted yet another Rock event at the Quadrangle Hazmieh. The event welcomed LYC’s own Chained Reaction as well as Phobia, who had been absent from the scene for quite a few months prior to that night. The concert was scheduled to begin at 10:30 – which it did, give or take a few minutes. The first act on stage was Phobia, a Rock band self-described as performing Melodic/Soft/80’s Rock music. PHOBIA’S Set list: - What’s up – 4 Non Blondes - Smoke is going down – Scorpions - Black Velvet – Alannah Myles - Frozen - Still Loving you – Scorpions - Temple of the King – Rainbow - Come Together – The Beatles - Send me an angel – Scorpions - Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes - Because the night – Patti Smith The general vibe was pretty calm, punctuated by only a few Rockier songs. The band members’ stage presence consisted mostly of shuffling and only became more active with the aforementioned Rock tracks, and their interaction with the crowd was nearly inexistent. One definite plus though was the evident passion exuded by most of the members. The sound was relatively good but the instrumentals were partially covering the female vocalist’s skillful voice (while completely overshadowing
that of the male vocalist). A few technical problems occurred, creating small gaps between a few of the songs. The crowd, who filled most of the space in front of the stage, was enjoying its time, although most people appeared to be the band members’ friends, thus leaving immediately after the band’s performance. One remark I have to make, though, is that a non-negligible part of the track list comprised songs by the Scorpions, while the event was merely a week away from the Scorpions’
concert at Byblos Festival. Nevertheless, it remained an overall enjoyable performance. When asked about his opinion regarding the event and venue, band’s guitarist and male vocalist Fadi Chamieh had to say: “I just want to mention that the band line up has changed (we have a new drummer and vocalist) as well as the style of the band; the current lineup has been practicing for 2 months together and we promise the audience better performance with time”.
Next up, at 11:50 (and after a rather long sound-check), it was time for Chained Reaction, an old school Rock band that has already gained its piece of notoriety. CHAINED REACTION’s Set List: - Last Look At Eden – Europe - Perfect Strangers - Deep Purple - Black Masquerade - Rainbow - Sometime I Feel Like Screaming - Deep Purple - Cross The Line - Place Vendome - I Surrender - Rainbow - Coming Back To Life - Pink Floyd - Highway Star - Deep Purple - Bastard - Electric Warriors - Show Must Go On – Queen For those who don’t know, Electric Warriors is a local Rock band who used to perform more than 20 years ago and whose tracks Chained Reaction scrupulously cover during most of their gigs. Although Chained Reaction’s performances usually go on with little to no technical flaws, this one Seemed to be rather … limping. First of all, the main vocals were barely audible over the instrumentals beside some rare fluctuations, while the background vocals (by band’s keyboardist Chady Khairallah) were perfectly audible at all times. Also, there were some some what long interruptions
between the songs. Each band member played their role well but those details kind of overshadowed that fact. The vocalist and front man Wassim Nouwar’s interaction with the crowd was very enthusiastic, but the crowd had dimmed immensely at that point (the previous band’s friends having left), and most of them left before the performance even ended (which it did at about 1 am). But the band’s passion remained untouched throughout those difficulties, which managed to tip the scale and allowed those who were present to enjoy their favorite old school Rock tunes despite it all.
When asked about his opinion regarding the concert, Wassim Nouwar said: “I'd like to say that the band is getting together more and more, I admit we are taking things slowly because we're aiming for a long run but it won't be for long, those from time to time gigs are helping us to build the shape of the band that we have in mind and discover each other more especially musically since we already started composing our own music waiting for the final changes in the band’s line up since we might have a new drummer for Tony (Tony Deaibess, band’s drummer) might not be able to continue because of his tight work schedule.”
Overall, the whole thing seemed much more like a private musical gathering than a concert, but those present did seem to have a good time. Thank you Phobia, Chained Reaction, the Lebanese Youth Center and the Quadrangle, looking forward to the next event.
By: Chady Khairallah
Getting Insane The 20th of June was just a normal day, but it wasn’t a regular night. More than 50 people gathered at EM chill to support their local band “IN SANITY-Q” in their gig “BITE ME”. Before the gig and after the soundcheck, I went with the guys to BITE some hotdogs and totally nailed it!
When you first enter the venue you won’t be able to take your eyes off the special drumset made by the drummer of the band”ramzy khattar” a true lebanese legend and one of the few talented drummers from the 80’s. Everything was set to go. But before the band hit the stage, the openning act of the night was “frederick”, one of the rising talents in stand up comedy, who seemed a bit nervous , but the 3 glasses of scotch totally helped him to knock us dead from laughter. After 50 minutes of non-stop laughter, it is time for insanity q to hit the stage! And you can hear the crowd cheering for this true talented band the band who is “bringing bad back”.The playlist has all their originals for the upcoming album and one cover song:TNT-AC/DC The gig was perfect, but in a closed venue which was a bit crowded, it is bad
to smoke. And it was weird that smoking was legal down there and some people left or didn’t come because of the smoking environment, and Chris the vocalist was smoking while singing!! That is not cool Chris, you have a great talent, at least don’t smoke while singing it is not good for your health.
The reason of this gig and all the upcoming gigs from insanity q is because they are going to hit the recording studio in september and they need your support. The upcoming gig is on Thursday the 25th of july at radio beirut. Come and suport your talented lebanese band it is worth it !
By: Hussein Shehaby
With lots of advertisement prior to the release of "The Harbinger Of Doom", the third studio album of the Lebanese Doom Death metal band KIMAERA, a release show was announced to be done at Nova Pub, Sin El Fil on September the 6th. Our Bell Toller Hussein Shehaby was fortunate to go and write us a small review. To start the event, a "Ancient Serpents", the very guitarist, saved the situation. young extreme metal band first song from their new album However, the show did not Deathtone took the stage, to give the fans a little taste of stop there as there were what’s remarkable about the what to expect, then took it more songs to come. One band is its female members, back to their first album with more song was played from which is not so common on our the songs " the day innocent the new album, "praising my local scene, but other than died" and " in a dying embrace". pain" and then the single that, the band’s performance The set continued with a "December Ends", ending the was barely average. Following special song as the band played night with "God's Wrath". Note that the band Deathtone, the Lebanese Death their own version of Anathdid not play any song from Metallers that came back from ema's "Lost Control". For this their second album Solitary the dead lately NOCTURNA song, Legendary Bassem Impact. reigned on the stage. The Deaibess of Blaakyum, was After the show, the band’s performance was invited to stage to be the guest band had to get ready for amazing and maybe one of their vocalist on the track as Jean their 6:00 AM plane for their best so far, the band is well set Pierre, Kimaera's vocalist, and ready more than ever to joked about how "he can't sing". tour. We will be getting into exclusive details about the release their debut album. Even though the energy was It was almost twelve tour with the band for the there and the hardcore fans by then when KIMAERA next Issue. \m/ loving everything, something started, with a show that could didn't feel right with the clean The most upsetting be described as amazing, on thing about the event was guitar parts and by the end of the verge of overwhelming but the technical problems the the song Jean Pierre was quite unlucky. The first misforbands had to face, Kimaera is clearly frustrated. He asked to tune the band faced was that not a band that was “born” turn on the stage lights their new Turkish drummer yesterday. They have played because the band can't see couldn't make it to the show in major festivals around the anything adding that half the because of the unstable world. It's pretty shameful songs were being played political situation in Lebanon, that when we get to see wrong. the drums were covered by them in our own country we But if that was bad, Roudy Fares who had only 1 can't do so under moderately it sure was not the worst. Still week to practice the tracks for not sure though of what really good circumstances while the event. The band started others around the world can happened to the gear, but JP's playing and everything was see the best of them. pedals turned off and he had great: head banging fans and However, Kimaera has built a technical issues with his guitar extreme energy. Kimaera base of hardcore fans as we which forced him to change it. started with the song know what they are made of. Charbel Kareh Nocturna's Hoping that some day we will not face these same never-ending problems anymore. Everyone knows about the situation in Lebanon and how hard it is for bands to evolve and shine, but we have the talent, our bands are doing a great job and some are touring around the world. However, we still can't find a good venue to give the bands the right place to show what they have got and we, the local rock and metal scene, are really suffering from this.
A NIGHT FOR METALDAYS Shortened from Carmina Khairallah's review for
On Saturday, June 15th, Blaakyum decided to organize a concert at Yukunkun Jemmayze as a last appearance before MetalDays in Slovenia a month later. Next up at 11:40 was the The band was also We had to wait till as long as night’s main act, Blaakyum pretty still except for the head 10:15 till the security banging but that was in guards started letting people who only played originals including a few from their accordance to the genre. The in. As usual, though, a bunch upcoming second album, sound was surprisingly clear of fans lingered outside, although I was told four songs for Melodic Death Metal and expecting the concert not to were removed from the the crowd seemed to really start original playlist to save time enjoy it, judging by their for a while. for the upcoming act. restless head banging, mosh The place was already pretty The band’s profespit attempts and excited full when Rebellion got on sionalism bears no doubt, as screaming, despite having stage at 10:50. This Heavy they are our country’s oldest already spent about 2 hours Metal band was aiming to still active Metal band. The doing so. The band’s fronttake the crowd back to the sound was very good. The man and vocalist HabibArbid’s Golden 80’s. Even their band’s performance wasn’t interaction with the crowd outfits, very active, but it was enough. was very friendly and he a mix of leather, denim and Their interaction with the definitely didn’t need to kick it chains, fit the part. The band crowd was great, but even up a notch to get them in the played a mix of originals and they couldn’t get them excited mood for the band’s loud covers. over Heavy and Thrash Metal tracks and obvious passion. The sound was relatively music. Most of the attendees Although their pretty good. It was kind of were head banging and appearance was scheduled, altered, though, by the echo singing along and there were Highway 69 couldn’t make it effect on the vocals, which that night. would’ve been good on one or even a few attempts at mosh pits, but nearing the end of two songs but when left on the band’s performance most most of the tracks started of the crowd was either sitting seeming pretty dull. The in a corner or outside smokband’s interaction with the ing. crowd was good but the Last but not least, crowd mostly remained another landmark of Lebanese passive. The band’s stage Metal, Nocturna, graced the performance was somehow stage at 1:05 with an all stiff. The songs themselves original playlist plus a cover of did deliver some good Heavy “As I Slither” by Kataklysm. Metal spirit.
It was nice to see some new and old faces among the crowd along with the never fading loyal fans. Also, seeing an almost all-original gig was heartwarming, especially since the attendees seemed to know most of the songs almost by heart. All we need is a little more support between fans, bands and organizers, and it’ll be all good.
By: Ashley Jor
Beirut Rock fest On July the 2nd, 2013, some of our coolest local bands met up on stage to open for SKUNK ANANSIE, one of Britain’s greatest rock bands as well as for the American U2 tribute band, L.A.VATION. The event was held at Beirut Water Front and was presented by 2U2C. Initially the concert was to start at 8:00 pm sharp... it actually started around an hour later, but this is what we’re accustomed to in Lebanon. The turnout wasn’t all that awesome. Obviously they were expecting much more of an attendance, because the venue was set up for far more people. The seated area at the center wasn’t close to full and the seated areas to the sides of the stage were completely empty. As for the standing section, there was a crowd, but, again, obviously not as big as expected. The opening bands were a selection of local, Lebanese bands including one band which had been voted into the concert by fans.Starting off the show,at the right side of the stage were THE COOLCUMBERS, a local rock band formed back in 2010 by DanyBassous, Thierry Boulos, GioFikany, Ralph J. Haiby, SamyHajal, and EnzoSabbagha. This is the band that was voted into the show by fans. They played some of their originals as well as a few covers. My favorite was
their cover of “Imagine Dragon’s” Radioactive. Next on stage was PINDOLL, my personal favorite of the local bands that night. JadAouad, MihranGurunian , Chris Reslan, and Erin Mikaelian gave their best as they rocked out to some well-known tunes and their original music too. “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music movie soundtrack was their opening
song and it definitely pulled in the audience and got their attention. NEAR SURFACE, the already well known local band, put on a great performance as usual. The crowd went wild and sang along to their originals.Finishing up the local bands’ performances wasJAY WUD, the regional rock sensation, and his bandthat put on a great show and got some ladies going wild.
After the local bands finished up their performances, it took quite awhile to get the center stage set up for SKUNK ANANSIE. Finally, the British rockers took the stage and the fans went wild. The crowd was very inviting and obviously excited to be seeing Skin belting out her songs with her smooth vocals and energetic performance. The bigger fans of SKUNK ANANSIE were the older rock fans in the audience.Everyone was singing along to the songs and clearly enjoying the show. It was great to hear their classics being sung along by their fans, and it was even better to see the band’s reaction when they realized
they have a great fan base in Lebanon. Skin went crowd surfing and even performed right in the middle of the crowd at one point, which was definitely the highlight of the night. Wrapping up the night was the American U2 tribute band, L.A.VATION. They have the whole U2 showdown with the looks, the sound, and the general vibe.L.A.VATION performed all the greatest U2 hits, mostly covering U2’s renditions at their concert at Slane Castle. Unfortunately, the band didn’t get to finish up their set since the event had started late and by 1 am had to shut down. Both the crowd and the band were disappointed,
but at least everyone enjoyed the show while it lasted. After leaving the stage, Jason, L.A.VATION’s lead vocalist, was mingling with some new fans, I was included as well. He took pictures and chatted with the crowd as people started heading home. Overall, it was a very entertaining night. The concert started late which ended up being somehow unfair to L.A.Vation because they didn’t get to perform their whole setlist, and the crowd was obviously not as big as the organizers expected, but I think, all in all, everyone enjoyed their time and will surely remember that night.
By: Dahlia Noir
Fete de la musique 2013: The eye of the storm!
While it may be quite difficult to believe by those witnessing the threatening dark clouds and mighty hostility of a hurricane, but in the midst of this spiraling madness,lays a warm center full of light and white broken clouds. This center is known as “the eye of the storm”. In this country of ceaseless political tension and amid the latest storm of gunned conflicts, Friday the 21st of June witnessed a warm wave in the center of the hurricane in which the youth, peaceful and rebellious alike, found solace in their most beloved music.
While the protesters were rocking the metallic barriers in Riad El Soloh, around seventy bands and artists rocked ten different stages located all around Beirut Central District in celebration of the World Music Day that is honored annually by the event Fête de La Musique. The stages where all the magic happened were partitioned respectively among ten different areas being: Zaytuna Bay, Samir Kassir Square, Martyrs Square, Beirut Souks (Place Ajami and Souk el Tawil), the Roman Baths, Saint Elie church, Saint Louis Capucins church,
the Evangelical church and the waterfront. The bands and artists were quite diverse and performed a wide range of music from Oriental, Hip Hop, Pop, Funk, Africandance, Rock, Indie, Country, Blues, Jazz and Electro. The event started around 6 pm with some small enthusiastic groups of audience gathered to cheer and dance. The darker it got, the more people joined. Amongst the great performances which I had the chance to witness wasBandAge, a Lebanese Rock band with great energy that I personally enjoyed.
The band consists of vocalist Nathalie J., Roland Azar on the keyboards, JulienYounes on lead guitar, RanyBattikhon bass guitar, Tony AbouHaydar on drums and Fares Sokhon on percussion and harmonica. Nathalie’s remarkable voice, making her quite the strong feminine figure of Lebanese rock, echoed in Martyrs’ square as the band played several rock hits and classics. The audience seemed overall very impressed with the members’ liveliness and cheerfully sang along. Another performance which I was glad not to have missed was EpiSode’s impressive show. EpiSode is a Lebanese symphonic progressive band that is known for its unique experimental compositions.
The band, fronted by AvoDemirdjian (Electric violin and strings) with members John Laham (Drums) and Karnig Baghdassarian (Bass) played a set of original tracks such as “I am Divine” and “Funeral March” to which the crowd positively responded. The organizers had to eventually displace the metallic barriers protecting the stage to make room for more people. EpiSode was simply unstoppable and rocked the stage, even with the sudden power cut that occurred forcing them to replay one track. A new wave of popularity is hitting African/tribal music in Lebanon with a couple of rising talented bands. Among those Jebebara and Afro-beat Collective made the spectators bounce
to their exceptional tunes and instruments taking us all on a travel in sound to a distant wild African night. The organization including sound systems and punctuality of the bands was of a high caliber. And the energy was lovely, making the crowd almost forget about the whirlwinds outside of it. It was quite noticeable however that the genre of metal is constantly missing from the Fête de la Musique scene as it is being labeled as too underground for this spectacle. Nevertheless, contrary to what the people believe, the scene is loud and thriving and I think that many great metal bands deserve a chance to exhibit their talents and efforts for the many years to come.
By: Chady Khairallah
Fete de la musique 2013: Ballouneh Edition
The 21st of June is a day to celebrate, to sing, to grab your instrument and play some music. Sure, we do it every day! But, this day is "World Music Day".
We went to Ballouneh that day to celebrate. Even though it has witnessed a tragedy the day before, but people still came to celebrate, to enjoy the music, cheer, and dance. Two stages are set and ready for the celebrations to start. Everyone is waiting
to see rising talents, and professional artists hit the stage! From eastern, Arabic, Jazz, and Blues, to oldies, rock, rap and much more, lots of music is being played and everyone is enjoying it. The youth of Lebanon showed their talents. The anticipated rock band
'Chained Reaction' hit the stage to fire the crowd up! Needless to say the fans were extremely pleased by the way they were playing. I have spoken to the band and they said "we will definitely perform in this lovely environment next year and we thank the organizers!"
Photography By: Dahlia © Wael Hamzeh Noir
Byblos International Festival: Scorpions: Rocking Byblos Like a Hurricane Two years after their massive three-night sold out show, the hard rock German band SCORPIONS have returned this summer for two concerts in a row on the 26th and 27th of July at the Byblos International Festival. The band was back due to popular demand and, as vocalist Klaus Meine stated on the second night: “If it’s nice you gotta do it twice”. On the day of the second show, while gates were not opened before 8 in the evening, eager fans started queuing long before: in the afternoon! Their enthusiasm reached its peak as they cheered and screamed at the top of their lungs in accompaniment to the arrival of SCORPIONS members (Vocalist Klaus Meine; guitarist Rudolf Shenker; guitarist Matthias Jabs; bassist Paweł Mąciwoda and drummer James Kottak) to the waterfront venue on the board of a Yacht. Furthermore, starting at 8 PM, an impressive historical 3D projection was exhibited every 5 minutes on the main citadel in celebration of Byblos being voted as the number one Arab tourist city for 2013, adding further charm to the night. After a wait that seemed longer than the one Klaus sings about in their song “This Time”, the show finally started, at 10 PM.
The mighty SCORPIONS commenced with “Sting in the Tail”, a song from their 2010 album that carries the same title. Following it was a blast from the 80s with “Make it Real” from the album “Animal Magnetism” and “Is there anybody there” (Album: Lovedrive) a song in which the band successfully integrates a reggae feel. The band then swept the crowd and took it so many worlds away with “The Zoo”, another song from “Animal Magnetism” and “Coast to Coast”, an instrumental from “Lovedrive”. They then performed “You and I”, a ballad from the 1996 album “Pure Instinct” which Klaus stated is a favorite among the Lebanese fan club and “The Best is Yet to Come” from “Sting in the Tail”. Subsequently, the fans raised and waived their arms to the touching acoustic versions of the hits “Send Me an Angel” (Album: Crazy World) and “Holiday” (Album: Lovedrive).
Moving on from ballad mood, SCORPIONS swiftly turned the tables around and made the crowd that was raised on the love of rock n’ roll jump on “Raised on Rock”, another track from their “Sting in the Tail“ album. “No One Like You”, a major hit from the album “Blackout” (1982) and “Hit Between the Eyes” from the album “Crazy World” (1990) thundered the stage with powerful guitar riffs, while James Kottak drove the crowd wild with his impressive drum solo attack. The band thanked the audience
and said their goodbyes after performing “Blackout” (Album: Blackout) and “Big City Nights” (Album: Love at First Sting), but came back for a massive Encore minutes later with their three golden hits: a hearty performance of “Still Loving You” (Album: Love at First Sting), “Wind of Change” (Album: Crazy World) that Klaus dedicated to the Middle East, and finally their massive “Rock You Like a Hurricane” (Album: Love at First Sting) ending the show that lasted for about an hour and forty minutes.
This concert proved that indeed we cannot grow old when the soundtrack of our lives is rock and roll. Parents jumped and sang along with their children, a scene that is not so common in similar events, to Klaus’ flawless voice which is still quite the same as it was in 1965. And all band members were highly active and interactive on stage, breaking the belief that older musicians do not quite make the show. One thing remains for sure, and that is that the sting of the Scorpions will remain marked on our souls.
Photography By: Ashley Eliane Radi Jor
Byblos International Festival:
One of the biggest concerts of this summer, set to take place on July 4th, NIGHTWISH live in the Byblos International Festival 2013, was a dream come true for many in the Lebanese music scene. A twist to the concert was the fact that Annette Olzo, NIGHTWISHâ€™S lead vocalist since 2007, was not touring with the band. In her place was ex-After Forever vocalist, Floor Jansen. For some fans, this was a letdown, but for others like me, it was a great surprise because Floor has her own history and following as well.
The anticipation follo-wing the announcement of the concert was palpable, and that excitement was magnified when Byblos International Festival announced a competition to win access to an exclusive meet and greet with the Finnish symphonic metal band. On the day of the concert, excited fans
congregated at the venue and waited patiently until opening time. When they finally opened the gates up to the public, the antici-pation was overwhelming. The opening act was ANURYZM, a progressive metal band hailing from the UAE. They put on a great show, offering up some heavy tunes to the audience.
After a while, it was time for NIGHTWISH to take the stage. The band came to the stage, in all their metal glory, to cheers and clapping from the crowd. They looked delighted to be playing in Lebanon and to see such a big fan base. They played all
of their hits, including Nemo, Ghost Love Score, and I Wish I Had An Angel. They also performed some of their new songs from their latest album, Imaginaerum. Although she had just joined them three days before their tour started,
Floor was doing the best job at singing. Her character on stage was amazing and her excitement and upbeat attitude was obviously contagious to the rest of the band. The guys, as well as Floor, were head-banging and smiling throughout the entire show.
A few of the songs were pure instrumental, complete with live bagpipes and flute, and this was met with the audience’s awe at hearing such beautiful music being played live in their own country. Floor kept repeating “Shoukran” (Thank you) in Arabic, and Tuomasgorgeous as ever- was drinking Lebanese wine, straight from the bottle.
When they finished their set and the show had to end, they stood together, center stage, and waved at the audience and said their farewells. It was obvious that they were overwhelmed by the earsplitting applause and cheers coming from the crowd.
They probably enjoyed the show as much as the fans did! All in all, it was a great dream-come-true for many metal fans. Recently a lot of international metal and rock bands have been performing in Lebanon, and that just makes me wonder with excitement, “Who’s next?!?”
By: Nathaline Deuvletian
Press Conference with Nightwish July 4, 2013
A press conference was held at 8:00 pm in the backstage area at the night of the concert the present members were: Floor Jensen (temporary vocalist), Marco Hietala(guitarist and back up vocalist), Tuomas Holopanien (keyboardist). How is the recording of your new album going, while Nightwish is having its musical tour? Floor: The initial plans for recording the album were not changed when I came into the picture and joined the band for the tour. Even though I was unable to be with the guys when they were recording the new album, I was mentally with the band from my hometown with my own recordings. Marco: Well, the album is fully done, and we cannot wait till the 23rd of August to release it! It is true that you have a huge fan base here in Lebanon excited and waiting for your performance on stage. What was your first reaction when you were told to be part of Byblos International Festivals and have a kick ass show in Lebanon? F: It was a pleasant surprise to all of us to have a concert in the Byblos International Festivals and we were outrageously blessed when we got to Lebanon. I mean the hospitality of the Lebanese people; the delicious food and the growing love towards Nightwishâ€™s music made it all add a magical flavor in the history of the band. Tuomas: We had a blast when we went on the stage and saw the beautiful background from the Ruins of Byblos to the fascinating sea conquering the stage. It cannot be much better to perform in Lebanon for the first time, to the real fans of Nightwish at this specific location. We are pretty much thankful to our fans in making our music grow international and in Lebanon.
M: I am pleased to be here right now. When I heard that Lebanon has Rock Festivals, I was shocked and I wasn’t expecting Lebanon to have interest in our genre. Having people appreciate such type of music in Lebanon was new for me. Especially when we found out that Slash played here at the Byblos Festivals, we were like “Let’s Do this, let’s rock the place all the way!” Rock music has evolved different styles in the last 10-20 years including Symphonic Metal. How do you describe it, evaluate it and perceive it not only in Finland but all over the world, upon how your fans are distributed? F: I keep on asking myself how some types of music fade away and how others grow big. When it comes to the band, it is wonderful to see that Nightiwsh produces international music. Certain emotions common to all have made Nightwish songs an international language to the fans whether they come from Finland, Lebanon or any part of the world. If you can summarize Nightwish’s musical efforts and future steps in the agenda, what would it be? Our main target in the specific moment is to survive the festivals, do our summer shows and then most probably, take a break till the winter comeback. We have plans for new recordings, rehearsing and definitely lots of work and responsibilities are to be handled after the long vacation to rock it! Which song is a favorite to each and every one of you to act like an animal on the stage? F: Since it is my first tour with Nightwish, each song has its own touch of magic and beauty in it, but what I love to perform is “Ghost Love Score”. M: I would agree with Floor. “Ghost Love Score” has been one of the influential songs to Nightwish, and I personally love to perform it with all the elements and the instruments in the song. It is simply amazing with all the band dynamics. “The Last Ride of the Day” has also been a special one for me, since it is a simple, easy song to play. T: “Bless The Child” is a lot of fun to play, after so many years of disliking the song. When we brought the song back to our set list back in 2005, I found out that all the dislike towards the song was temporary, and now I enjoy playing it. In an interview with you Tuomas, during the “Imaginaerum” tour, you said you are a big wine lover. Tuomas, have you tried any of our local wine during your visit? T: Well, a bottle and a half yesterday, and today half a bottle is quite enough (giggles), I can’t remember the name of the bottle but it was dry, and I love it!
To Floor,obviously, Nightwish has a major history and we were wondering how it feels like to come on stage with Nightwish and face the fans reaction? F: One of the good things that gave a push to me was the speed when I was asked to join the band for the tour, just before a short period of time for that reason; I didn’t have the time to think about all the things regarding fans reaction. All I had to do was focus on the lyrics, and master the style to perform as the Nightwish’s vocalist. For me, headlight was about stepping into the groove. I was aware of the band history before even the band called me to join them, and that gave me a big advantage to manipulate the situation. Of course as any new member of a band replacing an old member wants the fans to appreciate and welcome him, I wanted it too, and I surely got it when I saw Nightwish’s fans reaction welcoming me. It was fascinating! How epic is the Kitee museum for your memorabilia collection, what does it mean to you and whom do you advise to see it? T: The museum was put together by my mother, and the funny part is that I found it out a couple of weeks ago. Then, I just took more stuff there including old rare CDs, the real demo that Anette sent us(the demo that made us choose her as Nightwish’s vocalist back then). You can also find the very first recording of the band back in 1996. It is the only surviving copy of all the good songs we first recorded. Lovely, small and interesting museum and I strongly advise all Nightwish fans to see it! M: And we decided that if anyone of us or when all of us die, our bodies will be sent to the animal stuffer and after that they will be hitting as the greatest display in our memorabilia collection. (giggles, giggles) Which band is the “dream band” of Nightwish to have a tour with? M: We hardly recommend “The Battle Beasts”. You’ve got to check them if you have the chance! If you could go back in time and remove one song from your albums, which song would it be? M: “For the Crawl in the Old and the Dark”, the last chorus would be vanished and perished. The song “Bye-Bye Beautiful” from the Dark Passion play album is supposedly about TarjaTurunen after she was dismissed. In it, Marco sings, I quote” You chose the long road, but we’ll be waiting”. Does that imply any chance of reuniting with Nightwish’s first vocalist, Tarja? T: The whole song is about Tarja, but it doesn’t mean anything. It is poetry, lyrics and music. M: Or if it does mean anything, it doesn’t necessarily urge to become true. That song was written when our lyrics were exorcising demons. And since our tour,
we came to an agreement that we are not going to play that song anymore, it is all done. We don’t want to bring these things to ourselves. The song is not necessarily an urge to make the comeback happen; it is a piece of poetry. About your new album “Imaginaerum”, the songs sort of flow from the usual symphonic metal towards a bit more into other genres, like blues. Are you planning to keep this new taste or go back to the roots of Nightwish? M: The musician doesn’t think in advance what genre to play, and we just find themes we want to do songs about and start writing music. You never know what it is going to be like, and I believe the style comes within the theme. What inspired you to make the movie “Imaginaerum”? Was the movie based on the album, or was the album inspired by the idea of the movie? T: One thing I can highlight when it comes to the movie “Imaginaerum” is the ambitions of trying to find a new way of storytelling. None of the band members knew how to do a movie and that was kind of like searching a new territory. With the movie, we saw that we did it and we fulfilled our ambitions! How did you choose “Where Were You Last Night”- Ankie Bagger, an old school classic rock song and turned it into your own style and played it? T: I assure you only 200 people or so know that we covered “Where Were You Last Night”! The song itself brings in good memories, and we agreed that it is a glamorous idea to cover the song in our own way, in the Nightwish style. Tell us about the reviews and expectations about the movie “Imaginaerum”. M: We have been receiving a lot of nice feedback about the movie “Imaginaerum”, whether it is form Finland or other countries. Finnish media trashed us since the movie is biased. But at the end, it is a band movie, where the director and the band members made it all come together from small pieces into a Nightwish masterpiece. The critics show that our music is a favorite pretty well. But the chance was taken to deteriorate the situation by thrashing the movie, when they saw how ambitious we are and how we are trying to dig fairytales in it. But I think that this is the chance for the prejudices rule. After producing “Imaginaerum” in your hometown and releasing in some European countries, are you planning to distribute it worldwide or maybe in Lebanon? M: We already have the movie on DVDs and Blue Rays in Finland, and I think most of the countries have the possibility to buy the DVD or order it online from different shops in Finland. I heard quite a huge number of fans ordered it online. A message to the huge fan base in Lebanon who came tonight to see your performance. F: Thank you for your support and your magnificent welcoming in this beautiful country. We are ready to rock Lebanon! M: Lots of respect to all those who came to see us, we are excited and waiting for the show.
International News Black Sabbath Drummer Releases Drum Art Collection Bill Ward, one of the world’s most renown and valued drummers, released this July a one of a kind drum art collection entitled Absence of Corners: A Collection of Rhythm on Canvas. As its title suggests, the artwork is crafted from rhythmic patterns on canvas, showcasing a dimension that is not usually seen by the human eye. In order to produce these pieces, Ward used a selection of drumsticks and rhythmic accessories that produce light. The captured movements were later studied and developed into abstract artwork. The collection is a vibrant mélange of colors and patterns that can be studied both visually and rhythmically, leading to a unique art experience. Each piece is signed by the artist himself. To view and purchase this collection, go to billwarddrumart.com
Burzum’s Varg Arrested for Plotting Out Murder On the 16th of July, Varg Vikernes was arrested along with his wife for supposedly plotting a massacre in France. Police broke into the couples’ house early in the morning, confiscated some of Varg’s wife’s shooting rifles and held the couple in custody for about 10 hours. While the source of allegations remains unclear, an open letter written in 2011 in which Varg addressed Anders Breivik who killed 77 people in Oslo that same year has been pointed out. This is not Varg’s first encounter with the police, as he has been arrested in 1993 for 16 years for stabbing Mayhem guitarist to death. On his personal blog, he stated that the French police surprised him positively by their level of professionalism in comparison to the Norwegian police which he named as “the criminal police”. To read Varg’s full statement of the incident entitled Terrorism in France, go to thuleanperspective.com
Manowar Announces Next Studio Projects for “Kings of Metal” 25th Anniversary In celebration of the 25th anniversary of their album Kings of Metal, a 1988 project that is considered a breakthrough in the history of metal, Manowar announced on their official website and Facebook pages that they are currently working on a new studio version entitled Kings of Metal 2014. Manowar’s bassist Joey DeMaio stated that the new edition will “honor the original as its inspiration, but with additional energy, fully utilizing the power of today’s technology and 25 years of experience, and it will contain new arrangements and changes that incorporate live performance elements added over the years”. The album, scheduled to be released at the end of next year, will include new recordings and narrations such as that of the British actor Brian Blessed who is known to be a Shakespeare and character actor. Moreover, the legendary band will release on this occasion a series of never seen footage and interviews especially of the Kings of Metal era.
Panic! At The Disco Drummer Reveals Past Struggles in an Open Letter Drummer and founding member of the band Panic! At The Disco Spencer Smith recently came clean in a detailed letter posted on the band’s official website about his four years and a half struggle with drugs and alcohol. Spencer stated that his reason for posting this is to “try and relate to anyone who has experienced addiction, personally or with a loved one, and to be honest with everyone else”. He also went on to urge everybody who is fighting a similar case to seek help, affirming that he was able to enter treatment through the support of his family, friends and band. The latter, that has recently released a new single entitled Miss Jackson, has been steadily working on a new album Too Weird to Live, too Rare to Die as Spencer recovers. Motörhead States After Death Rumors: “Lemmy is Alive and Kicking” Following a series of twitter rumors about Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister’s death, Phil Campbell stated on the 4th of August that “contrary to some reports, Len is alive and kicking, so take no notice of these rumors from asshole tweeters.” The gossips resulted from the fact that the band was forced to cut their set short during Wacken Open Air festival on Friday the 2nd of August after Lemmy was too weak to continue performing. The member had recently suffered from a hematoma and was hospitalized, which lead the band to cancel several tours. Campbell reassured their fans that Lemmy is mending and “they’ll be touring their asses off again real soon”. Floor is in for good! Floor Jansen is officially the permanent vocalist for Finnish band Nightwish. And another sixth member was added to the band is Troy Donockley (uilleann pipes, low whistles, vocals). The band was not going to announce anything until next year. Since they all got along so well and completed each other they decided to break the news early and have Floor and Troy in the family already.
Illnath will be no more The band decided to call it quits after Peter “Pete” Falk made a similar decision. “Given that neither Dennis, Kenneth or Marika feel that it is the right thing to continue Illnath without my participation, we have decided to call it a day [...] I will still be working on my solo project Leadfreak and Marika will be working in her black metal band Machiavellian…” Annihilator’s Bus Crash After a killer show in Madrid the band was heading to Barcelona to continue their tour when a truck smashed into them, turned out the driver was texting while driving. None of the band members was hurt but they had to cancel their performance in Barcelona.They continued their tour to Lyon France.
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One of the best Summers in the history of Rock in Lebanon. Check inside the best 10 events (local & international) that happened this summer...
Published on Nov 1, 2013
One of the best Summers in the history of Rock in Lebanon. Check inside the best 10 events (local & international) that happened this summer...