Nocturna is one of the oldest bands from the metal scene, and every time they take the stage, they prove that they’re still as strong as they were a decade ago. After a few member changes, they thought they settled down with Anthony Abdo as their vocalist and Sam Baghdo on drums, but unfortunately, their paths have diverged. Both members have decided to move and immigrate to Canada.
Sam was part of many Lebanese bands, and his last show was a well-deserving farewell, as he joined the stage with Armian for one last performance here in Lebanon. He was the drummer of many bands, such as Armian, Adapt, Maysaloon, Prominence, Hatecrowned, and last but not least, Nocturna. His departure to Canada, has left many bands searching for a drummer as skilled as he is, but perhaps this is better for him, since he has more opportunities to grow a larger audience for himself.
He has also left a very special message for us and all the bands he worked with, stating:
“It was my honor to play with many bands in Lebanon as a musician! I got a lot of chances to play with the best musicians in Lebanon, it was truly an honor, I really appreciate it, I love Nocturna, they work hard and seriously to keep their performance as perfect as they can, as for me, it was like a challenge to play with band, the members are very close friends and it’s not easy to get close to them, especially if you are a stranger. The secret is the practice with the talent, if you have both of them you can play with any band, I like Nocturna‘s album, it’s perfect, when I listened to it for the first time, I considered it the best album in Lebanon. Now I will play drums with The Nailheads, and we have a tour consisting of 16 shows around Canada, being a pro drummer isn’t an easy job, you have to practice to keep your level up and also to improve yourself, I wish I had a chance to play with all my friends in Lebanon, each band I played with gave me a lot, and thank you for this lovely initiative, because you work hard to cover all the music events. And of course, as a musician, I respect what you do, cheers!”
As for Anthony Abdo, he left us a very heartwarming post on Facebook about his departure from Lebanon. But that wasn’t all he did before setting off, in fact, he orchestrated a metal karaoke night in The Palace, called “One Last Growl”, where he hung out with his fellow band-mates, family and many friends from our scene. He covered Amon Amarth songs, Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir (with his wife Magdalena), as well as covered the songs he composed. It’s definitely important to mention that he also sang Nocturna’s tracks for one last time with Nareg Cherchian. A pleasant surprise was to see the original vocalist of Nocturna, Habib Arbid, sing the very songs he was deeply involved in creating.
It’s safe to say that those 2 amazing artists are moving to greener (or perhaps, more snowy) pastures, and I suppose their departure is for the best, at least now they can show their music to the world without any fear of judgment, no room for the same injustices we face for simply expressing our art.
As for Nocturna, they are deeply saddened that they had to part ways with those amazing artists, and they wish them the best of luck in their lives and musical careers. However, they also made haste in finding a vocalist that fits their haunting ambiance and achingly beautiful melodies, and it is none other than Nareg Cherchian.
As for more good news, they’ve also announced that they have begun in working on their long-awaited second album, and I’m positive that we’re all going to wait impatiently for whatever they’re up to now.
As for Nareg, he was actually approached by Nocturna themselves because he was already recognized as one of the fast rising death metal vocalists in the local scene. And of course, he himself had motive to join the band: he loved the band’s material, and wanted to expand on what they could achieve musically, and now, with their current resources, they’re capable of merging the many sides of death/melodic death metal (and perhaps a shade of black would be a pleasant bonus).
One thing that Nareg saw that stood out from the rest of the local bands was “their sense of direction with the music; emotional melodies and sinister symphonies”, as well as he could notice that “the band poured all their emotions into their art”, and all that “spoke” to him on an emotional level, and this gave him a huge motive to step in as their vocalist, Nareg affirms.
As Nareg looks towards the future with the band, he aims for much higher than he ever has, and he hopes that as the youngest band member, he could show how determined he is with the results that the band will surely achieve.
When asked whether he sees himself as an example for all artists that want to convert emotion into art, he replies with “most definitely!”, stating that the love one has for their work procreates determination like no other, and he encourages everyone to be an example of how art should be treated like. As a small tip to get started, he remarks that talent and skill are nothing without constant practice.
Furthermore, Ziad Alam has been announced as the drummer for Nocturna. In the past, he has played with different local bands, been part of Damage Rite and Kaoteon, and currently he’s part of ZiX. In regards to him joining Nocturna, this is what he had to say:
“So i knew the guys from nocturna before joining them and we were friends and their drummer recently left to Canada so we decided to do some jams together and see how it goes… it was perfect from the beginning, we liked the atmosphere and the chemistry was there, so here we are now.”
You can follow Ziad’s page here.
Personally, I see that Nocturna’s current lineup will reach new heights, as well as burrow deep within everyone’s sorrow through their music, all while bringing a new age of poetry in Melodic Death Metal.
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