Author: Mohamad Yatim

Review | Legion Metal Concert

After the latest event- Loud N’ Heavy – that took place at the Palace, Metro Al Madina was once again host to a metal event. The scene “scored” a second event within a span of 6 days, which is either a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. This however was no ordinary local event. Including S.O.D, Kimaera, Nocturna and Khavar, the lineup featured non other than the legend Derek Roddy on drum duties with Khavar. This event brought the full package, everything from Heavy Metal to brutal Death Metal!

Starting off the night, and representing good ol’ Heavy Metal, were S.O.D. The band combines elements of the 80s’ Glam Metal scene with the 70s’ Heavy Metal. And while the attendance wasn’t yet at its fullest, old school metal heads made it clear they weren’t going to miss it. Even though S.O.D had previously performed at an event six days earlier, they certainly delivered a pleasant dosage of Classic Metal. The band members clearly knew what they were doing, as they had the crowd interacting with them at all times. Ossy Mash’s crazy guitar action and electrifying solos were certainly a huge part of the show. But, personally, the icing on the cake was Nigol Ozz’s artistic sense of theatricals.

Changing attire between songs certainly helped set up different moods between songs. Towards the end of the show they invited a fan up on stage to sing along to they rendition of Motley Crue’s Looks That Kill, which I thought was a really nice touch. Overall their performance was really engagable.

The Setlist:

Sorry

S.O.D

Silence call

Back

Rebellion

Looks That Kill (Motley Crue cover)

Flying high

Up next were Melodic Death metal band Nocturna. At around this time the venue became bursting in people. Nocturna definitely has a unique sound going on, they incorporate melodic elements to a pretty brutal genre thus creating a cool atmosphere.

People went from twisting their necks to Death Metal riffs to swaying around to the beautiful keyboard sections. Other than their awesome originals, which (I) think are amazing, the band did a pretty sick twist on Iron Maiden’s Fear Of The Dark. One minute the crowd was singing along to the classic Maiden melody, next thing you know it they’re moshing  to its brutal rendition.

And as the Lebanese Metal scene has come to learn, you can’t finish a Nocturna show without the classic Amon Amarth cover of Twilight Of The Thunder God. The crowd always goes insane during this song, and this time was not different.

The Setlist:

Torn Asunder

Whispers of a sleepless Night

Vindictive Storm

Frozen Sun

Herald of my Happiness

The Gates of Periah

A Cannibal Rose

Fear of the Dark (Iron Maiden Cover)

Twilight Of The Thunder God (Amon Amarth Cover)

Following Nocturna were newcomers/not so newcomers, Khavar. Even though this was Khavar’s first show, nearly all the members were metal veterans one way or another. Whether its ex Weeping Willow or Element 26 members, or the man himself Derek Roddy, this lineup was not to be messed with. The show was comprised of a mix of Khavar and Weeping Willow originals. And while it may have been a little short, it was nothing short of spectacular.

The band’s chemistry was definitely there, and the performance was tight. It was everything you’d want from a Death Metal band, from the filthy riffage to the tense drumming. Derek Roddy certainly has to be one of the greatest drummers I’ve watched live.

The Setlist:

Death Card Dealer

Craving Whore (The Weeping Willow)

Red Snakes

Last Mourn (The Weeping Willow)

The Prey

And ending the night was the almighty Kimaera. This band is one of the oldest in the lebanese metal scene, dating back to almost 20 years ago! To anyone that’s been hiding under a rock for the entire existence of the scene, Kimaera plays a distinct combination of Doom Metal with elements of Oriental Metal.

Jp, the band’s front man, had a special way of engaging the crowd. And despite some major technical difficulties that took place during their set list, Kimaera managed to put on the perfect ending. Playing a wide array of originals that spans over  a huge era, whether it’s 2004’s God Wrath or their new upcoming single Vi Divina, the show was incredible!

The professionalism was clearly shown when the drummer, Erce Arslan, played a drum solo while the band was switching gear, thus the transition was so smooth it seemed like a part of the show. The drum solo was so astonishing that even Derek Roddy popped up backstage once in a while to show admiration.

The Setlist:

Disarray

Among the Dead

Harbinger of Doom

The Day Innocence Died / In a Dying Embrace

Lost Control (Anathema)

The Die Is Cast

Vi Divina

Solitary Impact

God’s Wrath

Overall I thought the organization was pretty good, despite the minor hiccups here and there. I still, however, preferred The Palace for major metal gigs such as this one. The smaller venue, and the fact that the bar is outside certainly don’t help. One thing I certainly preferred in Metro Al Madina over The Palace though was the strict No Smoking rule, which made the show much more enjoyable. But Kudos to the organizers for managing to organize a successful metal event on a Tuesday night!

 

Reviewed by Mohamad Yatim.

Most Innovative Albums In 2018

For the last decade, all I’ve heard was criticism of the modern music scene. Whether it’s metal or rock, people looked at music with pessimism. While many people believe that good music is a thing of the past, and that innovation died with the rise of the 21st century, that is certainly not true. Some of the greatest most innovative music was released in 2018 and we will cover 5 Albums that we consider to be the most innovative Albums in 2018!

The albums are shared in no particular order.

Most Innovative Albums In 2018

Alkaloid – Liquid Anatomy

Christian Muenzner strikes again with a Prog Death Masterpiece, possibly the greatest. This album combines the composition and innovation of progressive music with the brutality/riffage of Technical Death Metal. Imagine YES meets Nile, yet with further depth to the music somehow. Alkaloid‘s Liquid Anatomy is a true masterpiece.

Buy album and merchandise >HERE<

Ostura – The Room

This is not only one of the greatest pieces of music this year, it has such great cinematic elements that it should just be labeled “Art”. While concept albums are perhaps a thing of the past, Ostura have somewhat refined the idea of a concept album and twisted it into a series of mood swings trapped within the different vocalists/characters. And although it may seem that the guitars try to overshadow the rest of the instruments in metal, in this album, the guitars actually served the composition and the rest of the “symphony”.

You can Buy or Stream the full album >HERE<

Polyphia – New Levels New Devils

I don’t even know what the genre is anymore, it is so innovative and refreshing that I found myself checking if I was still listening to Polyphia. The fusion of Jazz, Djent, and Prog Rock all into one style, Polyphia possibly created a new genre of music. It will come as no surprise to me if a new wave is born as a result of such a sound. Mark my words, Polyphia have given birth to a new beast!

You can stream or buy the album >HERE<

Jason Becker – Triumphant Hearts

28 years ago, Jason Becker was diagnosed with ALS and was given 3-5 years to live.

Yet here it is, another masterpiece of a record. Jason composed the entire album using nothing but his eyes, yes he is that good. The album isn’t a rock album by convention, for its composition sets it apart as classical music. Featured on the record are some of the world’s greatest axemen such as Steve Vai, Marty Friedman, Jeff Loomis, Paul Gilbert, and countless more!

You can stream or order your copy >Here<

Revocation – The Outer Ones

Last but not least is Revocation’s latest endeavor into the experimental realm. This is by no means your run of the mill tech death album. It is layers of Jazz and Fusion hidden under distortion and blast beats. The album is sheer proof of Revocation’s progress from a thrash metal band from Boston to a mature band with a unique sound.

Buy album >HERE<

These were our 5 most innovative albums in 2018. The selection wasn’t limited to Metal but also included more rock-based styles. We hope you liked our selection, and if you have any albums that you think should have made the list, kindly suggest them in the comments section below.

2019… give us your best shot.


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That One Night IV REVIEW

In the midst of all the hype of the international bands set to tread Lebanon, it is important to remember to support the local metal scene. And as it usually goes, Rock InSight has organized yet another event dedicated to supporting home territory, That One Night IV.

While the original lineup consisted of Nocturna, Hatecrowned, Apathia, and FreeFall, Nocturna had to apologize due to a car collision that guitarist Michel Kammouj was a part of. But fortunately they were directly replaced by DeathTone.

Starting off the event were FreeFall, a unique band in the event due to their clean vocals and relatively newer type of metal. With covers ranging from Killswitch Engage’s rendition of Holy Diver to Bullet For My Valentine, Metallica and Ozzy. The vocals were very well executed and the performance was relatively tight other than a couple of mistakes here and there.

Up next were Tripoli-based Groove Metallers Apathia. Announcing this was their last performance together, the band shook the crowd with covers of Lamb Of God, Sepultura and many more. Apathia’s final show was emotional as they featured for the last time as well their first vocalist as a guest. Unfortunately, their show didn’t pass without problems, as the rhythm guitarist broke a string mid song and had to switch guitars. Nevertheless the moshing and headbanging didn’t stop!

As Black Metal band HateCrowned stepped the stage, it was clear that the mood got darker. Kicking off the show with Mayhem’s Freezing Moon, the performance was reasonably flawless with a couple of minor mistakes. The vocals were hauntingly screeching and instrumentally the sound was creepy. Everything you’d expect from a Black Metal band.

Ending the show were Melodic Death Metal band DeathTone. However, the vocalist and lead guitarist dislocated his shoulder and there was a bit of delay. But the delay was worth it as DeathTone put on the finest performance of the evening with everything from originals to Children Of Bodom Covers. The vocalist and main axeman was highly energetic and his shredding was spot on. This performance also included the first Wall Of Death of the night, consisting only of females due to the band’s request. Prominence guitarist Matt also participated on a couple of songs.

The entire show was hosted by the highly sarcastic Charbel Haddad of Eden. And many prizes were announced varying from Beirut Metal Fest tickets to free tattoos from Saturn Tattoo shop. The sound and lights were great with no major issues. The only problem with the venue (Metro Al-Madina) is the lack of space for moshpits, otherwise the bar prices aren’t too bad and the location is remotely accessible.

 

Review by our reporter: Mohammad Yatim
Photos by our photographer: Hashem Ismail

Kaoteon Strikes Again!

After much awaited time, the band beloved by the entirety of the local scene, Kaoteon, has finally released a new album. The band has had a great start this year, releasing the album as part of Complexity Fest in the Netherlands. “Damnatio Memoriae” is a twist on death metal, with the wicked elements of atmospheric black metal and the brutality of death metal. Kaoteon has taken on what bands like Behemoth have created and weaved into a unique blend. This separates the band’s release from others and lets it shine out due to the gloomy atmosphere it sets.

Kaoteon Damnatio Memoriar

Formed in late 1998 as a one-man band by guitarist Anthony Kaoteon (and then later joined by Walid Wolflust (also known as Walid Choughari) on vocals, the band has gone through multiple lineup changes often revolving around them. On their latest album, two session musicians, Linus Klausenitzer from Obscura and Fredrik Widigs from Marduk, were featured.

The album, in my opinion, is a great representation of what Kaoteon’s music is all about. Instrumentally, “Damnatio Memoriae” isn’t your usual blast beat only metal riffs, but a balance between the latter and great melody. The bass isn’t following the guitar but rather doing its own thing and the drums are just a complex merge of technicality with a drop of groove. With such a musically diverse-in the sense-background, the vocals cover anything from haunting shrieks to hardcore growls. The album opens up with two emotionally contrasting songs. While “Damnatio Memoriae” starts out with enraged vocals that sear hearts and instruments that roar with uncontrollable fury, the next track “Barren Lands” gives a more openly aggressive sound similar to that of modern black metal artists. And thus unfolds the album as a harmonious combination of total mayhem and melody.

Yet throughout the album, the band keeps the composition and structure efficient with the instruments building up upon each other and aggravating until they all erupted, as the vocals stared in the eyes of “the man” and spit blood onto them. With a consistent nod of oriental background and a touch of progressive music, Kaoteon slowly soared above ending the record with a glorious resurrection of what the band is all about. The album sheds light on themes such as political corruption and religious intolerance, topics to which they have been often faced in their country. And if that’s not enough, the band has released the album on its own with the help of great mixer Daniel Bergstrand.

Support the band and order their album for only 6 bucks!

Kaoteon’s Damnatio Memoriae Tracklisting:

Damnatio Memoriae
Barren Lands
Raging Hellfire
Venom Of Exalt
The Will
Non Serviam
Light Of Compassion
Into The Mouth Of Kaos
A Breath


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Editor’s Picks:

BREAKING NEWS | Slayer Farewell Tour Announced

BREAKING NEWS: Slayer Farewell Tour Announced!

Only moments ago, Slayer disturbed metalheads around the globe by announcing a farewell tour. The announcement featured a trailer in which Slayer took us with nostalgia. This, however, came as no shock to most people as the band, especially Tom Araya, had kept hinting at the possibility of retirement.

“After 35 years, it’s time to like, collect my pension,” – Tom Araya for Loudwire in an interview from 2016.

Slayer are yet to announce tour dates (updated: 25-1-18: scroll down for dates and links of each event), but as the video shows it will be a WORLD TOUR!

Slayer To Bid Fans Farewell: “The End is Near…Slayer to tour the world one more time…”

Apparently, the farewell tour will feature: Lamb Of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Testament. As you can see in the poster below, that was posted simultaneously with the farewell tour announcement video on the band’s official website.

Slayer then posted on all their social media outlets the following:

The end is near…
SLAYER TO MAKE ITS EXIT WITH ONE FINAL WORLD TOUR

After making some of the most brutal, breathtakingly aggressive, all-hell’s-a-breaking-loose music ever created, playing nearly 3000 concerts in all corners of the world, receiving countless awards, gracing hundreds of magazine covers, experiencing the devastating loss of a founding brother, and even appearing on “The Tonight Show,” the age of Slayer, one of the greatest thrash/ metal/punk bands of this or any age, is coming to an end.

Slayer will do one last concert tour around the globe to thank their fans for all of their support over the years, for making the last three-and-a-half decades so packed with good times and unforgettable experiences, and will then move on.

Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth and Testament will support Slayer on the first leg, North America, of its final world tour.

Tickets go on sale to the public this Friday, January 26 at 10AM local time.

Very limited Slayer onstage + meet & greet + exclusive merchandise packages will be available.

Log on to www.slayer.net for this and all ticket purchasing info.

BREAKING NEWS | Slayer Farewell Tour AnnouncedSlayer Farewell Tour

MAY
10 Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, CA
11 FivePoint Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA
13 Papa Murphy’s Park at Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA
16 PNE forum, Vancouver, BC
17 South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton, BC
19 Big Four, Calgary, AL
20 Shaw Centre, Edmonton, AB
22 Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, MB
24 The Armory, Minneapolis, MN
25 Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL
27 Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre @ Freedom Hill, Detroit, MI
29 Budweiser Stage, Toronto, ON
30 Place Bell, Montreal, PQ

JUNE
1 Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
2 PNC Banks Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
4 Santander Arena, Reading, PA
6 Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH
7 Blossom Music Center, Cleveland, OH
9 KeyBank Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA
10 Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA
12 VUHL Amphitheatre, Virginia Beach, VA
14 PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte, NC
15 Orlando Amphitheatre, Orlando, FL
17 Smart Financial Center, Houston, TX
19 The Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX
20 Austin 360 Amphitheatre, Austin, TX

Slayer also posted on twitter:


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EDITOR’S PICKS:

SepticFlesh Live In Lebanon REVIEW

SepticFlesh Live In Lebanon REVIEW! – Check Out Event Details >Here<

Due to the recent rise of the scene within the last couple of years, metal heads expected none other than the almighty Greeks SepticFlesh. The event’s opening band was chosen by popular votes on Facebook, which was a pretty cool idea. The line up consisted of InnerGuilt, Verdict from UAE, and Deathlam as supporting acts to SepticFlesh live in Lebanon. Continue reading

Legendary AC/DC Guitarist Confirmed Dead

 

 

Malcolm Young has unfortunately been reported dead. The legendary rhythm guitarist and co-founder of AC/DC was reportedly announced dead at 64 after a long battle with dementia. His family, who lovingly surrounded him as he passed away, have released a statement:

”It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Malcolm Young, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother. Malcolm had been suffering from Dementia for several years and passed away peacefully on Saturday with his family by his bedside. Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many. From the outset he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans. Malcolm is survived by his loving wife Linda, children Cara and Ross, son-in-law Josh, three grandchildren, a sister and a brother. While thanking all for their overwhelming support and heartfelt condolences, the family ask that you respect their privacy during this time of heartbreak and grief. For those wishing to send messages to the family please visit the Sydney Morning Herald tribute site for Malcolm Young which will be available later today. The family have asked instead of flowers to send donations to The Salvation Army.”

Malcolm has been one of the most influential guitarists for almost 50 years, known for writing some of the most recognized riffs. Musicians all around the world have paid tribute to him online.

Skull Session 2017 ONSLAUGHT Live In Beirut REVIEW

ONSLAUGHT Live In Beirut REVIEW!

Last year, when Blaakyum were touring Europe alongside the almighty Onslaught, none of us thought we’d get to catch them on home turf. So once it was announced that ONSLAUGHT would be headlining this year’s edition of Skull Session at Station Beirut, we all guessed it was going to be big. Especially when the line-up was composed of other great bands such as Blaakyum, Damage Rite, and Slave To Sirens. Continue reading

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