Category: ARTICLES (page 1 of 8)

The Present and Melancholic future of Nocturna

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.
The Present and Melancholic future of Nocturna
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.”
The Present and Melancholic future of Nocturna
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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Music Is LOUDER Than Oppression

Freedom Fighters and heroes of arts and culture decided to come together and fight oppression, tyranny and dictatorship. With no labels and in total spontaneity, a group of individuals gathered themselves under one banner after the freedom of expression and art has been violated in Lebanon.

You’ve heard the news; after a 2 week-long media circus, Mashrou’ Leila, the Lebanese indie rock, had their act cancelled from the Byblos International Festival schedule on August 9th, by the festival committee for safety concerns of the staff, bands and attendees. ICYMI, read the full story >here<.

Music Is Louder (صوت الموسيقة أعلى) is the name of the event that will be held and will feature a weird, yet great combination of artists. The line up is versatile and features poets, actors, comedians, musicians, bands and more. The spontaneous talent collective will be protesting the terrorizing acts that led Mashrou’ Leila to cancel their show out of FEAR. In addition, with a scary domino effect, Dutch Metal band Within Temptation felt unsafe to come and cancelled their show, and voiced their support to Mashrou’ Leila. (Read about it >here<)

When we asked the organizers about how the initiative came to be, they replied: “The organizers are individuals that decided to come together and fight oppression. This fight for freedom of speech has been going on for years, but this is the first time it gets this much attention since Mashrou’ Leila is a big name in Lebanon. We got together and decided that it’s time to take a stand and came up with the idea of an alternative concert that is free of hate-speech, censorship, and homophobia.”

The line up is a work of art in it self, it is too interesting to miss, and “consists of artists, singers, bands, stand-up comedians, dancers, and more.” (check full line up >here<). And as the event will mostly involve live music, it naturally came into question whether Mashou’ Leila will make an appearance. But, “unfortunately, most band members are not in Lebanon and will not be able to physically be there with us.”

As Metal Bell and many of us Metalheads have been victims of such oppression, most recently with the ban of Sepultura, we are hoping that such movements would become regular and let our voices be heard. The organizers clarified that “The aim is to fight censorship and hate speech and promote freedom of speech. This idea was put together very fast due to the time frame. We would very much like to continue with this activity later, but are still unsure how.”

We hope to see you all on August 9th at the Palace to protest against violence and against oppression of any kind.
Read all the event details >here<

Music Is Louder



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The Mashrou’ Leila controversy

In the past week, Lebanon’s media was flooded with opinions and stances on Mashrou’ Leila, the Lebanese indie rock band who after continuous pressure, had their awaited concert in Byblos International Festival, Jbeil, cancelled by the festival committee for safety concerns. Opinions varied among the longtime loyal fans and proponents of freedom of speech, the believers, notably Christians, who found the content of their music offensive but simply criticized them, and the new age Crusaders who, once again, took it as their mission to be the defenders of the faith and called for the ban of their concert, and among which were individuals who thought it was justifiable to threaten the band members and event promoters with violence and death.

In a culturally conservative region, Lebanon is considered to be a beacon of modernism and progressivism, where women can dress as they like, partying and drinking are normal parts of life, and other things that might be considered taboo in the rest of the Middle East would be socially acceptable. However, time and time again, religious authorities banning arts prove that reputation of Lebanon being a cradle for personal freedoms wrong. For us metalheads, censorship, or the attempts for it, is not a foreign phenomenon. Since the start and rise of the metal scene, local bands and artists were subjects to irrational interrogations and unjustified investigations. Many local events caught the eyes of the media under false labels like “Satanic rituals”, “Devil worshipping”, “encouraging delinquent behaviour and drug abuse”, to name a few, and caused an uproar among parents and conservatives. Some international bands were also banned from coming for scheduled concerts under claims of them being Devil worshippers or anti-Christians, the most recent one being Sepultura in April. This time, it was a local indie rock band, Mashrou’ Leila, who’s been around for 10 years, fronted by an openly gay man (Hamed Sinno), and who has gained international recognition, that has been under fire.

The uproar started when a resident from Jbeil found an article that Hamed (Vocalist of Mashrou’ Leila) had shared a few years ago, which included a p photo of an old Byzantine icon of the Virgin with baby Jesus that was photoshopped to replace her face with Madonna’s and called Jesus a fan boy. The band also had the lyric of their song “Djin” (which was released in 2015 and played at many concerts in Lebanon and abroad) twisted; the lyric in Arabic reads “رح غطس كبدي بالجن باسم الاب وابن”, which literally translates to “I will immerse my liver in gin in the name of the Father and the Son”; the band uses a lot of symbolism in their lyrics and their songs are very interpretive, but the consensus is that this one is about alcoholism (Djin is meant as Gin), and has a simple play on words with baptism. We’re guessing the confusion happened because of the similarities between the Arabic spelling/pronunciation for “gin” (the drink) and “Jinn” (the spiritual entity). The sexual orientation of the singer also appeared to be very problematic to people, who argued that his sexuality is sinful and against Christian teachings and must not be accepted and criticized the rise of Pride flags in their concerts.

 

Taking the photo and the lyric as a direct intentional attack on holy figures and sacred symbols, the band were quickly accused of being (you guessed it), Satan worshippers, anti-Christian and blasphemers. A riot started on the media and many were calling for banning the concert and penalizing the band, including some authoritative figures like Director of the Catholic Center of Information Father Abdo Abou Kassem and the Archbishop of Byblos, as well as ultra-Christian Facebook groups who threatened with death and violent protests on the observed day of the concert. The ridicule became worse with some religious figures started to come with mind-blowing conspiracy theories, pointing out that the band name (which translates to Night Project) actually is a reference to the demon Lilith (Leila – Lilith – Night – Darkness), and that their aim and that of other common pop artists’ is to deviate people from the path of Jesus and religion and take them down the road of rebellion, delinquency, feminism (what?) and homosexuality (again, what?).

The band issued a statement on their page to express their upset and clarify that their lyrics were taken out of context by being cherry picked instead of being taken as a whole, that the song in question was performed repeatedly in Lebanon and elsewhere without any backlash, that each of the members comes from a different religious background that they all respect, and they are united with their love for music and their use of it to highlight humanitarian issues and represent their country. In spite of that, due to the pressure they were subjected to, they ended up deleting 2 songs and some content from their page and their YouTube channel. The band was investigated with and stood in front of a judge, they were cleared and their concert allowed to take place, provided that they hold a press conference to publicly apologize to the Christian community. The press conference was never held, and the threats and condemnations went on and got more heated.

Mashrou' Leila

The festival committee eventually decided that it is best to cancel the schedueled Mashrou’ Leila show, fearing that the threats might actually turn into actions. While it is understandable to have safety concerns for the bands, staff and attendees, and to not want to cause instability in the area, it is very sad to know that no protection or security was ensured, and that despite the law clearing the band (albeit with less than fair conditions), the culture of threats, bloodshed and violence prevailed over that of art, beauty and freedom of speech. Our government has immensely failed us this time, and this incident is a significant warning to what may come next if we don’t all defend our rights to freedom of speech. The country has had enough of constant divisions, sectarian values over humanitarian ones and of holding belief systems at a higher status than actual people. It is scary that authorities let the threatening bigots speak up and launch their hateful, potentially violent, campaign and participated in silencing, censoring, and ignoring the safety of artists and their fans. Humans Right Watch researcher Aya Majzoub has condemned the cancellation of the concert as “a step back for Lebanon, which has always prided itself on embracing diversity and being a center for music, art and culture” and Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf said that it was “the direct result of the government’s failure to take a strong stand against hatred and discrimination and to put in place the necessary measures to ensure the performance could go ahead”. It is unprecedented to have an act cancelled like this in Byblos Festival, but it may not be the last if religious fanatics are not put in place and if religious authorities are not held accountable for fueling hate, anger and intolerance. They are the ones who were actually unlawful, for defaming and damaging Lebanon’s image on international media sites and for threatening with bloodshed, but our government simply turned a blind eye against that; because beliefs and symbols are more important than individuals.

On a positive note, we do salute the few religious authority figures, and all the artists who supported freedom of speech no matter what, who called for peaceful criticism or boycott if one opposes the band’s views, and who suggested people gather for a mass prayer rather than violently protest on the day of Mashrou’ Leila concert. These few people give us a ray of hope in a hopeless broken system.

While the concert got cancelled out of fear of violence and instability, those who installed that fear are still running loose in the street, and it is only a matter of time before they jump at their next prey and forcibly silence it if they have opposing views to their “sacred” ones. Until next time, Crusaders.

A support event for Mashrou’ Leila will be held at the Palace Beirut, to protest the censorship and bigotry. Event Name: “Music Is Louder |صوت الموسيقى أعلى

By Zena Ismail


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ANGRY FARMERS A New Lebanese Band

“We are Angry Farmers and we play Rock n’ Roll.”
That’s pretty much it!

A Lebanese band was formed last October joining Tex the VocaGuitarist, dr H. (hagop) on bass and later on, after their original drummer’s departure from the country, Joe A. on the drums.

Since their early jams, Angry Farmers didn’t have an interest in playing cover songs, they went straight to the point making music “out of the heart and years of experience”.

When we spoke to Hagop and Tex, they stated that “influencing people, making them play music and express themselves in any way possible are our main, yet most important, goals”.

ANGRY FARMERS a New Lebanese Band

Angry Farmers’ music is inspired by life experiences, love, hate, pain and music genres going from Punk to Grunge Stoner to “real” Doom.

The band has an album ready in their pockets. On April 20th, Witches Brew was released with a music video, followed by Witch Doctor on the 27th.
The album Pest Control is scheduled to be released on May 4th, but Tonight during Metal Night that will take place at The Palace Hamra, the band is going to pre-release it and sell you copies for only 5000 L.L.

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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Metal-Leaks | New Song Released Unofficially

Year after year and the Rock and Metal scene in Lebanon is progressing and evolving and day after day we are witnessing a new release, a band that is touring abroad, or even participation in major international festivals. Today, we discovered that a new song was released unofficially by one of the most entertaining rock bands in town. And we just leaked it to you, in this article, even before the band officially announce it or set a date for its release.

In Sanity Q has long become a household name in the Lebanese Rock scene, building a reputation for themselves as one of the most entertaining Rock bands in Lebanon. The Qs aren’t only about the music but also about the show, the theatrical rock show, that is mastered by every member.

New Song was Released

The style however, as much as it is defined as Rock, is full of punk and early metal influences. Tonight, Metal Bell Magazine is premiering “F**k Peace”, a new track by the almighty In Sanity Q. The song starts with calm arpeggios and vocals that will make you think this is an Iron Maiden song. But soon enough, the song kicks into a rock punk style.

The recording vintage quality take us back to early years of Metal which adds up to the beauty of the track. Listen below to “F**K Peace”, the new song released today.

Listen to the song HERE


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Qantara | A Gateway Made Of Sound And Silence

The final band in the Metal Bell 6th Anniversary lineup is Qantara, a local band with a genre of their own called MetalFlow.

Qantara is a bit trickier to define than other bands we’ve written about before. For instance, when asked how the band started, they replied: “There isn’t really any singular point that we can reference as the “beginning” of the band, nor a set of events. A lot of people are involved in the band, a lot of those people have nothing to do with the music, nor of the performances. A lot of people and events were such a challenge that we also owe credit to them for “making” the band, and more importantly, some people were such immense pools of support.”

In short, however, one can say that the band has been in the making for many years, experiencing many changes in their lineup and musical approach throughout.

But there is one point in time which we could consider as an objective starting point, or at least as Qantara’s official introduction to the local Metal scene: on April 4th, 2015, the first Lebanese edition of the W:O:A battle, which allows the winning band to perform at the Wacken Open Air Metal festival, took place at The Quadrangle, Hazmieh. That night, local bands Turbulence, Blaakyum, and April competed, with Blaakyum emerging victorious.

While the jury was deliberating, the crowd was given one final treat to top off the event: a guest performance by Qantara who, at that point in time, were mostly unknown to the scene save for some teasingly enigmatic Facebook post.

After a pinch of initial cynical doubts, the crowd was taken aback and seemed to enjoy the show with wild abandon, despite the fact that the band solely performed previously-unheard original material.

On that note, when asked if the band would ever perform covers, they replied: “Well we tend to ask for what purpose would we cover songs? We are not out to play the tracks people are used to, and the songs they know and love. We want to offer something that people still haven’t formulated an opinion about, something they still haven’t felt, simply something new. If we are to “cover” songs, we would disassemble them, and rebuild them in our interpretation, basically still offer people something fresh. We are not implying though that bands who cover songs are in any way at fault, covering songs is a very technical challenge if one wants to honor the song they’re covering.”

And, well, that mentality seems to have worked out for them so far.

After that initial debut, they partook in Metal Bell’s event New Blood on July 11th, 2015 at Metro al Madina, then finally in Metal Bell’s event Drastic Measures on December 12th, 2015 at The Quadrangle.

For about three years, that was pretty much it for Qantara. They would sometimes post various forms of content on their Facebook page, but otherwise they did not partake in any public appearance whatsoever.

That is, until November 7th, 2018, when they had their first ever album release. Their album “Dirt” saw the light of day at a place that has now become a recurrent part of the band’s history: The Quadrangle.

The event did not, however, include a performance, and tomorrow’s concert will thus be the band’s first time on stage in almost exactly three years.

Now that we’ve covered Qantara’s curriculum vitae, let’s move on to some facts about their identity as a band.

First of all, let’s take a look at their name. When asked about that, they replied that the band has taken many names in the past, some of which are still used to this day as the butt of some inside jokes amongst the band’s members. As for “Qantara” (or قنطرة, which translates to arch or vault), it refers to “a gateway, a door; a structure that implies a transition of states… Quite simply, it is not where you are right now, it is where you intend to go (or be taken), and that is the basic idea behind it.”

Now onto the genre which they define their music as belonging to: MetalFlow. That name is the product of the band’s many efforts to label their music by stapling together many names of genres that seemed appropriate but turned out too ridiculously numerous, which was because so many different influences came into play at once. Eventually, they realized that “the common ground between all [their] musical influences is the fact that they all make [them] ‘flow’ in a certain way, they make [them] move, and transport [them] into a certain trance.” Thus, MetalFlow would be “the genre that incorporates the general ambience of ‘meditative’ music (or ‘Trance-y’ music) with the sharpness of Metal.”

And on the subject of Qantara’s many influences, when asked what the most prominent were, they replied: “That’s impossible to answer. Musically there’s a ton, and for varying reasons. Socially and ideologically there is a million. We can’t just say “this artist or person has inspired us the most”. In fact, most of our inspirations come from people we meet on the streets, just people. It is thought that one can only get recognition and be inspiring because of their choices and actions, or maybe morals, but most people who we felt inspired by are just friends and family, mentors and grandparents. Sure there are a million artists and writers and thinkers who inspire us every day, but we do not feel we owe anything to anyone… Part of the human experience is to be inspired and inspire back, there should be no admiration for it.”

That pretty much wraps up the ideological viewpoints of Qantara for now. If you’d like to see how those words transcribe onto the stage, pass by Metro al Madina tomorrow!

When asked for a statement regarding Qantara’s appearance at SledgeHammer Production and Metal Bell’s upcoming event, they replied: “It’s going to be AWESOME!  Metal Bell is 6 years old already! We have to make it a very happy birthday and we will! It will be memorable, the people are gonna be awesome and sweaty like hell and we’re all gonna blow out the candles with the wind generated by the headbanging throughout the night! Be there!”

They also added: “We send you all our love and appreciation for your constant support and involvement. We thank you Carmina for this interview, as well as Metal Bell of course. We wish you a happy birthday, and we are confident that with love and support, and with all of us being open to disagreement and celebrate our differences, this scene has the potential to really set the standard for the region, we all just have to work on the same team.

Thank you all and hope to see you on Saturday, December 15th, at Metro al Madina, and to join us to celebrate Metal Bell’s 6th birthday and just an awesome night together.

All The Love,
All The Time.”

If you’d like to see what kind of sound could come with all these bold statements, check out the band’s Soundcloud, where you can find the entirety of their recently-released album “Dirt” as well as tracks from their yet-unreleased album “Seven”. You can also check out their Facebook page for a wide variety of content.

Current Lineup:
Eztse Nugra – Drums
Ghonzor غصط – Vocals
HassaK – Bass
Duktur Dusar – Guitar
Brounzar Ci’40 – Guitar

Discography:
Seven (Full-Length Album; Unreleased)
Dirt (Full-Length Album; 2018)

Qantara, we welcome you back to the stage and avidly hope to see you on there much more!

GORILLA WARFARE | Born From College Campus Jams

Next up on our list of Metal Bell 6th Anniversary bands, we have Gorilla Warfare, a young local Heavy Metal band.

Gorilla Warfare started off in AUB, where its members played some music for fun and ended up deciding that they enjoyed it.

Each of the band’s members has their own personal set of influences and musical tendencies:

  • Their vocalist, Shadi Shaar, is very passionate about vocals and practices them daily. His favorite bands are Alter Bridge, Dio, and Judas Priest;
  • Their lead guitarist, Simon Semaan, loves Dream Theater, Opeth, and Avenged Sevenfold;
  • Their rhythm guitarist, Layan Bedran, is a Metalcore enthusiast who enjoys writing “epic riffs”;
  • Their bassist, Mostafa Itani, is a huge Iron Maiden fan and knows all of their songs by heart;
  • Their drummer, Omar Captan, is known by his bandmates as an awesome person and an awesome drummer. He’s also known for getting injured a lot.

The name Gorilla Warfare was born from a joke. When they first started performing, they had a second guitarist whose name was Jad. Both Jad and Simon Semaan were relatively beefy guys, and their fellow band members teasingly drew some resemblance between them and gorillas.

The band focuses mostly on covers, and will be performing songs by Dio, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, and Megadeth (however, their last song isn’t confirmed yet – we’re in for a surprise!).

They do have some demos of original material ready. However, they are not planning on remaining together after the upcoming event, which will be their final performance as Gorilla Warfare. They cannot currently find enough time to practice. Also, they have noticed that the Heavy Metal genre isn’t generating much enthusiasm these days and are thus a bit bored. Some of the members might start something new in the future, but nothing is confirmed so far. Let’s hope to hear more from them soon!

When asked for a statement regarding Gorilla Warfare’s appearance at SledgeHammer Production and Metal Bell’s upcoming event, their vocalist Shadi Shaar replied: “We are honored to play at this event and very excited to give our best at this show and have a great time.”

Current Lineup

Shadi Shaar – Vocals
Simon Semaan – Lead Guitar
Layan Bedran – Rhythm Guitar
Mostafa Itani – Bass
Omar Captan – Drums

Gorilla Warfare, we do not want to bid you farewell but look forward to sharing one last show with you!

PROMINENCE | A Melting Pot Of Death

Introducing yet another one of our Metal Bell 6th Anniversary bands: Prominence, a Death Metal band from Beirut, Lebanon.
Prominence was founded by Jack Khamo in 2017. Shortly after their inception, they were part of the Rock Insight event That One Night III at Metro al Madina on November 11th, 2017, and on May 5th, 2018, they partook in Metal United World Wide, an event organized by Sledgehammer Productions and presented by Metal Bell Magazine, which also took place in Metro al Madina.

On February 4th, 2018, they released their first ever single: “Slaughter of Dreams”. The song featured the legendary Derek Roddy on drums. Roddy was previously part of the American Death Metal band Nile, the American Death Metal band Hate Eternal, and more.

After the release of their single, the band went through a change of lineup. Maurice Semaan joined as their new guitarist as well as composer of their originals following “Slaughter of Dreams”. Nareg Cherchian, their vocalist, became responsible for the lyrics. As for the rest of the band, Serge Ashjian took over the bass, Monir (Matt) Lawand the rhythm guitar, and Sam Baghdo will be on the drums during the upcoming Metal Bell 6th Anniversary event.

Each member of the band has his own distinct musical influences. Consequently, the original material that they are working on strays away from “traditional” Death Metal towards something more multidimensional.

They are currently working on their EP titled “Sepulchered”. Two of its tracks were already recorded: “Sepulchered in Slumber” which was released on YouTube (watch video below) and Facebook in September, and Voices Reside, which was recorded in late November and will be available on YouTube after December 15th, 2018. Stay tuned for that!

In November, following the aforementioned release of “Sepulchered in Slumber”, the band was asked to be featured on USA’s Licking County Metalheads podcast, on which they had rave reviews, and we quote: “it has been a long time since they had listened to an actual lead in a metal song”. The band was asked to be featured for a second time with “Voices Reside”, during which they were lauded even further.

Prominence is managed by Maggie Varbedian of Sledgehammer Productions, the latter being co-owned by Maurice Semaan. As we have already mentioned, Sledgehammer Productions are the organizers behind the upcoming Metal Bell 6th Anniversary event.

When asked for a statement regarding Prominence’s appearance at SledgeHammer Productions and Metal Bell’s upcoming event, they replied: “Prominence are very excited to be part of this celebration, and to have the chance to perform both their songs from their upcoming EP “Sepulchered” for the first time on stage. They wish Metal Bell Magazine a happy anniversary, and a successful journey ahead.”

If you’re curious about the kind of sound that these boys will be dishing out, check out their aforementioned track on their YouTube channel: Prominence Official Lb.

 

Current Lineup:

Nareg Cherchian: Vocals
Maurice Semaan: Lead Guitar
Matt Lawand: Rhythm Guitar
Sergio Achjian: Bass
Sam Baghdo: Drums

Discography:

Slaughter of Dreams (Single; 2018)
Sepulchered in Slumber (Track from the upcoming EP “Sepulchered”; 2018)
Voices Reside (Track from the upcoming EP “Sepulchered”; 2018)
Prominence, we’ll be seeing you on your path towards prominence!

Article Photo Credit to Beirut Metal Fest


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Sound Of DeGeneration | Tastes Like Vintage Leather

The Metal Bell 6th Anniversary act whom we will be introducing next is Sound of DeGeneration, a Heavy Metal band from Lebanon.

Sound of DeGeneration has been around the scene for quite a while, but a fair share of changes has occurred since their initial inception. They originally appeared in 2011 under the name “Calling Earth” with founding members Ossy Mash (guitar and vocals) and Ramzy Alaeddine (guitar). A bunch of additions and removals took place until the band’s lineup stabilized in 2012 and their name was changed to “Rebellion”.

As Rebellion, they wrote five original tracks which they performed live numerous times alongside covers of classic Heavy Metal bands such as Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Dio, Metallica, and more. They often took to the small stages of pubs and bars as well as some bigger music festivals.

Unfortunately, financial and personal circumstances as well as the departure of Alaeddine who sought to pursue his career elsewhere halted the band’s project of recording their debut album, and ultimately their activity in general.

However, in late 2017, a call from Hisham El Hajj Boutros (the band’s bassist) encouraged the four remaining members to get back to it, and finally resume working on their long-abandoned album. The latter includes eight tracks and is now in its demo stage, awaiting mixing and mastering before its ultimate release.

Around that time, they also decided to change their name to S.O.D, or Sound of DeGeneration. They felt like that name better represents the message behind their band and their music, which is to “bring back the good old Rock and Heavy Metal of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s [that is] now destroyed by the new media”, as they put it. The name originally came from one of their original songs, and will also be extended to their self-titled debut album.

In 2018, the band started to push towards hopefully getting a label, and their new website www.soundofdegeneration.com is coming soon. Stay tuned for that!

When asked for a statement regarding Sound of DeGeneration’s appearance at SledgeHammer Productions and Metal Bell’s upcoming event, they replied: “It has been almost two years since we last performed at Metro al Madina. For us, this place feels like home and to be a part of Metal Bell magazine’s event makes us feel like we are with our family. We miss our fans and believe that they miss us too. We are ready for this night and we will make sure it will be a night to remember. As always our promise to the fans is ‘WE WILL BE HEAVY’!”

If you wish to take a sneak peak at what these Heavy Metal Men can do, check out their Soundcloud account for a taste of their Heavy material.

Current Lineup:
Nigol Ozz – Vocals
Ossy Mash – Guitar / Back Vocals
Samer Rkab – Drums
Hisham El Hajj Boutros – Bass

Sound of DeGeneration, take us back in time!


UPCOMING EVENTS


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