It was a very exciting moment when, during last September’s THRASH MERCENARIES TOUR, we contacted Blaakyum, who were part of the tour, to ask them if they would be able to pass a few questions we prepared as an interview with Onslaught. But Blaakyum’s frontman, as well as their manager, proposed to do it as a video interview, instead of a written one, with Bassem Deaibess volunteering to ask the questions prepared on our behalf and to film the interview on his mobile phone. (Watch Video Interview Below)
An interview with Onslaught
Onslaught is a band that would “never compromise [their] artistic integrity in any way”. We got a lot of insights from Sy Keeler and Nige Rockett about the inside world of Onslaught. Covering many subjects starting with the then ongoing tour, Nige and Sy explained how important it is today for a band to tour and why. They also shared with us some funny, beautiful, and life-changing stories they have faced during their life on the road; some were weird though.
Talking about their composition and the band’s sound, Nige was surprised that some people are “anal” about what tuning the band can use for a thrash Metal song.
“when you look at Testament, Kreator, Overkill, ourselves, everybody is making some of the best music they ever created.” – Nige
The interview also covers the band’s influences, which start with Punk and end with Prog, the recording back in the day versus the recording procedures and costs of today, ending up with information about the upcoming releases. So enough with me blabbering about the interview, you can watch it below:
For the first time in the Middle East, Metal Bell Magazine is proud to present “Roswell And Orchestra”.
Many musicians will be joining the Lebanese Rock band “Roswell”, where some of the most successful songs from the band’s 3 albums will be performed, in addition to some famous Rock covers with a classical music orchestra. Special guests will also be joining the stage next to the band and the orchestra.
During the event, FoodBlessed will be having a food drive to collect food for families in need, so bring what you can and donate!
click here to know what to donate to the food drive and other necessary details
Lentils, powder milk, beans, rice, wheat, flour, tea, chick peas, fava beans, cornflakes, cooking oil, noodles, pasta, biscuits, snacks, chocolate, candy, tomato sauce cans, and pretty much anything you think of will come in handy for the next meal of a family in need.
For more info, contact Ali: 03040989
DATE: Saturday December 3, 2016 LOCATION: Unesco Palace – Beirut BANDS: Roswell And Orchestra, Ghiya El Asaad TICKETS: 25,000 L.L.
Remember when we shared the story about little Reinabelle who was born blind last March? At the time, 8 local bands and artists ( Violent Peace, Aces High, Eden, Napview, Homesick, Colorblind, Grey Groove, and Ghiya Assaad) gathered their forces for a unique fundraising event, Rock For Reinabelle, at Quadrangle Hazmieh to help gather the required money for the operation. Here’s what happened:
Reinabelle arrived with her parents at Beirut airport at midnight, returning from the USA where she had a successful eye surgery. She was born blind, and today, she can see, giving many others who were born blind hope that, one day, they too, will be able to see.
Many Lebanese followed Reinabelle’s story and sympathized with her, either through praying or donating money. The cost of Reinabelle’s surgery in the USA was around 250,000 USD, which was collected from different fundraising events, including Rock For Reinabelle.
The call for donations was made on February 7, 2016: “A two-month-old girl who was born blind needs a cornea transplant surgery within one month to avoid damage to the arteries and nerves of the eyes. The surgery costs 200,000 USD, and the parents’ friends have decided to open a bank account for anyone wishing to contribute and help Reinabelle”. Subsequently, a fundraising campaign was launched, with the participation of many media outlets, in addition to schools and educational and social institutions.
On April 23, Reinabelle underwent surgery in both eyes, and the treating physician in the United States reported that the surgery was a success, and that Reinabelle needs a few days to open her eyes.
For the first time, she will be able to see the faces of her mother, her father, and her brothers… and life.
Roy Khan Returning To Music Seems SOON? We previously did a full investigatory article about Roy Khan’s whereabouts (here) 2 years ago, following it up with another statement from Roy himself about a possible return to music (here). It turned out that what we reported was mostly true.
After his departure from Power Metal band Kamelot, Roy Khan joined a local church in the coastal town of Moss in Norway: “Moss Frikirke”. He started working with the youth as an employee in that church, mainly with the choir and the skaters of the village. Furthermore, he helped in organizing a full free skating day “Moss Free Skate”. The event wasn’t only limited to competitions for different categories of skaters, but also included: Rodeo, Gladiator Duels, and Sumo Wrestling. Also, the organizerssetupa large wallwhere one canpractice as agraffitiartist.
“It’s a big event, and it’s from ten to seven o’clock, so it will be a long day,” says Roy Sætre Khantatat from Moss Frikirke, who is behind the event in collaboration with Moss Skateboard Club. – Moss Avis
Source: Mass Avis
For many years, speculations about Roy Khan returning to music have been made. And just yesterday, the website of the Moss Frikirke church released a statement with pictures of Roy with children. The statement was a farewell note to the “Employee Roy” but not to “Roy Sætre Khantatat” the church member:
Fest is appropriate because it was a solemn, yet light and informal farewell with a very popular employee. Roy has managed to create a unique community with the youth in the church, and his work with the youth club has been marked by mutual respect. Pastor Lande Johansen also highlighted the commitment Roy has shown towards the Moss Free Skate event. With a public skate park as its closest neighbor, Roy created a meeting place between the church and the skaters in town.
We want to be a church that cares about the community we are part of, and in this area, Roy stood out in a good way. Roy is still part of the church. Together with his family, he will still live and work in Moss. Therefore, it was parting with a salaried employee who left a mark, but not a farewell.
Seems like Roy Khan might be going back to music, but not necessarily into Metal as he previously mentioned >here<
Pictures from the farewell ceremony at Moss Frikirke:
Dark Phantom is a multi-ethnic band probably new to our ears, but they have been around for a while, playing the music they love in an oil-rich nation of turmoil and everlasting war, defying the reign of extremism and various death threats from Islamists who equate ‘metal’ with Satan worship.
Dark Phantom’s inception attempts started back in 2007. But with the hard situation especially within the areas controlled by Al-Qaeda, the situation was violent and playing music was a crime. The band then struggled to fit in, even in the Iraqi music scene. With all these efforts, they tried to keep the faith and compose their own music, but to no avail.
“This was for survival, without any developments in the level of art.” – Dark Phantom.
In 2009, the band took the bold decision and stood up in front of all disbelievers and started a serious project: DARK PHANTOM. They started composing and recording their own music. The quality of the recording wasn’t pleasant, so the band took it on themselves to learn and evolve their recording techniques. They upgraded their home studio with some proper software and hardware after a lot of research, until they got what they needed at the time.
The band’s first public show was in 2011, fighting against all atrocities, hate, anti-metal music laws, and terrorism. The band was surprised that people, fighters like them, showed up and gave them support they didn’t expect during the gig. Following that show in the city of Kirkuk, the band received several threats, and was asked to shut down all their activities.
Dark Phantom didn’t surrender to the situation and kept working on their album that was supposed to be called “Beta” at the time. The band’s reputation started to propagate, leading them to perform at 3 concerts in 3 different cities. Then in 2013, the Phantoms faced another challenge; the original vocalist and the drummer left the band for safety reasons, and the band then welcomed Mir and Mahmoud to replace their predecessors respectively. With that addition to the group, they defined their style as Thrash Metal and started the album composing and recording process all over again.
Today in 2016, Iraqi heroes “Dark Phantom” have completed and released their album under the name of “Nations Of Dogs” that will be soon reviewed in details by Metal Bell Magazine.
Meanwhile, we conducted an interview to know more about the brave phantoms of Kirkuk–Iraq.
How and when did you guys start Dark Phantom?
After 2003, we started listening to metal music. Cousins Murad and Rebeen got together with a couple of friends from college and started the band, firstly playing thrash/death covers before beginning to write our own material. Murad met Sermet at college and he started learning bass, our old drummer on social media, and Ehsan at the music center as vocals.
What does your music talk about and what does it mean to you?
Our lyrical theme is about war and corruption basically in our country Iraq. This chaotic situation naturally has a huge influence on our music. And it is about our life in Iraq, as well as religion/criminals who kill and slay people in the name of God.
How do you define your sound?
We collected all that we like individually and came up with our sound and we call it Thrash-Death Metal as it’s like a mixture of both genres.
Tell us more about the recording process of your album” Nation Of Dogs”.
We recorded the album in Murad’s bedroom using simple recording tools. It was released on May 8, 2016.
All songs lyrics by Mir Shamal
All songs music by Murad, Rebeen, Mir, Mahmood
Mixed and mastered by Mir Shamal
Album cover art by Ece Baş
What was your first album on cassette, vinyl, and/or CD?
What difficulties do you guys face living in such a tormented place?
Religious conservatism, social taboos, and repressive governments mean most metal is viewed with suspicion. Also, there are no metal venues.
Who are your favorite artist and your influences?
Metallica is our idol. As for influences, we are greatly influenced by Slayer and Lamb Of God, etc.
What are your plans for the future?
We have never played outside of Iraq, and that’s like a dream to us. We need a visa to travel or some sponsor. Just bring us to play even for free, because we don’t look for money, we just want to play on a big stage.
Can you describe the Iraqi metal scene?
There was a small number of metal bands in Iraq and most of them left the country while others remain underground. Some people listen to metal and know what it is, but the majority see us as Satanic and don’t know what we are talking about.
Do you easily get to find a venue to play metal?
We have played a few gigs though it’s very hard to do that here because there is no space to play music, but we still try and do our best.
If you were to choose one record label to get signed with, who will it be?
Metal Blade Records, it’s one of our dreams.
Where can we buy Dark Phantom’s “Nation Of Dogs” album from?
In conclusion, Dark Phantom is one of the many struggling bands in the Middle East, and one of the very few active in Iraq. We will be getting back to them soon enough. We will also be covering some bands from Syria. Stay tuned for our review of the great album from Dark Phantom, “Nation Of Dogs”, soon on Metal Bell Magazine.
Following last year’s Summer Fusion, we teamed up this year with RockRing to keep you updated on everything that is going around. As a starter, here is an interview with Roy Naufal, founder of RockRing Lebanon.
1- So, Summer is back and the Fusion is in the making. How excited are you about the 5th installment of Summer Fusion?
Nothing is more exciting than getting the music scene into one place in a unique fun atmosphere that doesn’t just revolve around getting a ticket and watching bands. Summer Fusion has more of a friendly community vibe, and since it’s an all-day event by the pool, everyone gets a chance to mingle around. The water games and bungee jumping will definitely add a new twist to the event!
2- How was last year’s comeback? Was it as you expected it? Did you face difficulties especially that there was a 5-year gap?
It was great. We were not sure what exactly to expect in terms of attendance after a 5-year gap, but the event proved well worthy and everyone who was there had a blast, and those who weren’t regretted not coming. This year, we’re hoping for an even better event and we are improving it on several levels and already preparing for 2017.
APRIL‘s performance from last year’s Summer Fusion. Check out this great performance and give them a shout-out in the comments
3- Last year’s Summer Fusion had what I believe to be the least amount of attendees among the other Summer Fusions. But it definitely made some noise, and this year, there is excitement all around. Are you expecting to break previous records with this year’s edition?
In the past, Summer Fusion and the previous events we did grouped a whole community under one umbrella. When there was an event, everyone was there without the need to even tell what the event was; people knew RockRing’s events and what kind of fun atmosphere they would expect when they come.
Commercial mass advertised events gather up a lot of people but who are very ‘disconnected’, so there’s no ‘friendly vibe’ in such events, whereas our events are more community-based so there’s a more friendly feel to them; it’s not only about the event and who’s playing, it’s also about hanging out with friends.
After a 5-year gap, this community needs to be ‘reconnected’. From last year to now, there has been a lot of activity and the event itself had caused enough noise to make 2016 bigger than 2015. We also connected with a lot of the community and people are aware of us and what we do, so we’re expecting a steady crowd growth in the coming events – we also have plans for several upcoming events such as Global Battle of the Bands and possibly international artists.
Our Stand at SUMMER FUSION 2015
4- According to your experience, how much has the scene changed (since 2006 when RockRing started and 10 years later)?
Mainly, the music community has become disconnected because there are no real hangout areas for music lovers, and medium-scale events are nonexistent. It’s either small pub events or big scale events like Byblos Fest. Our role in the past was that middle ground which connected everything together, and that’s what we’re trying to establish again.
5- What to expect from Summer Fusion this year? Will any new ideas be implemented into the festival?
We’re adding a more ‘summer’ twist to the event; other than the bands, there will be many more activities on location such as water games, possibly bungee jumping, and a few other things.
Check Out Our Review of Last year’s Summer Fusion >Here<
Kaoteon is one of those bands whose shine never dims. Ok! That was a cliché, but it is true!
Imagine a band that hasn’t been active for years: no performances since 2009, a shy album release party in 2011, and some news on their page about progress in the album recording. Yet their name is, most of the times, brought up in every conversation about Lebanese Metal bands. Their legacy never faded and their fans are still as die-hard as they were during the band’s active years. Continue reading
In less than 5 months, the Lebanese thrash metal band “Phenomy” went through their second lineup change. After the departure of their last vocalist, Adel, and replacing him with “Sam Felfly”, Phenomy announced the departure of “Raymond Ghorayeb”, the bassist.
The reasons behind the decision remain unannounced, but with the ongoing album recording sessions and the release date getting closer, the band is pushing towards a tight and steady lineup that can keep up with the work needed to bring the best out of their music, thus, handing over the bass duties to their newest member, “Kevin Ghanem”.
Kevin, ex-Eden, has officially joined the band and will contribute to the recording process of “Once And For All”, Phenomy’s debut album.
We will be sharing more about the new album as well as the new members’ contributions soon.
If you’re a Goth fan, you have definitely heard of WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN that takes place in Leipzig (Eastern Germany). If you are new to the Gothic scene or never had the chance to check out the WGT before, here’s your chance.
No, it is not a concert. It is not your ordinary festival. It is a “supra-regional Gathering” with around 50 venues spread all over the city with one main venue and a camping site. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Continue reading