Category: Local News (page 1 of 21)

ZIX Signs New Record Deal & Releases New Single ft. HANSI KURSCH

There is a great and promising year ahead  for one of the most prominent Heavy Metal acts in Lebanon, ZIX.
On August 30, 2018 Zix announced on Facebook that they have switched from German based label “Pure Steel Records” to the international moguls  “Universal Music” by signing to their MENA offices. Zix is the second Metal act to sign with Universal MENA following the footsteps of Ostura (Read about it here). Continue reading

RIP BIG JACK The Electric Warrior

It is with a sad heart that we write this article. One of Lebanon’s earliest Rock and Metal voices passed away. Jack Khatchadourian, mainly known by his stage name BIG JACK, just closed his final chapter on Earth on July 25.

About Big Jack

Big Jack

For those who don’t know, Big Jack fronted one of the earliest Rock/Metal bands in Lebanon back in the late 70’s called “Electric Warriors“. The band went above and beyond by creating the first generation of Rock and Metal scene in Lebanon. Jack was known for his strong vocal abilities and stage charisma and as a great guitar technician. He inspired a whole generation of vocalists who followed his path between the 80s and 90s and still they resonate until today. A true Legend.

Other than being an inspirational Lebanese musician, Big Jack was also known for his humanitarian activities. From a young boy scout, having his guitar on his back spreading joy and doing all kinds of charity work, to a young man using his own Renault 12 station wagon car as an ambulance during the civil war. Jack was a real life super hero.

Big Jack

Eddy: Lead guitar | Ramsey: Drums & percussion | Souhail: Bass guitar | Big Jack: guitar & lead vocal

Electric Warriors

After the band’s inception in the late 70’s, Electric Warriors became a household name in the Lebanese scene. They sold out theaters and became one of the first bands, if not the very first band, to use special effects on stage in Lebanon. Of those legendary concerts were the multi-day shows at La Cite, Jounieh in 1983. The shows were spread into 4 days, from 27 to 30 of December that year.

Check out below some photos from the golden age of Rock and Metal in Lebanon. The photos below are from Electric Warriors from several eras of the band’s life and their shows in 1983 at La Cite Jounieh.

Electric Warriors Gallery

After Electric Warriors

After Electric Warriors went into hiatus in the early 90s, Jack then went into a solo career and worked on a lot of side projects. The most notable was the 2004 song “Rise for the Genocide” by A.R.G.F. that featured many local musicians as a local All-Star song in the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. (Video Below)

In the year 2010, Electric Warriors did a reunion in an attempt to revive the band. They had a show later on in 2011 at FreeWay Center in Sin El Fil with Christian Metal band TAKWEEN.

Big Jack - Electric Warriors

After that, Big Jack went on to form a new band, MARANATHA, a Christian Heavy Metal band, with the youth of his church. In September 2016, he shared his excitement with us that Maranatha will be releasing a full-length. “Soon we have a surprise for everyone. New album release of MARANATHA. Christian metal group followed by a concert”- Says Jack to Metal Bell in 2016.

This news was great for us since Jack was out of the spotlight for many years at the time.

Unfortunately, only few months later, in December that year, Khatchadourian was hospitalized but soon recovered and went back to his home only days later. After that incident, the news of a New Album from the Legendary vocalist were gone.

Big Jack is the father of Chris Khatchadourian, the vocalist of the theatrical Rock band In Sanity Q. The band also shares Electric Warriors’ drummer extraordinaire Ramsey Khattar.

The Metal Bell family would like to send its condolences to Jack’s family and friends.

BIG JACK ROCK IN PEACE \\m//

  • We would like to thank Ramsey Khattar for the information he shared with us about Big Jack, in order for us to complete this article.

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EDITOR’S PICKS:

Prominence Introduces New Member

New comers, Prominence, released their first song, four months ago and it features none other than Derek Roddy (ex-Nile, ex-Hate Eternal, Serpents Rise) behind the kit.

Prominence is a new Death Metal band from Lebanon formed less than a year ago. It was gathered by Rock INsight Organization‘s founder and ex-Within Destruction drummer Jack Khamo. After several posts and teasers, Prominence released their first single “Slaughter of Dreams”. The song was composed and written by Khamo himself. But on this song, Jack decided to record the guitar and the bass rather than the drums, leaving that mission to the DW drummer Derek Roddy. Joining him as well on the guitars are guitarists Matt Lawand and Albert Obeid.

As the line up of Prominence was shaky, the band performed with Albert Obeid  during Metal United World Wide Event but as a session guitarist. The band have put up a great show with Albert giving it all on the axe.

A few days ago only, the band announced their newest member, Maurice Semaan, with a post that reads:

“Ladies and gentlemen! We introduce you our new axe-man! Mr. Maurice Semaan! Welcome to the family brother! Another big news coming your way next week, stay tuned and stay metal \m/”

Prominence updated line up is: Maurice Semaan (Guitar), Matt Lawand (Guitar), Sergio Ashjian (Bass), Jack Khamo (Drums), and Nareg Cherchian (Vocals).


“Slaughter of Dreams” featured the legend Derek Roddy ( ex-Nile, ex-Hate Eternal, Serpents Rise) on drums. The song was recorded by all band members (Jack Khamo, Matt ML, Sergio Ashjian, Nareg Cherchian) and our friend Albert Obeid. The song was recorded with Anwar Habib and Triptych Studio.

Prominence was announced to perform in this year’s edition of Beirut Metal Fest on September 7th at Porsche Factory Beirut. The festival will be headlined by Death Metallers Decapitated.


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JAY WUD Tour With SONS OF APOLLO

No one can deny that Jay Wud, the 4-piece band from Dubai, has become a household name in the Rock and Metal community. The Lebanese guitarist and his multinational band have crossed many borders throughout the years.

Jay Wud are no strangers to the international platforms as they performed in the legendary VIPER ROOM in Los Angeles, as well in several festivals in Europe and the region.  Opening for bands like Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, and Skunk Anansie surely made Jay Wud one of the biggest names in the Middle East. And now, Jay Wud Tour with Sons Of Apollo just lifted the bar even higher.

Few Days ago, Jay announced a tour with the super-group SONS OF APOLLO that features Dream Theater’s ex-Drummer Mike Portnoy and ex-Keyboardist Derick Sherinian. Jay Wud will participate in 5 of the 9 shows of the UK & IRELAND 2018 SOS tour.

In addition to the tour, Jay Wud announced in January his participation in the Amplified Festival in the UK on July 8th here.

JAY WUD Tour With SONS OF APOLLO

JAY WUD Tour With SONS OF APOLLO Dates

02.07 Motherwell, Motherwell concert hall
03.07 Belfast, Limelight
04.07 Dublin, Tivoli
07.07 Brighton, The Haunt
08.07 Gloucestershire UK, Amplified Festival (not as part of SOS tour)
08.07 Nottingham, Rescue Room


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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:

Iraqi Dark Phantom Needs Your Help To Tour Syria

Lone survivors of the Iraqi Metal Scene, Dark Phantom, are planning to tour Syria. If you don’t know who Dark Phantom are yet, do check out our interview and article that have all you need to know about them >HERE<. Iraqi Dark Phantom needs your help to finance this tour. It is not not much to ask, the fund-raising is set to collect 1,200 €. Since they launched the campaign until today, they have collected (to date of writing this article) 322 €.

Murad Mohammed, the band’s guitarist and main-man, has written a message (read below) as a description of the purpose of the fund-raising. In this letter, the band’s leader sheds the light on the situation of Metal in Iraq, which is apparently “illegal” and their struggle in having any possibility in performing there.  The band then took the decision to visit their war-torn neighbors for multiple shows. But such shows need funding, hence the “money pot” project.

For Donations: LEETCHI

Or support by buying DARK PHANTOM’S album “Nation Of Dogs” >here<

Welcome to this money pot !

Hello earthlings, We’re Dark Phantom a Heavy Metal band from Iraq, We started this campaign to raise money to travel and tour in our neighboring war torn country Syria and play multiple Metal shows there with our original music, We work full time jobs and are trying our best to support the band and the Metal scene in both Iraq and Syria but our sole effort is not enough and we need financial help, We go through daily struggle to practice as a band wether it’s equipments that are too expensive for us or finding a place to practice since music in these forms are forbidden and prohibited by law and religion, Many times our shows get canceled mostly by the Ministry of Culture! They state that such music cane never be played in here, That’s why we need Metal patriots around the globe to help us out to travel to Syria to make a good impact in the Metal scene and spread the word and the music here in the Middle-east.

Best regards,

Murad Mohammed, Leader of Dark Phantom.

STAY CONNECTED WITH DARK PHANTOM:

FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE | BANDCAMP


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Wyvern’s Guitarist And Co-Founder Marawan Shaaban Dead At 39

Wyvern’s Guitarist and Co-founder Marawan Shaaban Dead At 39!

Today, The Egyptian Metal Scene received shocking news concerning one of the most popular Egyptian metal bands, Wyvern, as Marawan Shaaban, Wyvern guitarist, passed away.

A number of Egyptian metal musicians mourned the death of Shaaban, such as Ehab Khaled Fawzy, Medic vocalist and guitarist, Sayed Ragai, Sinprophecy vocalist, Shung the guitarist of Sand Aura and Ahl Sina, Ismail Attalah Crescent vocalist and Metal Blast Festival team. (see below)

Egyptian guitarist Marawan Shaaban was announced dead today. Metal Bell Magazine learned about the passing of the Egyptian leading guitarist from a post made by Metal Blast Festival.

Marawan has been battling Leukemia for the past year, and he finally lost the battle to cancer. Wyvern are yet to post a statement. Meanwhile, we only wish for Marawan to Rest In Peace and share the grief with his family and friends.

Wyvern’s Guitarist and Co-founder Marawan Shaaban Dead At 39!

Wyvern is one of the oldest Metal bands in Egypt with a huge fan base. “WYVERN was the first heavy metal band to perform in a public music festival in Egypt since the ‘Great Arrest’ in 1997.”

Egypt’s Metal Scene Mourns Marawan Shaaban

-Rana Atef & T.P.


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DIVULGENT | The Anonymous Band Releases First Demo Song

DIVULGENT The Anonymous Band Releases First Demo Song!

All of a sudden, a band page in the name of Divulgent appears on Facebook. With a considerably long biography for a band that just started (read below), and a TBAs on the members’ list, they definitely got our attention.

Who, What, Why?

The About of the band depicts the following:

“We are the silenced, faced with corruption, clinging to survival with no end.
Yet, beneath the carnage a silver lining shall appear, speaking the words that you all must hear.”

Interesting enough, the band released their first music teaser a few days later. On January 17th, they released their first song from their debut EP. (Video Below)

First Release

“This song is NOT the fully produced EP quality”, the band commented on their released Lyrical video. Therefore, we are going to call it a demo. The song is actually a pretty good one! So, judging by the quality of the recording aside, the track clearly shows high musicianship and great composing abilities.

With no time, the track got a lot of support from the local and regional scene, tens of shares and an approximately 1800 views in only 3 days. Checkout  “Techno Logic” below and leave your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

 DIVULGENT The Anonymous Band

An announcement today on the band page says that the band will be revealing its members in 24 hours. Bummer 🙁 we thought we were going to enjoy the mysterious approach more. (Read full statement below)

Biography

DIVULGENT is a new Experimental/Groove Metal band from Beirut, Lebanon.

Mixing sounds of heavy chugging guitars, melodies, catchy riffing patterns, groovy drumming and bass lines, a twist of melo-djent with heavy breakdowns layered with harsh vocals, talking about the issues that we all as people should open our eyes to. We define the concept of each message we find important, to be delivered with its own special identity. We are able to achieve a very unique sound due to many great bands that have influenced each member. To mention a few, Meshuggah, Lamb of God, After The Burial, and Slipknot have added their influence to our own imagination and flavoring.

Divulgent has been writing its own material from the very beginning back in late 2016. And recently recorded a Demo CD in order for people to know what to expect from the band, and listen to the messages that we try to deliver. We have a clear image of where we want this band to go, the path we want to take, the stages we aim to play and the people we want to communicate with, and build a family with those who can relate to our visions and inspire us with more.

When all this became a common interest and a mutual vision, all 5 members whom assembly turned out to be a very distinct combination due to all their experiences, decided that this is something they look to be doing for a very long time with insistence and perseverance in order to build on our passion – music.


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EDITOR’S PICKS:

OSTURA | Major Signing Deal And More!

OSTURA Major signing deal with leading worldwide music label, Universal Music (MENA), album art and tracklist revealed and more! (announcement video below).

Taking it to the NEXT LEVEL, Lebanese Progressive band OSTURA surprised everyone with a major signing deal with one of the biggest labels in the world, an unprecedented move in the Lebanese Metal scene, making them the first Lebanese band to ever sign with Universal Music, or any major music label. Continue reading

ODIOUS To Share The Stage With Septicflesh In Europe

Septicflesh announced yesterday the full details of their forthcoming European tour featuring American Black Metal band Inquisition and Egypt’s Metal pride, the Oriental/Symphonic Death Metal band Odious. Continue reading

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