Category: REVIEWS (page 1 of 5)

Helloween Chameleon Review

Helloween Chameleon Review!

Band Name: Helloween
Album Title: Chameleon
Genre: Power Metal
Year: 1993
Origin: Germany
Length: 71:13

Helloween Chameleon Review

Misunderstood, underrated, and underappreciated are the verbs to describe Helloween’s 1993 album, Chameleon. At this point, Helloween had not one, but two big hits with their dual albums in the form of “Keepers of the Seven Keys Part I and Part II”. It’s going to be hard for the band to have better follow-ups. “Pink Bubbles Go Ape”, such a strange album title name, was decent with some good to even great songs, but it’s been awfully forgotten. But now, we have “Chameleon”, which, at this point, Kai Hansen had already departed and Michael Kiske on the borderline of leaving the band, got snuffed by many who considered the album the worst Helloween album yet. I, personally, disagree. 

 

It’s very interesting that each track has its own rules like the song “When The Sinners” which has a very Bon-Jovi-esque Hard Rock vibe to it, but still enjoyably to listen to. “First Time” is a very solid opener but the middle section of the album has a solid streak of excellent songs starting from “Crazy Cat” which is weird but highly energetic with its explosive chorus but then, you have “Giants” which is an incredible song. “Giants” is the best song on the album with pounding guitars and even an epic feel to it. It sounds special compared to the other songs on the album and sounds something you could hear from the “Keeper” records. The only gripe that I have against this album is that there are 3 to 4 ballads which may not favor everyone. My favorite ballad is “Windmill” which is surprisingly calm and soothing yet beautifully written and has its charm. So, those three tracks are the highlight of the album with really excellent music back-to-back. “In The Night” sounds like 60’s rock ‘n’ roll which feels very Elvis-ish, which does not technically work.

 

The last portion of the album goes into epic length territories with “Music” hitting the 7-minute mark which is musically impressive with some great vocal delivery from Kiske and the guitar soloing is incredible. “Step Out of Hell” is fun and quite sunny, which is the best way to describe this song. The album switches from Power Metal to Pop/Rock or even Rock ‘n’ Roll. Some songs do work, others are just “meh”.  “I Believe” is the longest track clocking in 9 minutes and it’s as impressive with its mood and atmosphere. There’s something creatively composed in the song and guitar soloing is brilliant.

Overall, effort has been put throughout the album and it does show. It may not be appealing at a first listen but needs to be given several chances until it does have some quality music. The album’s reception by many has been unfair to describe it as Helloween’s “St. Anger” which is not NEARLY as bad as that album. If it didn’t work out the first time, it’s worth giving it many spins to witness that it isn’t as bad as many had perceived it. As I’m listening to it right now, I’m enjoying it. So, take it as it is… as for me, it’s a really damn good album with a fantastic track called “Giants”.

 

Final score: 74/100

-Review By: Simon Nader


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NERVECELL – PAST PRESENT TORTURE Album Review (77.5/100)

About Nervecell

Formed in 2000 as one of the first extreme metal bands to emerge from Dubai, U.A.E. and having supported legendary metal bands such as Metallica, Morbid Angel, Deicide, and Suffocation, Nervecell have become the most prominent band to arise from the Middle East and truly are the torchbearers for a Middle Eastern wave of metal. Delivering a unique blend of Middle Eastern death/thrash metal, and maintaining a reputation for highly energetic live performances. Continue reading

Grave Live In Lebanon | Concert Review

Grave, one of the pioneering Swedish death metal bands, performed on Lebanese territory for the first time on October 7th along with 4 Lebanese bands at Minus 5, Mkalles.

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Review | Summer Jam 2017

There’s no better way for me to start this off except by saying that Summer Jam 2017 was absolutely thrilling, with its amazing performances, entertaining performers, and professional management by Maggie Varbedian.

The night kicked off with an acoustic set performed by Generation Gap’s front man, Jovan Jabbour, and then proceeded with the rest of the band. They started off with an original of their own, called “Neithen”, followed by a few covers, and ended their set with Marilyn Manson’s crowd-pleasing track “Sweet Dreams”. Despite the fact that the band’s front man was suffering from minor vocal difficulties, they still delivered a kick-ass performance. Way to go guys!

Next in line was Maurice Semaan, who was the biggest reason behind this event. Maurice performed a total of four songs, one of which was a tribute to his fiancée, Maggie Varbedian. The crowd was seized by the melody and beauty of the song as it was absolutely heartwarming. Some of the guests said, and I quote “that was beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes”.

After that, for a night of memories was Nidal Ghannam, aka Nino, a talented guitarist who got everyone up on their feet, chanting as high as they could. His performance was a real switcheroo to what was expected by the Quadrangle guests! Nidal delivered a destructive performance and was admired by all the spectators (nicely done man).

And then there was Oussama Mash aka Ossy. His performance was not less than impressive and riveting. In between songs, Oussama dedicated a song to his wife in the audience, leaving her speechless. I personally noticed smiling throughout the whole song. The crowd gave it a thumbs up along with a headbang.

And last but never the least, it was time for Adnan Jabbado! Now this is a guy I’d pay to see, because he’s a musician, comedian, and crowd pleaser. He started off with the Game of Thrones theme song, saying in between that episode 4 has been leaked and started the show before he could get ambushed, followed by the all-time crowd seizer “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme song.

In conclusion, the event was flawless, all thanks to Maggie Varbedian’s excellent management and Maurice Semaan’s technical aide during this whole thing, co-founders of Sledgehammer Production (you guys rule!!!). A special thanks to the sound engineer for his spotless work, the sound system and night couldn’t have been any better.

– Tarek Sekkar

Click Here For Full GALLERY OF SUMMER JAM 2017

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Skull Session 2017 ONSLAUGHT Live In Beirut REVIEW

ONSLAUGHT Live In Beirut REVIEW!

Last year, when Blaakyum was 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

Eden Sworn Obedience Prerelease Review By MOLOCH

Eden Sworn Obedience Prerelease Review by MOLOCH!

Eden Sworn Obedience is the latest release of malevolent sonic energy from the Phoenician shores.

The Lebanese thrash quartet’s debut, is a 5-song mini CD with a sixth song, ‘Penetration’ which is a Nefilim cover and a couple of additional demo tracks added as bonuses. Continue reading

Hellfest 2017 Review | Europe’s Biggest Rock And Metal Festival

Another Hellfest and another unforgettable experience! It’s interesting how the moment you leave Hellfest on Sunday night, you start thinking about what to expect next year. Read below my Hellfest 2017 Review!

Hellfest became like the cliffhangers of our favorite TV shows such as Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead, which leave us on the edge of our seats for a whole year, and it isn’t just the line-up. Because after many years of the festival, it is evident that each year, Hellfest will be packed with many great headliners and a line-up that is jaw-dropping.

It is also the many changes that happen on the ground of the festival, the activities, the decorations, the merchandise and the meet and greet sessions, the press area, which is the best press area among thousands of festivals around the globe.

As I entered the festival, the press area was transformed drastically comparing to last year; the area became a piece of Art, a luxury Heavy Metal lounge if I may describe it.

The weather was incredible and people were swimming in the small pool located in the press area.

The two main stages were mighty as always, gigantic screens to ensure over 100,000 meatlheads enjoy the whole experience even if they were far from the stages.

With 6 stages hosting 170 bands from all kinds of Metal, Hellfest is the leading Rock and Metal festival in the world.
The great team behind Hellfest has done a magnificent work in just few years to turn the festival to the top of the mountain.

What makes this festival special is that despite the grand success, festival founder Ben Barbaud’s ambition doesn’t stop there; the unholy land keeps expanding and developing in a way that every time we go, it feels like the first time.

DAY 1

The first day was packed with high profile bands such as Evergrey, Queensryche, Devin Townsend, Powerwolf, Obituary, Sabaton, Rob Zombie, and the list goes on.

Queensryche delivered a great show as usual and Todd La Torre continues to win the hearts of Queensryche fans and Heavy Metal fans in general. Fans headbanged to many classics including Operation: Mindcrime, Queen of the Reich, Empire, and Eyes Of a Stranger.

Devin Townsend’s performance was insane. He promised the fans a weird Canadian Progressive music and he delivered. His setlist included songs from his various projects with tracks such as Supercrush, Failure, March of the Boozers, and Higher.

This year, Hellfest bids farewell to some legends. First day headliners Deep Purple are touring for the final time and it was indeed great to witness such a moment at Hellfest. Band members delivered a classic performance with some tunes we all grew up listening to. But an honest word to say is that the band looked tired. I’ve seen Deep Purple many times but this one was different. It felt like goodbye and this is actually not a negative thing. Deep Purple gave us many years of incredible music and calling it a day on such a high level is wise.

After Deep purple, the two main stages got really busy, Sabaton, Rob Zombie, and In Flames played in a row while The Temple, Altar Warzone, and The Valley stages were busy with bands such as Alestorm, Marduk, Obituary, Autopsy, Rancid, The Damned, and Monster Magnet.

DAY 2

The second day had 52 bands over the 6 stages. On The Temple stage, I got the chance to see Igorrr for the first time. A French band that consists of a Dj, a Drummer, a Death Metal vocalist, and a symphonic female vocalist. The band mixes electronic music with death metal and symphonic metal. They’re unique and very loud, they deliver a heavy show with a twist. It was satisfying.

The second night witnessed another farewell, Aerosmith. The band decided to hang up their boots and graced the world with a gigantic tour which is still running till December this year. The band played an hour an a half with many classics such as Janie’s Got a Gun, Living on the Edge, Crying, Dude (Looks Like a Lady), before they come back to their encore: Dream On, Mother Popcorn, and Walk This Way.

The other stages had Opeth, Apocalyptica, Pain Of Salvation, and Suicidal Tendencies. And finally the night was concluded with a powerful, fast, and heavy show by Thrash Metal gods Kreator. An absolutely stunning performance that was worth headbanging until after 2:00 in the morning.

Another highlight of the day was Steel Panther playing Main Stage 1. These guys are on another level, a group that got really popular from one single track (Death To All But Metal). They have a pure love for heavy metal but also for boobs and vaginas. During the show, the band’s front-man Michael Starr invited over 30 topless females from the crowd who joined him on stage doing all kinds of performances. It was indeed a show to remember.

 

DAY 3

53 bands entertained us on the last day. The two main stages had great names such as Alter Bridge, Of Mice And Men, Prophets Of Rage, Five Finger Death Punch, Linkin Park, and Slayer, while the rest of the stages were busy with various genres.

Temple stage started as early as 11:00 AM with French black metal band Deluge. Later on, Ghost Bath, Equilibrium, Scour, and Emperor made sure the Temple was always full of worshipers.

Sanctuary played on Altar stage. The American Heavy Metal group delivered a classic heavy show, and later on the same stage, Metal Church was mighty. The old school heavy metal band had played some of their best tunes, their setlist included songs: Fake Healer, Start The Fire, Badlands, and The Human Factor.

Warzone and The Valley stages closed the night with Every Time I Die, Clutch, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Hawk Wind.

Just like every year when the festival closes its doors, the party moves to the camping site until sunrise.

Now the Hellfest team goes on a well-deserved vacation and we are all looking forward to September to hear next year’s edition news.

This year, Hellfest took a different approach when announcing the line-up and tickets sales.

Hellfest dates were announced and tickets went on sale without one single band being revealed, it was a bold move that showed how much confidence Ben and his team have.

The festival was actually sold out, not even one single group was announced and tickets were gone, long gone.

This is another proof why Hellfest is now the leading, the first in line and the festival that everyone is following as an example.

The festival reached a point where fans became really loyal, they are willing to plan one year ahead and spend their money without even knowing who is going to play. Hellfest is all that matters.

See you at Hellfest 2018.

Hellfest 2017 Review & Gallery

Check out the full Gallery >HERE<

ECSTASY KILLED THE ANARCHY | Reviewed

ECSTASY KILLED THE ANARCHY!
From the moment we arrived to the middle of nowhere, sarcastically, it felt like Home.

Nature embraced the scene and good music took refuge in the arms of holy mother nature. The good scenery, alongside the smells of fresh air and great beer, was the perfect place to be.

And the event’s “venue” couldn’t have gotten more punk. From the anti-ohm signs that directly alerted the hippies that this was no psychedelic ground to the DIY venue.

The river and its side were great and the tents of fellow camping metalheads were scattered all around it.
Soon afterwards, a fire was built and the animal-tolerant BBQ began. And we feasted amongst nature’s crowned lands. And it felt just right.
And finally, once the moon was lighting the skies and the soundcheck was over, it was time for the valley to acknowledge the great music presented by the bands.

ECSTASY KILLED THE ANARCHY

Photo credit to: Selfish Gene

DIY started the concert with their well-known punk music setting the mood for great hardcore music. The headbanging began and the moshpits scattered all around right in the middle of the valley as no one was safe from the moshing! Covering a lot of ground from new originals to classic known covers such as Bite It You Scum and the event’s theme song ECSTASY KILLED THE ANARCHY.

Next were Black Leather, a new band with an old sound. The newcomers directly shifted the crowd from great hardcore music to good ol’ Rock N’ Roll. They went from a groove that introduced the crowd to the band, ending it with the awesome HighWay Demon. The band took us back in time to the magnificent rock music of the 80s.

Last but not least, came the almighty thrashers Agressor. The headbanging was back more than ever and the moshpits were nonstop. Starting it with their usual Willfully Blind, transferring the crowd back to old school thrash metal. And as a finale, the performance was ended with my all-time favorite TOXIC KARABALAA, leading to the formation of one of the most brutal moshpits I’ve been in.

Once the clock hit 12, the concert was done, but the night was still young, for we gathered around the fire playing unplugged guitar and warming our bodies with good Scottish fuel.

A new day welcomed us by the rising of the sun, and we fueled our bodies once again as we set to leave.
This event was worked hard upon and I’d like to raise a toast for the awesome men that helped make it happen.

Rock on \m/

Check out original event link >here<.

ECSTASY KILLED THE ANARCHY REVIEW GALLERY!

All photos are credited to Selfish Gene and Reema Harfouch

 

-Mohamad Yateem

Review | Mike Portnoy Shattered Fortress Paris Show

“A once in a life time event” – that is how Mike described this tour once it all started to become a reality. This is a fantasy to every Dream Theater fan since 2010, and it was indeed an incredible gift to us all. Mike Portnoy Shattered Fortress Paris show reviewed below.

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Beirut Metal Fest 2017 Review

Beirut Metal Festival Review

Once the announcement was out, a clear excitement from the local scene was shown everywhere. This festival sounded awesome in terms of being purely METAL. It also had an epic local lineup including the return of KAOTEON. And it finally brought an international death metal to the scene. Continue reading

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