Category: REVIEWS (page 1 of 6)

OSTURA | The Room Album Review

Out of the ashes they surged in 2012, shaking off the rust from the wings of a dormant phoenix that had waited for years to have a sip of Lebanese metal glory. And heavily rewarded were they, with an entire generation eagerly awaiting the continuation of this journey, to quench their thirst and support a local band which looked so promising on its debut, yet couldn’t string it all together again until 2018, after almost all hopes of a new opus had been lost. Continue reading

Brick Floyd Live At Beirut Open Space | REVIEW

Brick Floyd Live at Beirut Open Space REVIEW!

As we all know, the 19th of January was a busy night for all of them Pink Floyd fans. Pink Floyd’s music is kind of like psychedelic rock and is considered to have some trippy effects on the mind if delved into. Recreating their music isn’t like a bunch of 14 year olds covering “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, but needs a lot of experience in sound effects with instruments, which not too many bands in Lebanon might be capable of. But Brick Floyd sure can. They announced that their show would be held in Beirut Open Space, on Jan 19. What I like about that venue is that it is located in Mar Mkhayel and not on the main road, which means we don’t get stuck in traffic from the beginning of Gemayze street. Continue reading

DIRKSCHNEIDER Concert Review

DIRKSCHNEIDER is a group led by UDO Dirkschneider, the former lead singer of ACCEPT.
He formed the band and started touring the world with one aim, bidding farewell to his former band ACCEPT. He plans to play his material from his time with ACCEPT one last time. Continue reading

Anneke Van Giersbergen’s VUUR First Headlining Show REVIEW

Anneke Van Giesbergen’s VUUR First Headlining show REVIEW!

Anneke Van Giesbergen's VUUR First Headlining show REVIEW

Anneke Van Giersbergen was poised, charismatic, and down to earth. Two hours before the start of the show where she and her new formed band Vuur are going to headline for the first time, we left the tour bus where an in-depth interview has just taken place (find out all about it here). “It’s unbelievable” I said to myself “Unbelievable that a mega star like Anneke can be that modest and friendly”. I guess sometimes you have to see a person outside of the limelight to discover the human in them. To have a glimpse, only a little one at their true self.


Interview with Anneke Van Giersbergen

Episode 1 | Interview With ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN Of VUUR

Interview with Anneke Van Giersbergen of Vuur - Ep 1 - Metal Bell Podcast! For our very first episode of ...
LISTEN TO PODCAST

The place is Paris and on a cold and rainy Thursday evening of December, Vuur alongside My Propane and Scar Symmetry were ready to rock the Parisian night. Into the waiting line, I make my way and there to my surprise I meet many fans who came to see Scar Symmetry, a band that I didn’t know beforehand but for sure worth a listen. And for sure, all of Vuur’s fans waiting under rain drops to meet the stars of the night.

My Propane

The concert started with My Propane, a dark progressive band with one album under their sleeve (Modern Violent Gentleman-2013) with a new release coming soon. Their energy was quite remarkable with interesting melody lines and outstanding musicality. This band is definitely going straight to my Spotify playing list. Unexpected surprise…check!

Anneke Van Giesbergen's VUUR First Headlining show REVIEW

Scar Symmetry

The next act was the Swedish melodic death metal band Scar Symmetry. This band has a lot to offer: catchy riffs, dreamy melodies, strong growls, and spacy clean voice. By seeing the many die-hard fans in the audience losing it, I could say that Scar Symmetry has built a loyal fan base through the years even if this was the first time they play in Paris for a long time. Metal dose….check!

VUUR

Then of course, it was time for the one and only Vuur. With their great melody lines, extreme music mastery, the spot on lighting, Vuur had the venue in their pocket!

Anneke, the front woman that she is, moved us all with her powerful, angelic voice proving again why she’s a power player in the metal world. She was on another dimension, moving us through space and time with her voice range and her undeniable presence on stage. She also plays an important role with the string section playing those important chords that add to the orchestra of steel.

But what caught my attention even more was the great harmony and connection between band members. Beginning with Ed Warby behind the drums, the guardian of the rhythm, he was spot on the whole concert bringing fluidity and beat to the sound.

And then there was the string section comprised of Jord Otto (guitars), Ferry Duijsens (guitars), and Johan van Stratum (bass). The energy between those three gentlemen was very satisfying to watch. Goofing on stage, making fun of one another, all while rocking the hell out of their instruments. With great solos of Otto, cut clear bass lines of van Stratum, and hypnotic rhythms of Duijsens, the mix was explosive.

They were not shy to include Anneke into their little stage games. Seeing the band on stage was a privilege. The playing, the amusement, and the stage atmosphere made the concert an extraordinary experience. A night to remember…check!

The setlist included mainly songs from Vuur new album “In this Moment We are Free-Cities”, but the surprise package were songs from “The Gentle Storm” (Anneke’s latest music adventures), a Devin Townsend song (Fallout), and the ending was no other than The Gathering’s signature song “Strange Machine” (for the full setlist, click here*). The only other song that I personally wished to be included was the power ballad “Freedom” from their latest release.

Taking a step back to see the whole picture, it seems that Vuur is one big family: The band members for sure but also lighting technicians, Evert behind the console and Robbin the tour manager who even with a broken hand because of a “stupid accident” (to paraphrase her own words) is around to make sure that it all goes smooth and on schedule for the band.

All in all, Vuur’s concert got the Metal Bell seal of approval! The only downside in my opinion was that there were some empty spots in the concert hall. An event like that really does merit a full house.

After the show, in a generous gesture, the band was at the merchandise booth for their traditional after party meet and greet. I make my way to thank Anneke and the boys for a great evening.

Then again, with a smile, with the lights almost out, and the energy fading away, we exchanged our farewells. The contrast between now and then tremendous just like the warrior’s rest after a glorious fight…. The balance is restored….. This is “Darkness and Light”…..

Anneke Van Giesbergen's VUUR First Headlining show REVIEW

– By  Maher Ajamane


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Interview with Anneke Van Giersbergen

Episode 1 | Interview With ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN Of VUUR

Interview with Anneke Van Giersbergen of Vuur - Ep 1 - Metal Bell Podcast! For our very first episode of ...
LISTEN TO PODCAST

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SepticFlesh Live In Lebanon REVIEW

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

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

Syria’s Brutal Throne II REVIEW

Brutal Throne II REVIEW!

Event Description: Brutal Death Metal Concert by Maysaloon Band, Damascus, Syria.

Date: 23/11/2017.

Place: Mustapha Ali Gallery, Al Amin Street, Old City of Damascus.

Band: Maysaloon is a Syrian Metal Band, from Damascus city, founded in 2015, and released one album and three singles. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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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