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.
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 SekkarClick Here For Full GALLERY OF SUMMER JAM 2017
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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
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.
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<.
All photos are credited to Selfish Gene and Reema Harfouch
“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.
The night everyone was waiting for: The Swedish metal band in Dubai! JoScene announced it earlier in December 2016 and everyone went crazy. It was hosted again in the almighty The Music Room. This is not the first visit for Katatonia to the Middle East as they took part in Beirut Rock Fest in 2011 at the stage of the Roman Amphitheater in Zouk Mikael, but it surely is the first time in the Emirates. Without further ado, let’s jump in the review you’ve been waiting for.
Benevolent, the extreme metal Dubai band, went on first. The room was already packed and since these guys have been around, the audience knew them by heart, to the extent that people showed up earlier just for them. The band played seven tracks; most of them were from their album The Covenant, such as ‘Void’, ‘Asphyxia’, and the highlight of their night: ‘The Seeker’. It’s important to mention how professional they were in their sound system. I don’t know if the sound quality was unusually good that night in the Music Room, but overall, they gave an amazing performance and had every element of professionalism.
Next in line was Bilocate, a Jordanian band with a history of rejection in their home country and other Middle Eastern countries, but were welcome with open arms in Dubai, performing 2 years ago with Metal East Records in the Music Room – read about it here.
The band is a blend of multiple genres of metal; the mixture of doom, melodic, and death/doom, unique vocal ranges, complex rhythm, and overall loudness are what make Bilocate. The stage performance was wild and it felt like a union between the beauty of Opeth and the aggression of death metal blended together to create a balance of beauty and power of the metal genre. However, the audience engagement wasn’t as good. Maybe they were saving their energy to Katatonia? Most people went back and chilled after Benevolent although these guys gave their all. They played six tracks ranging from all albums, such as ‘The Tragedy Within’, ‘A Desire to Leave’, plus one cover by Paradise Lost, ‘Dead Emotion’, which was also recorded in their latest album, Summoning the Bygones, in 2012. Honestly, I’m waiting for something from these guys soon.
Finally, the band everyone in Dubai was waiting for, Katatonia, which I don’t think needs to be introduced. The Doom/Death Metal band have been around since 1993 and have 10 albums, the last released in 2016: The Fall of Hearts.
Now, before digging into the review, it’s worth mentioning that in past live performances, they were characterized by a lack of strength in Jonas’ live vocals in contrast to his recorded versions, so I was a bit worried that their live shows were not as good as the recorded versions. But that day changed my mind; they were 100 times better than I expected. The sound quality and vocals were so good that it felt like listening to their recorded versions. Katatonia’s stage performance was intense and didn’t leave out any aspect of Doom and Melodic Metal unvisited, it was magical to be honest and gave the dark atmosphere of the club a majestic light. They played 15 tracks, which was a good long list to have, mostly ranging from their last four albums since 2006 till their latest in 2016. They started their setlist with ‘Last Song before the Fade’ and ended with ‘Forsaker’. Check out the whole list here:
The band had an extremely energetic presence, which was met by a powerful crowd who knew the songs by heart.
That night was definitely a night to be looking forward to and whoever missed it, oh you missed a lot. Kudos to JoScene for their efforts in bringing these bands and growing out the metal scene in the Middle East.
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