Category: Event Reviews (page 1 of 3)

Our event Reviews archive.

The Resurrection | Event Review

Aces High and FreeFall took on the renovated Quadrangle stage and gave us a show which they entitled “The Resurrection”.

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Katatonia Live In Dubai – Event Review

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:

  1. Last Song Before the Fade
  2. Deliberation
  3. Serien
  4. Dead Letters
  5. Day and then the Shade
  6. Serac
  7. Teargas
  8. Evidence
  9. New Night
  10. Soils Song
  11. Old Heart Falls
  12. For My Demons
  13. Leaders
  14. In the White
  15. Forsaker

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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Some photos in the article are reserved by: Jeffrey Pabroquez
Check out all photos of the event here.
Written by: Reem Jay
Edited by: NJ Bakr and Davina (Metal Bell)


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Ten years after their split-up, Hamra-based Nightchains decided to have a reunion with the original vocalist Max to take the lead. The event was a one-time deal, no signs or announcement of a possible reunion of the band.

On Saturday November 6, we arrived only to find a few people gathered in front of the venue. The crowd wasn’t much during the event either, maybe around 60 people showed up. And it is a shame, because the event was a true Metal night, a night to remember.

Before getting into the band performances, I would like to talk briefly about the light and sound. Wait! What light? There was actually none; some red and blue dots and a stroboscope that didn’t help much in setting up the mood for the event. But the sound on the other hand was great, raw, clean, harsh, and perfect for the evening.

The openers were Agressor! Who are those guys? Well, we know Mohamad Younis (Nightchains drummer who was playing the guitars and vocals). But I never knew they existed and they don’t even have a Facebook page; it seemed to me they were only formed for this particular event as a one-time band. But let me tell you, they were crazy good. A great well-fit performance with great attitude.

Then came out the headliners, Nightchains. Again, it is a pity that only a few got to witness this. The band is top-notch; they have the best crowd-band interaction you can ever see. The lack of an actual stage helped too. The band were at the level of the crowd as if they were performing in between them, which gave the impression of a Big Happy family. The most remarkable thing was that people reacted much more to the originals of Nightchains than anything else I have seen. Some were singing along, others were screaming high pitches with Max.

Max was a power force on the microphone, and his attitude was really enjoyable: jokes, laughter, and heavy singing. We actually didn’t feel we were at a concert, we rather felt that we were a part of it, and that’s all due to the charisma of the band leader and musicians. Tex was flawless on his guitar, giving those crazy old school solos with his authentic guitar sound; nothing can be any better. I enjoyed Mohammad Younis’s drumming the most; it is fast, hard, and well, the beat makes you headbang. Rami Hawila did an incredible job on the bass as well; he completed and filled in for the guitar while keeping up the tempo of the songs intact.

Now for the best part: THE CROWD. There is no successful concert with a lame crowd, and Nightchains fans are not lame at all. The moshing didn’t stop, the headbanging didn’t stop, and they were the last ring to complete the “Chain”. An incredible crowd indeed.

In short, it was a night for the ages, and whoever didn’t come, missed a lot. And you might say I am exaggerating, but really, maybe you have to see it with your own eyes to believe it.

About Nightchains

The band was formed during the year 2003 and split up just short of 3 years later in 2006. Nightchains managed to  self-release a low produced album entitled “Metal To The Bones” that was recorded live with no further mixing or mastering. Metal To The Bones sounds similar to early Metallica, and Paul Di’anno’s Iron Maiden with a Manowarian spirit in the lyrics and composition, and a little bit of Judas Priest here and there. In 2010, the band resurfaced on social media and the album was re-released through DEAD MASTER’S BEAT.

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Tanjaret Daghet Live At Metro | Review

Arriving a few minutes before the show started, I was struck by the size of the crowd and how hyped people were in Metro that night. The venue was packed to the point that we couldn’t even elbow our way past the crowd to get a bit closer to the stage.

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Jim Beam Rocks 2016 – The Review

The famous Bourbon maker Jim Beam strikes again with its annual rock concerts JIM BEAM ROCKS featuring multiple local bands and an international guest.

This year’s edition included ADONIS, AMY SMACK DADDY, GENERATION ZEE, MADINAT, POSTCARDS, The JLP Show, WonderGaap, and last but not least, Ex-Guns N’ Roses GILBY CLARKE. Continue reading

FILTER HAPPIER | Trying To Rush Everything – EP Release

The 16th of July was a great night for the band FILTER HAPPIER (previously known as Banana Elephant), as not only did they give their audience a wonderful performance, but their first appearance as a new band was made, and their first EP, released.


Although entering the event was a long wait, the atmosphere of the venue was very soothing, as people moved their feet to the flashing lights of the dance floor, while others drank and conversed to the refreshing breeze of the refurbished upper floor of The Grand Factory. The sound system was clearly audible throughout the whole venue, and still allowed people to carry on a decent conversation. With that, the Grand Factory proved to be a very convenient location that complemented both the vibes of FILTER HAPPIER and the musical style of “Trying To Rush Everything“, the newly released EP.

Set List:

  1. Intro
  2. YSF
  3. Circles
  4. Drown
  5. Glow
  6. Dust
  7. Tomorrow (Daughter cover)
  8. Home
  9. A dark
  10. Radiobed

Before Filter Happier punctually made their way to the stage, people grabbed their drinks from the bar, while some danced to the DJ’s great set-list, and others socialized for the sake of a good night. With a decent venue, also came a great performance. The only thing that needs to be worked on is the band’s transitions from song to song and their tension on stage (which will inevitably subside and improve with time), as it was a slight setback to the atmosphere of the music. Regardless, most of the audience swayed to the sound of the music and found it quite difficult to wipe the smile they had off of their faces. And considering the band’s transition from Banana Elephant to Filter Happier, that is an excellent sign.

Filter Happier

The musical genre of the EP is also very compatible with the name of the band, as it touches at dream pop, shoegaze, and post-rock, and gives off quite the euphoric feel (we will post a full review about the EP soon, so stay tuned). The microphone seemed to give the band some trouble towards the beginning of the show, but that didn’t stop them from giving a killer performance, as the technical difficulty was hard to notice. The show was crowned by the band’s exceptional energy and magical connection with the crowd, and was followed by C U NXT SAT’s exhilarating DJ line-up .

The feedback from the audience was also very great, and everyone seemed to be having an ecstatic Saturday night. With that, your fans are surely awaiting your next gig and what is yet to come. The Metal Bell team wishes you the best of luck on the rest of your musical journey!

Filter Happier will be performing at WICKERPARK Music Festival Saturday September 10, 2016.

Band Members:

Ada Harb (Vocals)
Camille Cabbabé (Guitar)
Elie Abdelnour (Bass and Vocals)
Elie El Khoury (Drums)
Georgy Flouty (Guitar and Vocals)

– Dany Ayyash.

Read more by: Dany Ayyash

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FILTER HAPPIER | Trying To Rush Everything EP Release

That One Night 2 By Rock InSight | Review

The new guys in the scene “Rock In Sight” organized their second multi-band concert, “That One Night 2”. The organizers have previously given us “That One Night 1” and helped in organizing “Break The Cycle”, so I was guessing that by their third event, they should have an idea of how things go.

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AndrOmidA – Animals & Other Stories Reviewed

The date is 1/7/2015. Another concert for the amazing Pink Floyd tribute band AndrOmidA. Outside of El Sawy Culture Wheel’s door, the fans were standing in line waiting for the doors to open. Exactly at 10 PM, the doors were opened and the audience entered the hall. Since the concert was in the final days of Ramadan, I thought that the attendance wouldn’t be that much as always, but boy was I wrong! The hall was filled to its fullest and every seat was reserved that they had to add extra seats for the huge amount of fans waiting to listen to their favorite pink Floyd songs. After a 30-minute delay, the band finally went on stage; the audience cheered as the band started setting up and getting ready to play the first song.

Andromida - Animals & Other Stories_2016_013

They started with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” part 1 through 7, playing it perfectly great with passion and power. Every instrument was spot on, and the crowd was so into it. Then they played one of the fan-favorite songs, “Wish You Were Here”; the crowd cheered and sang along with the band as they played this Pink Floyd masterpiece. It was followed by “What Do You Want From Me”. The drummer “Sherif EL Sharqawi” delivered some amazing vocals and playing on this track. “Sorrow” was played next, followed by “Louder Than Words”; the audience was in awe as the band played those songs and delivered a true Pink Floyd experience. Next, another fan favorite was played which is “Hey You” and everyone sang along again with this awesome song. They ended the first session with one of my personal all-time favorite Pink Floyd songs, “High Hopes”. As the introductory bells of the song rang, the crowd cheered and sang alone once more with this masterpiece. The piano line, the guitar solo, the vocals, everything was perfect.

Andromida - Animals & Other Stories_2016_017

After a short break, the band started the second session with two guests on stage: guitarist, “Mohamed Adel”, from the band Screwdriver, and an acoustic guitar player. They played the whole “Animals” album starting with “Pigs On the Wing Pt I” followed by “Dogs” and “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”. “Amr Hassan”, the keyboardist/vocalist, showed some amazing talents through those tracks. “Ahmed Anwar” delivered some mind-blowing bass lines that amazed everyone in the crowd. Then they played “Sheep” and “Pigs On the Wing Pt II” which concludes the album and leaves only one song left for the night which every Pink Floyd enthusiast loves and waits for in every Andromida concert: “Comfortably Numb”. The crowd went insane and sang along loudly with this masterpiece. This is the most awaited song in the whole concert, and the band never fails to deliver it perfectly. The whole band gave everything they had in this song and you can clearly see the chemistry between the band and the audience. The song’s solo played by the amazing “Ally Salem” was so good that you can’t help but get goosebumps from its epicness. For every Pink Floyd fan in Egypt, Andromida are the closest thing you can find to the real Pink Floyd experience. Never failing to give that awesome vibe you would get from the real Pink Floyd. So if you haven’t been to one of their concerts before and you are a Pink Floyd fan, you definitely should!

Andromida - Animals & Other Stories_2016_003

Mahmood Amr

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The Dark Ages of Music

A critique by Bachar Sawaya on the Dream Theater cover night by Turbulence on the 4th of June, 2016 in Metro Al Madina.

In an age where the music industry is defined by showmanship rather than musicality, by looks rather than musical performance, by released moves and acts rather than hours of rehearsing at home on the instrument, it would seem that a dark age is but to get even darker.

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Metal Blast Festival 2016: A Milestone In Egypt’s Scene!

Metal Blast Festival 2016

On Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, Metal Blast festival shook the walls of Sawy cultural wheel and made a huge impact in the history of the metal scene in Egypt. It’s one of the best and most organized metal festivals that every Metal fan waits for impatiently every year.

But even the best festivals could have some pros and cons, and we are here to talk about that and review how the day went.

Metal Blast

By Rock Era Magazine

At first, Metal Blast announced that the concert will be delayed for an hour due to technical difficulties, which was a disappointment for some, but everyone still maintained their excitement.

Let’s start off with the arrival of fans and metalheads before the concert. It was apparent that this concert will have one of the biggest audience ever in Egyptian metal history; the amount of people waiting in front of the cultural wheel’s door was huge! It really gave me a feeling of happiness to see all those metalheads gather for this historical event. There were metalheads of all ages and nationalities waiting to see their favorite bands.

After some waiting, the doors opened and everyone started entering. The bands were waiting for the meet-and-greet and to take pictures with the fans. Everyone cheered when Swallow the Sun arrived for the meet-and-greet and gathered around them to the extent that it was kind of annoying. The crew tried getting people to leave some space but to no avail. Some fans were able to take pictures with the band but the band left to get ready for the concert.

Then the curtains were opened and the fans started rushing towards the stage to stand in the front rows. The place was packed and there was barely any place to move. We were now seconds away from the first band!

Metal Blast

By Rock Era Magazine

MEDIC: One of the fan-favorite bands in Egypt, they were the first to play and people cheered with anticipation. The first thing that everyone noticed is that the sound system wasn’t as good as last year’s Metal Blast, but the light system was top-notch. The band played some new and old songs, with the addition of a percussion player on one song, which added an oriental feel, and a jazz player on another song who is also Ehab’s brother (MEDIC’s vocalist). So the addition of those new instruments and different new touches really gave a unique performance. Ehab made the audience shout “hell yeah” multiple times, which really got them fired up. But on the other hand, it was noticeable that the band weren’t in their top shape; there were some off tones and Ehab’s vocals were a bit out of tune and felt weak. Without a doubt, everyone was waiting for their most known song, “Rise Above”, which they played last with a surprise guest vocalist from the band “Mephostophilis”. Overall, they gave an amazing show and a new unique sound, but they were a lot better last year.

Metal Blast

By Rock Era Magazine

INNER MISSING: The Gothic/Doom two-person band hailing from Russia, the band had a guest drummer, “Usama Ahmed”, and a bassist to play with them. They had an amazing sound and a beautiful orchestral vocalist, but it appears that they were nervous as the band started their songs without even an introduction and they had a lot of issues in their timing and playing, or it could be due to not having a lot of experience in playing live in front of a big audience. Nonetheless, the female keyboardist was amazing and played some gorgeous-sounding tunes. Overall, the band gave a good performance but needs more accuracy in playing live.

ODIOUS: The band that a lot of people have been

Metal Blast

By Rock Era Magazine

waiting for, this oriental black metal band was truly a one-of-a-kind experience. The addition of oriental music and instruments to black metal is just amazing! They delivered a solid performance and an amazing show, but unfortunately, there were some technical issues and the background music kept cutting that the band stopped one song and played another one. There was also a minor fuss in the audience but the crew acted quickly and took control to keep the flow of the concert and allow a safe environment for the audience. There were some moshpits that were going, but the crew also stopped them quickly as they are not allowed in the cultural wheel. Overall, the band delivered what the fans expected, but the sound issues weren’t on their side and the show could have been much better if those issues didn’t occur.

Metal Blast

By Rock Era Magazine

DIMLIGHT: The Greek symphonic metal band was one of the best things in that night! They played with immense power and passion. The female vocalist had an amazing voice and the other guitarist/vocalist had a monstrous growl. They played perfectly great and most of their songs included Egyptian mythology which only made their performance even better. They added pictures and videos of Pharaohs and the Pyramids on the screen in the background, which made the audience feel their music as well as hearing it. One of their songs, called “Children of Perdition”, made the audience shout “United We Stand as One”, which was one of the best feelings in any metal concert in Egypt. The verdict? They were perfect!

SWALLOW THE SUN: The biggest band in this concert and the one most of the people came for, which obviously makes them the last to play. The audience cheered and hailed when they finally got on stage; it was the moment everyone was waiting for. They delivered an amazing performance with a mix of songs, some from their older albums and some newer material. One of the most awaited songs was “Cathedral Walls”, which they played perfectly and the audience was stunned with their beautiful sound. They also played other songs like “Hope” and “Abandoned by The Light” and truly lit the stage ablaze. The mix of heavy songs and some quieter sounding ones also gave a great feeling to their show. Unfortunately, due to the delays at the beginning of the concert, STS played really late and a lot of people had already left and some left in the middle of their show, which was pretty disappointing to find a lot of people who waited to hear STS live leave before they could see them or see their full show. We hope that, in future concerts, those delays are avoided to prevent such thing from happening. Overall, the band gave a stunning show and met the expectations of everyone and truly made some dreams come true in that historical night.

Metal Blast

By Rock Era Magazine

In conclusion, the festival was a great success even though it had some sound and delay issues, but everyone enjoyed the night and surely will never forget it. We can’t wait till the next Metal Blast festival and maybe even see some of those bands again in Egypt in the coming years!

All photos used in this article are copyrighted to ROCK ERA MAGAZINE from Egypt. These photos are courtesy of Doaa M. Hamza and were taken on the night of METAL BLAST FESTIVAL exclusively to the photographer and the magazine. The photos are not for any commercial use.

Check Out Full Gallery >here<


Mahmood Amr

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Metal Blast Festival 2016 A Milestone In Egypt’s Scene!

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