Local Metallers VOICE OF THE SOUL (VOTS) are a band that has been able to carve remarkable milestones during its career. Having released one EP, “Into Oblivion“, and a debut album, “Catacombs“, VOTS got many thumbs-up locally and internationally. They have even been featured on the Metal Bible: Metal Hammer.
After what happened recently in Dubai with the cancellation of 3 Metal events due to false accusations of Satanism (Voice Of The Soul were victims of the first canceled event headlined by VADER), they spoke out for the first time ever since by posting a statement by their frontman Kareem Chehayeb on their official Facebook page:
“On the region’s small metal scene. Warning: long read.
Hey everyone. Kareem here.
At this point, most of you know about the Swallow the Sun show in Dubai by Metal East Records that recently got canceled because some scumbag ‘cried Satanism’. Of course Aramaic and BILOCATE are paying the price for this too.
Voice of the Soul was in a similar situation in a Metal East Records JoScene show almost a year ago. We were playing alongside our friends from Benevolent Aramaic Steel Engraved Heavy Metal and death metal mammoths Vader. We had some friends fly in from Kuwait to support us as well. Similar situation. Rudy and I landed in Dubai to be told the show got canceled because someone filed a complaint about the show being ‘satanic’. We were even blacklisted for some time.
This all happened as we were anticipating our European release of Catacombs, and even though we had some sick coverage, including on Metal Hammer, we still feel the damage from that canceled show today. We I say this now because we were told to keep our mouths shut about it at the same.
Thankfully, an event’s taking place where you’ll be able to meet and chill with the dudes from Swallow the Sun, so be sure to follow up with them on that. Monish and I have been huge fans for for a good 8 years or so now, so just getting a chance to hang with them sounds like a blast!
Let’s be honest here. We have some scummy people in the metal scene, both locally and regionally. I don’t know if it’s the shitty culture that comes with capitalism or because we’ve cultivated a global community filled with shit people, but it’s seriously time we start calling people out who are causing problems to the scene. We all know the faction-like nature of the Dubai’s scene that has been going on for years. Rather than celebrate collective growth and effort, there tends to be bitterness, hatred, and spite. Look, I think it’s stupid to spend all your money to go to every damn local show, and spend money on every local band’s album- unless you want to. It’s a three-way dance: organizers, fans, and bands. And frankly nobody can beg for pity, unless they’ve done all they can and are getting shit in return. Local unsigned bands can’t release high quality albums, if their own fans in their home city are torrenting their shit. Organizers can’t bring in big bands to venues if fans don’t check out their other shows and give them advice. Fans can’t complain if they have an open mind. We have to work together to keep improving things and create a proper community.
The metal community on a global scale is smaller than ever. If there is anyone deliberately harming others for their own gain, then we have to call them out on it.
This is just a solidarity message to the organizers, the bands, and the fans, who put time, effort, money, and love into this- from Monish, Rudy, Bam, and myself.
We hope to back in Dubai sooner rather than later to play material off Catacombs. If it happens, we’ll let you know. You know where to find us.
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