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.

Things that were great:

Though the program wasn’t executed as announced with no Bikers or Fire show at 6:00 pm (The fire show later happened during Nervcell’s performance), the bands went up on time which was surprising and shocking especially that it was way too early. But many people showed up and were present to support Within Destruction.

Drinks at the bar were very affordable through the festival, even though there were complaints from the VIP section that drinks ran out during the first hours of the event.

Another good feature was the very delicious and affordable food stand that was set up outside of the venue next to the Tattoo booth by OZZ tattoos.

The concert had an astonishing light show accompanying each band, as if it was individualized as per the bands’ music style.

THE VENUE: We are already used to Concrete 1994 that hosted Metal Revive 1 – Metal Revive 2 and Concrete Metal that Metal Bell collaborated with YMevent on it. It is a very spacious, well ventilated venue, which facilitates the moshing process.

One of the highlights of the night was getting to see KAOTEON after a much prolonged hiatus! And Nervcell! Their performance had the entire crowd blown off, nonstop head banging and moshing from the very first note up to the last.

A smart and new incentive was a promo code in collaboration with Uber for a round trip to and from the venue. Facilitating transportation was a really great idea, especially for people living outside Beirut, or for the ones who don’t own cars.

Things that could have been better:

The sound: almost anyone in the venue would have agreed that Kimaera were too loud (in a non pleasant way), almost deafening! Dimlight didn’t have the best sound either, something sounded oddly wrong with Eva’s sound. However, midway through the bands’ performances, the sound was fixed where needed, yet this doesn’t negate the fact that the bands kicked it off sounding really bad.

Technical difficulties: as usual, no event is free from such issues, especially given that it’s a multi-band event. Delays were not prolonged, however, the faced issues were probably the reason behind the improper sound accompanying some bands in the first 10 minutes of their performance. However, some bands expressed their displeasure.

The crowd: the crowd grew gradually throughout the festival, being thickest during Kaeteon’s and InnerGuilt’s performances, and mostly active during Nervecell’s. Yet, I was expecting a much bigger crowd given that the venue is in Beirut and easily accessible, tickets are fairly priced, and the line-up was something worth attending. But there was a bigger issue than the acceptable crowd size… The crowd was almost gone by the time the headlining act, “Legion of the Damned”, took the stage, it was as if people came to see Nervcell, and forgot there was an act to follow!

Band reviews:

First came Within Destruction, the only death core band that has ever interested me, and their performance truly showed their great capabilities. And I personally loved their cover of SEPULTURA’s classic ROOTS BLOODY ROOTS which certainly got the crowd pumped.

Next came InnerGuilt, the beasts that combined elements of Thrash, Death, Groove, and Progressive metal into an awesome combination that certainly pleased the crowd. And thus started the moshpits that grew most powerful during their ultimate classic, BURDEN OF GUILT.

After that came the great Kimaera, a unique band, that mixed Doom Death Metal with Oriental and Progressive elements that certainly spiced things up. Their performance was great and they had an amazing crowd interaction. The crowd was truly mesmerized by their magical yet brutal show.

Then the stage welcomed the first international band to grace its presence,Dimlight. The band was Symphonic Death Metal at its finest. Instrumentally, the band was great, and the clean/distorted vocals complemented each other. The crowd interaction was great and the moshpits were sucking everyone in!

What came up next, was absolute silence. The lights were off for a while, then they were back on as Kaoteon
stood upon the stage. The cheering never stopped as this was the long-awaited return of one of the scene’s greatest bands. Their performance was sensational, as their setlist ranged from old classic hits to songs from their latest VENI VIDI VOMUI. They certainly lived up to the standards people had set up for them. And the biggest proof was that neither the head banging nor the moshing stopped!

Another awaited band was NerveCell. NerveCell wasn’t your typical Extreme Metal. Their Show was highly energetic and interactive delivering a distinctive blend between Eastern Death/Thrash Metal.
Their performance had the entire crowd blown off, nonstop head banging and moshing from the very first note up to the last.

Then it was time for the headliners, Legion Of The Damned. They put together an epic show. The amount of headbanging during their performance was insane. Playing many great songs such as Werewolf Corpse and their self-titled classic Legion of the Damned. Infusing multiple genres such as Black, Death, and Thrash Metal, they had an ideal show. And towards the end of the show, the remaining crowd was invited on stage for one final song. IT WAS LEGENDARY!

All bands showed excellent musicianship and the local bands put on a very impressive show. The crowd was taken away during Kimaera’s mesmerizing and magical yet brutal show, Within Destruction’s and InnerGuilt’s energy, Kaeteon’s triumphant return, and Nervecell…EVERYTHING!