After the latest event- Loud N’ Heavy – that took place at the Palace, Metro Al Madina was once again host to a metal event. The scene “scored” a second event within a span of 6 days, which is either a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. This however was no ordinary local event. Including S.O.D, Kimaera, Nocturna and Khavar, the lineup featured non other than the legend Derek Roddy on drum duties with Khavar. This event brought the full package, everything from Heavy Metal to brutal Death Metal!
Starting off the night, and representing good ol’ Heavy Metal, were S.O.D. The band combines elements of the 80s’ Glam Metal scene with the 70s’ Heavy Metal. And while the attendance wasn’t yet at its fullest, old school metal heads made it clear they weren’t going to miss it. Even though S.O.D had previously performed at an event six days earlier, they certainly delivered a pleasant dosage of Classic Metal. The band members clearly knew what they were doing, as they had the crowd interacting with them at all times. Ossy Mash’s crazy guitar action and electrifying solos were certainly a huge part of the show. But, personally, the icing on the cake was Nigol Ozz’s artistic sense of theatricals.
Changing attire between songs certainly helped set up different moods between songs. Towards the end of the show they invited a fan up on stage to sing along to they rendition of Motley Crue’s Looks That Kill, which I thought was a really nice touch. Overall their performance was really engagable.
Looks That Kill (Motley Crue cover)
Up next were Melodic Death metal band Nocturna. At around this time the venue became bursting in people. Nocturna definitely has a unique sound going on, they incorporate melodic elements to a pretty brutal genre thus creating a cool atmosphere.
People went from twisting their necks to Death Metal riffs to swaying around to the beautiful keyboard sections. Other than their awesome originals, which (I) think are amazing, the band did a pretty sick twist on Iron Maiden’s Fear Of The Dark. One minute the crowd was singing along to the classic Maiden melody, next thing you know it they’re moshing to its brutal rendition.
And as the Lebanese Metal scene has come to learn, you can’t finish a Nocturna show without the classic Amon Amarth cover of Twilight Of The Thunder God. The crowd always goes insane during this song, and this time was not different.
Whispers of a sleepless Night
Herald of my Happiness
The Gates of Periah
A Cannibal Rose
Fear of the Dark (Iron Maiden Cover)
Twilight Of The Thunder God (Amon Amarth Cover)
Following Nocturna were newcomers/not so newcomers, Khavar. Even though this was Khavar’s first show, nearly all the members were metal veterans one way or another. Whether its ex Weeping Willow or Element 26 members, or the man himself Derek Roddy, this lineup was not to be messed with. The show was comprised of a mix of Khavar and Weeping Willow originals. And while it may have been a little short, it was nothing short of spectacular.
The band’s chemistry was definitely there, and the performance was tight. It was everything you’d want from a Death Metal band, from the filthy riffage to the tense drumming. Derek Roddy certainly has to be one of the greatest drummers I’ve watched live.
Death Card Dealer
Craving Whore (The Weeping Willow)
Last Mourn (The Weeping Willow)
And ending the night was the almighty Kimaera. This band is one of the oldest in the lebanese metal scene, dating back to almost 20 years ago! To anyone that’s been hiding under a rock for the entire existence of the scene, Kimaera plays a distinct combination of Doom Metal with elements of Oriental Metal.
Jp, the band’s front man, had a special way of engaging the crowd. And despite some major technical difficulties that took place during their set list, Kimaera managed to put on the perfect ending. Playing a wide array of originals that spans over a huge era, whether it’s 2004’s God Wrath or their new upcoming single Vi Divina, the show was incredible!
The professionalism was clearly shown when the drummer, Erce Arslan, played a drum solo while the band was switching gear, thus the transition was so smooth it seemed like a part of the show. The drum solo was so astonishing that even Derek Roddy popped up backstage once in a while to show admiration.
Among the Dead
Harbinger of Doom
The Day Innocence Died / In a Dying Embrace
Lost Control (Anathema)
The Die Is Cast
Overall I thought the organization was pretty good, despite the minor hiccups here and there. I still, however, preferred The Palace for major metal gigs such as this one. The smaller venue, and the fact that the bar is outside certainly don’t help. One thing I certainly preferred in Metro Al Madina over The Palace though was the strict No Smoking rule, which made the show much more enjoyable. But Kudos to the organizers for managing to organize a successful metal event on a Tuesday night!
Reviewed by Mohamad Yatim.