Last year, when Blaakyum were 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.

After long days of preparation and hard work, June 10 came and the event was postponed. The postponement was not only a disrespect to the bands and the people that worked hard, but it was also a disappointment to the metal scene.
But that caused more anger, more wrath, and more perseverance. And thus Skull Session was back stronger than ever, this time scheduled for September 9 at the Saint-George Hotel.

And then again after days of hard work, came September 9. But this time nothing was standing in the way…

SEE ALSO: Skull Session 2016 Reviewed!


The clock struck 8 pm, and more than 300 metalheads gathered before the stage. And some minutes later, the Sirens hit the stage. Slave To Sirens were unique, being the first and only female Thrash Metal band in the Middle East. But it wasn’t just their gender that defined them. It was the great thrash music they performed, and just like that the crowd was pumped up. The headbanging didn’t stop during the whole show and the crowd interaction was great.

Up next were Damage Rite, the band long awaited for more than 10 years. They brought in deadly pits that sucked in every individual to a world of moshing and headbanging. Their performance was made of many old classics and new originals including tracks from The Dehumanizing Factor.

After the long-awaited return of Damage Rite, Blaakyum stepped on stage and began their set with the legendary Baal Adon! (You can watch their first performance of the song at Byblos International Festival here). Their set list included mostly songs from the ground-breaking album “Line Of Fear”, a couple of classics from Lords Of The Night and a new original. They changed topics and moods, from the eastern Freedom Denied to the pure insanity of Wicked Revelations, their show was breathtaking. And it was an extraordinary opportunity getting to play Religion Of Peace’s solo with them on stage.

Thus came the grand finale, ONSLAUGHT. And just as they tread the stage, the crowd went on cheering their name. And I have to say, their performance was perfect. The set list included performing THE FORCE-back to back-live, an album highly loved by thrashers around the world. The band also played every beloved hit, from the classic Power From Hell to the latest Children Of The Sand. The band got the highest crowd interaction I’ve ever seen. Their set involved some of the deadliest most insane moshpits the scene has ever witnessed.

Sound was not only perfect, but extraordinary thanks to the genius that is Douglas Hall. It is important to note that Douglas was the sound engineer of Iron Maiden for 32 years and also worked with Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Helloween to name a few. The sound was treated then by a royalty. It is important to note that, like any other event, some technical issue showed up during Blaakyum’s first song, but it was quickly resolved and the sound went back to its best quality.

The lights complemented the whole show and were pretty much in par with it. And the fact that there was an underage section helped the youth of the scene witness such a great show.


– The event was very well organized, one of the best organizing we have seen in a long time.
– The sound and light were top notch.
– The separate entrance between under-age and over age was a cool idea though very few under-age showed up.
– The bar and food were properly separated and easily accessible from the main concert area.
– A lot of people that were on the bay were filming and curious and interested about the whole thing.


Some of the things that the organizers should note for the next edition of Skull Session:
– The venue could have been better rearranged to make the moshpits more enjoyable.
– No food was available in the under-age section.
– The Non-Alcoholic Bar at the under-age section was closed after 9:00 pm, no water or juices were available to the under 18 attendees.
The bartender had a bleeding finger and continued serving drinks, which is a bit unsanitary.

Skull Session was the most successful event in years. It most certainly pushed further the Lebanese scene back to life. Being there right in front of such mighty legends truly made me feel alive.
And to everyone that helped make this event happen, to the magnificent bands, to everyone that showed up, you made this night unforgettable and a new milestone for the Lebanese Metal scene.


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