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.

Check out upcoming events in Dubai:

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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UNCURED Reveals New Line-up, Details About New Album, And Tour With KATATONIA

Press Release November 29, 2016:

Uncured, a progressive metal band based in New York City, is attracting attention for its combination of technical musicianship, brutal riffs, and melodic interludes. The group released its debut EP Spontaneous Generation in October 2016. Top metal and rock outlets praised the EP, likening Uncured to prog titans Opeth and Dream Theater.

Joining Uncured on drums is new full-time member Liam Manley from Portland, Oregon. Liam has over 13 years experience playing drums, including five years of professional session work with various artists across the U.S. Jon Kita from Boston, Massachusetts, who also plays with metal stalwarts Diecast and City of Homes, rounds out the Uncured line-up on bass.

Uncured was founded in 2014 by brothers Rex and Zak Cox. The Cox brothers wrote all of the music on Spontaneous Generation and played guitar and bass on the EP. They were joined on drums by special guest Max Portnoy (son of drumming legend Mike Portnoy).

“We want to thank Max, the entire Portnoy family, and our friends in Next to None for helping us make Spontaneous Generation such a huge success,” said Zak Cox.

Uncured is currently in the studio recording its first full-length record Medusa. The record will continue to build upon Uncured’s penchant for variety, ranging from crushing riffs to intricately layered acoustic passages. Medusa will also feature vocals by both Zak and Rex. Medusa is scheduled for release on March 10, 2017 and will be available on iTunes for pre-order on February 23, 2017.

To support the launch of the new album, Uncured will kick off its North American tour with Katatonia and Caspian on March 16, 2017. “We are honored to be included on this tour, ” said Rex Cox. “We have been fans of Katatonia for over a decade, and they have had a significant influence on our music.”

Tour dates are as follows:

Mar-16-17. Washington, DC — 9:30 Club
Mar-17-17. Cleveland, OH — Agora
Mar-18-17. Pittsburgh, PA — Mr. Smalls
Mar-19-17. Charlotte, NC — The Underground
Mar-21-17. St. Petersburg, FL State Theatre
Mar-23-17. New Orleans, LA — Republic
Mar-24-17. Houston, TX — Scout Bar
Mar-25-17. Austin, TX — Grizzly Hall
Mar-26-17. Dallas, TX — Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
Mar-28-17. Mesa, AZ — Club Red
Mar-29-17. Los Angeles, CA — El Rey Theatre
Mar-31-17. Pomona, CA — The Glass House
Apr-01-17. San Francisco, CA — Slim’s
Apr-03-17. Portland, OR — Hawthorne Theatre
Apr-04-17. Seattle, WA — Studio Seven
Apr-05-17. Vancouver, BC — Venue
Apr-08-17. Edmonton, AB — Starlite Room
Apr-10-17. Salt Lake City, UT — The Complex
Apr-11-17. Denver, CO — Summit Music Hall
Apr-12-17. Lincoln, NE — Bourbon Theatre
Apr-14-17. Minneapolis, MN — Fine Line
Apr-15-17. Chicago, IL — Metro
Apr-16-17. Detroit, MI — Majestic Theater
Apr-17-17. Toronto, ON — The Opera House
Apr-19-17. Montreal, QC — Club Soda
Apr-20-17. Philadelphia, PA — The TLA
Apr-21-17. New York, NY — Irving Plaza

Uncured is signed to Conclave Studios in NYC and has plans to tour in the U.S. and internationally throughout 2017. For more information, contact Mitch Cox (Uncured Manager and Owner of Conclave Studios) by email at mitch@conclavestudios.com or by phone at 973-953-9063.


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