Metal Blast Festival 2016
On Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, Metal Blast festival shook the walls of Sawy cultural wheel and made a huge impact in the history of the metal scene in Egypt. It’s one of the best and most organized metal festivals that every Metal fan waits for impatiently every year.
But even the best festivals could have some pros and cons, and we are here to talk about that and review how the day went.
At first, Metal Blast announced that the concert will be delayed for an hour due to technical difficulties, which was a disappointment for some, but everyone still maintained their excitement.
Let’s start off with the arrival of fans and metalheads before the concert. It was apparent that this concert will have one of the biggest audience ever in Egyptian metal history; the amount of people waiting in front of the cultural wheel’s door was huge! It really gave me a feeling of happiness to see all those metalheads gather for this historical event. There were metalheads of all ages and nationalities waiting to see their favorite bands.
After some waiting, the doors opened and everyone started entering. The bands were waiting for the meet-and-greet and to take pictures with the fans. Everyone cheered when Swallow the Sun arrived for the meet-and-greet and gathered around them to the extent that it was kind of annoying. The crew tried getting people to leave some space but to no avail. Some fans were able to take pictures with the band but the band left to get ready for the concert.
Then the curtains were opened and the fans started rushing towards the stage to stand in the front rows. The place was packed and there was barely any place to move. We were now seconds away from the first band!
MEDIC: One of the fan-favorite bands in Egypt, they were the first to play and people cheered with anticipation. The first thing that everyone noticed is that the sound system wasn’t as good as last year’s Metal Blast, but the light system was top-notch. The band played some new and old songs, with the addition of a percussion player on one song, which added an oriental feel, and a jazz player on another song who is also Ehab’s brother (MEDIC’s vocalist). So the addition of those new instruments and different new touches really gave a unique performance. Ehab made the audience shout “hell yeah” multiple times, which really got them fired up. But on the other hand, it was noticeable that the band weren’t in their top shape; there were some off tones and Ehab’s vocals were a bit out of tune and felt weak. Without a doubt, everyone was waiting for their most known song, “Rise Above”, which they played last with a surprise guest vocalist from the band “Mephostophilis”. Overall, they gave an amazing show and a new unique sound, but they were a lot better last year.
INNER MISSING: The Gothic/Doom two-person band hailing from Russia, the band had a guest drummer, “Usama Ahmed”, and a bassist to play with them. They had an amazing sound and a beautiful orchestral vocalist, but it appears that they were nervous as the band started their songs without even an introduction and they had a lot of issues in their timing and playing, or it could be due to not having a lot of experience in playing live in front of a big audience. Nonetheless, the female keyboardist was amazing and played some gorgeous-sounding tunes. Overall, the band gave a good performance but needs more accuracy in playing live.
ODIOUS: The band that a lot of people have been
waiting for, this oriental black metal band was truly a one-of-a-kind experience. The addition of oriental music and instruments to black metal is just amazing! They delivered a solid performance and an amazing show, but unfortunately, there were some technical issues and the background music kept cutting that the band stopped one song and played another one. There was also a minor fuss in the audience but the crew acted quickly and took control to keep the flow of the concert and allow a safe environment for the audience. There were some moshpits that were going, but the crew also stopped them quickly as they are not allowed in the cultural wheel. Overall, the band delivered what the fans expected, but the sound issues weren’t on their side and the show could have been much better if those issues didn’t occur.
DIMLIGHT: The Greek symphonic metal band was one of the best things in that night! They played with immense power and passion. The female vocalist had an amazing voice and the other guitarist/vocalist had a monstrous growl. They played perfectly great and most of their songs included Egyptian mythology which only made their performance even better. They added pictures and videos of Pharaohs and the Pyramids on the screen in the background, which made the audience feel their music as well as hearing it. One of their songs, called “Children of Perdition”, made the audience shout “United We Stand as One”, which was one of the best feelings in any metal concert in Egypt. The verdict? They were perfect!
SWALLOW THE SUN: The biggest band in this concert and the one most of the people came for, which obviously makes them the last to play. The audience cheered and hailed when they finally got on stage; it was the moment everyone was waiting for. They delivered an amazing performance with a mix of songs, some from their older albums and some newer material. One of the most awaited songs was “Cathedral Walls”, which they played perfectly and the audience was stunned with their beautiful sound. They also played other songs like “Hope” and “Abandoned by The Light” and truly lit the stage ablaze. The mix of heavy songs and some quieter sounding ones also gave a great feeling to their show. Unfortunately, due to the delays at the beginning of the concert, STS played really late and a lot of people had already left and some left in the middle of their show, which was pretty disappointing to find a lot of people who waited to hear STS live leave before they could see them or see their full show. We hope that, in future concerts, those delays are avoided to prevent such thing from happening. Overall, the band gave a stunning show and met the expectations of everyone and truly made some dreams come true in that historical night.
In conclusion, the festival was a great success even though it had some sound and delay issues, but everyone enjoyed the night and surely will never forget it. We can’t wait till the next Metal Blast festival and maybe even see some of those bands again in Egypt in the coming years!
All photos used in this article are copyrighted to ROCK ERA MAGAZINE from Egypt. These photos are courtesy of Doaa M. Hamza and were taken on the night of METAL BLAST FESTIVAL exclusively to the photographer and the magazine. The photos are not for any commercial use.
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