Ayat
Nov 20th 2009 Jad Jawhari Band/Album Reviews

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strange-coincidence

Ayat is one of the most controversial bands in the middle east, if not the most controversial one. Since the release of their EP “ Al Nabi Moujrem, Moughtaseb , Dajjal” Ayat have been branded as the first anti-islamic black metal band. However, the claim that they are anti-islamic is a false one. After reading a lot of interviews conducted with the band especially with “Filthy Fuck”, I realized that this band is anti-religious and is against any secterian establishment that promotes opression and repression. Islam happens to be the religion that is dominant in middle east and to some extent it causes a lot of repression especially in countries such as:Saudi Arabia. Ayat’s music might seem offensive and is rather not accepted in the middle east for several reasons:

1 – It directly attacks islam.

2- the offensive imagery the music is attributed to.

However, not accepting them is somehow ignorant. I find it amusing how the people here , in Lebanon and in the middle east, that are into metal attack Ayat and suddenly become othodox and die-hard believers. Metal has always been a way to let out the anger and the agression that a person feels. Religion has always been a cause of control and manipulation in many countries and especially in the middle east. Just because Ayat are outspoken doesn’t mean that we have to shun them and ignore that they are a GREAT Lebanese Black metal band. In my opinion Ayat are more talented and truer than a lot of current Lebanese Metal bands. At least they are conveying a message that they believe in, and they are fighting for a cause that demands a lot of “balls” to do so. About 2 or 3 months ago, I was having a conversation with an acquaintance of mine and we were discussing black metal and it’s relationship with anti-Christianity, satanism and blasphemy. The conversation was going great and it was actually surprising how a religious person like him accepted the fact that Black Metal is blasphemous. However, the real shock came afterwards. When we started discussing Ayat. When I asked him if he likes Ayat, he cowared and said that he doesn’t like them and there was a lot of hate in his answer. I found it weird and rather igorant, how a person like him can’t accept Ayat but accepts bands such as the infamous Gorgoroth.

Metal is all about relatively extreme topics and if it weren’t for these topics that Metal handles none of us wouldve been a metal head. From heavy metal to progressive metal and from thrash metal to doom metal. Topics like death, mutilation, gore, hate, murder, decapitation, war and the holocaust are all topics that are prominent in somehow every Metal sub-genre. Why should anti-religion, anti-islam and anti-Christianity be any different? They as the predeccessors are also related to the extremism of metal. They also express anger and agression and they also are not a form of the commercial industry. Ayat happens to be a band that tackles these relatively tabooed themes. If you just give the band a chance and if you just understand where they are coming from. You would definitely see the logic behind their music and their work. Metal is all about acceptance.

The imagery; Ayat have been also famous for the imagery that they use. Their recent album cover is an example of the “offensive” imagery that they utilize. If you look at the album cover you will be somehow disturbed. However, there are a lot of ideas that are present in such album cover. Ideas that are embedded in it and that require some analytical and unbiased thinking. First of all the woman that is crucified on the cross, is a blasphemic representation of christ. So this is an example that Ayat is really not only an anti-islamic band. There is also a Christ-like skeleton figure that seems to be emmerging from the the wall or from the woman. There is a bible or some other religious book that seems to have been torn or worn out. These images are all related to one idea: Blasphemy. Blasphemy in Black Metal represents freedom. Attacking the religious establishment whether the Christian, the Muslim or the Jewish establishment is a representation of freedom. The representation of fighting control and manipulation. It is a representation of being unbounded and unchained by the religious and the extremists ideology.

505-12

The opposing view is also somehow justified. Ayat are an extreme Black Metal band. They don’t hide their blasphemous and anti-religious nature they expose it and their music is like an “In your face” kind of music. Their style is somehow very new in the middle east. So it would be understandable that Ayat got and still gets a lot of attacks and are to some extent not approved to be an official middle eastren band. Islam has a lot of followers and most of them are very biased towards it. In addition to that, there are a lot of extremists in this religion. Those extremists have been controlling people through fear, since time immemorial. Religion has been the people’s driving force and the people’s opium. So it plays a huge part in their lives and to some extent Religion defines their modes of life. So accepting a band like that would take a lot of time. This acceptance needs people to think outside the box. It definitely needs a lot of practice.

So the main reason why Ayat are not accepted is fear. Ayat represent Islam’s greatest fears which is: Freedom. The relationship between a muslim and God is a relationship based on worship. It is widely known that Allah is the “ruler” and people are the “slaves” or the followers. The relationship is very strict and very harsh that attacking the “rulers establishment” is very unaccepted and unorthodox. Ayat provide an outlet to all of that. They are somehow a release. If you accept them and understand them, they might provide you with a lot of answers concerning the religious establishment (the establishment is different from the religion of course) in Lebanon and the middle east.

Rami ( be a bit more objective if possible , some phrases need rethinking. Describe what ayat is and what are they aiming for. But dont say they are right or wrong… or that they can teach you things about islam or christianity… focusing on the ” Out of the box ” is great!)

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  • SerJ Panossian

    the first anti-islamic black metal band indeed my friend … nice review 🙂

  • Rami Rouhana

    I think we can consider Epica an anti-islamic band based on the track “Fools of damnation”

  • SakoS

    Ayat represent Islam’s greatest fears which is: Freedom

    SO F**** TRUE !! Ayat RULE !! Mainly because they’re anti-religious and aren’t afraid to show it !! People should learn from em, specially the ignorant metalheads !

  • Anthony Abdo

    U cant hail Ayat cause u hate Islam, dont forget that they are offensive toward christianity too.
    musically speaking: the Band got potentials, its robust structure is what keeping it together.

  • it’s anti religious in general and anti-christianity well their is freedom and it’s sacred especialy in the world of metal but their theme doesn’t mean a sh** to me ! they are extremists also , no difference between them and those religion extremists !

  • Jad Jawhari

    Guys you missed out an important thing. Ayat AREN’T ANTI-ISLAMIC they are ANTI-RELIGIOUS meaning against all religions and Islam happens to be one of them :p

  • Adon

    It takes guts.

    Funny how some people “love” belphegor,gorgoroth,behemoth*insert satanic band here* and when it comes to Lebanese Bands trying to convey messages similar to those of the bands stated above, people go nuts.
    Christianity is constantly being bashed and desecrated(not that I mind that),and people aren’t really bothered.But when it comes to Islam,these people get all revolutionary.

    Well you enjoy seeing other religions being desecrated, accept the fact that yours can be also included in the “mass religion bashing”,especially when you’re supporting that.

  • Jason

    Well done, Congrats Ayat should be one the most respected band out there !! because they’re the only ones who have balls !!I Fully Support them .. they’re talented they’re smart they bring courage for those ignorant metalheads .. Great Job .. F***** A+ !!

  • silo

    Hail ayat !!

  • Rami Rouhana

    Well wolfLust again we say we dont hide the anti-religious part of Metal. Some metal music is anti-religious and people should have the freedom to choose to support it or not.
    I perosnally dont like ayat’s music nor the theme.I like many other black metal bands.

  • WolfLust

    Well then, next time you’re going to make the metal case public, present it with a copy of black metal lyrics to show them how metal is not related to satanism or anything they try to pin to us. I would’ve listed some bands as examples, but I thought I wouldn’t like to make it too easy for the interested sides to make a case out of it and show the country what black metal is based upon.

    It’s all about choosing topics AT THE RIGHT TIME, and there’s a right time for everything.

  • Jad Jawhari

    Well I would like to point out a few things. First, Ayat are one of the best metal bands that emerged from Lebanon and it is in their right that they get ATLEAST an article written about them, since most of the people in this country tend to forget them or force themselves to forget about the fact that Ayat ARE LEBANESE. Second, I think that this article would’ve stirred some controversy no matter when it would’ve been posted. Third, this article is an attempt to make Ayat somehow acceptable in our metal scene because whether we like it or not they do exist and they are part of country.
    Thank you!

  • Rami Rouhana

    To be clear .I do not have much knowledge in black metal music. “Its not my field of expertise ” 😛

    Concerning the time I think the timing is not wrong.

  • WolfLust

    We are at the verge of another war with the government and the church fanatics against metal and their accusations of metal=satanism and lebmetal goes ahead and posts THIS? at THESE TIMES?

    Well thought!

  • Hady Naal

    i agree , time is not wrong … hek hek badon yel2ato shee 3leyna . ma 7a nekhlas menon , w ma 7a yekhlaso mena:) they cant do shit . we are who we are …
    and as NIGHTCHAINS STATE : Lightning did charge us with life
    Descendants of the kings we are
    Hell forged our steel
    This summit is our seat
    Silence to the false when we speak
    Silence pride is our speech
    To this world now men we will bring
    Awake reality we reign
    Smashing the world Beneath our feet
    The Alive stride in darkness while all in death sleep
    Summit of thunder …

  • WolfLust

    If anyone knows the least about Ayat, then they would know that they do now need nor want the local exposure.

    If you refer back to the comments by all users, you will see no one attempted to degrade their position locally or deny their existence.

    Trust me, they do not want this exposure, and do not need any heat from people who do not understand what they represent. Any band would much rather have fans directly understand what the band represents than have its ideologies force-fed to the listeners.

    Thank you 🙂

  • Patrick

    Well I have always struggled with bands calling themselves underground, while they have official releases, videos on youtube and all kind of other public stuff online.
    The band exists therefore we have the right to talk about them, whether they want to or not O.o It’s our right to do so …
    Anywho, concerning the timing of the article Walid, this war you are talking about , I didn’t see any official response from any metal related organisation, let us say … the lebanese rock society or whoever represents a large number of people and can get their opinions to the public but everyone kept their opinions hidden on FACEBOOK ? …
    I agree with Hady “hek hek badon yel2ato shee 3leyna . ma 7a nekhlas menon , w ma 7a yekhlaso mena:) “and what Jad wrote in this article isn’t aimed to force-feed the information to the fans who don’t understand the band’s message, it’s merely a personal reply from him to the actual situation of Ayat being controversial ..

  • Jad Jawhari

    Yes Patrick exactly and let me add something. If anyone noticed this article ISN’T by any MEANS a review for the band or for their music. This article is an informative one or if you want you can say an “analytical informative” article. So nothing is being force-fed, on the contrary people can choose to accept this information or not.

  • Adon

    I sorta agree with Patrick.

    There’s everything in metal and peoPle against it aren’t “that” stupid to not see the references to satanism in some genres.
    So hiding them for the sake of argument and for the sake of convincing the “church” that metal =/= satanism is worthless.
    There is no “right” time.

    The only thing we need to point at is that metal (black metal,since this topic is basically talking about it) isn’t “just” about “satanism”.
    It’s art and we’re supposedly in a democratic country,where freedom of speech is kinda permitted,as long as it’s not explicitly harming anyone.

    Sorry for the ranting.
    I guess we should get back to the topic,Ayat.

  • WolfLust

    I like the fact that no one actually grasped the meaning.

    PS: Patrick, underground to me means we do not need our tracks played live on a local tv station in front of people who would call tele lumiere and confess that our child might be satanic since he is imitating the jest that Spiderman does. Let’s see you all debating such these people when hell breaks loose 🙂

    Cheers!

  • Lucid

    neglecting religion, nothing acts in advance of attention wider than anti-religion,
    and to me, underground music is not to be intended, there are subjects that remain underground not because the artist tends to do so, just because it interests a fewer number of listeners discarding its value

  • Patrick

    … and we are not a tv station that broadcasts metal songs. So .. eh back to the subject, Ayat … What are the consequences of them revealing themselves… does that take away some of “underground” characteristic that they now have?

  • Jad Jawhari

    Let’s not go into other DEBATES…the article is out in the open…we can debate and debate and debate and not come to a solution…and there isn’t any official definiton for “UNDERGROUND”…I published this article not thinking if it’s the right time or not..I just felt that i had to. Maybe i did a mistake maybe i ddint who knows we will see in the future.
    Cheers

  • Lucid

    wait for the consequences? lol
    and i said ‘to me, underground is…’

  • Jad Jawhari

    exactly so your proving my point that the definition of underground is “RELATIVE”. Let’s close the case, wer are not going anywhere.

  • Light_Bringer

    does any of you remember what happened on the fifth of february a couple or maybe three years ago in achrafieh? when someone from DENMARK insulted islam?
    imagine what could happen to a LOCAL band and what would people’s reaction to such a band be. Ba3den 3am be 7arbouna be enno kiss/acdc/queen are satanic
    Don’t give them more valid proof against us
    At least wait a bit for the fuss to cool down

  • Jason

    PS : Just a simple reply !! what happened NEAR achrafieh .. in achrafieh nothing happened i’m from there and i also live there .. and i was with the guards on each entry to this town.

    Kamen .. shou akkadlak enno Ayats’ members 7ada menoun meslim ?? w ta waddi7 aktar u can read henne shou eylin !! .. We are anti-RELIGION mish ta7didan anti-ISLAM !! ..

  • SakoS

    Jason … WHATTHEFUCK are you talking about ?!

  • Jason

    I’m replying 3ala Light_Bringer l 2alo bel awal ..

  • Mazen

    *Request Deletion

  • Cyanide

    I second that

  • Elie Da32our

    we dt need exposure on the metal scene ba2a!
    i guess we live in a country of idiots and ignorants w btotla3 fina el metalheads:D
    so i guess someone should delet this post w nikhlass men hal topic

  • Admin

    Hey guys, this article is simply an overview of the band, a discussion of the importance/significance of underground bands or the necessity to publish such articles wasn’t the goal here.
    Your opinion is respected but LebMetal shall not delete this article, nor alter it in any way.

    Mature music listeners have the ability to separate the music from the message, and if someone doesn’t believe in the message behind the music, that’s up to him to either blindly dislike the actual musical piece or give it a listen, based merely on the musical aspect of it.
    A last thought before I close comments on the subject: if this was replaced by a Slayer article, everyone would be so excited about it, although these bands share relatively similar imagery …