Review | GBOB 2011 Heat #3
Jul 1st 2011 Patrick Saad Event Reviews

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After a seemingly long break after Heat #2, GBOB 2011’s Heat #3 brought back the competition vibe to Nova Pub – Sin El Fil, with 4 bands participating and the winner moving on to the National semi-finals.

Before reviewing the event, I must say that ‘checking out the competition’ is a must for bands participating on upcoming heats, if they want to know the jury’s expectations from a potential National GBOB winner. For example, Heat #1 winners ‘In Sanity‘ won the jury with their fiery performance, not with their music style which was Heavy Metal, whereas Heat #2 winners ‘Limelight‘s more modern Brit Rock musical approach won them a place in the semifinals. So here you go, the first two important elements of a winning band: stage performance and an interesting music style. By the end of Heat #3, the third key element was favorited by the jury: musicianship. Keep these in mind if you’re really planning on being the National GBOB 2011 winner.

  • Heat #3 Review

  • Demons‘ was the first band to get on stage, and strangely enough, they failed to put on a good show on a venue which they’ve gotten familiar with this past year. At a time where one must show his best performance, ‘Demons’ came short and had a rough go from the start. Either way, it’s safe to say that the jury and GBOB competition itself isn’t keen on Metal bands unless they show some form of innovative delivery. I’d say it’s time to change the formula, ‘Modern Thrash Metal’ peaked years ago and it’s becoming less and less interesting ever since.


  • The next performing band was the experienced Death Metal band ‘Kult‘, whose aggressive performance qualified them for round 2, still failed to take them all the way. Again, the GBOBs is a band competition, but usually not a Metal friendly one: 2010-2011’s international GBOB winners were Dubtonic Kru who played dub music and 2009’s winners were Rustic who played 70’s Rock/Punk/Glam. Still, Kudos to Kult for another good performance to add on their extensive appearances this year, hopefully they’ll play on bigger stages on upcoming events.


  • There’s no shortage of new bands in the local Lebanese Metal scene, and ‘Blacardia‘ is one of those bands whose ambition exceeds their potential. The crowd was negatively cheering (as in mocking) the band who were over-enjoying their first performance ever. Although they were going for a ‘Lacuna Coil’ – inspired style, the band lacked the proper synchronization and musicianship to keep it flowing, and delivered an average performance. I hope that they’ll evolve with time and that they undergo some kind of reality check, at least focusing more on their skills and less on their pretentious attitudes.


  • The last band to go on stage was a familiar one, with members from ‘Veracity Hour’ who already participated and lost back in Heat #1. This side project under the name ‘Arctic IX’ showcased an additional guitarist instead of a bassist, while keeping its instrumental approach. Back in Heat#1, ‘Veracity Hour’ was my personal pick of the night but they didn’t even make it to the second round. I hoped that history wouldn’t repeat itself here, since the band played a fine Prog / Post Metal piece which was quite interesting. As expected, the jury members redeemed themselves after Heat #1’s unfair decision, as ‘Arctic IX’ went on to round 2 along with ‘Kult’.


  • After announcing the top musicians of the night, with ‘Rudy Fares’s third consecutive Best Drummer Award in three heats, both ‘Kult’ and ‘Arctic IX’ were up and ready for round 2 after the decision was passed by the judges along with the attendees’ 10% vote percentage.


    Round 2 was quite the disappointment to say the least. Where ‘Kult’ kept on playing their Death Metal without really giving the jury something to be hooked on, ‘Arctic IX’ were out of songs and simply re-played their only original from round 1. It was a tough decision to make: ‘Kult’ played two good Death Metal songs with an energetic performance and no noticeable errors, while ‘Arctic IX’ fell into the ‘slightly unprepared’ trap and gave the jury a hard time deciding the winner of the event.


    However, the final decision named ‘Arctic IX’ winners of GBOB Heat #3 for several reasons including originality, creativity and well.. a chance to better prepare themselves for the semi-finals and further expand their sound, since as I stated earlier, this competition is more about bands with an innovative and musically interesting package (music style, musicianship/songwriting and crowd interaction/stage performance).

  • Local band merchandise is being sold at the stand at this year’s National GBOB. Currently available merchandise include:

    – Kaoteon – Veni Vidi Vomui (2011) ($15)

    – Kimaera – Solitary Impact (2010) (CD for $15, T-shirt for $25)

    – Kimaera – Ebony Veiled (2006) (CD for $12, T-shirt for $20)

    – The Hourglass – To The Land Of The Free (2004) (CD for 10000 L.L)

    – The Hourglass – Resurrection Of The Horrid Dream (2007) (CD for 10000 L.L)

    – The Hourglass – Ancient Hope (2010) (EP for 10000 L.L) (or all 3 The Hourglass CDS for 20000 L.L)

    Save 30% and get all 3 ‘The Hourglass’ CDs for 20000 L.L

    – December Dies Alone – When Memories Fought To Dissolve (2010) (EP for $4)

    – Moe Kabbara – Understated Imperfections: Three Songs & You (2011) (EP for 10000 L.L)

    Local bands wishing to sell their merchandise can contact the administrator on

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  • roy naufal

    just to point out some details,
    i dont see how 2 bands of totally different styles (progressive vs djent) can be linked, regardless if same members or not, it’s even harder to compose for 2 bands
    other than that, many bands in all previous heats played same songs in both rounds except for a minority, that including kult
    regarding the jury comment, only 20% of the jury were the same from the 1st heat, so most of them have not seen veracity hour (commenting on the jury ‘redeeming’ their decision)
    so i don’t find it fair to undermine the jury’s choice or the bands’ efforts
    kult exceeded arctic ix in performance points, but arctic ix’s points well exceeded in composition which outbalanced in their favor

  • Rudy Fares

    Thanks for the review Patrick,
    just wanted to say that ‘Arctic IX’ is not a side project…
    Keep up the good work LebMetal

  • Patrick

    Rudy, a side project simply means that members of a band are also involved in another musical project.

    Roy, you’re right about the judges. I simply wanted to pass that note along because I didn’t have to chance to do so in heat 1 😀 It’s still unfair, the jury is voting based on professional criteria, not on personal taste, so the same band (yes Roy, neither me or others spotted the ‘djent’ tag in Arctic IX, it’s simply just not there; as I said, they played prog/post metal which was pretty close to what Veracity Hour did in heat 1 (minus the post Metal aka atmospheric layers / guitar effects delay, etc)) should logically be similarily judged (Veracity Hour didn’t even make it to round 2!) independing of the jury members. Anyway, congrats to Arctic IX for winning Heat 3!

    About the issue of bands playing the same songs, I think that should negatively affect the band’s points, unless of course you want a band to play their one or two songs over and over again throughout the competition, and that would be terrible. I understand that composing for 2 bands is harder, but they signed up knowing the consequences. What if both bands got to the semifinals? They should have considered these questions …
    I understand that there are rules concerning this but I’m just passing along the audience’s point of view of a band playing the same song twice in one night. Now whether the jury think of it as impressive or not, I’ll leave it for them to decide.

  • can anyone explain djent to me ? I read about it and i dont see it as a subgenre …

  • roy naufal

    patrick, many bands have played the same songs in the same heat, it’s totally the band’s choice,even in the world final
    these are not our rules…round 2 is also something we only are doing here as it gives the jury a 2nd look at the bands and thus allows them to better decide
    the whole point is for bands to be able to prove what they can do and get supported to be able to do more, and not simply about having a long record of songs…it’s somehow like pitching for a client, you have to show a sample of your work to get the client’s attention, then the client gives u the chance to do the full work

  • Fadi Yabroudi

    Jury is supposed to criticize a band based on professional criteria or else the evaluation would loose most of its objectivity.
    Playing the same song twice isn’t necessarily negative, it allows the crowd that give another listen to the song and absorb it better.

  • Fadi BK

    RoY i think we should have the same jury in all the heats in order to have a objective results, and an equalized chances between the bands

  • Fadi Yabroudi

    Fadi you have a point, but don’t forget that each heat consists of bands with a same or similar style that differs from another heat. Hence, having the same jury for all the heats would not give equal chances considering that each member of the jury group relates to a specific genre related to the heat in question.

  • Patrick

    Fadi Y, that’s incorrect. The rules specifically say that the jury members’ votes should be irrelevant their own preferred genres and to the bands’ musical style.

    Rami, I wouldn’t call it a subgenre, it’s a guitar riffing style most popular with 7 string guitarists (artists like Keith Merrow, Periphery, etc).

    Roy, whether it’s the bands’ choice or the competition’s rules, I still find it to be pretty demotivating to bands and ‘customers’ alike. If the bands were forced to play two distinct songs, they would have to better prepare before signing up for the competition, which is a good thing for the competition itself (knowing that it is in fact a WORLDWIDE competition and we do want to send out our finest local band).

  • so people are now reffering to metal as ” djent metal ” , “power chords metal ” , “chromatic metal ” , “double pedal metal ” …

  • Patrick Z

    Hey Rami! Djent has actually evolved into a subgenre. It started with Meshuggah. Their tracks had a unique sound that Misha Mansoor described as “Djent”.
    As time passed by, many bands started imitating the song construction ( odd times breakdowns ), and the Thorendal chunky riffing ( djent djent djent). Bands like Veil of Maya, Born of Osiris can not be called progressive metal because they are way different than Pain of Salvation, Dream Theater etc.. This is why people call them djent. It’s like more like a movement , like emo music. What the hell is emo music ? It’s just a gayer form metalcore. What the hell is Djent ? It’s a chunkier form of progressive metal. ( A less interesting form imho )

  • Samir

    What a review !! a good ,objective ,refered to reality review should’nt have this much of discusion !!but it seems that there’s a lot of personal points and views!thats unacceptable in reviews man !
    Jury should stay the same in all heats indeed! thats a rule! even if the style changed…each jury member should focus on his side of profession,meaning drummer must see the drummer ,vocal must listen to the vocal…so changing the jury is not right if it was the best choice from the begining so let this jury continue its work!!
    Thanx,and congrats for Rudy fares !

  • samir

    What about the posts on the events wall on facebook who mentioned that Blacardia deserves it,and those posts were deleted after several minutes?!were those mokes also?were the 26 votes moking on Blacardia also ?!
    Man your review is so objective and far from reality and contains a lot of personal points of views…

  • SerJ

    Hey samir, I must say, If blacardia’s members (i dont know if you play with’em) think that the crowd were supporting’em, ya3tik alf 3afye.

  • D.D

    Well samir has a point.. all those votes where not for mocking and yes there where some of the ppl in the crowd who where trying to mock them .. its really simple they had their personal reasons but for blacardia it was thier first concert on stage and they didnt seem to care about the mockers they simply enjoyed their self on stage and played along

  • AnonyMouse

    nobody was mocking blacardia, i’m friends with at least 10 true supporters.
    and i know a few “mock” supporters that became genuine fans during the gig because they finally realized that blacardia’s for real

    Blacardia is probably the only band in Lebanon with enough character and presence to fill up a room and the ability to convert their haters within seconds, ktir 2rab lal aleb, their songs are very catchy and familiar w there’s something very retro about the way they approach things and the way they treat their musical career

    the guys put on one fucking hell of a show
    i was impressed

  • AnonyMouse

    That’s just my opinion though.

    Some people’s standards for a band they respect are based on musical prowess, professionalism and excessively innovative writing
    But i think, there are a few bands out there, so far off the chart, that people should just enjoy for the sake of novelty/showmanship, disregarding whether said band is pushing the boundaries/keeping up to date or not

    To me, Blacardia is one of these bands… just making sure i didn’t offend anyone’s opinion, or force mine upon anyone in the first post i wrote
    Peace to all

  • Patrick

    I like that there are people supporting Blacardia, and I hope they put on better shows in the upcoming future.

    I was just stating the fact that there was an obvious mocking environment during their set (for reasons that I’m not interested in knowing), but that doesn’t reflect my own opinion of the band. In fact, I thought they played okay, not technically impressive or anything we haven’t seen in a while, but they have spirit, so they only need to work on band chemistry and their own playing skills.

    Pretentious refers to what they are posting on their Youtube channel. It’s simply not doing them justice, as they are coming across as unprofessional. What’s online is for everyone to see and a band should really post its best samples online in order to give a good first opinion of its music. The rest depends on its live shows and I think Blacardia, equipped with better musicianship, will make a good and enjoyable live band.

    Anyway, I hope that they take my opinion as a push for them to evolve as a band 🙂

  • AnonyMouse

    i know that dude! i always enjoy reading your reviews w ba3ref ma asdak shi negative
    i was just clearing up that a large chunk of the crowd was honestly enjoying the performance 😛
    Just so there aren’t any misunderstandings

    Btw, idk if the band is keeping up with the website and the reviews, but i’d like “sam wolf” to know enno his interaction with the crowd was beyond epic