Review | GBOB 2011 Heat #5
Jul 17th 2011 Karl Sawaya Event Reviews

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The battle raged on with the 5th heat of the GBOB 2011 competition. That night saw some talented local bands in the melodic death and progressive Metal local scene. Up on stage were Tormented, followed by Nocturna, and finally Al-Dahaka. Having only attended heats 1 and 3, I must say that night was more gripping than the other ones. Competition was clearly high since all 3 bands delivered similar and good, yet not great music. Even the jury awarded low points compared to other heats. Us at held a draw in which participants had a chance of winning Kaoteon’s new CD “Veni Vedi Vomui”, an Iron Maiden The Final Tour 2011 giant poster, and all 3 available “Hourglass” CDs.


Starting off with Tormented, I was impressed with this band as a first-time listener. They played a progressive Metal sound with some melodic death influences. The energy was there, the crowd enjoyed the show, and cool riffs were played. Yet there was repetition in some drum lines and guitar riffs from what I could make of their originals, but they were well played. The problem was with them not delivering a new sound; it was a kind of déjà-vu. But the band surely has a potential.


Up next was Nocturna. Everyone is mainly familiar with this great band who began as a gothic band and later on changed to melodic death Metal. From what I’ve seen, all hell broke loose on Nocturna’s turn. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the show and what stroke my ears the most were 2 sounds: the fiercely sinister growls engulfing the pub and the colossal drumming. The latter saw variations and some killer lines. Their songs had a gloomy atmosphere which was well delivered to the crowd, but there should’ve been some more emphasis on the guitars probably. The jury awarded Nocturna 3 individual member awards at the end of the night: Best Vocals, Best Drums and Best Bass Guitar, so they obviously earned their way to round 2.


Last in round 1 was Al-Dahaka. Quoting their vocalist, they play “Progressive Power Metal”. Now I personally didn’t find it that much of a purely progressive power sound, it was more melodic death mixed with some progressive power. Not that they weren’t good players, but their originals lacked some captivating feel to my opinion. They did manage to get many votes, and their skills also aided them to get the jury’s attention. All in all, thumbs up for this band whose guitarist was named “Best Guitar Player” in Heat #5. I guess a few new compositions from their side would strengthen the band’s music and reputation even more.


As aforementioned, the 2 bands who made it to round 2 were Al Dahaka and Nocturna. And I might say choosing the winner was a hard choice since both bands had it in them. Yet in my opinion, Nocturna was better since the track they played, “Frozen Sun”, was one full package of harmonies, clean solos, and good band cooperation.


To some, Al Dahaka should’ve been the winner, but the way I see it, experience on stage should also be considered in choosing the winner so eventually, the jury named Nocturna as the winner of GBOB 2011 Heat #5 due to that criteria.


Finally, congratulations to the winners of the LebMetal draw:


Iron Maiden’s The Final Tour 2011 poster won by Elie Aoun.
The Hourglass’s Ancient Hope won by Khaldoun Karssi.

The Hourglass’s To the Land of the Free won by Johnny Francis.

The Hourglass’s Resurrection of the Horrid Dream won by Samir Kayyal.

Kaoteon’s Veni Vedi Vomui won by Roy Lteif.

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  • Patrick

    In my opinion, based on what the GBOB competition stands for (taking new talent to a wider audience), the young band Al Dahaka should have won this heat. With all do respect to the other bands, Al Dahaka showed better musicianship and had a very good performance for a band that the jury considered as ‘less experienced’ than Nocturna. I’m waiting for the upcoming jury interview regarding this heat; I believe it should clear some things up.

    As for winners Nocturna, they must keep in mind that the jury gave all the bands scores less than 3 over 4, so they know they must come up with better material if they want to win this competition.

  • Patrick Z

    Hello !

    I didn’t attend the gig, but I heard from many sources that the winners of best drummer and guitarist were from Tormented ?

  • Patrick Z

    Hello there !

    Can you check your sources please and confirm ?
    I haven’t attended the gig , but I’ve heard from many sources that the best guitarist and the best drummer award were given to Tormented members.
    I want an official statement please about this.

    Also, Patrick, for the first time in my life I disagree with you. Non musicians can only criticize the “catchyness” of music and the stage performance.

    A non musician can not judge a guitarist perform, because simply most listeners are ignorant about what a good guitarist is. There are many things that go unnoticed about a good guitar performance ( vibrato, articulation, full control, phrasing, variation of techniques )
    Unfortunately, most spectators get fooled by a simple sweep, which make them non qualified for judging any shit.

  • Patrick Z

    I’m sorry Pat, I misread your post , forget my second part of the post

  • charbel kareh

    patrick,Al dahaka is not a young band at all , erick (their drummer ) used to be Nocturna’s drummer back in 2006 … and the guitarists , the bassist and the vocalist are also well experienced members and musicians.

    Nocturna got the highest score of the jury , the highest number of votes from the audience and the best drummer , the best vocalist and the best bassist of the night .
    ah , and don’t forget to ask the jury the score of nocturna in round 1 .

    and about the ” Ur too soft Karl … ” , is a website that should support and help lebanese bands not only criticize them as i saw in some reviews …

    i’m not being offensive im just giving my personnal opinion and showing some facts that lead us ( Nocturna ) to win this heat .
    finally good luck guys and keep up the good work by being FAIR in ur reviews .

  • Habib

    gd review

  • charbel kareh

    patrick , shady el marid (Nocturna) and elio khoury (tormented) were the drummers of the night with equal scores but in round 2 shady el marid got a higher score than erick knaider ( al dahaka’s drummer)
    and about the guitarists of the night ( there was one guitarist from al dahaka and one guitarist from tormented ) and as i said before about the vocalist and the bassist of the night were from nocturna ( habib arbid and toufic fakhry ) .

    Finally GBOB is a BAND COMPETITION it’s not a GUITAR COMPETITION nor a talent show.


  • Patrick

    @Charbel: I correct myself by saying that this was the first time I’ve watched Al Dahaka perform so I figured they must be a new band, hence the word young (in band years). It’s obvious to everyone that they’re good musicians, I won’t deny that at all. I’m trying to figure out what the jury members based their votes on: they preferred originality in some heats (‘Episode’ in Heat 4), musicianship in others (‘Arctic IX’ in Heat 3) and band performance in heat 1 (‘In Sanity’). I think they went for musicianship in heat 5 because all 3 bands were in fact Metal bands (nothing out of the ordinary given the derivative genres), and all bands had good stage performance. In that case, congrats Nocturna.

    Regarding reviewing, we don’t criticize local bands just for the sake of it. We do give credit to those who deserve it and we try to advise them according to our personal musical knowledge. Whether they take that as constructive criticism or not is up to them, but I simply hope that bands never take it too personal. For example, I personally enjoyed Episode in heat 4 but I thought they could do a hell lot more with what they’ve got (and Nathalie from Bandage confirmed that in her jury interview by saying that ‘I feel that they need a keyboard player and a vocalist on board. The music seems a bit dry.’)
    It’s just sad that some people would consider that as bashing or not supporting local bands. Either way, we usually hope that the message gets across to the bands.

    We believe we are being fair in reviewing GBOB, while knowing what this competition is all about. We encourage everyone to share their own opinion as well, as long as they respect ours. Well said, this is a band competition but is it a Metal friendly competition? I would say no but we’ll have to wait for the finals to find out!

  • Patrick Z

    True Charbel, it is a Band competition and not a guitar/drum one, but khaleh el ha2 yousal la sa7bo.

    Tormented is a new band and needs as much publicity as possible. And not mentioning this would probably mean nothing to you or the others, but could mean a lot to them.

  • charbel kareh

    what do u mean a metal friendly competition ?

  • Patrick

    It means that the jury members won’t pick a Metal band to represent us this year.

    Quoting Bassem Deaibess in his jury interview: ‘What makes it an interesting potential winning band is mainly creativity. Also because I took part in GBOB international with Blaakyum I know what the judges will be looking for, some musical styles are wanted more than others’.

  • Elio Khoury and Nidal Ghannam from Tormented were awarded best drummer and best Guitarist as well.

  • Pierre Hayek

    Thank you Karl for taking the time and doing this great review 😀 astaze ti sii guys

  • djejesawda

    yea well i guess its quiet obvious that sending an existing style / typical metal band to GBOB is an act of failure and lack of vision…the competition is looking for smthn beyond metal brootality , willing to have some more easy listening innovative blend , more fans , more intrest for music labels and production houses 😀

  • Serj

    I second djejesawda