Metal Blast was held this past Saturday at Metro Al Madina, a place we’ve been referring to as “the place to prog”, as most Prog Rock/Metal events were held there in recent years. This time however, Metro hosted a heavier event, with 4 local bands playing the entire musical spectrum – Heavy to Thrash, Death and Black Metal. It was my first “extreme” event at Metro, and I was curious to see if the sound and venue would be suitable for such loud distorted music.

I will only mention two facts that night: attendance was relatively low and the sound could have been way better. All bands complained of sound issues on stage, and I personally could not get through the first 2 hours without partially closing my ears (manual earplug) so I could actually hear what the bands were playing. Metal is supposed to be loud but not noisy to the point of hiding the actual music behind a thick distorted wall of sound.

Metal Blast – 2015

All the bands were pretty good on stage, some had more stage experience than others, but the crowd enjoyed what each band had to offer. It was a fun show with Rebellion and their 80’s a la Motley Crue flashback – both of their guitarists were quite good, but I enjoyed the White Mage’s performance (that’s a nickname I just made for their oldest member / guitar player). Vocalist Nigol Ozz (ex-Oblivion) gave the band the energy boost it needed on stage with his experience and good crowd communication.

Rebellion

Here’s the band’s setlist:

– Anility
– Sorry
– Looks That Kill (Motley Crue cover)
– Back
– Perfect Strangers (Deep Purple cover)
– Silence Call

Phenomy were the perfect example of the continuity of the scene, a young band with good musicians and a healthy music catalog (a couple of Metallica covers were nice!). Their main vocalist had a mask on and it was kinda cool to see that, although when we spotted the band backstage after their performance, the guy needed to take a breath, it’s quite hot under that mask. Their setlist had so many originals, turns out they finished an album to be recorded soon.

Phenomy

Here’s the band’s setlist:

– Blackened (Metallica cover)
– Backlash
– The haunting
– Electrified
– Unleash the Beast
– For who the bell tolls (Metallica cover)
– Once and for all
– Sealing fate

It’s safe to say that the most prolific band of the night was Inner Guilt. They have the most experience as well as the accolades to make one of the most respected and promising (to make it internationally) Lebanese Metal bands. Their technicality and performance were impressive, they brought the somehow “shy” audience to frontstage and delivered a kickass show. Here’s their image with the crowd:

Inner Guilt - LebMetal.com - by Joe Choufany

And their setlist:

– A New Deception
– Burn
– Burden of Guilt
– Terrorized by Silence
– In This Prison
– My Time To Destroy
– Through Narrow Corridors
– Slanderous Society

Last band on stage and after midnight was Deathlam, one of the few still active Black Metal bands in the scene today. I have seen them live at Yukunkun some months ago, and I have come to respect what they do more. They keep pounding at your ears throughout their set, with a surprisingly loud sound as a trio. They describe themselves as an “Armenian Black Metal band” and it is quite noticeable with their on stage comments on the Ottoman Empire, summarized with their song “Burn the ottoman empire”.

Deathlam - LebMetal.com - by Joe Choufany

Here’s the band’s setlist:

– Maggot Remains
– Let Kill Let Die
– Reign Of Terror
– Last March
– Legions
– Demonicorpus
– Incest

All in all, Metal Blast was a good event, with many old familiar faces from the audience as well as the bands (Walid from Kaoteon, Bassem from Blaakyum, 2 ex-Tristmoon musicians, one ex-Oblivion, members of Highway 69 and Hatecrowned) with some new younger blood as well. The torch is being passed to the young generation to keep the local Metal scene alive.

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Check out the event’s photo gallery on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153253197177822.1073741839.118867302821&type=3