(TheMadIsraeli’s former boss at The Metal Register, Kyle Brady, requested that he write a piece on Middle Eastern metal, and here we have it. We’ve spotlighted bands from that region in previous writing at NCS, and I’ll add some further examples at the end of this post.)
When I say “Middle East”, what comes to mind? War? Brutal weather conditions? The desolation of endless expanse of desert? Regardless of what you think of, it’s probably not a region you’d immediately associate with metal, but with the evolution of the internet and the advent of file-sharing, becoming a successful band over there is slowly but surely becoming more of an option as we speak. As a result, over the last four so years, a rash of bands have cropped up who are proving they’re already prepared to take the world by storm.
Consider this a sort of primer, or introduction to bands from the Middle East, with a mix of older and newer. Without further delay let’s begin doing a little analysis of the kind of shit we got going on over there.
One cannot discuss metal from this part of the world without touching on blackened thrashers Melechesh. Definitely one of the longest running bands from the Middle East, their brand of black metal chaos, thrash technicality, and ethnically oriented musical and lyrical incorporations have turned them into a sure force to be reckoned with. At one time hailing from Jerusalem itself (later moving to the Netherlands), their influence on the Middle Eastern scene cannot be denied.
Deathtune is an Iranian old-school groove-based death metal band with a beefy aesthetic and enough power to punch a meteor-sized crater into the earth. You may remember that we featured them and their video for “No War” here. Doing this perhaps even at potential risk to their freedom, this band delivers music with some real honesty and passion behind it. They are currently recording their debut full-length.
Prey For Nothing is a progressive death metal band hailing, once again, from Israel. They play a profound combination of death metal, groove, thrash, black metal, and even some slight hints of heavier power metal ala Symphony X. They currently have two albums out, Divine Violence, released in 2008, and Against All Good And Evil, released last year.
Now is where I’ve simply jumped into Metal Archives, gone through a list of bands located Middle Eastern countries, and compiled some examples of shit that sounded good: 1000 Funerals (Iran), Tension Prophecy (Iran), Asgaut (Israel), Human Sector (Israel), and Brutus (Egypt):
Now it’s time for you to help widen this pool of selections in the Comments. Help us find and share other shit from the Middle East.
EDITOR’S NOTE: To help start this off, here are links to previous NCS posts about other bands with their roots in either the Middle East or North Africa. You can also explore more of the region’s music via one of the the free compilations produced by the Cairo-based METALITY blog (the second of which we co-sponsored and wrote about here).
Voice of the Soul (U.S./Lebanon/Iraq/others)
Orphaned Land (Israel/Palestine)
Al-Namrood (Saudi Arabia)