Danielle Capalbo’s Blog

Heavy (metal) heart

Posted in Sounds of the Middle East by Quiet Giant on May 1, 2009

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(photo courtesy WBS 70 @ Flickr.com, via Creative Commons)

Since this documentary came out two years ago, I’ve been vaguely familiar with the existence of an underground population of renegade metalheads in the Middle East. There’s this film, too, though it focuses on the more general relationship between heavy metal and Islam. For the moment, I’m specifically curious about how young Egyptians interpret, experience and create heavy metal in the Muslim world, where it’s considered an art (if the authorities are so generous in their description) of sin.

After hitting “publish” on my first post, I embarked on a (very) cursory search for contemporary Egyptian bands, to try and piece together a basic understanding of the country’s pop landscape. Something more interesting sidetracked me – an unexpectedly thorough representation of punk, black metal, thrash metal and metalcore. Plus this guy, Konzaross, who describes his bass-and-vocals vehicle as “psychedelic melodic dark metal.”


Some of the groups, like Destiny in Chains, Odious and Wyvern, have achieved relative degrees of fame. I wonder about the logistics of that, particularly in the case of Odious. The band’s debut full-length, Mirror of Vibrations (on Sleaszy Rider Records, apparently) was distributed by EMI Music Greece. Maybe that’s a way to circumvent the Egyptian system?

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One Response

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  1. seanleviashvili said, on May 1, 2009 at 4:18 am

    I wonder what the shows are like in Egypt and the Middle East…

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