There’s Metal Here? Vol. 7 – Syria

Welcome back to There’s Metal Here, volume…7 already?! Are you Syrious? And linked to that, this time we’re going to make a return to the Middle East, to a war-torn country called Syria, which has been in the news a lot recently due to bombings. As a result of this and the government’s belief that all metal is Satanic and therefore a punitive offense, there is not a huge thriving scene here (as you may have guessed). Still, a few bands have managed to make their way at some point or another, although many have had to emigrate or regrettably split up. Here, I present a handful of the talent that Syria has to offer, mostly from Damascus.

I reckon it’s possible to make a hypothesis that there is a black metal project in almost every country of the world, such is the spread of influence of this genre. Syria is no exception, and Blackspell claims to be the first BM band in Syria, having been going for about 3 years now. It’s mostly created by one person called Demon Of Darkness, who creates an orchestral black metal with distant rasps. Not exactly mind-blowing, but a fairly enjoyable experience if you like that sort of thing. Check his work out on Facebook (, or try the track below:

Ecliptic Dawn
Jumping sideways slightly, we have another mostly-one-man project who play gothic metal in the vein of Crematory. The drum computer sounds slightly tinny, but the rest of it sounds great, especially the keyboard-based parts. Ecliptic Dawn is the odd-one out of the bands here, as it also features international collaborations with others from Norway and Germany. They have an album planned for release soon, and are streaming a few EP tracks on Facebook for those interested (unfortunately no video that I can find).

Luay Rifai
Another genre that seems easy to find is that of the shred-guitarist, although not all of them are to the highest standard. That said, Syrian-born US resident Luay Rifai seems to have garnered positive reactions to his work, particularly of his sophomore Vital which I’ll be hoping to pick up a copy of soon. He mixes in the flair of Vai and Malmsteen with some more structured tracks like Petrucci’s Suspended Animation and a hard rock tinge to top it off. On a sidenote, he’s a medical doctor, which makes you wonder if music really can be a healer. A link to his Facebook page is here, or chill to the track below.

Some bands never die, and some bands die hard. Nu.Clear.Dawn certainly fall into the latter camp, given they seem to have split up and yet their website is abuzz with news and information years after they released their sole output Poem Of A Knight (allegedly the first Syrian metal album). Within it lies some melodic progressive metal tunes played very competently, including flying keyboard and guitar solos and a high-range male vocalist who wouldn’t sound out of place on some US power metal records. It’s also a concept album, although the story seems fairly odd to say the least. Definitely worth giving a listen on Youtube.

Slumpark Correctional
This band’s name confused me slightly; I was expecting prog metal and instead was served with political thrash/death metal. Unfortunately they’ve split up now, but left behind 3 EPs and a demo. If you can get past the terrible sound quality, the music underneath is fairly enjoyable. Allegedly there are also female vocals in some of their material, but not that I heard in the two tracks I found. That said, their music is notoriously hard to find, so anybody who has more information, please share it in the comments below. For now, check out this track from their first demo, Dreaming Underneath Destruction.

And so we bring another round of There’s Metal Here?…Who knows where we’ll end up next? Got a couple of options up my metallic sleeve, so tune in next time for a surprise!

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