Aborted + Nader Sadek + Alkaloid + Sallos
Author: Ahmed Ali Atteya - 2015-09-30
Remember how it felt to imagine a childhood hero walking down the same street you're in? How wonderful it felt to dream that someday you will get to speak to him and tell him how larger-than-life he is to you? That's exactly how it felt when I first knew about the FULL lineup for the night of 17th of September. When we witnessed what NADER SADEK hinted about in our very first sit down with him (as you can check on our interviews with him - Part I & Part II). We all woke up one day to find out that this guy decided to bring hell to Cairo, Egypt. An event for bands as heavy as ABORTED, ALKALOID and himself alongside SALLOS from Egypt as openers to the formers. Aside of the fan-boy madness that struck everyone, I had to make sure that this day will not pass without me attending to cover it, plus, meet up with those bands. Knowing that a concert as huge will be held inside Sakkia blunted almost everyone's enthusiasm about the whole thing. It felt like attending ALICE COOPER in the Opera House, acceptable but still not convenient. Still we had to believe in the guy and find in us the ability to push the day towards completion.
Whisperers told JorZine that the venue promised the bands that everything was going to be ready maximum by noon, to find the doors were still closed at 2 P.M. and that wasn't the end of it. The Sakkia's crew knows pretty well what is Metal and how hard it is to hold such an event, putting aside any facilitation or hardships they put bands and organizers through, they insist on treating anyone related to it with disrespect and stalling manners regardless of being a reporter, a photographer, a journalist.. We were all treated the same: Horribly! Every single concert there has to be the same quarrel around the gig's arena, either to force photographers away, or make them pay a full ticket while they are on the guest lists (yes, it happens!). Or to apply pure bureaucracy when you mention you are an online reporter/reviewer therefore there's no way you have an official media ID. And this time it reached a jolly peak by stating to our faces that – and I quote "We will not allow it in the concert's tape to be many photographers taking pictures of the gig!!" and when I asked them why the answer was: "Metal is not allowed to have media coverage, we ban this!".
Aside of all this, we managed to attend the sound check, nest thing about working with experienced people is how smooth everything goes. No one treats you like if he was a star, as their main aim is to finish the sound check and leave the space to others.
Almost thirty minutes past 7 P.M., the show started with the melodic Black Metal group SALLOS. Sadly, I have to say that luck was absent from their set. Then, realizing that this wasn't the band's first time onstage (as they appeared before under the name of SOUL SANCTUARY), but back then they claimed they play a mix of Thrash/Black according to the band itself, plus I recall some band members got changed. It's a gutsy move to try to play this level of Black Metal, respectful enough that they managed to keep their heads in the game as they were not just going with the flow and playing the basic music crowds are addicted to. Moving on, I expected more off this band based on their recorded tracks (available on their YouTube Channel) which was promising. Best of luck next time boys!
Coming up was ALKALOID, a German Extreme Progressive Metal band fronted by DARK FORTRESS' very own Morean, backed up with a lineup of massive other bands' ex-musicians. They kicked the madness bucket over everyone's heads starting the state of shocked euphoria pretty amazingly. The whole act was tight like hell, yet their musical style concentrates more on the Death part to run away from the inevitable mistake almost all Prog Metal bands attempt: to copy giants like OPETH or DREAM THEATER.
The songs they played and their stage performance were as enjoyable as it gets, until… Hannes Grossman –the drummer– punctured the snare drum while caught up in the music, and once the playing stopped till stage technicians change the dead instrument… Morean started singing by himself, just making up words and singing them. People on the other hand were laughing their socks off and welcomed the ready band back with a round of applause. It all went well until the end.
By that time, I noticed that fans weren't that high on numbers, but still the overall attitude was all against childish acts. Even some of them helped decorating the stage and surrounding area as an act of appreciation to their idols singing for them this night. There were NO security guards, and yet there was no rule breaking of any sort like the pessimistic thought will happen surely. Apart from that, it surprised me that the sound engineering was spot on! Absolute eargasm, not to mention how heavy all the bands sounded. Why am I mentioning that? Because most of the sound engineers are afraid to raise the volume on the bands not to ruin the audience's hearing (Yup! They say that a lot!). But hey, THIS IS METAL! We have to play it all loud and fierce!
So, afterwards NADER SADEK took the stage, with a twist! This time he made sort of an intro, outro and in-between tracks musical borders with the help of MAYHEM's Attila Csihar (also from VOID OV VOICES) who played the psychedelic vocal parts skillfully adding some sauce to the magic on stage. Nader sounded tired for some reason this time, unlike the first time he took the stage in Cairo. Oh, and we've got to say hi to his decapitated girlfriend (check out the photos). All in all, they pulled it off as usual. Perfect.
The way they combined the diabolical sounds Attila produced and Nader's screams sent chills down evryone's spines back there. It was a really weird feeling, unsettling and as sinister as it can get. As a reviewer, I do respect a successful fusion between different paths of music and how well-conducted the outcome will be. Add this to the natural jungle the band created onstage with dead trees and plants, and you have a scene from your nightmares! The band seemed more aggressive and melancholic this time, more sure of their steps upon the stage as they knew now that they do have solid fan base. Looking forward to see more madness!
Last but absolutely not the least, came the Belgian chaos bringers ABORTED to literally break everyone's necks and backs. Imagine over 350 human beings going totally nuts over a band that educated their steps in to Death Metal. While they gave their fans the time to rest after NADER SADEK band left the stage, there wasn't a second of rest from the start on! Playing all their fans favorites including "Carnal Artistry", "Skull Crescendo", "Descend To Extirpation" and many other tracks, they successfully grabbed everyone's attention, got the whole crowd on tip toes all through their set. Sadly we knew that this was the last day for their guitarist Danny Tunker, who will be playing under his own flag and will chase other musical adventures in the near future.
The heat, the small arena and being their very first time playing beside the Nile wasn't an obstacle for their explosive energy to overwhelm every human being there. I lost my mind in the music totally, I forgot that I was supposed to be listening closely and being neutral. But sorry guys, getting me to this state of joy wasn't ever something any band can put me through, and those guys defeated me badly. Insane headbanging was what everyone did. Absorbed and delighted, all people there were taken to the max by how smoothly the act went. Jokes and laughs were on the band mates' faces all the time, at some point their vocalist had to stop for a breath to thank the people for coming and joining the night. Then saluted Egypt with one last tracks that took away what was left of my spinal cord.
Leaving the gig's arena, everyone was happy, everyone was in disbelief of what just happened. It was a onetime experience to witness such stars being astonished that fans know them by name and grab them for a photo or a chitchat. It refreshed everybody's belief that finally we can have a steady king-sized Metal injection every now and then. By the end of the concert, it was nice to see that the crowd didn't go thin from the beginning till the end. Hats off people! But it disappointed me the almost nonexistent presence of Egyptian Metal musicians. If we put aside the handful who stood as fans learning from the masters, there were none of the others, not even the ones who almost made it internationally. Not a good way to greet a guest, huh? Another issue that disappointed me was Sakkia's management attitude, who kicked ANYONE with a camera out though they happily paid their tickets. Once getting them to photograph only from the backstage, then from atop the audience area, then finally getting them back to the photography alley at the stage where they were in the first place. Wow!
As for the fans, the swarm of questions never stopped until this moment I'm submitting the review to you, our readers. But they mainly are pointing at the man, NADER SADEK, thanking and praising for such simple yet powerful night. Asking "What's next? Who's next?". As for us, the people behind the scenes, we are urging everyone in charge inside this venue to reconsider their perspective against such art and see the benefit from such old-but-always-reborn type of deviant art. Also a word for the organizers: Please break the chain, find another venue, fight the needed fight that you all sing about in your tracks to save your music and expand your lands and let the Egyptian scene finally find a bigger spot over the international Metal music map.
All the photos by AbdulRahman Mamdouh