Some years ago, when I watched an interesting documentary of Sam DunnMetal: a headbanger’s journey’ (2005), I was really surprised by the way metal music had affected many parts of this earth, and especially the Arabic world. Of course, I was aware of bands from Japan for example and some Turkish bands, but I never imagined that there could be so many AND so good!

So, I was attracted mostly to the Arabic stuff for various reasons. From doing  research every now and then, here we go, Damaar from Lebanon (!) who formed in 2004,  released a demo called ‘Triumph Through Spears of Sacrilege’, in 2007 ,  in mp-3 form due to the dangers  metal music fans have to face in the Arabic countries. The fact that there is no further or accurate information about the band, and no further releases, this can make us think the worst case scenario. But let’s be positive for the moment and take a look at this masterpiece.

Damaar in Arabic means “destruction”, and this demo brings it on. Its quality sound, the blast beats, and the insane vocals, would be envied by many bands of this kind. I mean, these guys know very well and for real what war and religious oppression are like. The intro is terrifying, as we listen prayers and probably threatening voices in Arabic language, which end with an explosion. According to other resources (check at the end of the article), the intro is a recording of the beheading of Mohammad Mutawalli by Al Qa’ida in Iraq in 2004. The first track ‘Preaching for Mass Suicide’ says it all by its title. This demo lasts merely 19 minutes and 35 seconds, and the hell it unleashes lasts longer. Apart from some ominous sounds between the tracks (some keyboards and growling sounds), the continuous blast beats and the rage of the singer make your heart race along them. Unfortunately, there are no posted lyrics, but we can listen in the first track the repeated question “Do you wish to die?”, and warily I think I hear somewhere in the songs which follow next, the name of Satan. Probably there can be a disagreement about the quality of the sound. Personally, I find it original for the genre. It is dirty in two ways, based on what I felt when I listened to it: a) it is filthy like this demo has been violated as a sinful and forbidden stuff, and b) it is unclean, because it tramples on religion and oppression, it tears them apart, and throws what’s left of them to our face.

Mary Kalaitzidou