The Egyptian Doom Metal scene have not been very active recently. Only Sinprophecy and Midwinter currently represent Doom Metal music in Egypt. Last March however, a new Doom Metal band Catharsis were born, to pour more blood in our local DM veins. The band’s members are:
- Ahmed Sokkar: Vocals, lyrics, composition and Guitars.
- Magdy Hanafy: Drums and Clean vocals.
- Amr Saleh: Bass.
Catharsis joined the Egyptian Doom Metal releases in 2017 by releasing 3 singles ‘1.11.11’, ‘Beyond Imagination’ and ‘Eiggam’.
Throughout this article, I’ll take you on a journey but before I start my review, I would like to point out that I am going to consider the 3 releases as 3-stages of remembrance.
Now, 1.11.11 is the first stage. It is a short track that starts with an atmospheric mood that reflects the noise of over-thinking. It mainly consists of keyboard sounds and spoken word vocals. The vocal style resembles that of an internal monologue of a broken soul revealing what is hidden. In 1:18 the Guitars and the drums join in with emotional weeping riffs. There are some breaks to reflect the bleeding of a wounded heart. The track has a Gothic flavor to it due to the vocal style being colored with horror and fantasy. The title of the track uses numbers which is one of the remarkable signs of the memory. Even the figure “1” carries a lot of connotations like first love, first date, the first man on earth, or first fall. If we looked closer at the lyrics, we will find out that they are full of unanswered questions.
It’s the second stage of this process. After overthinking comes the spoken truths of the mind. Beyond Imagination carries many emotional tunes with high notes, growling and screaming to symbolize inner pain, misery, and the truth behind fragile dreams and dead hopes. In 1:25, the sound of keyboards give the music a more symphonic/gothic feel and the Bass lines paint the track with darkness. There is a nice Acoustic interlude with clean vocals in the background starting from 2:24 with a wonderful touch of Flute. Beyond Imagination is based on rage and calmness that’s why there are very high angry depressive parts and other sweet calm mournful ones. The last part of the track is heavily influenced by Depressive Black Metal which is obvious due to the screams and loud drums.
Now comes the hardest and the final stage, Eiggam. What does it mean? Is it an imaginary symbol? A mythical figure? Is it a new Medusa, Helen or Hera? Eiggam starts with strong drums and very brutal vocals. The harsh flow of music is like a flood of memories. The screams and how they are synchronized with the music convey a broken & imprisoned soul. You are a prisoner of your own memory. After this phase of rage comes a sweet emotional part of keyboards and clean vocals at 1:06. After this part, comes a harder musical stage, the riffs become very mournful and the vocals get harsher as weeping laments of wounded bleeding humans, the music is very sorrowful and painful, actually Eiggam touches a lot of wounds and plays on my heartstrings, it was so hard to bear this music without crying or even shouting. The taste of loss is very bitter and it is mixed with ashes of good memories.
What are the results of this journey? Well, we have a very good rising Doom Metal band in Egypt. In fact, the quality of Catharsis music equivalent to that of Russian and Ukrainian bands. I think the album is about memories and remembrance yet we still don’t know how this mental process will conclude.
Edited By: Ahmed Khalil