If you’re a Metalhead residing in Egypt or enthusiastic about the Middle Eastern Metal scene, then you must have heard of Riverwood Band and banged your head along its stunningly heavy-dwelling melodic tunes. Once you’re there you’ll notice that the keyboardist of Riverwood is fiercely skilled and would be longing to dive more into his tunes.
Omar Salem –best known as The Keyboardist of Riverwood- fortunately, decides to release his debut EP and gives us the pleasure to hear more and more of his music through his super heavy solo project.
Omar Salem releasing ‘Death Oration’ on October 20th after five years of writing and composing as his debut EP featuring himself playing all the Guitars, Bass, and keys.
‘Death Oration’ is mainly introduced as a Djent instrumental EP, though it contains vocals featured in ‘Havoc’ track only which contains some extraordinary brutal vocals and also some background oriental high note chanting are featured in the rest of the tracks.
‘Death Oration’ kicks off with ‘Hades’ which holds some epic melodic keys generating high power brass along battle vibed violins which Omar has plenty of while rattling your neck with heavy guitar riffs and some heavy bass and drum lines. The chanting introduced here are adding much oriental theme to the track.
‘Lilith’ is the second track which is more melodic and djenty heavier than ‘Hades’ and has some mellow parts for some neck breaking cool downs, but after cool downs occur breakdowns and astonishing keyboard solos.
Third track which is my favorite on the record titled ‘Havoc’, at first I thought its just another heritage chanting all the way, but exactly when the first verse kicked in, I thought I heard this chant before, turned out to be that Omar is featuring and being inspired by the heritage chants in Upper Egypt, a chant that’s titled “Al Hida’a (Eagle Hunting’s Laments)” which camel riders used to sing it in the desert in ancient ages. Also this chant was featured as the intro theme to The famous Egyptian movie classic “Al Horoob (The Escape”’ starring Ahmed Zaki. ‘Havoc’ is the first and only track to feature vocals and is heavily played and sung, fire flaming your ears.
Fourth track ‘As Within, So Without’ with epic cathedral melodic keys and heavy drum lines which are thrashy at some part yet djenty on the other parts recalling the oriental chants on the first track and also adding some Dream Theatre inspired keyboard solo is making this track sound so in flesh and bones.
The track ends suddenly and without further notice, a thing which may seem that it needed to have some fading out cathedral keyboard outro as the one in the intro. ‘As Within, So Without’ has a marvelous guitar guest appearance byHossam Mashaly, the lead guitarist of Kato Hafez‘s project.
Last track on ‘Death Oration’ titled ‘Demeter’s Wrath’ as melodic and heavily epic as it seems just by title, but this time with depending mainly on guitars’ riffs more than keys in the first half of the track, but then again the flaming keyboardist must do what eargasms us the most with a vibrant keyboard solo as if the record is bidding us farewell which makes you want to repeat the whole EP once again.
The recording of instruments was fantastic and professionally demonstrated each sound solely and perfectly synced all of the instrumental inputs together.
Omar Salem mastered all the instruments he played on the recording of this record whether it was Bass, Guitars, or most importantly keyboards.
Keyboard solos were Dream Theatric and stunning as known and the rest of my words on the keyboards is history.
Hang on tight for the release and mark your calendars on October 20th,2020 for some Melodic Djent music.