A couple of months ago, The Egyptian Industrial/Symphonic Metal band Hate Field performed a wonderful night with a completely different magical taste. Hate Field was formed by one of the well-known musicians in Egypt specially in Alexandria Alfi Hayati who started his journey with music with Odious and established the first symphonic metal band in Egypt which is Midnight Symphony in 1999.
The band released two albums, which were shared in many concerts in Egypt and as well as being shared at The Music Room in Dubai in 2013. This year the band released their third album and their first live album entitled Acoustic For A Night. 14 acoustic tracks mixture between covers and originals. This album was definetly something to look forward to listen to.
Unfortunately, it didn’t receive a respected interest from the media. Let me give you a small background, the Metal scene in Egypt is divided into 2 scenes, the scene of Cairo and the scene of Alexandria. To be fair, the scene in Alexandria suffers way more than Cairo’s. Alexandrian Musicians don’t have the veneus and the organizers to arrange good quality concerts, although sometime ago, the concerts and metal festivals were held a lot in Alexandria. Concerning the media coverage, 99 % would give more attention for the concerts held in El-Sakya more than any other place. It is worth mentioning that some of the most successful Egyptian Metal bands were Alexandrian, such as Massive Scar Era and Odious as well as the first symphonic metal band in Egypt Midnight Symphony and the first industrial/symphonic metal band in Egypt Hate Field are also Alexandrian bands. Now, Let’s move on Hate Field‘s first live album in detail. I divided my review into 2 main parts; the covers which the band performed and the originals.
The Band performed nine covers through its Acoustic night. ‘Evol Morena’ for Horrified was track number one, the band could convert a piece from Atmospheric Death Metal to an amazing acoustic version with clean vocals with an oriental taste of the accordion. It started with a nice harmony between the guitars, then the other instruments joined. The accordion added some sort of melody to the vocals but sometimes I felt that the sound of the instruments were higher than the vocals specially the accordion. Both the accordion and the drums made me feel that they got out the riff through the second part of the track. ‘Altes Feiber’ for Toten Hossen was the second track on the list and it was one of the best tracks through this album but it somehow carried the same problem of track 1, still the accordion outed the riff at some parts and higher than the other instruments.
‘Add Reality’ for Dan Swano comes next on the album, it turned from a 6 minutes song to just 2 minutes through Hate Field‘s version . It is not the first time Hate Field covered this track; they covered it in their second album JagerBomb – which we previously reviewed and you can read it here. However, the version in JagerBomb album is more emotional than the one performed in the concert. The band took just a part from the original track, the part that starts from 4:30 till the end of the original track. The accordion did well in keeping the same taste and the riff of the original. The fifth track in the album was ‘St Anger’ for Metallica, maybe choosing this release from Metallica is a big challenge, because as we all know, this album disappointed many fans, however, Hate Field performed it perfectly with high harmony between the guitars. Yet, they didn’t perform the whole track, only 2 minutes. The sixth track was also another Metallica cover ‘Turn The Page’, I honestly liked this cover so much but the accordion lines needed to be more accurate.
The ninth track was ‘Requiem For A Dream + Mein Herz Brennt’ for Rammstein; ‘Requiem For A Dream’s’ solo was performed with the accordion. It was a nice cover and it was played perfectly,especially how the band replaced the whole instruments of the original by one oriental instrument. However, I wished that Hate Field could add keys to their line up because ‘Mein Herz Brennt’ would have been better with keys than with Accordion. ‘Tears Of The Dragon’ for Bruce Dickinson is a very emotional track, and the band kept the emotional atmosphere of the track perfectly by gathering Alfi Hayati’s and Vasiliki Lagari’s vocals. And when the voices of the Alfi and Vasiliki collided, their harmonies made my emotions race.
More Metallica covers coming up. Track number 13 was ‘I Disappear’. It was performed it in a really good way and they kept the harmony of the instruments. The final cover track was ‘Upon The Broken Wings’ for the Egyptian black metal band Odious. As, previously mentioned Alfi Hayati was Odious‘ guitarist for 10 years, this band practically formed a part from his personality and career. Hate Field yet again, converted it to a nice acoustic version and kept the oriental/folk touch at their cover as the original one.
Let’s now move to the originals. The band performed 5 originals. Track number 4 was ‘Sweet Nightmare’ while track number 11 ‘New Born’s Army’, both of them were in Hate Field first full-length Scary, Fairy Tale from 2012. Track number 8 was ‘Angels Gone Wild’that was featured in his first EP JagerBomb, I had the chance to enjoy with Hate Field‘s tracks without any effects, synths and programmed drums. Track number 7 ‘Scream In Silence’ and track number 10 ‘El-Xelafi’ were new. ‘Scream Is Silence’ carried the same style of the performed tracks, I loved its riffs and how the accordion played the solo. It was one of the tracks that really grabbed my attention in th original setlist. ‘El-Xelafi’ carried the real taste and style of Hate Field; the tunes of the accordion and the guitars with the help of bass and oriental touches. From 1:56 to 2:26 the music was higher than vocals but the track carried quite the performance that would send your ears to heaven.
To sum up this review, this live album was something different and unique; the quality, the performance, and the harmony between the members with their tools was great. I liked the vocals very much. We do suffer from lack of good clean vocals here in the Egyptian Metal Scene, but Alfi Hayati did a great job especially through covering Metallicaand how he controlled his voice to catch the ears of the audience. The only negative feedback on this album is on the accordine.The lines were great, as it added a nice oriental taste, however, sometimes it needed to be more accurate, even sometimes I felt that the sound made some sort of disstorted noise in some of the tracks. Nevertheless, this album rates 9 out 10. You should listen to this album and support your local scene.
Photo Credits: Abanoub Nabil & Tamer Hayati
Edited by: NJ Bakr