Hera is an Egyptian one woman Rock/Metal band formed by Heidi Habib. Habib is one of the 1st generation Egyptian Metalheads. She started her path in the late 90s before she wondered to UAE and France. This year, Hera released her latest full length entitled Jarhaiin. The album contained 10 tracks, which are ‘Jarhaiin’, ‘Abahk’, ‘Ahwak’, ‘The Unborn’, ‘Bitter Reality’, ‘Fallen’, ‘What I’ve Become’, ‘Home’, ‘La tatrekni’, and ‘Don’t Forsake Me’.

This album is something unique and new in 2017 Egyptian releases. You have a heavy meal of hybrid musical tastes. The album has symphonic notes, wonderful key sounds, dynamic guitars distortions, clean vocals with female screaming voices and acoustic riffs.

I want to emphasize the album without following the list dividing it into 3 parts:
‘Jarhaiin’
‘Abahk’, ‘Ahwak’, ‘The Unborn’, ‘Fallen’, ‘What I’ve Become’, ‘Home’, and ‘La tatrekni’
‘Bitter Reality’and ‘Don’t Forsake Me’.

Firstly is ‘Jarhaiin’
The album started off with ‘Jarhaiin’; and in my point of view is the most complicated track in the release. This track was a shock, it carries dynamic electronic/atmospheric sounds and the guitar tunes reflect an atmosphere of battle and danger. The Guitar techniques in the track portrayed different modes of seeking freedom, escaping, danger, and the devil. What made amazed me more is those oriental riffs in the track with Tabla and Arabic sound similar to the ones you hear in movies describing the Arabian Deserts. Midst of the track, there is a wonderful clean sorrowful voice with keys tunes. Actually, it reminded me Evanescence songs. The drum beats in the track with many breaks carry a sense of chaos to asserts the Misty situation.

Secondly are ‘Abahk’, ‘Ahwak’, ‘The Unborn’, ‘Fallen’, ‘What I’ve Become’, ‘Home’, and ‘La tatrekni’
In fact, the mentioned tracks carry the same atmosphere and characteristics. They consisted of powerful musical combination between Heavy Metal, and Hard Rock and progressive music. The music expresses a mood of energy, head banging, fighting, and inner conflicts and emotional fragmentation emotions. Clean Arabic voice with screaming, oriental sounds as well. What attracted me to Hera‘s music; the usage of keys and electronic effects which enriched the music. For example, I liked the emotional pitch in ‘Abahk’ and ‘Ahwak’, and the aggressive taste in ‘The Unborn’ and ‘Fallen’. But what genuinely flatters me is the spiritual religious element in the album especially in ‘La Titrikni’ and how she calls for God to stay on her side and not to leave her. ‘Fallen’ and ‘What I’ve Become’ have epic symphonic vibes within the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal frame. Finally, ‘The Unborn’ was a good example for different stages of feminism, it carries a sweet taste of female sounds and how she is attractive and strong.

‘Bitter Reality’ and  ‘Don’t Forsake Me’
My favourites, I am a big fan or call me a big addict for acoustic tunes. ‘Bitter Reality’ and ‘Don’t Forsake Me’ carry this emotional calm sensitive acoustic mood. After loud chaotic sounds, you need this mood of calmness and sweet pain.

To finalize, the process of composition is good. In addition, the harmony between the instruments are well cone. I think Hera’s music enriches the Oriental Metal platform. We have many bands that keep introducing Oriental/Egyptian taste as Scarab and Odious, in addition, Hate Field also employs some oriental tunes in its music (Laura from Jagerbomb EP carries an oriental part of drum beats and accordion). Enraged also keeps some sort of oriental taste in their guitar riffs. I hope that Hera produces more acoustic stuff or clean vocals with keys. I have just a few negative comments regarding the quality and the mixing process. I felt that there was some sort of mistake in the first part of the first track ‘Jarhaiin’. The quality of the recording needed to be better. Regarding the rate,I give it a 7/10.

Edited by: Bishoy Nader

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