Rock Era takes a look at a fusion metal band, Aramaic  – who combines sounds from the Arab culture with the powerful forces of death metal. Aramaic are L- R: Michael Al Asmar – Bass, Serge Lutfi – Vocals, Fadi Al Shami – Guitars, Ahmad Rammal – Guitars

1. What is Oriental Death Metal – how did you guys come up with this concept?

Oriental death metal is a genre that existed before with other bands in the region like Orphaned Land and Bilocate. Yet, Aramaic aims to keep it more subtle, with using oriental and Arabic instruments like the tabla, oud, etc. with the main sound of death & black metal and here we mean riffs and drum lines.

2. What do you guys have in store for your fans in the UAE this year?
After releasing our first EP The Fallen, we went back directly to the studio to start working on the upcoming full-length album. In the mean time, we have few gigs coming up with some international bands that we cannot reveal just yet. As you guys know, we have Sound Of Thunder Gig with the Indian Metal band Demonic Resurrection on 6th Feb 2015. Later during the year, we will release the first music video from the upcoming full-length album.

3. When are we expecting the release of your upcoming album?
We are working hard on the new release and hopefully the fans will be able to hear it after the summer of 2015. So keep an eye on our page, what we are delivering this time is BIG and HEAVY!

4. What have influenced your upcoming album and what can we expect?
The Fallen was what the band wanted to sound like in the beginning, yet after spending hours and hours we realized that the band has matured into stronger and more prominent tunes. We think this is a part of the progress of any band. The unique thing about Aramaic is the diversity in its members musical backgrounds, as it varies from old school thrash, death, doom, progressive to black metal. It is the factor that gives the outstanding way of composition we aim for.

5. Can you give us a sneak preview (MP3) of your upcoming album? (Due to release early 2015?)
‘The King’ is one of the tracks that will be featured in our upcoming release.

6. Who is doing the artwork for the upcoming album?
The Fallen was designed by MHD Graphics aka Hamood Hallak, who also worked on Voice of the Soul’s latest release along with Hourglass’ new Artwork too. We are more than happy to work with MHD for our upcoming full length as well.

7. Where are you guys recording?
The recording, mixing, mastering, and production process take place at Haven Studio with the brilliant producer Hadi Sarieddine from the Local Talented band Benevolent. We consider Sarieddine the 6th member of Aramaic, with his total dedication, talent, and great effort in making sure every record leaves the studio with a thundering sound and quality.

8. Where are you guys originally from, how did you all come together?
Aramaic is a fusion of different Arab nationalities: Syrian, Palestinian, and Lebanese born musicians. The band started in 2010 with Fadi and Michael having few jamming sessions, which led to an undeniable chemistry. Because of these two came about the creation of around 13 raw tracks. The vocalist Serge Lutfi from Abhorred then joined by helping with the writing process. Now Ahmad Rammal, the guitarist from Xceed, who will be taking the role of the lead guitarist in the band, joined Aramaic.

9. The name Aramaic?
The name came from the Ancient Arameans who lived in the region, where the bands and musicians hail from, with their very rich mythology as they worshipped Assyro-Babylonian gods such as Haddad (Adad), Sin, Ishtar, Shamash, and Nergal, and Caananite-Phoenician deities such as the storm-god, El, the supreme deity of Canaan, Anat (‘Atta) and others.

The Aramean civilization is a rich untouched one from the perspective of music, as it somehow represents the early Christian aspects people avoided getting close to. What we did is take the pre-Christian era and dived deeper into every detail, and every historical main event. Those reflect what we live through nowadays from social, emotional, philosophical, and historical views.
Matter of fact, metal bands around the globe have been highlighting other civilizations like: the Viking, Mesopotamian, Greek, Romanian, and even Mayan. Our aim was to present something different, in order to open new doors of knowledge to where the band members descended from.

10. What are the challenges you face being a doom metal band in the UAE? What are the highlights?
The challenges and highlights are the same for each band regardless the genre. What we do might be not as accessible to the regular market but we do not see this in a negative light. The good thing about the scene is that all bands from different genres can share the same stage and still have a great show…

Edited by: Duha Mousa

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Natsky is an ardent music lover with a passion for rock, metal and electronic music. Natsky graduated 6th grade piano and 5th grade music theory, from the Royal Music School in London. She has also studied the history of rock music, and done various PR activities for musicians locally and around the world. Born in the UAE, Natsky aims to support the rock/metal music scene in the country, recognizing talent from one of the most cosmopolitan countries in the world, and discovering the sheer depth that lies behind this genre.