So, not long after the epic Metal Eastern Night volume 1, the guys from Metal East Records and Joscene comes back and delivers another home run show in Metal Eastern Night Volume 2. These guys just keep getting better and better; this time featuring not one but two acts from outside the U.A.E, which are Arrivl all the way from Iran and Kimaera from Lebanon along with 2 local acts: Maticrust and Tartarus. At 8:15 MC Sary started getting the crowd hyped up, letting them know that the show was about to start and once again proving their organizational skills. The first band was on stage and starting at 8:30 on the dot.

The night started off with Maticrust, a local grindcore band which had sort of a peculiar line up if you ask me. The band consisted of 2 screaming/ brutal vocalists, a guitarist, a bassist and a drummer. They played 8 tracks – about 3 and half minutes each- staring it all off with ‘Die In Vain’. Both vocals were INSANE jumping around and screaming their lungs out – I thought for sure they each swallowed an amplifier before getting on stage. Fast riffs, powerful beats and an amazing performance. They went on to play ‘Identify Their Attack’, ‘Their Lies’ and my personal favorite from their set ‘Forced Patriotism’. Their main lyrical theme revolved around war and it’s effect.


After Maticrust finished their set Moutasem – the organizer – played some awesome tunes to entertain the crowds while the next band set up, but I did not recognize the tracks; so I went to ask him who these where and it was to my amazement to discover that all the music being played all through the night was music from local and middle Eastern bands – find the full list below- I honestly thought this was an amazing initiative to spread awareness to underground local bands and just added so much more meaning to the whole night. It truly was metal Eastern night…

Anyway, after a 20 minute break the second band came on stage at 9:20 and not a minute late. Next up was Tartarus, a black metal band also from the U.A.E.


They started their set with a playback intro that was very creepy and melancholic called ‘Seshot’ followed by ‘Axes of Hatred’. They had sort of a rocky start where the drummer did a couple of minor mistakes and one of the guitarists lost track of where he was in the song but they still carried on brilliantly and very professionally overcame this to the extent that I think only actual musicians could have noticed these mistakes – that we later found out after talking to the band members was due to technical problems with sound on stage – They played another original called ‘Cosmic Storms’ and followed it by a perfectly covered track for the emperors of black metal Emperor ‘I am the black wizard’. The crowd went nuts and started gathering around the stage and banging their heads. They played one last original after that called ‘Grimness and Atrocity’ and were about to close the set but due to overwhelming chants from the crowd screaming “ONE MORE TRACK!” They played an impromptu cover for another black metal legendary band Satryicon ‘Mother North’. They greeted the crowd, got off stage and once again local underground music started blasting through the sound system as Muahmed Jaber – the superhero of the night who worked from 10:00 am till after 2:00 am – went on stage and put up the banner for *drum roll please* Arrivl.


Listen, I was so blown away with this band’s performance that I know that whatever I write in this review would not do them justice. You just had to be there, but I’ll do my best to paint you a picture with words. This blackened death metal band hailing all the way from Tehran, Iran were as good as any headliners in the world. The energy, performance, crowd interaction, accuracy, and tightness were beyond belief. They started off with a very catchy playback intro and then went straight down to business with ‘Deceptions in the Shadows’. The entire band were insanely talented and incredibly technical music wise. Throughout their set they must have played more than 5 or 6 different time signatures, with face melting solos, HEAVY HEAVY HEAVYY HEAVY riffs and drum beats that were out of this world. They played a 45 minute set which was 8 original tracks and no I can not possibly pick a favorite because YES they were THAT good. Half way through their set and the entire music room is just empty chairs and everyone was in front of the stage going mental, there was even a small mosh pit that got started, and the crowd started shouting as loud as they possibly can the name of the band which I could tell made them very happy because guess what, that was their first live performance ever, I found that out after they finished playing and my jaw dropped to the floor like a cartoon character. They went on to play ‘As The Eternal Winter’, ‘Sacrifice in Blood’ and ‘Exile’s Silents’. When the crowd, the words “This is it for tonight” come out of the vocal’s mouth they started chanting one more track and banging on tables and even on the stage itself, and you guessed it, the band complied this time covering one of my favorite tracks for one of my favorite bands Moonspell ‘Everything Invaded’ once the guitarist started playing the intro the crowd went nuts – personally, I put down my pen and paper, took off my pass and ran to the middle of the crowd, sang along and banged my head till it almost got knocked off my shoulders. Even after playing an extra track, the crowd could not get enough of them but at this point the vocal politely apologized and said that their time was up for tonight, thanked the crowd and asked the band members to come together to take a picture with the rest of crowd.

Last but certainly not least, it was time for the headliners, the stars of the show, the internationally recognized band that played many international festivals. It was time for Kimaera *Bringing doom upon us*. Hailing from Lebanon, this band delivered one of the most professional, well rehearsed, musically intense and lively performances I have ever seen in my entire life –and believe me I’ve seen a lot both local and international.


It all started with a very dark, evil and sinister playback intro, which they merged into their first track, entitled ‘Ancient Serpents’. They were true to their word and brought doom upon Dubai. Their originals were creative, inspired, dark, and hit you right in the core of your existence. I’m pretty sure their drummer was from another planet, or was an octopus in another life because his playing was just simply inhumane. The bassist’s performance was mesmerizing and you can see how much he was in love with his music, – I haven’t seen fingers play that fast and that accurate since I saw Opeth last year- the lead guitarist was very talented but was not a show off, playing melodies in most of their songs which portrays the essence of doom metal and only shredding insane licks where it was appropriate. The vocal had an impressive vocal range and a growl that would knock your hat straight off your head from a mile away. They also had a 45-minute set that was 8 tracks including 1 very different rendition of another favorite of mine Anathema’s ‘Lost Control’ which they brought on the incredible Ishtar Inanna to the stage to add her beautiful voice to the mix. It was her first time on stage and you could tell she was nervous but she had a lot of support from the crowd and once she started singing the entire music room was singing along. She has a beautiful voice, which gave a different flavor to the song, she did miss the last word of the last verse but the crowd sang it instead and clapped and cheered her on. But this was not the only surprise Kimaera had in store; the very energetic extremely talented guitarist JM Ellias from the band Svengali joined the band for a track, which the crowd really loved. The band took a break in the middle and their alien drummer played a 5-minute drum solo, which proved my theory beyond the shadow of the doubt, this guy was not human.

They finished strong with ‘God’s Wrath’ with the crowd chanting and cheering and banging their heads as hard as they can – me included. It was a perfect ending to a perfect night. Oh, one last thing, Muhammed Jaber went on stage to thank the bands and the organizers and the amazing crowd and announced that Metal Eastern Night 3 will be on September 27th and will be featuring Svengali and Perversion from the U.A.E as well as Benevolent from Lebanon and Kahtmayan from Iran. So stay, keep your eyes pealed for our next review and if you are in the U.A.E this is one show you DO NOT want to miss.

Reviewed by: Ahmed S. Khalil
Photography brought to you by: Alexandre Antozzi

Edited by: NJ Bakr

  • Check the rest of the photos here.
  • For bands full set-lists check it out from here.