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Sunday, Dec 04, 2022

Saudi heavy metal band play in large public event for the first time

Saudi heavy metal band play in large public event for the first time

Saudi melodic death metal band Immortal Pain have been a pioneer in the Saudi metal scene since 2005 and are the first to perform heavy metal at a large public event.

The band, who sing original songs in English, performed in a concert on the second day of Comic Con Arabia at the Jeddah International Exhibition and Convention Center.

The band members include Emad Ashoor, rhythm guitarist and vocalist; Rasheed Attar, lead guitarist; Moayad Al-Shammari, drummer; and Anan Al-Sabban, bassist.

“Immortal Pain started late 2005, with Rasheed and I joining together to start the band, and it took off from there throughout the years,” the vocalist told Arab News.

“We played a lot of shows here in Riyadh and in Dammam. We’ve released a couple of songs, and we are planning to release more,” he added.

Contrary to popular belief, the band members say, there are more metalheads in the Kingdom than people think.

“The heavy metal scene is huge. It’s kind of an underground scene, but we have a lot of great bands around such as Wasted Land, Kaizer, and it’s still growing,” Ashoor said.

Al-Shammari, the band’s drummer, said the Saudi metal scene has been waiting for opportunities to hold public concerts.

“It’s been quiet for a while, but now practicing music is supported by the country. Immortal Pain are actually one of the pioneers in the metal scene in Saudi Arabia, and I’m so thankful to see the growing number of bands,” he told Arab News.

Expressing his excitement at the opportunity, Al-Shammari added: “It feels so welcoming. People cannot believe that we posted on social media that we are playing at Comic Con Arabia; they said it’s like a dream come true.”

Alternative Hejazi rock band Ana N7n also performed at Comic Con Arabia.

Band members include Saif Mufti, Shaher Karkashan, Saleh Binsaif, Abdulmalik Zubilah, and Maan Balila.

Bassist Mufti said Ana N7n came together in 2019, and the band’s members had all been musicians since 2006.

“We have all played in different bands, and the experience of playing with other bands led us to create Ana N7n,” Mufti told Arab News.

Vocalist Zubilah explained that they sing in a Hejazi dialect because they want to directly reach their community.

“A huge goal we wanted to achieve when we started Ana N7n was to have an open dialogue with the people we feel close to and relate to,” he said.

“The only way to communicate clearly is to speak to people in the same dialect, so that’s why we decided specifically on the Hejazi dialect to sing our songs,” he added.

Ana N7n uses an unconventional instrument in rock, the tabla, which Binsaif plays along with the keyboard and synth.

“I’ve been playing the tabla ever since I was a kid, and when I joined Ana N7n, I listened to a solo that Said created. It had a strong Arabic tune, and that’s when I thought the tabla needed to be added,” Binsaif told Arab News.

“We tried it, and it created a great sound. It also added that Hejazi note in our material; it gave us our own sound,” he added.


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