Slave to sirens. Slave to Sirens: The Fierce Rise of Lebanon's First All 2019-11-30

Slave to Sirens: The Fierce Rise of Lebanon's First All

slave to sirens

It's a Friday night and rush-hour traffic from the city carves a path up the mountainside, horns blaring as cars swerve around blind corners at top speed, drivers racing to leave Beirut behind and return to mountain villages for the weekend. Plus, it's an adrenaline rush to show people that you're a woman and you can do what men can do. All five fell in love with metal music and culture at a young age, but struggled to find the space to enjoy it in Lebanon. The five women are not on the scene just to have a good time, but to succeed in their favourite style of thrash metal, an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterised by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. They write about society and human nature in general, the evil nature of men and war in the region. . Lilas and Sherry, both on the guitar, first met during the 2015.

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Slave To Sirens

slave to sirens

Khairallah, whose practiced growl now lends their songs a distinctive flavor, had never tried the vocal technique before she auditioned for the group. We come and play and we're friends, too. You should wear red, white, pink. Facing them, alone at a table, is a girl dressed all in black, with rings through her lower lip and a spike through the top of her right ear. The music inside is too loud for us to talk comfortably, so they suggest we move outside, where we sit on a flight of concrete steps in the dark, Skadi tied to a tree beside us. The name of the band was suggested by a common friend and represents the Sirens - dangerous creatures from Greek mythology, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. But they still face challenges due to their gender.

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Slave to Sirens, the Middle East's first female Metal band

slave to sirens

He's being reborn in a dream. Metalheads who went out wearing band T-shirts or clothing with skull prints were accused of being Satanists and arrested. They quickly discovered a shared love of thrash and death metal and began to hand-pick kick-ass women with a shared vision to form the country's first all-female metal outfit. Even if you want to mix or record or produce an album here, it's harder because they don't have the right equipment for metal. So never give up — that's our motto. Lots of bands struggle at first and then eventually they make it. Shery Bechara and Lilas Mayassi, the five-piece's lead and rhythm guitarists, respectively, unzip cases to reveal their V-shaped axes, and vocalist Maya Khairallah warms up with a practice growl, the raw sound ripping out of her small frame with startling volume.

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SLAVE TO SIRENS LYRICS

slave to sirens

Within seconds, they are in full swing, tight and focused, Bechara and Mayassi swaying and nodding in time to the fast-paced thrash beat, Boughaba drumming so frantically that one of her sticks flies out of her hands and a friend who has come to watch the rehearsal scrabbles to return it to her. It's about a man in a dream, but he's not actually dreaming. All five of them are serious about turning Slave to Sirens into a full-time career. Boughaba, an accomplished drummer who was in several other bands before joining Slave to Sirens, says that the difficulties they face have helped them grow. Most venues in Lebanon will not host metal bands for fear the noise will upset neighbors, they explain. Khairallah and Bechara, who have already graduated, work part-time in a bakery shop and a veterinary clinic, respectively, while Mayassi, who recently finished a degree in music, is teaching at a primary school.

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Slave to Sirens: The Fierce Rise of Lebanon's First All

slave to sirens

Working on the album has meant that they have found new ways to collaborate, each of them contributing ideas for compositions and lyrics. Albums by bands including Metallica and Nirvana were banned from the country and confiscated at customs. In the 1990s, Christian religious institutions turned against metal culture, linking it to the suicide of a teenage boy and calling for a ban on all metal music. Musically, I changed and evolved a lot in this band. In a small, soundproof rehearsal room in the mountains just outside Beirut, Lebanon's first all-female metal band, Slave to Sirens, is getting ready to make some noise.

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Slave to Sirens, the Middle East's first female Metal band

slave to sirens

But then when I joined Slave to Sirens it was like a whole new world and I felt like I fit right there. The five women — who are all in their early-20s — met through mutual friends and discovered a shared love of thrash and death metal. They have had to convince their parents they are not wasting their time. Slave to Sirens' members have faced some of the same accusations, although they emphasize that things are rapidly improving. The lyrics are written by Lilas and Maya, while the music is composed by Sherry and Lilas. After convincing Tatyana, the band was officially formed in 2016.

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Slave to Sirens: Lebanon’s first all

slave to sirens

Doumani is also at university, studying filmmaking. I was singing in a different style and I was enjoying it because it was something new for me, but at the end of the day it wasn't satisfying. How it all began The five women met through music and personal friends. All five of the band members are university educated — three are still studying — and have support from friends and family. Her identity as a metalhead has been particularly challenging, due to her family background. Times have changed, but metal culture is still quite foreign to Lebanese society. I didn't see that in other bands, so I'm really satisfied.

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Slave to Sirens: Lebanon’s first all

slave to sirens

Talking to them as a group is a bit like chatting with a hydra — one of them picks up whenever another leaves off, but all of them share the same excitement and dedication to their band and its message. I'm not waiting for their approval. Bechara, whose long, ruler-straight locks only partially conceal the spikes in her ears — matching the two through her lower lip — says she wants to dye hers silver, and the two argue good-naturedly for a few minutes about which of them should have first crack at the shade. Any human action that ruins the environment, we write about that. Me wearing black was a big problem for my dad.

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Slave To Sirens Concert Setlist at Wacken Open Air 2019 on July 31, 2019

slave to sirens

Their determination to succeed has helped them to overcome the myriad challenges of producing metal music in a country with limited infrastructure and audiences, and a systematic misunderstanding of metal culture and what it represents — made worse by the fact that they are women. Metal culture is poorly thought of in Lebanese society. During a in March 2018, the priest of the church where the wedding was taking place ended up labelling the couple as Satanic and condemning their anti-church practices. The women are clearly close friends, constantly interjecting and adding to each other's words. It's about how we feel and what we see. Sherry was previously in a band with drummer Tatyana.

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Slave to Sirens, the Middle East's first female Metal band

slave to sirens

Bassist Alma Doumani is tuning up her instrument while drummer Tatyana Boughaba shakes her thick, waist-length hair out of the way, adjusts her leather jacket and gives her sticks a twirl. Slave to Sirens is one of the first all-female metal band in the Middle East and Shery Bechara is their lead guitarist. The members of Slave to Sirens are proud headbangers, and with their piercings, tattoos, leather jackets and all-black clothes, they stand out in Beirut, where women are more likely to dye their hair blonde than green and to wear stilettos than biker boots. But after, we got the respect somehow, even from the male bands. Books, psychology, stuff like that. He was like, 'Black is the color of the devil.

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