UAE based extreme metallers, BENEVOLENT, have been hard at work on their debut full length album which features former CHIMAIRA drummer, Andols Herrick, behind the kit.

The band has also recently revealed their custom pedal with IGNITE AMPS called the "Tyrant Screamer TSB-1" and made the AU/VST plugin available for free download (which was downloaded 2,200+ times in its first 24 hours of release).

Being one of our favorite bands based out of the middle east, we thought it was time to catch up with guitarist/co-founder, Hadi Sarriedine, to talk about the band's highly anticipated full length, their endorsement with IGNITE AMPS, working with Andols Herrick, and much more.

Moe: Thanks a lot for doing this. It's been sometime since we last caught up, how's everything at camp BENEVOLENT? 

Hadi: Thanks for having me, man! Things are going great, we've been busy with a bunch of things at the Benevolent camp; we're working on the upcoming album and been having a blast promoting our collaboration with Ignite Amps. We're basically taking our time with making sure that the tracks on the new record come out in the way that we imagine them to be. The album is somewhat shaping in a way that tells a few stories although none of the songs have correlating topics, however, it seems that (similar to Divided EP) there's an overall "feel" for the album.

Moe: You guys have been working on your highly anticipated debut album with former CHIMAIRA drummer, Andols Herrick, can you tell us about the collaboration?

Hadi: Working with Andols Herrick is pretty epic for us; he's one of my all time favorite drummers and having him play on our album is just nuts.

The way the process worked is I basically got in touch with Andols asking him if he'd be interested to drum on our stuff and I linked the stuff from Divided EP to him. He responded saying that he really digs the sound of the band and we started setting up working together under the impression that we're doing only one track together, however, that progressed into working on the entire album with him. Andols was really cool about the whole process; very professional and approachable, and most importantly he really enjoyed the new material.

There are some moments in there where some pretty crazy stuff happens on drums. It's surreal for us and we are extremely psyched about this.

Moe: When might fans expect a taste of the new material?

Hadi: We're going to confirm the album title, track list, and release information as soon as it is all confirmed. Can we fast forward to that? I'm super psyched! [Laughs]

Moe: Your latest EP, Divided, has been one of the most played releases coming out of the region and has received coverage from all around the world. How would you describe the new album compared to your latest EP? 

Hadi: The new album is a bit more technical; there's a lot more "behind the riff" type of moments which we really enjoy playing. The album is certainly darker than Divided EP in terms of both lyrical content and the music in itself. Lyrically the themes go between fictional and philosophical topics. What I really enjoy about the album is the fact that I think there's something for everyone in it, there's tons of heavy groovy riffs, instrumental progressive sections, polymers, shimmering clean guitars and soundscapes, tons of growled vocals, clean vocals, and a contrast between very tense melodies and some really uplifting chord progressions. I really can't wait to get everyone to hear it!

Moe: Can you confirm any tracks set to be featured on the new album? Will there be tracks from the EP featured on the full length?

Hadi: The new record has no material from Divided EP, all the songs on it are completely new.

Moe: BENEVOLENT recently released its signature custom pedal with IGNITE AMPS called the "Tyrant Screamer TSB-1" and made the AU/VST plugin available for free download (which was downloaded 2,200+ times in its first 24 hours of release) Can you tell us about the custom pedal and how your endorsement with IGNITE AMPS came about?

Hadi: The Tyrant Screamer TSB-1 is the culmination of some of the most fun I had working on anything, period. The guys at IGNITE AMPS are very professional, very honest and genuine, and just really cool to work with. The idea behind the pedal came about after I had been using IGNITE AMPS plugins for home recordings and stuff, I basically got in touch with them and we started talking about different ideas and the pedal just started coming to life one step at a time. First of all we discussed what options work best for our type of tone, putting in mind both the live and the studio situation; so this little monster is geared towards making us sound a whole lot more ballsy both on and off stage.

IGNITE AMPS sent us a plugin version of the Tyrant Screamer for us to try out and based on the final results of that, the actual pedal was built. We also spent a lot of time working on the aesthetics of the pedal, the choice of knobs, graphics, etc.

We had the whole thing planned out, we filmed the video demo and announced the free AU/VST plugin version along with that and the reaction to that was just INSANE. The buzz, feedback, and the actual downloads/views of the plugin and video respectively have been INCREDIBLE. The plugin also ranked at #1 on KVR Audio a few days after it was released. How epic is that?

I cannot begin to tell you how proud we are of this, and how great it is for us to be plugging into a piece of gear that represents us both as a band and as the gear geeks that we are [laughs].

If you are a guitarist / bassist / producer definitely head over to to get the Tyrant Screamer TSB-1 for free, and check out our video demo here:

Moe: Thanks a lot for doing this, it's always a pleasure catching up with one of our favorite bands from the region. We can't wait to hear the new BENEVOLENT full length! Would you like to add anything?

Hadi: Thank you so much for having me, it's always my pleasure to be featured on which is not only one of my favorite metal websites but also one that's been a true supporter of Benevolent and all the bands in the region. Thank you to everyone who continues to support us, looking forward to seeing you all out there!

If you haven't done so already, make sure to download the band's EP "Divided" available for free download on their official Bandcamp page.


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