by Habib T

Despite the unfortunate cancellation of Belgian deathgrind band Aborted’s appearance in Dubai’s Halloween Metal Night, hosted by Metal East Records and JoScene at the Music Room on October 30th, metalheads still celebrated with a vicious lineup of local bands while donning insane costumes. Svengali, Coat of Arms, and Verdict performed in front of the crowd of freaks that night, in addition to DJ Der Abyss playing his mix of industrial and black metal between sets.

Verdict. Photo credit: JoScene.

Newcomers Verdict commenced a night of madness by playing four of their tracks, namely “Reckless Punishment”, “Systematic Slaughter”, “Heartstab”, and “Defiance”.  This is the Death/groove metal band’s second live performance, after making their live debut a week prior to this show at The Fridge in Dubai. They put on an excellent set with crushing riffs and brutal vocals and were definitely a crowd pleaser, resulting in a mosphit and involuntary headbanging, especially during “Systematic Slaughter”. In addition, Vocalist Karam Toubba was sure to send a message to the haters of the local metal scene, getting a roar of approval from the revelers. I can say that I am definitely looking forward to their first release as well as any of their future performances.

Verdict. Photo credit: JoScene.

Next up were Coat of Arms, an industrial/metalcore band that many in the region are familiar with. It was my first time seeing them live, and they proved they were as great as they sounded on their recent album, A Shade of Red, which was released earlier this year. They played a mix of old and new songs, such as “Trade Lie Census”, “Silence the Sensor”, “Black Holes”, and “Forming Abyss”. At one point during Coat of Arms’ set, Svengali’s vocalist Adnan Mryhij joined Coat of Arms’ vocalist Mohammad Bailouni onstage in performing of their songs. The crowd was rocked in their costumes and corpse paint to the well-engineered sounds of Coat of Arms.

Coat of Arms. Photo credit: JoScene.

Headliners Svengali closed the night with a set of their powerful and uplifting songs from both their debut album Theory of Mind and their Unscathed EP. The band, who have been taking the UAE metal scene by storm, made the fans enter an energetic trance of moshing and headbanging to many of their fun tracks including “Deny”, “Laced in Sin”, “Floodgates”, “Blindfolds”. Also, Coat of Arms’ vocalist Mohammad Bailouni also joined them onstage in performing their hit song “Conquer”. Simply a superb performance yet again from Svengali.

Svengali. Photo credit: JoScene.

Overall, it was a great, well-managed show with fantastic sound quality as is usual for the Music Room, in addition to the efforts of organizers Metal East Records and JoScene, who despite the setback involving the cancellation of Aborted’s performance, managed to put things back on track and prove, with the help of this lineup of local bands, that the UAE metal scene is powerful and alive, more than it ever was. It was definitely a night to be remembered and not missed out on, especially with all the fantastic costumes that the people were wearing, which even included a menacing Naz’Gul from Lord of the Rings! 

You can find the bands on Facebook here: Coat of Arms, Svengali, and Verdict.
You can find the organizers on Facebook here: JoScene and Metal East Records.

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