On Syrian Metal: A Tribute To Fadi Massamiri
September 24, 2012
In Syria, as we know, the metal movement was raw, primal, and repetitive. Then something happened between the years of 2010 and 2012. A new chapter was being written on the history of Syrian metal — a phenomena I’d like to call “The New Wave Of Syrian Metal.”
In the early days of Syrian metal, there were only a small number of bands, including Absentation, Nu.Clear.Dawn, Olive, Orion, Slumpark Correctional, and The Hourglass. Some of them made it big time; some of them haven’t.
Today, the number of bands in the New Wave of Syrian Metal has definitely reached a fair amount. To share a few names: Anarchadia, Netherion, Eulen, Abidetherein, Despair, Psychiatric Delusions, Crescent Moon, Ecliptic Dawn, Viieden, and Buried By The Last Tragedy.
Through all this, there were a few musicians that emerged and were able to accumulate enough finances to support and produce their music (though just barely). One of the greatest names to come out of this is Fadi Massamiri, the owner of Old Hearth studios in Damascus, Syria and one of the greatest talents in creating and editing music. Fadi had dreamed a long time of achieving this goal. He wanted to leave his mark on metal in the world, create his own music and share it with people. Eventually, in 2008, that dream came true when he finally bought the studio’s basic structure. He spent nearly two years working on it with the help of his life-long friends. He formed a band that was at first named Poltergeist, then renamed Owl, and renamed a second time to Eulen.
In his early days, he graduated from college with a degree in mathematics, then worked at several jobs until he discovered that he did not relate with the business world. Eventually, he convinced his family to support him as he took up the task of operating the studio. As I understand it, this was a very tough debate considering the fact that running the studio had nothing to do with his current professions or studies.
Fadi had taught himself basically everything he needed to know before he bought the studio: how to play many types of instruments (drums, electric and acoustic guitar, keyboards, etc), how to sing, sound engineering, recording, mixing, and mastering metal music. He first intended only to create music for his own band, but as his work became more and more serious, he began contributing more to the Syrian metal scene. His skills had opened new doors for him; bands began trusting his musical talents enough to work with him on their own music and this eventually led to Fadi teaming up with other bands.
Fadi plays all instruments in Eulen except the bass guitar which his life-long friend Seth handles. His work with Abidetherein is that of a drummer and part-time guitarist and effects generator; while in Exophoria he composed songs and played drums and some guitar. As he teamed up with the underground death metal band Netherion on drums, and the brutal death metal band Viieden which recently released their first EP also on drums, he served as the general producer for nearly every band that recorded in the studio and jammed with many different bands that came there to rehearse.
The situation of the Syrian civil war in 2011-2012 never brought him down. His spirit was always bright and fun, regardless of the, shall we say, “crappy” surroundings and the ever-present problem of being short on funds. Fadi had always stated that he has dedicated all of his life to music and nothing but music. He has succeeded in being an inspiration and has helped me to become more educated in regards to my own musical ventures.
So I’d like to greet Fadi and thank him for his great efforts toward making it easier for all the good Damascene bands out there to create metal music.
Edited by Jenah Lynne and Sarah Elgindy.