4 years after the first successful GBOB competition in Lebanon, RockRing are once again organizing the Battle of the Bands this year. It kicked off with Heat #1 on Saturday May 14th at Nova with 4 metal bands. The event was split to 2 rounds: round 1 in which each of the bands played 8 minutes [1 or 2 songs], after which occurred a 30-minute break where the crowd got to vote for 10% of the total score. The remaining 90% depended on the ratings of a carefully selected and professional jury. In round 2, the two qualifying bands from the first round competed, and the winner was chosen by the jury alone.


  • Veracity Hour

The 1st band to hit the stage and a really talented one I might say. They are an instrumental band formed of a guitarist, bassist, drummer and keyboardist. They played a 7-minute song that couldn’t be defined better than a fusion of Jordan Rudess with Symphony X riffing. They delivered a truly supersonic progressive metal sound with variations throughout the track, not some mundane medley. Two thumbs up for the composition of the song  and too bad this band didn’t even advance to the second round.


  • Mindstorm

This 2nd band was a bit different: younger and with a vocalist, but talented nonetheless. The vocalist/guitarist did a great job in singing and playing chords simultaneously… no flops there. Their sound was similar to some heavy alternative metal but what I slightly disliked was the familiar composing in the tunes. At their age, we know that they will start to build some stage experience and get better and better.


  • Oblivion

These guys delivered the best show at the event as if Judas Priest were playing in some Birmingham pub in the 70s. All members were wearing leather and old-school outfits by which they revived the true heavy metal epoch. Aside from their great performance and solid musicianship, their songs were not very original, at least those 2 they played, but they are definitely a band worth checking. Winning the GBOB competition will require something refreshing and new, as seen from previous GBOB world winners.


  • In Sanity

The last band to play, and although they faced technical difficulties, they managed to win this heat. Their heavy riffs and crunchy vocals handed over quite a nice performance on a silver platter. Music-wise, they varied between a heavy and a ballad-like sound, especially in the track “The Way I Am” whose lyrics define any metalhead’s way of life.


After the first round, there was a 30-minute break in which the crowd got to vote for 10% of the total score. Each attendee was given a slip with a unique serial number which he/she entered on a webpage by connecting through the wireless network supplied by RockRing. Results were being updated live on a projector screen visible to all.The 2 bands who got the most votes were Oblivion and In Sanity, as they had the most fans and supporters that night. So that didn’t mean that the other 2 bands weren’t as good or even better. The crowd’s voting along with the judges’ private band ratings qualified  both Oblivion and Insanity for round 2 where each band played one song. However, that round’s score was independent of the fans as the final decision was left to the jury alone who picked “In Sanity” as the winner of the GBOB Heat #1.


Be sure not to miss Heat #2 in which renowned standup comedian Nemr Abou Nassar’s band “Victorious Secret” will be playing. Plus LebMetal.com will be selling local bands’ CDs for those who’re interested (local bands interested in selling their merchandise can contact members of the LebMetal.com staff)