After a seemingly long break after Heat #2, GBOB 2011’s Heat #3 brought back the competition vibe to Nova Pub – Sin El Fil, with 4 bands participating and the winner moving on to the National semi-finals.

Before reviewing the event, I must say that ‘checking out the competition’ is a must for bands participating on upcoming heats, if they want to know the jury’s expectations from a potential National GBOB winner. For example, Heat #1 winners ‘In Sanity‘ won the jury with their fiery performance, not with their music style which was Heavy Metal, whereas Heat #2 winners ‘Limelight‘s more modern Brit Rock musical approach won them a place in the semifinals. So here you go, the first two important elements of a winning band: stage performance and an interesting music style. By the end of Heat #3, the third key element was favorited by the jury: musicianship. Keep these in mind if you’re really planning on being the National GBOB 2011 winner.

  • Heat #3 Review

  • Demons‘ was the first band to get on stage, and strangely enough, they failed to put on a good show on a venue which they’ve gotten familiar with this past year. At a time where one must show his best performance, ‘Demons’ came short and had a rough go from the start. Either way, it’s safe to say that the jury and GBOB competition itself isn’t keen on Metal bands unless they show some form of innovative delivery. I’d say it’s time to change the formula, ‘Modern Thrash Metal’ peaked years ago and it’s becoming less and less interesting ever since.


  • The next performing band was the experienced Death Metal band ‘Kult‘, whose aggressive performance qualified them for round 2, still failed to take them all the way. Again, the GBOBs is a band competition, but usually not a Metal friendly one: 2010-2011’s international GBOB winners were Dubtonic Kru who played dub music and 2009’s winners were Rustic who played 70’s Rock/Punk/Glam. Still, Kudos to Kult for another good performance to add on their extensive appearances this year, hopefully they’ll play on bigger stages on upcoming events.


  • There’s no shortage of new bands in the local Lebanese Metal scene, and ‘Blacardia‘ is one of those bands whose ambition exceeds their potential. The crowd was negatively cheering (as in mocking) the band who were over-enjoying their first performance ever. Although they were going for a ‘Lacuna Coil’ – inspired style, the band lacked the proper synchronization and musicianship to keep it flowing, and delivered an average performance. I hope that they’ll evolve with time and that they undergo some kind of reality check, at least focusing more on their skills and less on their pretentious attitudes.


  • The last band to go on stage was a familiar one, with members from ‘Veracity Hour’ who already participated and lost back in Heat #1. This side project under the name ‘Arctic IX’ showcased an additional guitarist instead of a bassist, while keeping its instrumental approach. Back in Heat#1, ‘Veracity Hour’ was my personal pick of the night but they didn’t even make it to the second round. I hoped that history wouldn’t repeat itself here, since the band played a fine Prog / Post Metal piece which was quite interesting. As expected, the jury members redeemed themselves after Heat #1’s unfair decision, as ‘Arctic IX’ went on to round 2 along with ‘Kult’.


  • After announcing the top musicians of the night, with ‘Rudy Fares’s third consecutive Best Drummer Award in three heats, both ‘Kult’ and ‘Arctic IX’ were up and ready for round 2 after the decision was passed by the judges along with the attendees’ 10% vote percentage.


    Round 2 was quite the disappointment to say the least. Where ‘Kult’ kept on playing their Death Metal without really giving the jury something to be hooked on, ‘Arctic IX’ were out of songs and simply re-played their only original from round 1. It was a tough decision to make: ‘Kult’ played two good Death Metal songs with an energetic performance and no noticeable errors, while ‘Arctic IX’ fell into the ‘slightly unprepared’ trap and gave the jury a hard time deciding the winner of the event.


    However, the final decision named ‘Arctic IX’ winners of GBOB Heat #3 for several reasons including originality, creativity and well.. a chance to better prepare themselves for the semi-finals and further expand their sound, since as I stated earlier, this competition is more about bands with an innovative and musically interesting package (music style, musicianship/songwriting and crowd interaction/stage performance).

  • Local band merchandise is being sold at the stand at this year’s National GBOB. Currently available merchandise include:

    – Kaoteon – Veni Vidi Vomui (2011) ($15)

    – Kimaera – Solitary Impact (2010) (CD for $15, T-shirt for $25)

    – Kimaera – Ebony Veiled (2006) (CD for $12, T-shirt for $20)

    – The Hourglass – To The Land Of The Free (2004) (CD for 10000 L.L)

    – The Hourglass – Resurrection Of The Horrid Dream (2007) (CD for 10000 L.L)

    – The Hourglass – Ancient Hope (2010) (EP for 10000 L.L) (or all 3 The Hourglass CDS for 20000 L.L)

    Save 30% and get all 3 ‘The Hourglass’ CDs for 20000 L.L

    – December Dies Alone – When Memories Fought To Dissolve (2010) (EP for $4)

    – Moe Kabbara – Understated Imperfections: Three Songs & You (2011) (EP for 10000 L.L)

    Local bands wishing to sell their merchandise can contact the administrator on