One of the most accomplished Lebanese Metal bands, KIMAERA has amassed both respect and recognition over their 20-year career. The “Ambassadors of DOOM” released 3 full lengths, appeared on Metal Hammer’s “Global Metal Volume 3” compilation (2011) and had numerous gigs/tours in Lebanon, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Turkey among others. Their 4th opus consisting of 8 tracks will be released in 2021, with singles “The Die is cast”, “Force Divine | Vi Divina” and “Ya Beirut” out now.
- You recently released the “Force Divine Vi Divina” single from your upcoming album. Are we to expect your magnum opus? How did your sound evolve since your 2013 album “The Harbringer of Doom”?
Force Divine is actually the second single we released from the upcoming album, after The Die is Cast in 2017. Our 4th opus will be out some time next year. We already finished recording it and we are in the mixing process.
It is safe to say that the new album is by far the best music the band has ever produced, by all means. It is epic, symphonic, progressive and aggressive with a Middle Eastern vibe. It has all the elements that you would want to hear in a metal album.
The entire album revolves about ancient Rome; With the rise of Julius Caesar, his assassination and then Augustus as the first emperor of the greatest empire that ever existed. Thus, we used a lot of ancient instruments to the fresh sound that we are sure it will appeal to a whole new audience, to add authenticity and an ancient feel to it.
- Pick 5 KIMAERA songs and 2 concerts that summarize your 20-year career.
Among the dead – Ebony Veiled – in 2006
God’s Wrath – Ebony Veiled – 2006
The Taste of Treason – Solitary Impact – 2010
Ancient Serpents – The Harbinger of Doom – 2013
Force Divine | Vi Divina – Single 2020
Ya Beirut – Single 2020
As for Festivals, definitely “Masters of Rock” – Czech Rep. in 2010, performing with legends such as Manowar, Behemoth, Epica and many others… and the final gig in Kiev opening for Amorphis from our “Doom upon Russia” tour that took place in Russia and Ukraine in 2013.
- You have seen the Lebanese Metal scene transition into more of an online community in the last decade. How has this affected you and do you think the scene will be re-ignited after the renewed anger/frustration of the Lebanese youth?
I honestly miss the old days. There was no social media but still we managed to gather almost every couple of weeks for a metal night or a concert. Things were different, more «intimate» and «geniune». But everything changes and that’s the normal course of things.
Now the online community took over and it will stay like that, and we can’t deny that it is the best way to give bands exposure and the chance to be heard and getting your music everywhere in the world. Concerning our local scene, I think once Covid19 starts fading out and the country starts having some sort of “stability” things will go back to normal and Im pretty sure we will be having some cool gigs and concerts, many are out there eagerly waiting.
- With 3 full lengths, multiple singles, an upcoming 4th album, and lots of gigs in Lebanon and Europe, you are recognized as one of the most prolific Lebanese Metal bands out there. Looking back at your career, would you have done anything differently? What would your advice be for up-and-coming Lebanese bands?
I think throughout the years with all the local and international success that we had, despite the setbacks and the challenging conditions for a Lebanese metal band, we managed to break all the boundaries and achieve what any other local band would dream of. It wasn’t easy at all but KIMAERA is considered as a pinoeer local band that has been blessed with talented and dedicated members that have always prioritized the band, sacrificed a lot and raised the bar high with every release, and we are still going. So I would like to assume that we did everything right!
I would advise the young bands to enjoy what they are doing before anything else, to think big, not to limit themselves with covers and playing local gigs here and there.
To be noticed nowadays you have to come up with something different, exotic, fresh, and exceptional sound and to work as a unit while putting the personal ego aside.
- Share with us your favorite albums of 2020 (one per member). Bonus points for non-Metal honorable mentions that also influence your songwriting.
Charbel Abboud (Keyboardist): Igorr – Spirituality and Distortion
Pierre Najm (Guitarist): Devin Townsend – Empath (2019)
JP Haddad (Guitarist & Vocalist): My Dying Bride – Ghost of Orion & Katatonia – City Burials