Introducing: Phenomy

Lebanese band Phenomy set out to create a musical interpretation of the “very dark world” we all find ourselves a part of. And it’s safe to say they’ve succeeded, honing an intense metal sound that they describe as “authentic, heavy and dark.”

Phenomy started out in 2014 when childhood friends Loïc El Haddad (lead guitar) and Rudy Bejjani (drums) decided to form a band with a bunch of friends. They’ve gone through many changes along the way, but one constant has been vocalist Sam, who also recently became rhythm guitarist. And the band was completed with bassist Peter, who joined in 2017 and has also been creating graphical, animated and illustration work for the band.

As the band, who are now based in Germany, tell us: “Finding committed and talented members that also have almost the same interests, is really hard to find in Lebanon. But we were lucky to meet each other through friends and music and we are really grateful for that.”

They’ve since honed an intense sound that they describe as: “It’s heavy, dark, melodic, sometimes tribal and ethnic, very percussive and ferocious. We live in a very dark world and our music represents that.”

We spoke to the band ahead of the release of their latest album Syndicate of Pain. On the album, they told us: “We’ve been waiting to release these songs for a while now and we are super excited to finally share it with the world. The first two albums were albums pretty much influenced by bands we grew up listening to, this one is much more ‘Phenomy,’ much more original, darker and heavier than anything that we have done before.

“It also will be the first conceptual album that belongs in a universe we have created that follows the same storyline. We are inviting people to step into our world and that is very exciting for us.”

The album begins with an instrumental track that feeds into the intense Ominous, which begins with driving drums that continue under a darting riff. Heavy vocals join in and give way to an almighty section of huge riffing supported by absolutely brutal drums.

More intense vocals follow and drop into it a funky little riff supported by more brutal drums. A quick vocal section gives way to a meandering solo, which ends on chugging guitars that are joined by heavy drums in a big breakdown. Check it out here:

And if big chunky riffs and heavy vocals had you intrigued, then you’re going to like the sound of the next track The Mute, The Deaf, The Blind because it’s chocked full of them. Midway through the pace slows with a big filthy guitar line over slow cymbal hits then gradually builds back up to an intense conclusion.

The intensity keeps on coming with huge tracks like Downward Spiral and the more slow-building Lead To My Throne, which the band tell us: “Talks about a serial killer, talking about the things he has done, asking for redemption, asking the god above for forgiveness. Admitting he’s not in control of himself when he turns into a monster.” And it features a brilliant animated video, which you can check out here:

We have to give a special mention to the delicious riff that opens up Temptation and the epic Beyond The Wall Of Sleep. The album closes in a typically ferocious fashion with the title track Syndicate Of Pain, which kicks off with a wild opening riff and driving drums that continue under gruff vocals. Check it out here:

And fancy something a little different? Check out their cover version of Metallica’s The Memory Remains and, while you’re at it, give Dance of the Wounded Souls from their 2018 album Threaten World Order a listen.

Phenomy are the first band we’ve ever interviewed (or even heard of, for that matter) from Lebanon, taking the GigRadar Global Map to 53 countries! So we were keen to get the band’s thoughts on metal and music generally in their homeland.

They told us: “Well, metal is not the most popular music genre in our country for sure. But there are a lot of metalheads and rockers in Lebanon. Simply because it is not an easy country to live in and people need this kind of music, because we think it is really a way to transform anger into something beautiful. Like all other countries, the metal scene in Lebanon has not been very active recently but we were glad to go back in April and play our first show since 2020 in Beirut.

“We are proud of what we have accomplished so far, we are proud to have such a loyal fan base in Lebanon and around the world and that’s why we call them ‘Phenomaniacs.’ We are very grateful for that. They are as passionate as we are. Unfortunately, the country doesn’t offer any support for bands, mainly metal and rock bands and this is very sad. This is why we had to relocate and base ourselves in Europe.”

Phenomy draw massive influence from Metallica but all their members bring a diverse range of musical interests, from The Doors to Whitechapel. And on what inspires them to write music, they tell us: “There is nothing really specific but our songs represent the dark reality we live in, that we represent in our form of art. and we get inspired from bands we like, TV shows, personal struggles and the horrors that we witness every day.”

If you like what you hear from Phenomy then you can catch them playing two festivals in Czech Republic, starting with Ostrava v Plamenech in Ostrava from 29-31 July and Rock Castle Festival in Prague on 20 August (runs 18-20 August).

You can follow Phenomy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and check out their music on Spotify, Bandcamp, Apple Music, Anghami and YouTube.

Image rights: F.FNGRZPhotography

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