Band of the Week: Massive Scar Era: “I stand my ground”

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“Influenced by both metal and classical music; not to mention the full line-up of girls, the band started to garner interest from audiences who were absorbed by the fusion of all those elements. From 2005 ‘till 2008 “Mascara” kept on exploring that unique mix of influences, with frequent changings in the remaining members the band was able to write and rehearse a diverse and large number of songs, allowing the style and sound of the band to evolve and establish itself quicker and to develop a sound of their own among the music scene by landing a multitude of local gigs and appearances such as in Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria) and in the S.O.S. Music Festival.”

Massive Scar Era are one of the most famous Metal bands in the Egyptian underground scene due to their participation at international festivals and they are still trying to mix the Western and Eastern soundscape into their music.

 

In one of their songs Massive Scar Era sings I stand my ground. This has been somewhat true. Since 2005 they are doing what they are calling Post Hardrock music. More than ten years has been passed since their inception and although it seems that they have not released any new music since two years they have earned some respect and acknowledgments in the underground scene. They have not only been playing internationally on festivals but they were part of an movie called Microphone which included the underground music scene in Alexandria in 2010 by Ahmad Abdalla. This song, which they performed in Microphone was actually one of their fewest song which they sang in Arabic. Aba’ad Makan (The Furthest Place).

 

It was their biggest theatrical performance up to this date and their latest single was released in 2013 called My Ground which was cited above. The thing of singing in English seems part of a process which leads to more recognition internationally, in this sense they were able to perform with such bands as Dream Theater, ZZ Top and In Flames. For their music and their lyrics they got attacked and criticized by certain Islamist groups and other conservative parties and actors in Egyptian society. Concerning being at first only a girl member band, the lead singer and guitarist  Cherine Amr said about this issues that this has to be seen in the context of social restriction.

 

“The all-girls thing wasn’t necessarily a choice in the beginning,” explains Amr. “Due to family restrictions, I wasn’t allowed to have male counterparts. But that changed over time, as we grew up, and for years now the band has been mixed gender”

Even if they are only singing in English that does not mean that they are not concerned with certain aspects of the Egyptian society. In contrary, they are criticizing in many songs the political, social and cultural aspects of their own society. In an article by the independent, progressive Media outlet Mada Masr, the author writes: “And if the group didn’t start out with feminist intentions, then they are certainly finding themselves drifting even more toward gender-related content matter.”

Today they are not only a girl metal band because they decided to include Youssef Altay and Perry Moataz into the band. Still after 2011, they are creating critical songs and are indirectly or directly influenced by the events happening in Egypt.

Interview with Cherine Amr von Massive Scar Era:

 

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