Anas Abid: An Exploration of Open Metal

Growing up in a family where music was an elmentary part of their lives, Anas Ibn Malek Abid started to find his own way of creating a relationship with music.

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The metal scene in Tunisia has undergone various changes during the past decades, the country were Anas came from. One of the first festivals was the Mediterranean Guitar Festival which hosted international and local metal bands but metal bands had to overcome many struggles in finding the right equipment and rehearsel venues.  After 2011 the metal scene changed and it became much more difficult for metalbands to stay alive, and many bands are not around anymore, although Anas says that “the Tunisian metal scene had seemingly declined, but then there are still bands playing and trying to stay on.”

Anas had several projects before he released his first album A Neverending Pain of a Betrayed Man  in 2011.

One of his projects was Bringers of the 7 Plagues (BO7P) aimed to achieve a new and modern sound of metal through fusing various streams of the metal genre such as Extreme Metal, Groove and Modern Trash.

 

The material was released during 2011-2012, but when the drummer and the vocalist broke up, and Anas did not find a replacement, he choose to continue to play on his own, but this does not mean that Anas has not tried to find other channels to continue his musical journey. He has had other projects where he collaborated with other artists, one of them was Genesis Chamber. An album was written but only one single song was released.

The Beginnings

As mentioned before Anas was born into a family, where music was quite common. His brother used to play guitar as Anas remembers. His mother fostered Anas’s love for music and she got him a classical guitar. One of his first guitars was a simple Yamaha for leftists. He did not take guitar lessons, but taught himself the guitar.using different tools such as Guitar Pro Tabs and watching videos of John Petrucci (Dream Theater) and Rusty Cooley for  the techniqual side.

Anas admits that at least in the beginning his music was very much influenced by bands such as Dream Theater where John Petrucci is the guitarist.

Other influences are Meshuggah and Anouar Brahem a Tunisian oud player. He is usually performing for a jazz audience while he fuses various genres together. This fusion had probably quite an impact on Anas‘s own musical development as can be seen in one of his songs called Dance of the Sun where he mixes Jazz with Metal. To this development he wrote in his PressKit:

Since I have been into Maghrebian and pure Arab music during my childhood, I do my best to mix my roots with metal music even if I enjoy to play strictly modern metal. The fury and the enegery given by metal attracts as much as the melancholy and joy we can feel in classical, or occidental music. Therefore I try to mix all of that in order to bring something new and fresh and build my own musical identity.

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One of his first gigs was in 2006, when he attended a festival and played his own songs. He played on the opening night of the MGF which gave him the opportunity to play on Radio and TV. During this phase he released his first demo called Experiences in November 2007. This was the first time for him to record his material properly. After its release it met a positive response.

“It was a very exhausting and difficult process but, when I released all by my own, it was a proud moment. It opened many doors for me.”

He is writing a lot of material and is expressing himself every time in a different way. Although he is mainly focusing on metal, he uses a lot of other genres and experiments with them.

 

Moving from Tunis to Toulouse

Toulouse has a rich music culture and especially rock and jazz are present since the 1970s. The impact of moving from Tunis to Toulouse in southern France was that it became easier for Anas to have access to the music business in general. It must have been quite different from living in Tunis where finding good gears is difficult. Since his move to Toulouse he has written a lot of new material and has begun a new phase of being more professional on his musical journey. He has met a lot of people in Toulouse with whom he has worked and exchanged skills.His sound is  aggressive and loud and often instrumental. The more interesting songs are where Anas tries to fuse the various streams with Jazz such as in the song Strife or Dance of the Sun which he has written in 2014.

Concerning his style he told me that “I can speak of it as an “Open Metal” genre, since I listen to a lot of genres and it has a huge impact on the way I write songs. It’s not mainly “Djent”, a genre that bands like Meshuggah are playing nor mainly “Oriental” but very progressive in a way, because I always need to push myself and go beyond boundaries, experiment and achieve what I have in mind.”

His music is a step into opening up metal to an audience, who is not usually accustomed to this kind of sound. Metal is more complex and complicated in it’s compositions and is much more than only “noise”, Anas combines metal with his very own style of music. On his facebook page his describing his music as:

“A new genre of Oriental Progressive Metal is born: Catchy melodies, devastating riffs, For fans of Meshuggah,Orphaned Land, Dream Theater”

In Addition to this he describes “his (musical) universe” as dark and gloomy.

His last Album “Delusional Thoughts” was released in 2014 and his next instrumental EP “The Downward Spiral” is coming out soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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