Report: In Jordan’s Music Scene, Heavy Metal Breaks The Mould

October 24, 2010, 7 years ago

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Hady Hamdan from is reporting:

"It is music that chooses you, not the other way around," said 22-year-old Ahmad Alhour.

The vocalist in the heavy metal band, BLINDING SHADE, one of many groups that have emerged on Jordan's music scene in recent years as metal music made its mark on the Kingdom's youth, said he acquired his taste for musical styles outside the mainstream at an early age.

"In my childhood, I imitated my uncles, who used to listen to rock music," he said. "I started to search for more energetic music genres, and eventually found what I was looking for in metal music."

Heavy metal is a style that emerged in the US and UK in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Characterised by crunchy, distorted electric guitar riffs and loud vocals that are often screamed rather than sung, metal music has always been controversial, and the metal subculture often associated with violence and Satanism.

In Jordan, where heavy metal remains well outside the mainstream of youth culture, it still draws strong feelings both from fans, or "metalheads" as they call themselves, and from detractors of the genre who criticise its musical qualities and worry that it may have a bad influence on its teenage fans.

Alhour, who said that as a teenager, his peers thought him strange for embracing such an unconventional type of music, said the "diversity" of heavy metal as well as its "appreciation of creativity" were what drew him to the genre.

Muhannad Saleh agreed, adding that he is a fan of heavy metal music because it deals more than other popular genres with powerful human themes.

"There are many metal songs that discuss poverty, love, discrimination and other issues," Saleh said, giving as an example the song 'Jordanian Heart' by the band ESODIC, which is about the 2005 Amman hotel bombings.

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