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  • Writer's pictureThe Bad Wolf Team

Damascus Steel Shakes Up The Metal Scene And Makes Its Debut With Cathartic Album “War”

Updated: Jan 12

An Auditory Experience That Blends Musical Prowess with An Intense Cinematic Aura.


In recent years, the metal scene has surged, reclaiming its position as one of the most popular genres in the global music landscape. However, amidst the technological democratization, numerous bands strive to ascend to the pinnacle of popularity, Yet, only a select few manage to establish themselves as the kings of the throne.



In this way, Damascus Steel, a talented North American band specializing in melodic metal and progressive rock, arrives to claim such a title. With a unique approach that merges the complexity of metal as a genre with an intensely cinematic aura, Damascus Steel's music is not only a delight for the ears of discerning and demanding listeners but also marks a true milestone in the history of rock with the release of their album "War."


About The Band

Damascus Steel emerges from the collaboration of two talented musicians, Sameer Hilal, an experienced vocalist serving as the lead singer and frontman of the band. With his powerful vocal range and polished interpretative technique, Hilal takes charge of delivering the voice and infusing the strong character that defines the band.


On the other hand, Gabriel Cyr, a gifted multi-instrumentalist musician, adeptly fulfills various roles simultaneously. He serves as the lead guitarist but also handles the bass, keyboards, and drums. His ability to master multiple instruments and his technical prowess have earned him recognition, including winning the 2018 guitar competition and being named "Guitarist of the Year" by renowned figures such as Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, and Mark Tremonti. Additionally, MusicRadar highlighted him as one of the best new guitarists of 2020.



The collaboration of both artists creates a perfect synergy that fuses the boundless creativity and musical prowess of both to bring this incredible project to life. With a broad range of musical influences spanning from classical, such as Beethoven, to contemporary music like Dream Theater and our beloved Dio (R.I.P.), Damascus Steel establishes itself as a formidable figure in today's musical landscape. In doing so, they craft a genuine auditory experience where listeners will be astonished by the meticulous care they invest in every chord and note.


About The Release

It seems unbelievable that this is the band's first release, given that the incredible sound quality and composition make it feel like the true Holy Grail—something that has been locked away for decades, waiting to be unveiled to society. Sameer Hilal and Gabriel Cyr have both been seasoned musicians in the music industry for quite some time, and it was only a matter of time before their paths crossed to breathe life into this incredible project.




"War," officially released on December 1, 2023, is an album with a solid and clear proposition. As its name suggests, it emerges in the midst of conflicts in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, where both musicians have created an experience that reflects the harshness of war through its lyrics and captivating melodies. The aim is to awaken those who fail to see the true motives and interests hidden behind these armed conflicts. The band explains: "Young soldiers and civilians who pay the price are the real victims, and the loss of life and destruction are senseless. As the last line in the album says: 'so they wouldn't die in vain... make a change'".

 

"War" consists of five tracks carefully arranged in the form of chapters, each delving into different perspectives around this theme. It immerses the listener in a complete auditory experience that promises not only to stir emotions but also to provoke an impact that lingers even after you've finished listening the entire album.


In-Depth Analysis

"War" makes its entrance with an epic, unhurried beginning. From its first track, we are welcomed with an incredible melody propelled by a play of violin strings and powerful orchestral percussion that feels like a true prelude to a battlefield—a worthy soundtrack for the next Stanley Kubrick film (If he was still alive).




As the album progresses through its different chapters, both musicians showcase their mastery. Sameer effortlessly navigates through a range of tones, from deep to intricate high notes. His vocal prowess extends beyond that, as he proves to be a true master in the art of singing. He adds intricate details with complex vibrato techniques and creates melodic lines that include numerous harmonies, infusing the mix with incredible character. He asserts himself dominantly, carrying his message up high.

 

Meanwhile, Gabriel simply leaves us in awe with his impeccable instrumental work. Not only on his main instrument, the guitar, where he can simultaneously create catchy and aggressive riffs combined with lead guitar melodies that make his instrument speak by itself, but also in his skillful use of the double pedal on the drums. He creates complex percussion fills that intertwine with polished polyrhythmic techniques, changing the tempo signature at precise moments to generate an incredible musical dynamism palpable from the first moments keeping the listener captivated from start to finish.


Featured Track: "Chapter V: 'Dawn'"

"Dawn" stands out as the fifth track of this incredible album and also serves as the thrilling conclusion to the narrative. Not only does it captivate as one of the longest tracks, spanning almost 10 minutes, but it is also accompanied by a stunning audiovisual work of the highest quality—a music video that elevates the proposal to the next level. It immerses us in the horrors of war and the profound aftermath that lingers long after its conclusion.




Through its captivating lyrics and an intriguing lyrical composition that skillfully combines vivid imagery with striking metaphors, Damascus Steel invites the listener to step into the shoes of the protagonist—a soldier who, despite staying away for months since the end of the war, is still haunted by the sounds of death, screams, and the pain of tragedy. This phenomenon is known as 'shellshock,' a form of post-traumatic stress associated with intense experiences in such conflicts. In this way, Damascus Steel vividly portrays this phenomenon not only through its music video but also through the music, which traverses different auditory passages, evoking endless emotions in the listener—from anger to nostalgia and even expanding our understanding of war as a concept, shaking our consciousness and prompting us to reflect on devastation, the loss of innocent lives, and the courage of those who sacrificed everything and were felled on the battlefield. It serves as a true anthem of struggle for a battle that goes beyond weapons and involves even those of us who observe this reality from afar—a spiritual battle where there are no flags or borders, a fight that unites us all equally, where only good battles against evil.

 

Undoubtedly, Damascus Steel's debut with this powerful album is a true milestone in the world of music and an incredible gift that Sameer and Gabriel have brought to all lovers not only of rock and metal but of music in general. Their relatable lyrics that evoke intense reflection in listeners make, despite their musical complexity (something appreciated and deeply valued by fans of this genre), a friendly approach to the genre due to their versatility and authenticity, making their music enjoyable for anyone.

 

In this way, 2023 ends on a high note, with this being one of the last releases we have had the pleasure of receiving here at Bad Wolf Records. It undoubtedly leaves us eager to see how this band will develop over time. That’s why we extend a warm invitation to our entire community not only to enjoy this impactful album but also to follow Damascus Steel on their social media to stay updated on all their latest news and upcoming releases. 


 

Damascus Steel On-Line

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