1. Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band these days? Tarek Yazbek: Currently we are preparing to record our second full album, which also going to be a concept album based on ancient Middle Eastern mythology. We are also recruiting new members to the band so we can have a complete line up for live shows. 2. For those who have not heard the music can you tell us about your musical sound? Tarek Yazbek: Well, our musical style is a mixture of many metal styles combined into one unique fresh sound. That should make people who like different metal genre get interest in our music. We also include in our sound lots of classical guitar influences, even classical music compositions in our intros adding even more diversity and interest to our music. 3. On your first album you had lyrics written about The Punic Wars, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in ancient history? Tarek Yazbek: My Interest in ancient history started at an early age when I was still school. It just got me hooked in, just the idea about ancient civilization, their culture and religion was very intriguing for me. Also it tell us how things became the way they are now. It is also an original subject to use on metal albums as themes and lyrics, which can give more depth to your music. 4. I have read that you have a new album in the works that is going to be based on the Epic of Gilgamesh, how would you describe your interests in Mythology? Tarek Yazbek: Mythology is what the ancients had left for us to tell how they viewed the world around them from a religious point of view, a way put in Symbolism. Even some Mythologies are Historical facts that got exaggerated by time, or where symbolized to be taught to the next generations. If you compare the religious texts to the mythological Texts you will be surprised how much similarities you will find, but the meanings have changed, although the symbolic factors are left the same. All these factors have pulled me closer and closer to the mythologies of this region. 5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance? Tarek Yazbek; currently we are only 2 members in the band, but we are recruiting new members so we can do live shows hopefully. 6. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future? Tarek Yazbek: not at the current time, and not sure about the future since it’s hard to get a band from the middle east to play in Europe. But all options are open.
7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest? Tarek Yazbek: We actually got 1 label interested, but things didn’t work out because they wanted us pay tons of money and they also will get some decent payment from sales. It was just ridiculous offer. For the next album we will try to check out some labels and we’ll see what would happen. Hopefully something would work out, because a label can get you the exposure you need. 8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal? Tarek Yazbek: Well we got a lot of positive feedback and reviews, but you can’t satisfy everybody as you know. We hope with this second release we can reach more people and open more eyes on our music. 9. What can we expect musically once the new album is released? Tarek Yazbek: The new album will be more mature than previous one with better production and quality. Musically we are still going on in the same direction but of course its not gonna be a carbon copy of the first album and it will have its own flavor with the Lagrima signature. Also the band vocalist “Bilal Al-Aghar” has contributed very effectively on the music of the album adding his own touch to the band’s sound. I guess this album will leave a big effect on the fans and will get us new fans as well. 10. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays? Tarek Yazbek: I personally had a lot of bands and music styles that influenced the way I write music, especially in the death/black realm. For example bands like At the Gates, Hypocrisy, Dark Tranquility, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Death, Old Man’s Child ect… to name some. Nowadays there are bands like Kalmah and Opeth which are new influence for me and I try to learn from them. Also am interested in finding and listening to underground metal bands, and lots of them have some great music to offer but didn’t have the chance to get the attention they really deserve. Other than metal, I really enjoy classic guitar music and I even play that type of music which I try to include in the band’s music to give it that unique touch to makes us a little different than the other band’s out there. 11. What are some of your non musical interests? Tarek Yazbek: Music and sports are my two major hobbies in life and travelling also. I used to play a lot of soccer in the past but because of work and smoking I haven’t been able enjoy this sport any more, but I still do some body building to keep fit. As for travelling I go like once a year to a different country each time with the wife and enjoy our vacation and just relax. 12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? Tarek Yazbek: Well finally I like to thank you for this opportunity and wonderful interview, hope the fans would enjoy it. As I mentioned earlier we have a new album that we will release, most probably at the end of this year, hope it will have a positive impact on metal fans around the world. Original Post can be found here : http://darkdoomgrinddeath.blogspot.com/2014/07/lagrima-interview.html
Lagrima are a band from Lebanon that plays a melodic mixture of black and death metal along with some elements of neo classical and this is a review of his self released 2012 album "Hannibal Ad Portas". Atmospheric and epic sounding synths start off the album and they bring a classical music flavor to the recording and after the intro classical guitars are added into the music which leads up to a fast and melodic black metal direction along with blast beats and high pitched screams and after awhile solos and leads become a huge part of the musical sound on the album. A good portion of the songs are long and epic in length and after awhile death metal growls and a mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts are added into the music along with solos that utilize a great amount of talent and skill and acoustic guitars also finding their way into the heavier tracks which also gives the music a more progressive feeling. Elements of thrash metal can be heard in the guitar riffing at times and all of the musical instruments have a very powerful sound to them as well as the leads incorporating some traces of traditional metal and as the album progresses clean singing vocals can be heard at times while the main focus is on the black metal vocals which also get very grim and depressive on some of the tracks and towards the end of the recording you can also hear a mixture of instrumental acoustic and heavy vocal songs along with some elements of Middle Eastern music bring added into the guitar riffing. Lagrima creates a very original sound to his melodic mixture of black and death metal which also sees him adding in elements of thrash, classical and Middle Eastern music along with some solos that display a great amount of talent and skill, the production sounds very professional for being a self released recording while the lyrics are a concept album based on the Carthiginen general Hannibal Barca and his war with the Romans which where historically known as the Punic Wars or more accurately The Second Punic War. In my opinion Lagrima are a very great sounding melodic mixture of black and death metal and neo classical and if you are a fan of those musical genre, you should check out this band. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Serenade Upon Mount Aryx" "Arise And Arrest the Destiny Of Rome" and "A Final Fight". 8/5 out of 10. Original Post : http://darkdoomgrinddeath.blogspot.com/2014/07/lagrimahannibal-ad-portas2012-full.html
01. TELL US ABOUT THE BEGINNING OF LAGRIMA?
Tarek Yazbek : Well , the idea behind creating ?Lagrima? dates back to the year 2000-2001, when my older band named ?Enormity? was disbanding. There was also a lot of creativity differences among the band members on how should the band sounds like, also what should I compose or shouldn?t. For me these things were very limiting to my creativity. Since then I decided to make a new band that reflects my ideas and my way of composing, without putting any borders or red lines on any guitar riff. Even choosing the band members have to pass through this criterion.
02. WHAT IS THE FEELING FOR THE CHOICE OF NAME : ?LAGRIMA ??
Tarek Yazbek: The inspiration behind the band?s name comes from a classic guitar piece by the Spanish composer ?Francisco Tarrega? that has the same name. I liked the sound of the word and the meaning it holds which means ?Teardrop? or simply ?Tear? in Spanish.
03. TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR INSPIRATIONS AND LYRICS?
Tarek Yazbek: For lyrical inspiration, I chose a theme or a direction for the band that is very intriguing to me, which is Middle Eastern ancient history and mythology, and more precise the history of the ?Fertile Crescent? as it is called. In which the first civilizations known to Man emerged from there, and not lot of bands write songs or lyrics about this particular subject. So I find it to be something unique for ?Lagrima? and differs us a little from the other bands out there.
04. HOW YOU DEFINE YOUR MUSIC?
Tarek Yazbek: As for the music, it?s a combination of many styles of metal into one style, which also sets us apart from many bands out there, who, some of them just sound like more famous bands. They try to copy their sound or their style and ends up sounding like a cheap copy, or simply sound like a typical death or black metal band. What new bands these days need to do is to add their own factor to their music. This factor is what made their idols famous. This exactly what we are doing in the music of ?Lagrima?, we set no limits, and we simply compose in the way that we find appropriate with and creative.
05. HOW IS THE ACTUAL LINE UP?
Tarek Yazbek: Since the formation of the band, we had many line-up changes, but currently it consists of me (Tarek Yazbek) on guitars, Bass, Drum Programming and Bilal Al-Aghar on vocals who also contributes efficiently on the music of ?Lagrima?. He is a very creative guy with lot of fresh ideas and that what I exactly want in the band. We also are adding new members so we can perfume live, hopefully in the coming month the line up would be complete and start preparing for some shows.
06. TELL US ABOUT THE UNDERGROUND SCENE IN LEBANON?
Tarek Yazbek: The current scene in Lebanon is not that active anymore or not as active as before due to many reasons, Many bands comes and go but never reaches anywhere because they stay local and never get the exposure they are seeking. With few bands breaking that barrier and performing outside Lebanon. Hopefully one day the local scene would get the attention it deserves, making the bands push harder with their music.
07. COMMENT ABOUT THE MUSIC? DEATH OF TH FATHER...SAGUINTUM ? AND LYRIC.
Tarek Yazbek: The whole album follows one concept and story, with the music complementing the lyrics and the mood of the lyrics. The album tells the story of the war between Hannibal the Carthaginian General and the Romans and the different events in his life. In ?Death of the Father? Saguntum?, the song starts with lamenting the father of Hannibal, ?Hamilcar? after he was killed in an ambush and sacrificing his own life for his sons. The lyrics continue as a story line telling, briefly of course on how ?Hannibal? becomes the commander in-chief of the Carthaginians and how he took control of the rest of the Spanish territories leading to the siege of the city ?Saguntum?, which was the reason of the beginning of the ?Second Punic War? and the famous campaign that Hannibal undertook across the Alps into Italy.
08. WHAT MERCHANDISE DO YOU STILL HAVE AVAILABLE?
Tarek Yazbek: Currently we don?t have any merchandise produced, since we are doing the releasing by ourselves on the internet and for free, so if anybody wants to pick up a copy of the album, he can download it through this link :
09. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RELIGIONS?
Tarek Yazbek: Well, I as a person am not a religious person or a believer, for me religion is a thing that progressed through time. Starting as way to explain the phenomenon that are occurring in nature, to immortalizing ancient kings who became gods, and then taking the shape of a civil law, till it became in its current form. Adding to that every new religion that get created it have its bases in more older and ancient religion. It is just presented to the masses in a new polished package with some new fresh ideas. Most of the times it have a political direction to control the people through religion.
11. HOW ARE YOUR NEWS WORDS?
Tarek Yazbek: We are now working on a new album, based on the ?Epic of Gilgamesh?. We already did the music and lyrics, currently we are in the pre-recording phase, hopefully to be released at the end of this year. Also, As I mentioned earlier we are adding new members to have a complete line-up and perfume our music live.
12. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE LAGRIMA?
Tarek Yazbek: the band has been around for a long while now, we have many materials to be released, hopefully we?ll be able to do that, and get the exposure we deserve, and be able to go international.
13. THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT. ANY LAST COMMENTS?
Tarek Yazbek: I would like to thank you for this opportunity you gave us to introduce ourselves for a new fan base, hope they liked and enjoyed this interview, and would like to ask them to download our debut album, ITS FOR FREE, through this link :
and expect a new album release at the end of this year.
Lagrima is a death / black metal méldoque from Lebanon, formed in 2003 around Tarek Yazbek (guitar), Chebel Yassine (vocals), Elias Rizk (bass), and Ellio Rahbani (drums). Since then, the line-up has steadily changed for various reasons. Now Lagrima revolves around Tarek Yazbek (guitar), Bilal Al-Asghar (vocals) and Hussain Soufan (bass).
2012: "Hannibal Ad Portas"
"Hannibal Ad Portas" Symphony begins with an introduction, which is not unpleasant but still unhealthy to go to the first title that also has an introduction to the guitar very melodious, of course it does not last long, and engages in the nag.
The guitar riffs are always melodious, but violent and really pleasant to listen to with some bridges where the saturation disappears. The battery, meanwhile, is fast and blasts tremendously. The singer has a good voice guttural and very dirty we like the blak metal. Some songs like "Conquest Of Iberia" contain large breakdowns, with a very rhythmic song, but there is still a way entirely acoustic, "Trepia Trazimian Cannie". There are also some riffs, a bit old-school, up to think of Megadeth songs on the album "Peace Sells ... But Who's Buying?" The songs last a relatively long time, which allows them to tell a story through the rain of different riffs used. A true atmosphere develops around this album.
In sum, Lagrima wrote a very good album, very progressive and a little experimental at times. The music is mastered and melodies too, all form a great chemistry, which can only encourage Lagrima to continue its momentum. The only effort required is to carry the bag.
The official website: www.myspace.com/lagrima1978
Original Post could be found here:
Where did the name of the album come from, and how does it relate to the illustration on the album cover?
TAREK YAZBEK : The phrase "Hannibal Ad Portas" means "Hannibal at the Gates", a sentence used by the Romans after they lost the battle of "Cannie" which was a big defeat , and they lost most of their army in that battle. "Hannibal" could have occupied the city, or at least put it under siege, but for an unknown reason he never went for the city. As for the illustration, which is designed by my wife (Maria Kerj), it has a more modern metal look than an ancient look if you want, representing Hannibal seated on a horse with war elephants in the background giving it an epic look. So, its more an artist point of view and how she liked to represent it.
Aside from black and death metal, I can hear passages on the album with doom, folk, and symphonic elements among other things. What were some of the artists that inspired the direction of Hannibal Ad Portas or whom have otherwise been an inspiration to you?
TAREK YAZBEK : I first started listing to heavy metal bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, so they were the early influences for me. Then I started listing to other genreslike death and black metal (bands like Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Old Man's Child, At the Gates, Death, Edge of Sanity to name a few). Also, I play classic finger techniques which is also a huge part of my influence. Gradually mixing all of these elements to create my own sound or style. There is no direct influence but lots and lots of indirect one, plus the story line played a major role in shaping the sound, like in the intro of "Death of the Father ... Saguntum" where Hannibal's father died, you have an elegy part which starts with a sad desperate clean part, then progress into a doom like riff, in this case you can't compose as fast death or black metal riff.
You are credited as the only instrumentalist on the album. Did this approach have any challenges or did it just make the process more straightforward?
TAREK YAZBEK : When I started the composing of the album, I was a lone member, and even after I had a complete line up , I continued composing alone because I was the only creative member in the band until Bilal joined in. He is the only person that I feel comfortable composing with. We have the same chemistry, are very close tastes in music which makes it easier for us to compose together and not argue or fight a lot (we have our moments), but that's normal in composing. As for the composing "Hannibal Ad Portas" that was a big challenge, and proved to be difficult also, especially when you have a story in the lyrics. So, composing was not smooth at all (both for music and lyrics), but the end result came great I guess.
Since recording Hannibal Ad Portas, you have added a bass player to the band (Hussain Soufan). What do you see as the next step for Lagrima?
TAREK YAZBEK : What we are considering now is going live, but having a problem finding a really good drummer to relay on and don't want to use drum machines in live show. That's the logical next step for us. Hopefully doing some live shows outside Lebanon too, to bring some attention for the band and the release.
Lastly, thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything else you'd like to mention?
TAREK YAZBEK : Firstly I would like to thank you for this interview, and would like to thank all of our friends and fans who have supported us.
Lagrima's Metal Music Archives profile can be found here.
Lagrima official links: Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/lagrima1978 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lagrima.band.lebanon Reverb Nation: http://www.reverbnation.com/lagrima
For the original interview go here : http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4863
The whole album was home recorded, for the vocals we used a very cheap microphone. For the guitars, I used an amt SS-20 tube pre-amp with an eq pedal. The bass is recorded with Line 6 UX1, and finally the drumming is done with software (During that time starting 2010 till 2012, me and Bilal worked on two full albums, and currently starting to work on another). We tried to find a label to release the album, but we couldn't find one ... Until this year, we decided to freely release the album on the net for it has been sitting in our drawer for a long time ... It took me a long time but many circumstances prevented me from making a release especially the recording quality and finding members to record.
How about the lyric themes on the album. Were the lyrics handled by Bilal or did you write them?
TAREK YAZBEK : When Bilal joined the band the lyrics were already written, but he re-arranged some of the lyrics on some of the songs, he also moved lyrics to some parts of the songs that initially were without lyrics like on the last part of "Abhore the Antagonists". And he is great when it comes to vocal arrangements, he twists and bends things and makes the vocal parts sound better and greater than they originally sounded. That's our strategy now in writing the lyrics: I choose the theme, write the lyrics (in quartets mostly) and Bilal just puts his magic touch on the arrangements and would also change some the words to his liking.
As for the lyrical theme on this album, I chosen the Story of the Carthegean general "Hannibal Barca" and his wars with the Romans during the third century B.C. I'm a big fan of ancient history and mythology especially the middle eastern one, which will be the fuel for the lyrics in the coming albums also. Back to 'Hannibal Ad Portas" what I tried to do is to write an album in a form of a story. That's why you have a little repetition in the riffs, just to give the mood that there is a theme and story going on, with the music emphesizing the lyrical or the mood of the story.
Your style has been listed as both black and death metal on both your Myspace and Facebook page. After listening to the album a few times, I'm unsure which element is a stronger part of your sound. How do you think both styles of metal play into Lagrima's sound?
TAREK YAZBEK : Well for me composing music is "You compose what you play". In other words, if you play different genres of music and they all inspire you, your composing will be a mix of all those styles you play. Initially, I was more death metal oriented, but gradually started listing to black metal, especially melodic black metal. Other styles are also present like heavy and speed metal, with the classic guitar style of playing is also a big influence on our music. All of those styles mixed together to give the unique sound of Lagrima.
If a blend of black and death metal with some classical influence sounds intriguing to you, then you should give Lebanese band Lagrima some attention. After around a decade of activity, Lagrima has recently released their debut album "Hannibal Ad Portas", which can be downloaded for free here. I contacted Tarek Yazbek, the only original member remaining in the band, and he gladly answered my questions regarding his band. _____________________________________________________________________________ A Google search of the word "lagrima" gives a spanish-to-English translation as "tear" or "teardrop". What inspired you to use this word as a band name?
TAREK YAZBEK : The inspiration for the band's name came actually from a Spanish guitar piece by the famous composer Francisco Tarrega ( 1885 –1909 ) named "Lagrima" , and I actually liked its meaning and how the word sounded. So it became my choice for the band's name, also there would be a little history or story behind the band's name.
According to your bio, Lagrima formed in 2003. Could you go into some detail about the band's history leading up to the recording of your new album Hannibal Ad Portas?
TAREK YAZBEK : Before Lagrima I had another band named "Enormity" actually, we mostly played covers for Metallica, Sepultura, Death. Even I composed two albums in that band but nothing was actually recorded, that band project was put aside because of the big musical difference between the band members. After that I started working on a new band project around 2000 - 2001, with new songs and new style of composing. That's when I started working on "Hannibal Ad Portas" and at the same time looking for band members which was completed in 2003, but after 3 month or so, the band started having member changing which was a big step back for the band. We first changed the drummer, and it's really hard to get a really good drummer in Lebanon. Then we finally got a great drummer after trying 3 or 4 and during that time we also changed our bassist, also couple of times, until we found a real good bassist (he is now the lead guitarist of the Lebanese band 'Innerguilt"). Also we had at that time a lead guitar player (after having couple of other lead guitarists). Problems started again (talking here around 2005), for every one wanted to orient the band to a different direction and even to turn the band into a cover band. The final result was that I broke the band up turning it into a one man band (during this time I was composing the second album of the band) and asking the help of our lead guitar player, Hany AL-Hassan, to add some solos to the songs and introducing me at that time to his friend, Bilal Al-Aghar, to do the vocal works on the songs and he agreed. Recording started at that time on the guitars and drums (there are earlier recordings of the album done in crappy ways actually) and Bilal would join me later to record the vocals while Hanny didn't record the lead parts for the songs (for personal reasons), even Bilal at that time didn't record any vocals (the reason was the lousy acoustics in the room in which we were recording) - during that time (2005 - 2006 ) was composing music for the third album for the band. In 2006 or 2007 I was introduced to another vocalist, Nabil Raad, who actually recorded the whole vocals lines of the albums except for "Death of the Father ... Saguntum" which was left without any vocals. Another year or two would pass until I decided to call Bilal again in 2009 since I liked the way he re-arranged the way the lyrics are sung and he accepted and I re-recorded the album another time with a better quality ( and re-recorded it again in 2011 - which is the current released version ).