Screencap from a video showing the band performing live, April 8, 2018 – Youtube/Metal Muse.
CAIRO – 8 April 2018: When one thinks of Heavy Metal rock music, what usually comes to mind is men dressed in dark clothes screaming at the top of their lungs, exemplified by famous bands such as Metallica or Iron Maiden; often it’s certainly not something you’d think to associate with women.
Yet that misconception never proved true, through the likes of South London’s Girl school founded in 1978 (and still going), Japan’s Heavy Metal idol group “Baby metal” founded in 2010, and more recently, the first ever all-female Metal group in the Middle East, breaking down barriers in the conservative Arab world and determined to shake the status quo up.
They are “Slave to Sirens.”
The group consists of Lead guitarist Shery Bechara, Drummer Tatyana Boughaba, Alma Doumani on bass, with vocalist Maya Khairallah and rhythm guitarist Lilas Mayassi. They hrecently released their latest EP, “Terminal Leeches”, on March 11, 2018. The band formed in late 2015, after Bechara and Mayassi met at a protest and bonded over their shared love of metal music, according to their interview with the National.
After failed attempts to form a band with boys, the girls formed one together to make their own group, which grew to become “Slave to Sirens.” According to the National, Mayassi states that the first time they performed live, the audience couldn’t believe it.
“They saw us on stage and they didn’t expect that we would produce this kind of sound. They were like, ‘OK, this is a bunch of girls, now let’s see what they can play. Maybe a love song'… It wasn't a love song,” she recounts.
Despite Lebanon’s conservative nature, the girls have managed to hold their own well enough as a band that’s both into heavily-stigmatized metal music and overcoming female stereotypes. As Mayassi tells the National, being a “metalhead” is more than just making music; it's an entire lifestyle: “The way (we) think is different than other people and they’re going to do what they want to do and they’re going to express themselves the way they want to express themselves… It’s basically like a message that you send to the masses, and they don’t want this message to be sent.” “Terminal Leeches” draws inspiration from the atrocities directly happening in the Middle East, casting a light on the dark side of humanity.