By: Will Kosh
Some time ago, I wrote a piece on the top five metal bands to watch in India with the help of Demonstealer Records, one of the most influential labels in the region. I wanted to do something similar today, but I had trouble settling on any single country. Or continent. So, enjoy this wildcard-scattershot, a general survey of some of the best up and coming metal, hard rock and punk from across the planet brought to you by myself and with help from www.mtviggy.com. They all play music with instruments.
Nader Sadek has been a fixture in the metal community for some time-just not as a musician. He worked on concept art for bands like Mayhem (designing much of the art that appeared with them on stage in 2009) and has longstanding ties with others. His presence in the community allowed him to assemble an all-star team to record his album In The Flesh that includes former Morbid Angel lead singer/bassist Steve Tucker, Cryptopsy drummer Flor Mounier, and Rune Eriksen, formerly of Mayhem.
Nader Sadek’s album, like that thing between you and your cousin that we don’t talk about anymore, just sort of happened. The New York-based Egyptian is less interested in the metal genre than he is in the reliance of the Western World on crude oil.
“The petroleum dependency theme has been present in all my work in one form or another,” he says. “I felt it was time to express it in musical form as before it was mostly based in sculpture.” For the most part, Nader Sadek doesn’t even claim to be a musician, just an artist for with a message taking heavy metal for a spin. The video for "Sulfer" reflects this, focusing as much upon theatrical visuals that drip with impending doom as it does upon solid, powerful metal.
In The Flesh is an album with subtext and theme, elements that sound like they could be the pretentious kiss of death in a metal album, but instead serve to enrich and reinforce the music. The idea that Nader Sadek is trying to express is that the reliance of the western world and humanity as a whole on crude oil, a substance derived from the remains of long deceased forms of life, will in turn bring about our death. Get it? Death begets death, and by using these dead organisms to fuel our decadent lifestyles, we’re poisoning ourselves, bit by bit.
This is an album about the corrupting effects of power, about ambition and frustration and rage, and these have been pervading themes in metal all along. Nader Sadek has just shown us the bones of it by synthesizing the music he creates with the cause that matters most to him. In a recent interview, he told IFC the following:
“I did this project with Steve Tucker in 2006, and that project was about power and how that relates to immortality. It was also attached to this theme of petroleum because petroleum could mean power, but also a kind of immortality. It's something that's actually dead--formed of living creatures, vegetation that has been cooking inside the earth for a very long time. We have found a way to exhume it and create energy out of it. It's energy from death, and I took the artistic liberty to make it about immortality.”