The 10 best metal bands from the Middle East, chosen by Kaoteon


Beirut’s Kaoteon are as metal as you can get. Not only do they sound like all the nastiest parts of the frostbitten north, but they’ve found themselves in hot water with various religious groups and even been jailed for devil worship. They are, without a doubt, one of the most notorious metal bands from the Middle East (now residing in Amsterdam) and know where all the best horrible noises are coming from.

We caught up with the band to talk about the best metal bands in the Middle East that you need to listen to.


“One of Lebanon’s pride producing heavy as hell doom metal. They’ve been around since 2000 and have mastered their sound, touring multiple countries and releasing many crushing albums.”


“Those Egyptian pioneers of extreme metal have been crafting their Anubis howls since 1998. Their latest lyric video, Beyond The Path Of Amenti, uses real spoken hieroglyphs.”


“An excellent blend of thrash and death metal. Previously known as melodic black metal band Tristmoon, they later turned to a truly aggressive delivery thanks to Serge Keshishian and Sako Helvajian.”


“An excellent ambient black metal project from the depths of Beirut. It echoes the cold, raw and soothing magnitude of the dimensions Beirut has to offer.”


“One of the pioneers of Middle Eastern Death Metal, Dubai’s Nervecell started in 1999 and have released three albums so far. Their albums are highly reviewed, and their dedication is second to none.”


“Bahrain’s finest nasty thrash metal, formed by Omar Zainal. They sound as sharp and raw as a brass knuckle. Omar is a great composer and he has already done a great job in the past with Smouldering In Forgotten before starting Hellionight.”


“Dubai based Aramaic managed to blend Assyro-Babylonion history into their Oriental doom/death metal sound.”


“A representation of modern metal in the Middle East by talented musicians. They’re old friends of ours who are very active and committed to their music.”


“What the Algerian desert must taste like after a week without water. Barbaric, raw and brutally Oriental. A death metal band that is here to stay in the books of metal from the region. We highly recommend their evil riffs.”


“Led by some of Lebanon’s most experienced musicians, Anuryzm pack a punch with their technical yet heavy and well-crafted metal. Excellent riffing capability, backed up by Nadeem’s sonic and versatile vocals.”

Kaoteon’s new album Damnatio Memoriae is out February 23.

Jay Wud have stared down adversity to be a voice for metal in the Middle East

Metal Hammer

Founded in 1983, Metal Hammer is the global home of all things heavy. We have breaking news, exclusive interviews with the biggest bands and names in metal, rock, hardcore, grunge and beyond, expert reviews of the lastest releases and unrivalled insider access to metal's most exciting new scenes and movements. No matter what you're into – be it heavy metal, punk, hardcore, grunge, alternative, goth, industrial, djent or the stuff so bizarre it defies classification – you'll find it all here, backed by the best writers in our game.