Tunisia is not the place only for spending your vacation time, there are some metal bands, to be correct – 27 bands. First, please pay your attention to the bands who agreed to tell me more about their scene, please read bands comments below. I see also some bands are known worldwide because of cooperation with more or less big labels, and that’s good, I was surprised! From my personal point of view, the scene in Tunisia is not so huge and powerful but it does still exist and that’s the main thing. So let’s sink into details!
Kevin Codfert says:
Actually, metal scene in Tunisia is quite poor especially since the revolution.
Local bands faced and still face lot of issues to properly perform live.
The main reason is a lack of structures and professionalism in the music industry because there is simply no platform here for rock music.
We at Myrath had the chance to meet our French producer Kevin Codfert who helped us a lot in exporting our music internationally. Otherwise it might have been impossible to do something.
That’s why our aim now, after hundreds of show over the world is to educate people in Tunisia and share our experience regarding the things to do and not do to improve their professionalism and notoriety.
We have the chance now to be a quite established band but there are also good local bands like Persona, Nawather or Carthagods who are good but struggle a lot to export their music.
Imagine, even trying to buy a good guitar amp is difficult. We couldn’t even find a renting company to rent our drums for our last gig in Carthage (close to Tunis)!
and of course what do you know about bands who built the scene, what are an attitide between musicians, between bands and fans, how much fans supporting local scene and how do you see scene’s evolution in the future.
In fact, the only band known across borders is Myrath, and in fact it’s quite a pity, We still didn’t found the key to make grow this metal scene.
Our last gig was in July headlining «Carthage amphitheater» in front of 7000 people; But I guess those 7000 people are 100% of the metalheads you may find in Tunisia. I have no idea how the scene will evolve in the future. I guess local promoters should take some risk to start organizing metal gigs, but it’s not suffisant. We also need the gouvernement to demystify everything around metal music by showing on the television that metalheads have nothing to do with violence, satanism or other bullshit
Regarding the attitude between the bands unfortunately there are not a lot of interactions and emulation because we don’t have enough bands in Tunisia to create this emulation. But all is not lost ! Our guitar player Malek founded the first rock music school in Tunisia and it appear to be a perfect initiative to gather all the future rock and metal musicians.
The scene in Tunisia is always struggling as Metal is not a very popular music and gets only very rarely supported by the ministry of culture and such. Besides there are no music labels and most bands have to rely on self funding for anything; from recording their songs to shooting videos, artwork etc…
As for famous bands the only one that had success outside of Tunisia is Myrath; they have toured extensively in Europe and built a respectable fanbase.
Attitude between musicians is cordial; everyone knows that each member is giving a lot of time, money and energy for something that they are passionate about, there are no stakes at play.
The fans are very supportive, but again with so few events per year it’s had to keep the passion over years, and inevitably some leave the scene
As for the scene’s evolution it’s quite hard to predict: over the past 10-15 years many bands formed then disbanded due to the lack of financial support/ recording facilities/venues to play at/perspectives of evolution as a Metal band from Tunisia.
This might change seeing that Myrath managed the ‘leap’ from Tunisia to the rest of the world, and that might encourage new bands to persevere, and it would certainly help to have more structured support.
Angra Mainyu says:
Well, AYYUR was formed in 2007 by Angra Mainyu in the countryside of the coastal city of SOUSSE in Tunisia as a one man project.
Many session members joined and left the project over the years, Now the band is composed by Angra Mainyu (Songwritting, Bass, Vocals) – Dagon (Guitars) – Shaxul “EX-Deathspell Omega, Manzer” (Drums). The place where the project is formed is not known for Metal music in the country, it is a calm and easy going place with mainly agriculture activities, away from the town, so AYYUR is inspired by this remoteness in a certain way.
About the local scene, Metal meetings and small shows take place from time to time in the capital (TUNIS), Metal bands are more active there…
Brood Of Hatred is a Tunisian one-man concept, Prog-Death Act founded in 2010 by Muhammed Mêlki.
It is music with no specific genre boundaries or philosophies, but some haunting atmospheres guiding you through progressive journeys, as well as some unconventional writing inspired by the strange state of mind that characterises the concept.
For the Tunisian metal scene I don’t have much of an idea, but as far as I know there’s bands that are pioneering in the progressive metal style and have a wide international success like Myrath a band that needs no introduction, and for the extreme metal scene there’s a rising project that’s gaining more and more success which is AYYUR and here’s their Bandcamp link to their latest release: Ayyur – The Lunatic Creature https://ayyur.bandcamp.com/releases
To summer up I’m having 3 albums to produce in the coming months, I’m working on several projects which are :
Vielikan (extreme metal) : vielikan.bandcamp.com
Severe Agony (black/death metal) : severeagony.bandcamp.com
And of course this one, Omination which I just released a new single taken from the upcoming album: omination.bandcamp.com
And work a lot with Cartagena : cartagenaband.bandcamp.com
Concerning my humble opinion on the Tunisian metal scene I’m keeping staying very positive because pleasant things are coming back to something more consistent. After the Tunisian revolution in 2011 the scene was slowly dying. In fact, when I was performing live shows with Vielikan back in 2009, the metal scene was ‘alive’, there were many bands out there that were performing properly their own songs. The scene was much more alive than it is today, musical festivals like ‘Rock in Tunisia’ or ‘Festival méditerranéen de la guitare’ pushed forward bands to work on their own original music composition. Since the revolution everything has gone down instead of pushing bands forward on their artistic expression and creation. Just after the great revolution in january 2011 I instantly released with Vielikan a notable single which was a heartfelt tribute to the Arabic Revolution, the only other band that contributed with artistic expression was ‘Human Scum’, a grindcore band that is no longer active since then, headed by my friend Mahdi Riahi of the technical death metal projects ‘Vomit the Hate’ and ‘I the Intruder’. Many short-lived bands and projects just abandoned their consuming passion after what in the corrupt country had happened, which is completely understandable.
As far as I’m concerned, from 2013 to 2014 the unique way for me to perform lives shows and sell my merchs with Vielikan was at the only Tunisian Metal/Rock Bar ‘Le Plug’ which closed ultimately in 2014. During this period of time, Vielikan was substantially the only actual active extreme metal band that performed in the country, frequently every three weeks with new materials.
During 2014/2015 I decided to part with the musicians I was working with. Lots of musicians I knew in my 20’s are today either inactive or just as I said, they gave up and ‘moved forward’. Many of those who were working with passion on their music are now shifting from extreme metal, black metal, death metal to foolish things like cover bands, tribal metal or ‘orientale’ metal and metalcore or whatever. I observe this as a detestable fact not for the musical path, but for the conception of these projects as ways to get ‘money’ (these guys told me that this way, I won’t speak their names, they will recognize themselves.), maybe it is because they were desperately broke because of heavy and extreme metal but fact is that most of them didn’t even make money from these projects, as far as I know.
My reaction to this: ‘get back to your responsibilities and stay true to yourself’, I associate with many people out there working full-time jobs and performing their arts without complaining about the harsh situation in the country and staying true to themselves like Carthagods, Persona, Ymyrgar, and the great Cartagena which I proudly joined as their guitarist. That being stated, it mainly concerns bands formed before the revolution, most of them gave up. Many ‘new’ and ‘young’ bands were formed after 2010/2011 like Ymyrgar and Persona, if I’m unmistaken, they were the sole bands performing their own songs during 2015. Other projects were formed after the revolution such as the very talented Brood of Hatred which I had the utmost pleasure to help and advice, but most of these stayed as studio projects and never were active on the local scene lacking of autonomous work most of the time and proper art direction.
Hopefully, for these people there are precisely adapted organisms like the first Tunisian recognized label ‘Dark Side Records’ and the autonomous and free rehearsal studio/recording studio ‘Blech Hes’ which will be able to gently help those people being motivated instead of instantly lower their arms. I should add aswell I’m quiet sure my contributions on the local scene with the three albums I’m producing at the moment will motivate people out there to do what they love, to wake up because there are many people of ideas in this country, but only few of them are people of actions.
As you can see, there is some metal scene in Tunisia, musicians are trying to do all their best to survive, so try to check their bands then you probably will find something interesting for you!
More info about Tunisian bands:
Amazigh – Gothic Metal
(just one Demo 2007)
Apostol – Melodic Death Metal
(just one Demo 2009)
Ayyur – Black Metal
(EP 2007, two Split albums 2008, Demo 2009, EP 2018)
Brood of Hatred – Progressive Death Metal
(EP and Single 2012, Album 2014, Single 2017, Album 2018)
Cartagena – Symphonic Metal
(Just one album 2018)
Carthagods – Progressive Power Metal
(Just one album 2015)
Damned Sorrow – Death Metal
(One Demo 2006 and one EP 2009)
Embers of Revenge – Power Metal
(Just two Singles 2012)
Evil – Black Metal
(One Demo 2007 and one EP 2008)
Flames of Wrath – Thrash Metal
(Just one album 2018)
Gore Bath – Grindcore
(Single 2011, Album 2015 and Live Album 2016)
I the Intruder – Technical Death Metal
(An EP + Single 2015)
Lost Insen – Progressive Metal
(Just one album 2014)
Melmoth – Black/Death Metal
(Demo 2004 and Album 2006)
Myrath – Progressive Metal with Middle Eastern Folk Influences
(Albums 2007, 2010, 2011, 2016, Singles 2018, 2019, Album 2019)
Nawather – Progressive Metal with Middle Eastern Folk Influences
(Just one album 2016)
Omination – Funeral Doom/Death Metal
(Demo and two Albums 2018, Single 2019)
Out Body Experience – Melodic Black/Doom Metal
(Demo and Album 2003)
Persona – Symphonic Metal
(Albums 2016, 2017 and Single 2018)
Pirania – Progressive Metal with Middle Eastern influences
(Just one Album 2007)
Riffburn – Heavy/Thrash Metal
(Just one album 2015)
Sadistic Visions – Dark Ambient/Black Metal
(One split album 2008)
Saracens – Gothic/Symphonic/Death Metal
(Just one Demo 2009 and the guy has moved to France)
The Sound of Seraphim – Black Metal
(One Album 2019)
Vielikan – Progressive Death Metal
(EP 2009, Album 2010, Single 2011, Single 2016, two Singles 2017 and Album 2019)
Vomit the Hate – Technical Death Metal
(Demo 2007, Album 2008, EP 2010, Album 2018)
Ymyrgar – Folk/Pagan Black Metal
(Just one Album 2014)
See ya next time!