Benghazi’s Dawn of Metal

At the dawn of the millenium, there was only one store in the whole of Libya where one could buy heavy metal music. It was considered very dangerous to listen to such corrupting noise.  Now, only 10 years later, there is a burgeoning metal community, led by Dawn of Odessa, a band born straight out of the now anachronistic British New Wave of Heavy Metal.

Last night, I was taken to an ad hoc rehearsal room in an ad hoc music studio, bordering an ad hoc center for Libya al-hurra channel.  As a young lady with a beautiful voice laid down tracks in an ad hoc sound proof room, the face of Benghazi metal began rehearsing their song ‘United Warriors’ upstairs.  Their equipment was old, battered, and barely workable…yet good enough for these enthusiastic metal heads.

And then they started playing.  Within seconds, I found myself back in 1986, whirled away in a hot tub time machine of sorts.  Yet in front of me wasn’t the odious glam rockers Poison, but the true spirit of metal.  The lyrical content may have been aimed at Gaddafi and his fallen regime, but the spirit of metal was universal.

When the Rebirth Music Festival kicks off in the ruins of the Katiba on February 21st, 2012, I fully expect these guys to be one of the major acts to play in front of the expected crowd of 150,000.  And in those moments, they will launch the New Wave of Libyan Metal

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