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Reviews - Amadeus Awads Schizanimus Release

Review Date: 2013-08-15

Reviewed By: Fred Bteich


Photo by Zena Stefan.

All around, it sounded like any other Tuesday night. The Hamra street was buzzing with all sorts of people, wandering and having fun at local cafés and restaurants.

But inside Metro Al Madina, on August 13, another story was unfolding; one related to the birth of "SCHIZANIMUS", the new EP by the progressive metal virtuoso Amadeus Awad.

Reviewing has become quite a common thing for me nowadays, and despite the very good relationship I have with the artists involved, I will remain totally objective in criticizing this event, just like any other one.

Set to begin at 9:30PM, the artists and early-comers had to wait for around 50mins until not one chair inside the venue remained empty, before kicking off the show.

I must admit that when people have been anticipating a release for quite some time, and know how respectful and punctual the musicians involved normally are, this shouldn't cause much problem, acknowledging the treat they would be getting out of their magical hands and voices during the night.

By 10:20PM, everyone had fastened their seatbelts and were ready to finally begin the eagerly awaited ride to the worlds of APRIL and AMADEUS AWAD.

The first took them on a journey of some exquisite OPETH and BLACKMORE NIGHT songs, emanating from the lips of the impressive Rachel and the very talented members accompanying her, in particular the keyboardist Raffi Nordiguian and guitarist Richard Samia, who both had some jaw-dropping solos that left the audience in awe.

APRIL played for 50mins there, delivering a polished performance with not a single technical glitch nor a slump by the vocalist, who was a joy to listen to with her addictive voice that you keep urging to fill your ears.

Then, after a lengthy 10-minute break, Amadeus showed up on stage at around 11:20PM, greeting the audience and guiding them through the 26-minute listening session of the EP that would follow.

Here, allow me to point out that many took that time to come back to reality and to their ugly chatting habits, instead of ascending even more with the music they were exclusively hearing for the first time.

That was a shame to see. Maybe, just maybe, the Lebanese crowd doesn't deserve such an honor delivered by the musicians of its scene, who should learn to organize private listening sessions for their releases, invitational only, during which they would guarantee both constructive criticism and total respect, given that the guests would be here for this and this only. The fact that people knew they would be getting a copy of the CD later on weakened this moment if you ask me.

At around midnight, and following the applauses of the audience, Elia Monsef, "SCHIZANIMUS"'s vocalist, appeared by the side of Amadeus to hastily and funnily answer the questions that pertained to the EP.

The whole band then jammed and played some DEEP PURPLE tracks for around an hour, ending the whole show at around 1:00AM. 

Allow me here as well, to reflect on the mind-blowing notes Elia reached while exposing his full vocal range on the final 2 songs he joined the band with on stage, succeeding some entertaining music by the AMADEUS AWAD members, led by the multi-talented artist who gave the group his name and most certainly the present fans who hadn't heard him live before, something to think about, especially with his upcoming album around the corner.

All in all, it was a very pleasant night, crowned by the CDs distribution, which could have been slightly shortened especially after the delay at the start that gave the event overall a fast tempo, allowing some lack of concentration every now and then, and preventing the fans from enjoying even more music that could have been injected into their veins. 

One thing they knew for sure however, is that they were carrying this drug back home, confident that from this moment onwards, they would easily catch the bus again and travel on the SCHIZANIMUS journey as many times as they would wish.