It’s not often we get to debut something new from perhaps the biggest metal band in their own country, but I suppose today isn’t like any other day… Svengali is here to say “Sayonara” to the past with their brand new guitar playthrough video for the single “Shedding Skin,” one of the featured cuts off of their new record Sayonara, due on March 20th.
Currently based in Dubai, the multinational Middle Eastern group is defined by a classic metalcore sound that has stricken a fever over the entire metal community of the United Arab Emirates. They have become so well-recognized that the household names from the west that tour through the UAE usually request that Svengali act as their opening band. The latest to ask for their services? None other than Lacuna Coil… And before that? Well, how about Sepultura, Jinjer, Kreator, Arch Enemy, and Septic Flesh.
Guitarist JM Elias spoke of the headspace in which he was in when writing “Shedding Skin,” noting, “‘Shedding Skin’ is a song we started writing during my personal darkest time and it lined up with other members struggling with their own demons. The song continued to take shape as I fought to get out of the state I was in and eventually overcome the hardship. We funneled all of that into the song, musically and lyrically. It’s an audible version of my painful transition from dark to light. When it comes to writing new songs, I usually don’t stress on how technical we can be, rather I just focus on serving the song and delivering the right feel in a whole package. The title of the song ‘Shedding Skin’ came to be halfway through the writing process and I wrote the ending breakdown riff to complement that. A heavy bold statement that required a heavy bold chuggy riff.”
Originally from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and India, each member of Svengali is no stranger to persecution. What originally brought them all to UAE was to escape persecution for basically simply enjoying and playing music that was deemed illegal in their home countries. It’s an enlightening story that emphasizes the little things we take for granted in modern democracies. It’s also noteworthy for the fact that it illuminates how it’s possible to go from seemingly hopeless situations to now unrivalled success. Sayonara features nine new tracks of crushing guitar riffs, grooves and melody. With optimism and motivation, Svengali will continue to expand their horizons and act as an example for musicians in similar situations to the one they were once in.
04/09 – Rockwood Music Hall – New York City, NY