Thursday, December 13, 2012

In Memory of David Gold, Cover of WOODS OF YPRES - FINALITY

Hello everyone,

Last year in December the world lost one of it's best people and most talented musicians, David Gold (front man of Woods of Ypres).

In remembrance of his passing, and as a tribute to his art and him as the great person that he was, I've put together this little humble cover of one of my favorite songs of all time; "FINALITY" which is on the last release from the band Woods of Ypres.

Do check out the cover in the video below:

I met David in Kuwait when he made a work trip down there for a few months. David had previously been in touch with Sajid "Sarj" Masood over the internet (a few years before the whole "work in Kuwait" thing came up). Back then David was in Korea and while looking for metal bands to check out in Korea on Metal Archives, he saw "Kuwait" right next to it and wondered "Kuwait? There are metal bands in Kuwait?"

At that point he found out about Sarj's band "Nocturna" and basically got in touch with him and talked some metal.

A few years down the road, coincidence or not, David got a job opportunity in Kuwait and prior to arriving he got in touch with Sarj once again to meet up and what not while he's there. We met up with David about a week after his arrival in Kuwait, once he got settled into his new apartment and all that transitionary stuff.

We all hung out quite a bit, listened to a whole lot of Rammstein, Katatonia, Opeth, Meshuggah, and all that while driving around town. We even talked about doing a remote band that's along the lines of Rammstein (the working title of the project was "SANDSTEIN"). I actually still have the recorded demos that we did.

David had to cut his stay in Kuwait short once his band Woods of Ypres were signed to Earache Records and they were getting ready to tour in support of Woods 4: The Green Album, in addition to start with writing and recording the album Woods 5: Grey Skies and Electric Light.

After David left, we all kept in touch with each other a whole lot...we talked about a Benevolent and Woods of Ypres tour out here in the Middle East or Europe.

He was a great person, a very deep musician, and though he is no longer amongst us he truly lives in his music.

Carpe Diem.

Hadi Sarieddine

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Hey guys!

How's everyone doing?

We got a new VLOG up! This one covers our experience from Gulf Bike Week and Mental Issues.

I'll be posting up a full post of our experience at the Mental Issues show this past weekend.

We are working on tons and TONS of things! Really can't wait to share it with you all!

In the mean time, I will leave you with the VLOG.

Speak soon all!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Gulf Bike Fest Experience

Hello everyone!

It's been an absolutely great month for us, on October 18th 2012 we performed live at the Live & Local stage at Gulf Bike Week festival which was HEADLINED BY MEGADETH!

As soon as we were confirmed for the gig the preparation and planning began!

Prasad and Gad's tickets to come down to Dubai were in place, hotels booked, rehearsal space arranged, and we were ready to get to it!

During the weeks leading up to the show, and seeing as we're in different countries, each member of the band prepared for our setlist from the comfort of their own home playing along to the studio recordings of Divided EP (WHICH YOU CAN STILL DOWNLOAD FOR FREE BY CLICK HERE). Also, we decided to play a cover song this time around; the choice was Nemesis by Arch Enemy. So, we all basically just hammered it out in our own space until we got together as a band to rehearse and get it working together.

We had a great time, the guys flew in a couple of hours before the rehearsal was scheduled so we got to have a quick meal and did some fast catching up right before rehearsal time came about. Right after finishing up the rehearsal we packed our gear and went straight to the Gulf Bike Festival venue for setup and soundcheck. It was great that we got to do that at night, we didn't feel like we were racing against the clock to make it in time before people start walking in!

Sound was great! We could hear each other clearly on stage, and the house mix to the crowd was pretty killer too!

Show day came and we were all feeling great! (I am usually the one getting super nervous before a show, but for this one I felt a lot calmer than usual). Unfortunately, a lot of times you get caught up worrying about the sound being right and over-thinking every note that you're about to hit on the guitar; however, this time around I had a serious conversation with myself and convinced me to just enjoy that time on stage, and enjoy the entire day. We were playing the Gulf Bike Festival, at Dubai Festival City, and Megadeth was the headlining act; that's a bunch of awesome things happening and nothing ever beats that feeling of being on stage and sharing your music with a live audience and feeling their reaction to your music as it happens. It worked out! I enjoyed it and had an absolute BLAST! (I guess I can be pretty convincing)

We had a great time at the show, we met some awesome people and made some new friends! I wanna thank Ryan Noronha for being the awesome person that he is and of course none other than Barney Ribeiro for being absolutely epic, booking the show and making this all happen! You guys are awesome!


After the show, we grabbed a few beers, celebrated, and then had a great time seeing our good friends Absolace and then the headliners MEGADETH kill it! (Unfortunately, we missed Sandwash's set because we were packing our gear and what not!)

We've got a few more exciting things coming up so STAY TUNED!

HINT: News about our epic work with IGNITE AMPS and some more juicy stuff is coming!

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Benevolent Performing on Same Day as Megadeth in Dubai! ZOMGWTFBBQ!

Hello everyone!!!!

This post carries with it some REALLY special news! We have been confirmed for GULF BIKE WEEK 2012 and will be performing LIVE at the Live & Local Stage on October 18th, which is the same day that MEGADETH are performing!

Check out our profile on the official Gulf Bike Week website HERE

This is pretty effing crazy! We are really psyched and we absolutely CAN'T WAIT for it to go down.

This is me stopping by real quick to share the news with you all. I'll be back in a few days with more posts relating to this.

Don't forget to check out our two VLOG videos from our previous show out here in Dubai:


Speak soon!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Hey guys!

So we got some REALLY exciting things coming from the Benevolent camp in Dubai, we'll be revealing things one at a time as they come to life. The first cool thing to share with you guys is our new band Logo and Emblem.


The Emblem (circular thingy) has more to it than just being the sexy design that it is. The circles and rectangles that are spread around the main circle basically represent letters in Morse Code. The letters spell out the word "Benevolent", how cool is that?

Check out the breakdown of the letters below:

B: _ . . .
E: .
N: _ .
E: .
V: . . . _
O: _ _ _ 
L: . _ . .
E: .
N: _ . 
T: _

We are toying around with this whole Morse Code thing on a couple of more things which we'll be sharing with the coming of our upcoming album (featuring ANDOLS HERRICK on the drums).

Stay tuned for some more updates on our cool new toys coming in from IGNITE AMPS in Italy and more REALLY awesome things.


We are psyched as hell!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Line 6 POD Farm / POD X3 Live Rhythm Tone DOWNLOAD

Hey guys!

So if you've checked out the video entry I did for the Kevin Talley Guitar Contest, I was quite happy with the rhythm tone I crafted for that specific song / shindig. So I thought I'd share the settings that I used on POD Farm and upload the tone for you to download off of the official Line 6 Custom Tone website.



The overall signal chain of the patch is a basic Noise Gate - Drive Pedal - Amp - Compressor - Chorus.


The settings on the Noise Gate are a bit loose, that's mostly because I like to keep the tone sounding like it's "breathing" rather than being choked out and sliced.


For the Drive Pedal, I used the Boost + EQ model, which I find that I always resort to for all rhythm tones, and even to drive clean channels too sometimes. It just allows further frequency control with the Bass, Treble, Mids, and Mid Frequency knobs in addition to have a crunchy / liquified character about it. I've also pushed the Gain over the mid point to give things a bit more umph (I like to experiment a lot between increasing / decreasing gain levels between the drive pedals and the amp's gain and compare results).


Next in line is the Cali Diamond Plate amp, which is a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier model. This is hands down one of my favorite models on POD Farm. I've pushed the Mids, Treble, and Presence while rolling off the Bass to below the center. The settings may seem a bit extreme, but I like to craft tones with my ears rather than my eyes.


Next I've placed a Compressor unit in the signal chain, this works the attack and spank so the picking really comes out.


And finally, my favorite part of the signal chain: the Analog Chorus pedal. I really really really dig placing chorus pedals at the end of the signal chain of rhythm patch and roll out the mix so it's almost not noticeable that there's a chorus pedal in there, but the sound just gets richer, precise, and liquified. Something about the sound of a very subtle chorus effect in the chain really gives me the chills!

And there we have it! You can download the tone by click on the below link.



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Line 6 POD HD500 Warm Clean Tone

Hey guys!

So I spent the night toying with my Line 6 POD HD500 in pursuit of a warm clean tone (something along the lines of what Opeth were beautifully tormenting our senses with on their album Damnation).

I plugged the POD right into my MacBook Pro via USB, opened up the POD HD500 Edit software (which is a ridiculously simple and comfortable way to craft your tones, it's just fascinating). I tried a few amps looking for the texture I was looking for and the Hiwatt amp model immediately felt like home.

I got a nice clean and round tone with just about everything at flat settings on the Hiwatt amp model, with the default cab/mic settings as well. From there on I basically started toying around with different compressors before the amp to give the roundedness a warm attack and definition. That worked out well! I ended up adding another compressor after the amp in the signal chain to in-turn give stronger definition to the "processed" tone coming out of the amp.

To emphasize depth and give the tone a certain liquidity, I added a chorus pedal (this was placed as the compressor following the amp in the signal chain). When I add those chorus pedals to tones that don't require that extra wobbly tone, I just set the mix down to a very minimum level where the listener may not necessarily hear that the chorus effect is in there BUT it's adding to the tone's richness and liquifying it.

Last but not least, the cherry on the cake: the Ping Pong Delay pedal. I dropped the Mix to about 30% and gave the Feedback a notch up. AND VOILA!

Give it a listen and make sure you DOWNLOAD THE TONE if you own a POD HD500.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Entry to the Kevin Talley Guitar Contest

Hello everyone!

So I decided to partake in the Kevin Talley Guitar Contest for September 2012, my entry take video can be found below.

Basically the contest includes a drum track recorded by Kevin Talley and the challenge is to write riffs over it. The drumming is pretty nuts and there's a few odd signatures in there! It was the very fun yes.

The guitars were all recorded with Line 6 POD FARM, I'll be sharing the rhythm patches used later on.

Check it out and Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Currently Heavily Listening To

Hey gang!

Things have been quite busy as of late with finishing up the Benevolent album, we're really taking our time in brushing it all out and getting the final vocal and guitar solo tracks on there; it's sounding pretty intense!

In the midst of all of that I thought I'd share what I've been listening to heavily, don't be shy to share what YOU have been playing a lot of in the comments section below:

  1. Meshuggah - Koloss
  2. Lamb of God - Sacrament
  3. Arch Enemy - Doomsday Machine
  4. Chimaira - Resurrection
  5. Deftones - Diamond Eyes
  6. Katatonia - Night is the New Day (I actually haven't checked out the new record yet!)
  7. Transatlantic - Whirlwind
  8. Metallica - Death Magnetic
  9. Scar Symmetry - Pitch Black Progress
  10. Slash - Slash (I haven't checked out the new album yet as well, for shame!)
  11. Within Temptation - The Unforgiving
Looking at it now, it's an intensely diverse list! I enjoy any and all good music so that's as far as my appreciation for any band's work goes and even a lot of it ends up inspiring me to do new things and explore new sonic possibilities!

What have you been listening to? What new bands have you been checking out?

Talk soon!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My New Filmscore Track (Arabesque one)

Hey guys!

So this one's a bit different from the norm. Being another one of the filmscore tracks I've recently worked on, this one has a cool flavoring of Arabesque instruments and melodies being played on top of a stabbing bass flow and a rich percussive rhythm.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Guitar Pick Up Match EQ Testing

Hey guys!

So I've been doing some testing with Match EQing comparing my guitar pickups to other popular ones. If you're not familiar with the concept of Match EQ, in a nutshell, it's the use of designated plugins to analyze the EQ of your signal (whether it is a fully blown guitar tone through an amp or a DI signal of just your guitar's pickups), and then analyze a "targeted" signal's EQ, and then basically create an EQ curve that makes your tone match the targeted one. It's pretty simple and straightforward, however, to achieve stellar results it requires some trial and errors.

Here's my demo recording where I compare the match EQs of EMG707, Seymour Duncan Vintage Rails, Seymour Duncan SSL5, and of course the sound of the original pickups in my Schecter C-7 (Note that I used the same rhythm and clean tones for all pickup match EQs):

Here's how I went about doing this:
  1. Find DI recorded signals of pickups online. (Luckily, I've found some EMG707 DIs, and some Seymour Duncan ones as well!)
  2. Open up your DAW (I use Logic)
  3. Open a new track
  4. In the effects, load up "Match EQ" under Logic's EQ effects
  5. Import the recorded DI of the pickup you wanna steal
  6. On the same track, record yourself playing the same riff (or at least something close!)
  7. On the Match EQ window, click on "Template" and play the DI you downloaded (Let it play for a bit so it can capture as much frequencies as possible)
  8. Now, on the Match EQ window, click on "Current" and play the just wankery you recorded
  9. And finally, click on "Match" on the Match EQ window
  10. Voila!
Here are some screen shots of the process:




Keep in mind that you may have to do some post tweaking to get better results, and also note that the current amp settings may not sound as great with your new pickup EQ, so spend a bit of time getting a great tone down and enjoy!

NOTE: The matched EQ may NOT exactly match the pickup that you're aiming at, HOWEVER, it WILL give you a whole new sound to work with!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Download my Line 6 Rhythm Tones

Hey guys!

As you all know I have been using Line 6 gear extensively for a long time now, so I figured why not share my main recording Rhythm tones with you all!

I went ahead and uploaded the two main Rhythm guitar tones to the Line 6 Custom Tone site, CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE TONES.

The below tune was recorded using those tones, check it out:

Be sure to drop me a line on what you think of those tones and do share your tracks recording using the tones in the comments section or on Facebook.

Have fun!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Orchestral Piece - TSHECK IT!

Hey guys,

Check out my new orchestral piece! This one is based on a filmscore type theme (inspired by the work of Hans Zimmer)...probably for an eerie scene that builds up into something epic.

Why is it called Misunderstood? Well, the contrast between the minor, major, and augmented feel in the main chords that roll through the whole song led to that title. Picture a character in a slow motion scene where it portrays him going through a confused state of mind...a righteous / sinister contrast...or even better a benevolent / malevolent contrast...JUST SO I CAN SHAMEFULLY PLUG MY BAND'S NAME [BENEVOLENT] INTO THE DESCRIPTION.

Enough senseless blabber, check it out!

Enjoy and let me know how you like it in the comments section.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Benevolent live at Ratsky 3 Gig Experience

Hey guys!

So it's been an awesome few days, my brothers-in-metal came down from Kuwait and Bahrain to slug out a Benevolent gig and boy was it a great experience.

Our new session drummer Prasad Jayaruwan flew in on Tuesday night, Fadi and I drove down to Sharjah pick him up. It was awesome meeting Prasad, we've been buddies through the interwebs for a while and been talking metal for long enough to finally get to not only meet up but also gig it out together. The cool part was that Prasad and ourselves IMMEDIATELY hit it off with great chemistry and the excitement vibes were all over the place for the gig. We were really psyched to be opening for Nervecell and to be playing in Dubai again!

After picking up Prasad and chilling for a bit, Fadi and I made our way to pick up Sarj (from Sarj's Studio) who came down to be here at our gig and hang out with us! It was great seeing Sarj again and was awesome catching up on geek gear talk with him.

Wednesday night cometh, Fadi, Prasad, and myself went to In The Mix studios for our first official rehearsal (Sarj joined us too, he's the band's babysitter when he's not making us sound awesome). It was such a fun experience playing those songs straight up from the get go with Prasad, it's crazy thinking that this is the very first time we get together as a band (well, half the band that night) and the very second day that we hang out as peeps. CRAZY!

The rehearsal was electric, we all vibed right off of each other and had an absolute blast.

Right after rehearsal, we all went out for dinner and hang out right until it was time for Mohammed Gad and Hisham Khalil to arrive in town. The guys arrived safely, it was great seeing the guys once again. I haven't seen Hisham since leaving Kuwait back in March, but I did see Gad when I was in Lebanon last since he came down to visit.

The next day (Thursday) was when it all got pretty crazy, the very first (and only) pre-show full band rehearsal. The entire gang head over to In The Mix studios once again to prepare for show day. The rehearsal was great! We all prepared for those songs individually as per the album and since we're playing those songs live down to the tick it all just came together neatly. Again, it's pretty crazy that with just one rehearsal we all managed to put it all together for the show!

Show day comes, June 29th, no kidding, it's happening! We were up to an early start, had breakfast together as a band and then went out to buy some last minute things (new picks, spare strings, etc). Right after, we immediately made our way to the venue and arrived around 3:00 pm. The drums were still being setup and we just carried our gear inside and made ourselves comfortable with the location.

We helped the crew setup where we could, hung out, took some videos and photos, looked around the area, warmed up on our instruments, ate again, and what not.

When it was time for us to get onto our soundcheck, we got up on stage and put our pedalboards up (I was using my new POD HD500, which sounded unbelievable! Hands down the best live tone I've ever had...more on this!). Everything was plugged in perfectly and we played The Quantum Paradox at sound check. I was really psyched about how insanely HUGE my tone sounded straight into the mixer, I wasn't plugged into any amp and could hear myself perfectly through the monitors. I only had the new POD for a couple of days before the gig but I've just toyed around with some of the built in presets and downloaded a few tones from the Custom Tone site and with some tweaking I've found the right tone, it just sounded amazing and made me play better!

The guys from Nervecell came into the venue straight from their earlier all ages show while we were going through The Quantum Paradox and hailed us as they walked by. The entire time after getting off stage from sound check we just hung out with these guys (whom if you haven't met, are the nicest most genuine people you could meet), the crew, the band, and just everyone around.

People started coming into the venue and the energy was great! Echoes With Laughter kicked off the show playing a killer set of rock n' roll/metal covers by Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Metallica, some originals, and more! They had a great energy about them on stage and played with great enthusiasm and got everyone going and singing along, awesome band!

We were up next, we got right up on stage and put up all the gear in place and plugged everything in and got our metal faces on. Our setlist for the show was:

  1. Haunting Shores
  2. Purgatory
  3. The Quantum Paradox
  4. The Tyrant
Halfway through our first song, Haunting Shores, I realized that the backing tracks weren't playing through the PA and are only playing through Prasad's in-ears (the backing tracks basically have all the atmospheric stuff that sit in the back, which is important to our full sound and basically would be damaging to play the show without). Right after we finished playing through Haunting Shores, I jumped down to the house board to check on what's going wrong and Barry helped out immediately in solving the problem.

From that point onwards, the show went in a great direction. We all got into our muse and had a blast playing the songs. The 4 songs we played felt like we were up there for no longer than one minute, it all flew by really quickly. I definitely cannot wait for our next outing! It was a great pleasure for us to be performing alongside Nervecell and to have met so many great people and made some new friends at the gig.

Huge thanks to Spellbind Records, Thomsun Pure Music, the organizers (Sary, you the man!), the awesome guys at Nervecell and Echoes With Laughter.

And finally, thank you to all for coming out and I can't wait to see you all soon!

Don't forget to check out our page for more updates on dates and news on the new record at HERE


Monday, June 25, 2012


Hey guys!

Another new toy day! I've just picked up the Line 6 POD HD500 and it is KILLER!

I'd like to thank the guys at Thomsun Pure Music for being awesome and helping me get a hold of this new baby! (Do check out their music institutes at Popular Music Institute and Sing and Swing Training Centre)

I'll post a proper full length review of this pretty soon! For now, I will leave you with the usual unboxing photos:


Monday, June 18, 2012

Benevolent to Open for Nervecell in Dubai

Hey guys!

That's right! Gonna be hitting the stage with Benevolent LIVE on June 29th opening for Nervecell as they stop in Dubai during their Psychogenocide Middle East Tour!

Check below for the event information, come down and slug it out with us.

Official Event Page on Facebook
Event's Official Website

We are all super psyched to be a part of this gig and we can't wait to see you all out there from the stage.

See you there!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Song! Orchestral Soundtrack Blockbuster Content

Hey guys!

So I did this little tune for the fun of things! It's a soundtrack-ish type of piece with a blockbuster feel and, of course, metul!



Offering a New Service: Producing Bands

Hey guys!

I figured I'll put this out there publicly as I've been corresponding with a few people on producing their band's work. If you've got a band or you're a solo artist working on a song/record do hit me up as I'm going to be offering this service now.

The production stuff can involve things such as:
  • Songwriting advise
  • Instrument layering and textures
  • Guitar/bass tone crafting
  • Drums programming and drum tones
  • And more!
Additionally, as an added option if you would like the work to be mixed/mastered I can arrange for that as well with my good buddy Sajid "Sarj" Masood from Sarj's Studio, who mixes all the Benevolent (Divided EP and the upcoming album) stuff and other projects that I've worked.

Shoot me an email at or on my Facebook and we can talk it out.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Writing a Song in Memory of David Gold

Hey guys,

So I've been working on the tribute song for my good buddy, the late, David Gold (Woods of Ypres). I am pretty sure this post is going to be a bit of a dull read but I feel the need to write this since this page has become a point of ventilation for all sorts of stuff that come to mind in the musical spectrum, and though David was a friend and not a band mate or someone that I worked musically with, he was and remains to be an inspiration, and his music has been influencing my work on the Benevolent album.

When writing this song, the part that mostly gives me some aching is that David's not around to hear this piece or the rest of the Benevolent album. We often spoke about this and I kept updating him on our work even while he was on tour with Woods.

Every time I listen to the progress on the song so far, I just ask myself "What would David think of this piece?" and I suppose this has led to a Woods of Ypres feel to the song.

But, what is the image that the song should depict?

I believe that words cannot be said to pay tribute to a good friend, but music can get me closer to translating all this stuff.

I do hope that the song reverberates and shines as a melody that attempts to represent the feelings behind the loss of a great friend.

Rest in Peace, brother!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Settling in Dubai; Exploring the Metal Scene; Writing/Recording Solos for the NEW BENEVOLENT ALBUM

Hey guys!

So I've been busy settling into my new life out here in Dubai, loving it! I've been to a few shows already and I am really enjoying how vibrant the scene here is here. Fadi and I went to the Avenged Sevenfold and Anuryzm show back in early May, and it was phenomenal! Both bands really rocked out and we had a blast. The other show I've been to was the Hate Eternal / Perversion / Creative Waste show done by Spellbind Records and the bands were freaking crazy good!

Besides settling in, snooping around my new home, and getting to know Dubai, we've been hard at work on finishing the Benevolent record. Vocals and solos are underway! We are having a blast putting this thing together!

I have kind of found that I am taking to a more organic way of writing the solos for the new album. I think that I am reaching a deeper and more sincere level of intimacy with recording the solos on my laptop in the room on my own without the studio pressure of having to get the very next take down. I think both recording in a studio with an engineer/producer guiding you through things AND recording on your own have advantages and disadvantages.

I often worry that the solos I am writing may sound good to me because I am engulfed by the wavelength of creativity that I am feeding off of. Although, what I am doing is am keeping Sarj involved in the production process so I keep sending him the takes in scratch tones for some feedback, alongside the rest of the band obviously. My good friend Bader Nana is also one the trustful ears that I turn to for feedback. Those guys say it as it is, and I find myself always seeking their "approval" over bits before they are confirmed as the final ones for the record!

Much to talk about, stay tuned for more updates! And give us a like on Facebook HERE

Take care now.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Shoved Riffs & Being Over-Inspired

Hey guys,

You know that time of the day when you hear a little something in your head that seems to be suiting as a begin of a song or a continuation of an already-started piece? You get that extra super-energized excitement and you feel like you've achieved John Petrucci levels?

Be warned that in such cases there's a good chance you're being tricked by our own adrenaline, and blinded by your excitement.

I find that lots of times when I am SUPER-PERKY-STYLE psyched about a part, it's not exactly what I think it sounds like. This is evident when I show a recording of the idea to someone and they go like "Ummm...yea, it's alright!"; hearing words like that feels like an avalanche of despair and a heart-breaking moment that'll take you a few days of rerunning the conversation in your mind to believe if it's the truth or not. It can't be true, or can it?

Here's what I think happens: a lot of times when we try to copy certain things or translate certain ideas we're hearing in our minds they sound a lot like the other side of the spectrum, rather. This, however, is not always a bad thing at all. Here's why:

Sometimes we hear a song or a section that inspires us to write something or go in a certain direction musically and the fact that our newly created part doesn't sound spot on to what we had intended may very well cause the creation of something completely original. I find that a lot of times when we are "inspired" that inspiration is borrowed from something we've seen, heard, experienced, etc. Creating something remotely far from what we had intended brings out that inner genius.

So as we can see, there is a caution in being over-inspired in the sense that we tend to create things that are pretty far off from what we're hearing in our minds; however, there are moments where we find that a certain genius is born from such events.

A very contrasting and confusing post!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

First Day Tracking Vocals

Hey guys!

Today was the first day of vocal tracking, Fadi jumped right in with great energy and ripped through his parts.

What we're going to do is finish all the growl vocals (Fadi's bits) first, and then after that I'll step in to do my vocals and finish up my solos as well along the same time.

Here are some shots from today's session:

Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fresh Album Making Updates

Hey guys!

So we're closing in on the making of this record! HOORAH!

We've got a couple of songs to track the guitars and bass for, vocals/lyrics finalization are happening next week, solos and finalization of all production/sound design layers elements is on the menu for the upcoming weeks as well!

Andols Herrick has one more drum tracking session taking place through the next week and then we start pooling all the pieces together to finalizing this record.

We're extremely excited to share it with everyone! You are definitely going to be hearing our hearts and souls flowing through this album from start to finish. The songs are beefy, rich in many elements, and it's the soundtrack of the next chapter of the Benevolent family's life!

Stay in touch and be well! (Keep up with our updates on Facebook)


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sorry Have Been Busy Relocating

Hey guys!

I am extremely sorry for the delay in blogging, I've been busy relocating to the UAE and I am now officially living in Dubai. Feels great! It's a very vibrant city with lots going on, lots of concerts and the metal scene is pretty great out here! I can't wait to explore the country further as I stay here and will definitely keep you guys posted on album progress and my production/songwriting rants!

Be well!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


December 2010: 

Psyched as F*** from Divided EP's reviews, reviews, reviews, and feedback / resulting in early demoing for the upcoming material.

February 2011: 

The song "THE 2011" is born with the main intro riff. Listened to lots of djent bands here so that's been an influence.

March 2011: 

"The USB riff" becomes the new song of focus; also heavily influenced by the djent bands I was listening to then. Sadly this song wasn't completed but didn't make the cut. Check out a half demo of it here!

May 2011: 

At this point the song "The 2011" is in the finishing phases of the writing process and being scheduled for tracking and release in the summer of 2011, hence the name! At this point I had been working heavily on generating other ideas but lightly because I prefer to finish the song at hand before moving on to other ones. I guess that's what happened with "The USB Riff" I just hopped into other things and never got around to finishing it, and I haven't "felt" it since then!

July 2011: 

Tracking "The 2011" takes place at Sarj's studio. We spent quite a bit of time tracking this one since it's got a set of really challenging riffs with specific picking patterns. At this point the working date for the new record's release started popping into mind heavily and whilst working on finishing "The 2011" we began to define a blueprint for the record. This was done in close consultation with Sarj as well! He's kind of like the band's babysitter in a sense.

September 2011: 

Benevolent signs to Spellbind Records. Can I get a hell yea?

Most definitely one of those proud moments for us as a band and myself personally, being on the same record as metal icons Nervecell is a true honor!

At this point "The 2011" was finished but due to so much going on at that moment we were taken away from focusing on the finalizing of this song and decided to let it hang as the album's picture starts to come more clearly into play.

At this point I began working on a song which I finished rather quickly, this was "Nice Introer"; to me this song is kind of like a Dream Theater meets Scar Symmetry with a nice acoustic topping here and there! I would say it's one of the best intros from the songs on the album!

October 2011: 

I started to toy up with two songs back to back at this point, and with working titles of "Paid to Rest" and "Sacramento" you guys can take a wild guess what I was listening to heavily then (Lamb of God FTW). The songs were demoed at my studio and finalized, however, they didn't make the final cut because I felt that they stood out distinctively from the rest, had a much too different feel about them, and I found myself losing interest in fixing them while rather just wanting to move on to fresh and new songs. Those songs were on the main picks of songs to track for the record's final product up until March 2012 (see in PART TWO!)

November 2011: 

Benevolent debut gig in Dubai at Metal Asylum Festival 2011 marking the band's first show in the UAE. We had a blast performing alongside the bands such as Zygnema, Firezone, and the rest!

I remember waking up at 8 am after sleeping at 5 am post the gig, really wired up from the show's energy, grabbed my laptop and started writing what later became the song "OBOBOBZEN"

At the point I was also grappling with a song named "EPIC2", which never got finished but I got a feeling this one will be making an appearance on future Benevolent releases. I remember recording a few ideas with my homie Khalid Al Mansour while we were bored and lonely in Dubai, waiting for rehearsal time.

Early December 2011: 

Demo recording of "OBOBOBZEN" comes to life. This was a turning point for the album's creation; it was the begin of the shift in tuning for the entire (well, most of the) album. I tuned down to E D A D G B E for a maximum sinister feeling when playing guitar.

Unfortunately, "OBOBOBZEN" sounded far too rushed and rather immature as a song, so it was scrapped, however, I feel this one song's presence in the process is key in this album's essence because it paved the way for the upcoming tracks, which in my opinion have made this album!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In Lebanon; Working Hard

Hey guys!

So I'm in Lebanon taking a little break in between relocation. March has been a huge month, I've left Kuwait for good after spending over two decades there (in addition to being born there), and now I'm in the process of moving to the UAE. EXCITING.

So, while I'm here taking a short vacation I've been spending lots of time with my AMT Electronics pedals and being exceptionally productive in work on the upcoming BENEVOLENT album. It's all coming together nicely!

I'm also working closely with Ignite Amps on an upcoming exciting something which we all cannot wait to reveal. We're currently doing final touches before this gets announced and becomes available for ordering!

I'll leave you with a few shots that make my mess of a workspace look hawt.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

AMT B-1 through Ignite Amps TPA-1

Hey guys!

Here's a new test! AMT Electronics' B-1 through the TPA-1 by Ignite Amps (It is an upcoming Tube Power Amp plugin that I'm beta testing)


Monday, March 26, 2012

Working with IGNITE AMPS

Hey guys!

So we [BENEVOLENT] have been working with IGNITE AMPS on a little something to be revealed soon (STAY TUNED); what I wanted to do is to take this little moment to chime in about the experience of working with them on this project and the way they process custom orders and deliver gear brutality whether it be through plugins or through hardware units.

I've been in touch with Federico Berti from Ignite Amps for a while now, mainly exchanging ideas and having endless conversations about gear. Along the way and through the webs of our conversations emerged the idea of doing a custom SOMETHING for Benevolent and the experience of working with him and the Ignite Amps team has been absolutely brilliant! They are extremely dedicated, creative, capable, knowledgeable, proactive, and hard working guys! Thorough communication and a very transparent way of dealing with their clients who eventually become friends!

The way Ignite Amps does their custom work is by first developing a VST/AU plugin for you with the specifications of your unit; whether it is an amp, preamp, pedal, etc. The plugins are made to match the exact characteristics of the unit and provide you with a way to demo your gear before it enters the hardware stage, where things become a bit more tricky to change around.

I am happy to be one of the fortunate artists who are working with such a great and dedicated team. When you are dedicated to your craft and you meet people who are as dedicated (and more) and can sit right in with the wavelength of ideas you bring to the table, the work becomes a joyful ride!

If you've got some custom guitar/bass gear unit you want to get together hit these guys up on

Talk soon!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Discover YOUR Musicianship

One of the main things that definitely set things in motion for me as a musician is coming to an understanding of who I am as a musician; the solid yet dynamic definition that sets the stage to channel all the hard work into a unified path and opens up the gates for even further dedication.

The trick behind this deal is the simple reality that when you know and understand what you're all about (or plan to be all about) as a musician you develop this tunnel vision giving you that focal point and an edge in which this new found dedication becomes all you know, all you think about, and all you look forward to. It almost (or very much so) turns into an obsession where all the hard work involved with getting it done becomes a very light task and you find yourself able to activate your inner genius.

The results of your work and the gratification entailed with watching all the elements align from the work of your very hands is a beautiful and addictive feeling.

Tunnel vision is what it's all about; whether you are a musician, a painter, writer, etc; whatever it is, it's all about the go-getter attitude that automatically goes into positive-haywire mode once you find yourself at peace, knowledge, and full acknowledgement and understanding of what you're on about in that domain.

Talk soon folks,

Saturday, March 3, 2012

AMT Electronics P-1 and B-1 = WIN

Just got the AMT Electronics Legend Amps Series' P-1 and B-1. Check out the photos below:

The B-1 is based on Bogner while the P-1 is based on Peavey's 5150. 

Clips coming soon!


Friday, March 2, 2012

A Musician's Canvas: Translate Your Inspiration Into Sound

I was having a conversation with a friend just today about that "blue" feeling you get when the creativity bulb gets lit up and how having a working "canvas" can get you in a position of power in a sense, it allows you to tap into that creative feeling in a way to utilize it and get ideas out in a productive form. I like to think of this as a translation process where you hop on the same wavelength as your inspiration and start to decode that "blue" feeling into riffs and song ideas. 

I've already covered inspiration with a previous post, and though it's hard to explain such a dynamic thing as inspiration into words, I would highly recommend exploring what triggers your inspiration and gets you going so the process of being inspired can become a somewhat manually-induced. Do check out my previous post here  which covers my approach to inspiration.

Back to the idea of a canvas;

I can't stress enough on the importance of creating/setting up a working "realm" for you to be able to easily walk into and hammer out your inspiration into auditory lines.

Some of you may have faced issues that made you feel you can't get yourself to write songs or music and this may very well be the byproduct of not having that comfortable working space to let it out.

I, personally, have found myself on a whole different level of musical productivity once I had a small home studio setup where the only thing standing between me translating my inspiration into recordings was just plugging in my guitar. The reality of that is not the fact that I couldn't write as much songs as a musician as much as it is the fact that having that setup on my computer where I can, not only record ideas, but also expand that possibility into writing complete songs and thus allowing me to make quick decisions about riffs that come up because I'm writing songs each and every time I pick up the guitar and jam. And in turn, making full utilization of being inspired.

Signing out!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Songwriting: How to Save a Helpless Song / Guide to Pwning Writer's Block

Being a songwriter, you’re going to encounter (sometimes more often than none) quite a few of those songs that are just not really THERE, you know? Songs that while you’re working on them you get that feeling inside telling you this is going down a different direction; bad different that is.

As difficult as it may be to really make a decision on keeping/pulling the plug on a song , a lot of things are worth considering. Check it out:
  1. Is this song hopeless? 
  2. If not ENTIRELY hopeless, where is the song taking a dive into obscurity? 
  3. Is this song much too far from what is originally intended and you’d like to reapproach the original idea from scratch? 
  4. If yes and you’d like to start from scratch, what are some of those riffs/bits that you’d like to preserve and use in future songs (if not the re-approached version even) 
As a budding songwriter I can tell you it’s quite difficult to let a song go, lots of hard work go into those. BUT hard work isn’t always pleasurably audible.

Let’s examine the above points in the bullets section…


I don’t mean this as a “Do you feel helpless about this song?”, this question is directed to the song itself (musician therapy posts may come later, I know I need those! Haha).

I’ll tell you this, I don’t think any song is hopeless. If you’ve got a couple taste riffs down with a basic structure in mind, any song can be saved. But you gotta be ready to throw some hard work down the bin, once again it’s important to note that songs aren’t measured by the hard work put into writing them but merely by how appealing they sound, I assure you that some of those big hits we’ve listened to for years might have been a spree-of-the-moment type songs, the raw factor in those is usually what makes them so electric to listen to.


Listen to your song over and over from the beginning while doing nothing else, just listen to it and feel it out. Tune in to that feeling where you start to truly realize when and where the song just strays off the true essence that the rest of the song is conveying. This is not an easy step, but it’s not hard either; figure out when the song stops being fun to listen to, that’s usually where you need to take a closer look.


This could be one of many, or a combination of a few things. Check out the below possibilities and examine those against your song:
  • Too much repetition 
  • Dangerously progressive; in a sense that it feels like you just started a completely new song with no relevance to the main one 
  • Uninspired riff 
  • An “Awesome” riff that you are trying really hard to throw into the song, but it’s leading to a bottle neck situation where it’s not fitting into any upcoming transitions 
  • Maybe you need to rediscover this song’s true essence, it’s very possible that you are now inspired to write something completely different (What I usually like to do is, if something has inspired me to write in a certain direction, I don’t allow myself to explore any other source of inspiration until I’ve finished working on what I’m inspired to do. Mixing different sources of inspiration can be damaging as it’ll stray you off and divide your work’s essence into different feels that don’t complement each other) 
Those are just some of the things that are worth considering and that I’ve personally came across, the reasons could be much too many!

I hate those awesome riffs that get stuck in your head, and personally try to avoid them as best as I can. Here’s how I think about it:

A riff, no matter how great or bad, is meaningless unless placed in the right place and the right time within a song. What is an IMMENSELY amazing riff in standalone, could be the weakest link in your song; as on the contrary, the most uninteresting riff in standalone could be your game changer in a song, think about it.

Once you’ve found your song’s current weakest link, get rid of it and just start writing from that leaves you off. This approach usually leaves me happy by the end of the songwriting process.

Above all, make sure you’re having fun, not rushing, and keeping it genuine. You should be able to enjoy the song with no regrets by the time it’s done.

Talk soon


Sunday, February 26, 2012

[PRESS RELEASE] Benevolent Lead Guitarist Hadi Sarieddine now on AMT Electronic's Official Artist roster

Hadi Sarieddine, Lead guitarist of extreme experimental metal band Benevolent, has been added to AMT Electronics' lineup of official artists, marking him as the first Lebanese musician to be featured on the Russian comany's roster of artists.

Hadi Sarieddine had this to say about AMT's products, "I've recently picked up the E-1 from AMT Electronics' line of Legend Amps and was shocked by the quality from the get-go"

"The E-1's tone fits perfectly with the tone that I go for with Benevolent and I absolutely cannot wait to take this beast out live, and the best part is it can fit in my guitar gig bag's pocket" 

The Legend Amps series line from AMT Electronics features the emulation of legendary amplifiers in a full analog designed based on JFET technology, all in a stomp box design. The stomp boxes feature 2 output options, one that is a dry signal output and is designed to go directly into the effects return of your amplifier head; while the other output option features an emulated speaker cabinet intended to go directly into the PA or sound card.

Hadi Sarieddine added, "if you were to listen to a clip of how tuneful those little stomp boxes are without being told where all the preamp sounds are coming from, there's no way you'd guess it's coming out of something as small as a cell phone; I've never been so psyched about a tone like this before" 

Benevolent released their debut EP in November 2010, received rave reviews around the region; the band is currently in the recording process of their debut full length record which is due for release with Spellbind Records. You can listen to Benevolent's music on their Facebook page at

Check out Hadi Sarieddine's profile on AMT Electronics on, and make sure you check the rest of AMT Electronic's products on their website.

- ENDS -

Monday, February 20, 2012