Welcome to Connecting the Dots, the column where we give a brief rundown on a central band along with a host of other projects their members, both past and present, have been involved in. Today we’ll be focusing on progressive sludge powerhouse Mastodon and the myriad of projects they’ve been involved with.
Ancient-Egyptian-themed blackened death metal is a weirdly popular niche. It’s easy to understand the appeal, but just how popular the style can be is surprising at times. What’s even more surprising is that few of these bands are actually from Egypt (mostly this review’s namesake and Scarab). Enter Crescent, a band formed in 1999 but only put out their debut in 2014. Hailing from Cairo, they’ve fit in comfortably to this style, and ready to make waves with their second full-length, The Order of Amenti.
Cherine Amr and her band, Massive Scar Era, have been highlighted a few times in major media outlets in recent years. Most of this coverage has focused on two events: the emergence of a female-fronted metal band in Egypt in the wake of the Arab Spring – a wave of protests and popular uprisings across the Middle East during 2011 – or the recent denial of entry to the United States this past month when they were expecting to make it to play at SXSW (more on the specifics of this event are below). The band’s music, as you’ll read, became sort of secondary to these current event-based stories.