June 28, 2022

Greyfade is actually a “one-man experimental metal band” created by multi instrumentalist Fadi Helou, with a little help from his long-time fried Hari Sarriedine. Fadi currently lives in the UAE (although he was born in Lebanon – more about that later) and describes his music as “from beyond to deep within”, akin to his heroes, Metallica, Sepultura, In flames, Megadeth, Testament, Iron Maiden, Paradise Lost, Anathema, Gojira, Lamb of God. Where Time Stood Still is his latest EP out now!

Fadi plays all guitars and does the vocals, Hadi plays keys, bass and drum programming/effects. Hadi also produced, mixed and mastered the EP at Haven Studios in Dubai, UAE (where it was recorded) – Hadi sounds a useful friend to have!!

Fadi at work; Hadi probably took the photo!

The EP compreses five songs and an intro, all sharing quite dark subject matter as a reflection of everything going off in the world right now. As an artist, Fadi is always inspired to write about matters that affect him personally or about matters that are taking place in the world around him.

So on that basis, the EP kicks off with To Tame a Man (a play on the title of the Iron Maiden song “To Tame a Land”), a heavy song about war. It was written a while back but, sadly, it feels very current and relevant with what’s happening today. Unfortunately, war with all the pain, death and atrocities that come with it, is a timeless matter. It’s simple; man is evil and greedy and will continue to be until the end of time.

The Age of Mediocracy is another fairly heavy song that talks about how unoriginal and stale we’ve become. Nowadays, we only follow trends; we are unimaginative; We don’t think for ourselves, it feels like we have the attention span of a fish! Never Leave Me is then quite different, it’s one of the weirdest tracks that Hadi has ever created and for that it’s one of his all-time favourite creations – a very dark song about being unable to break free from a destructive relationship.

The Land of the Cedars is a slower song with a heavy 80’s chorus that talks about his home country Lebanon and how someone who is born there is doomed forever….and finally, Section 666 is a heavy song about the aftermath of the August 4, 2020 Beirut explosion. It describes how the various perpetrators involved in this explosion are abusing the law and avoiding trial – as if they are protected by the number of the beast (cue Iron Maiden!). 

Fadi admits he’s pretty old-school – he just loves the whole “thing” about albums, and still fondly recalls his teenage years, anxiously waiting for his favourite artists to release their albums before rushing down to the record store to buy the CDs, tearing the plastic wrap, taking out the booklet, admiring the artwork and reading the lyrics, credits and linear notes while blasting the music in his stereo.

He goes on to describe the idea for this album and how it came to be – he was inspired by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis and how they recorded their album Carnage. In short, Nick and Warren met after the Covid restrictions started to lift, and recorded an album that was basically improvised on the spot. They booked a studio for a certain amount of time, composed and recorded an album right then and there. Fadid loves that, so beautiful and organic, no preparations, no demos, just pure musical chemistry and being right there in the moment. So he went for it…partly to break out of his comfort zone, and partly because he was convinced all his best ideas were the initial ones…he called Hadi, told him the Carnage story and said he was just going to come in with some lyrics and they would develop the songs there from scratch – just being there in the moment, oblivious to the world outside them: Where Time Stood Still.

Ultimately, they had a whale of a time, the two of them loved the spontaneity of the collaborative effort! And it sounds pretty good!

As a further treat, here’s a earlier video of an acoustic number called Somewhere – enjoy!