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The Hourglass - Biography




"The idea of forming an original band came to me seriously in mid-2002 after I had a big load of music I have written. I used to play with Bahij (drums) in our practice place from time to time in Homs and the songs were a mixture between covers and originals. Then in late 2002, I decided to write lyrics after I gave up for the idea of having someone to help me in that. And it worked! Musically at that time I had like tons of riffs and solos in my head and on tapes I worked on the songs till the end of the year and started searching for a vocalist to sing them after they were nearly complete. That was a big problem for us. Our style was 80's traditional metal and the songs were like Iron Maiden and Savatage a lot. I know that Bassem has a voice and singing style like Bruce but I never knew him in person at that time. He was famous in Lebanon. I used to know a guy called Gary he sings with a Lebanese band called Dilemma, I called him and invited him to test our songs. He is a very good vocalist but his voice is more suitable for power metal - Stratovarius and Hammerfall style, so I asked him to introduce me to Bassem. We played with Bassem and The Hourglass was born with the three of us as official members of the band. Me and Bahij picked up the name after Savatage's song on the Wake of Magellan album. It was one of our friends that suggested the name for the band in 1997. The bass guitar problem was saved by Salim from Solitaire (Lebanon), we used to play a long time ago together in a cover band called Neo Blood in Lebanon. He recorded the bass as a session player.

During the beginning of 2003 I have completed writing of To the Land of the Free and I went with Bahij to a place out of town and we practiced the songs. We entered Studio 55 in Aleppo on the 21st of July 2003, in a week the drums and the guitars were recorded, in a week we recorded the vocals, bass and keyboards. In March 2004, we self-released our debut To the Land of the Free in Syria and Lebanon. The album had many positive reviews, then The Hourglass was frozen for a complete year.

Bahij had to quit the band to finish his studies, Bassem was in Lebanon, I started a new job, we were still in search for a bassist, etc. All of these reasons made us inactive live, and kept me alone holding the band. And because of this it was impossible to get signed. And in early 2005 the situation of the metalheads and metal music in general in Syria became so miserable; accusations of devil worship as usual! It stayed like this for like a year. During that year I met Omar, a Berkley graduate, who just came from USA to open a studio in Syria. By that time I had just finished writing Resurrection of the Horrid Dream and met the craziest person I knew in my life, Gerard or as he calls himself Jerod the Thrasher. This guy is an incredible drummer, born and lives in Germany, of Syrian and Lebanese origins. He was in Syria on Christmas vacation 2005, we recorded the drums section in 10 days. Then I recorded the guitars, Omar the bass, Bassem the vocals and Nareg the keyboard. The artwork took along time to finish, the ideas were strange and hard to implement with the tools that we had but at the end I think Nehad did a great job. Everything was finished at the end of 2006, still it was impossible to get the attention of a label. I really believed that Resurrection is a great piece of metal. That's why I insisted to give it what it deserves.

I met Zaher (bass) in late 2006, and Abdel Latif (guitars) in early 2007 and agreed with Aram the drummer of Nu.Clear.Dawn to do live show for Resurrection's release. That's why the release was delayed from late 2006 to early 2007. The plan was to do a concert in Damascus. But if I want to list the problems that we faced before reaching the conclusion that we can not do it there we need the whole memory of the website. So we did it in Aleppo releasing Resurrection of the Horrid Dream in Syria and Lebanon, and it was a great show! All that we can do now is to keep making concerts, contact labels and cross our fingers..."

- Rawad Abdel Massih

(Source: MySpace)