Album Review: Svengali – Sayonara (Self Released)

Dubai-based metal band Svengali will release their new album Sayonara, on the 20th March 2020. Featuring members from Iraq, India, Lebanon and Iran, the quartet bring together diverse and unique influences – both in music and in life – to create one of the most ferocious and emotively entrancing metal albums of 2020.

With one EP and one full-length under their belts, and having played countless shows in the Middle East, Svengali have grown into one of the hottest prospects from the region. Their debut album ‘Theory Of Mind’ reached number #2 in the UAE Virgin Megastore Charts and they are the only metal band who have been nominated in the huge Dubaian Ahlan Awards ‘Best Live Act’ category. Shows with the likes Sepultura, Jinjer, Kreator, Arch Enemy and Septic Flesh across Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, UAE and Dubai have proven that they can compete with the best in the business, and they’re now ready to take their sound to the global stage with new album Sayonara.

Inspired by a story of control with a sinister intent, their name Svengali is an indication of their lyrical topics of interest and they go deep on Sayonara. Exploring the state of mind during an addiction relapse, uniting and fighting against oppression, losing identity, overcoming obstacles and more, Svengali‘s thoughts have huge relevance in today’s world.

A heavy metal band based in Dubai that features members from Iraq, India, Lebanon and Iran is attention grabbing. Immediately making Svengali an interesting proposition. The question is though…are they are good metal band?

Based off Sayonara, the answer is categorically yes. A 9–track metalcore beast with a belly full of fire and a lot of anger to expel. Anger that comes in the form of smash-mouth riffs, manic drums and scowling vocals. These guys absolutely smash the shit out of their instruments. So much so that even the cleaner moments sound positively brimming with intent.

There’s a ton of potential throughout Sayonara, tracks that take the focus off the unique build of the band and puts it squarely on the music, as it should be. Tracks like Break Away with its barely contained wrath and catchy chorus. The genuine sound of the melodic Better Off (the guitar solo is killer) and blast beat aggressiveness of Shedding Skin.

Like all good metalcore, Svengali isn’t just heartlessly heavy; it also has a ton of groove and catchiness too. Svengali are one to be noticed and remembered.

Svengali – Sayonara Full Track Listing:

1. Alcatraz
2. Break Away
3. This Is Kombat
4. Better Off
5. Freight Train
6. Sayonara
7. Quicksand
8. Shedding Skin
9. Labyrinth


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Svengali - Sayonara (Self Released)
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